Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

English Studies and Literary Education in the Era of Media Manipulation: Context, Perceptions, Feelings and Challenges

Yolanda Caballero Aceituno, Aroa Orrequia-Barea


This article analyses the components of a method of literary education aimed at strengthening critical awareness. It discusses whether the current academic context is hospitable to a literary education that fights against the over-simplification of our epistemological horizons. The popularisation of a utilitarian version of university study, the neglect of reflective practices and the marginalisation of the usefulness of the discipline of literature within the field of English Studies are some of the realities that we currently face. Within this context, a literary education involving activism can play an important role in promoting resistance against the pandemic of media manipulation we are in the midst of. After having examined the views of a group of students at the University of Jaén (Spain) concerning the importance of studying an English Studies degree in contemporary society, it is clear that such an education needs to be based on emotional aspects, paying special attention to the students’ feelings and perceptions. The results of our corpus-based study using Sentiment Analysis techniques evidence the emotional disaffection of students from certain subjects, namely literature, which are specifically aimed at encouraging critical thinking. Thus, one of the future challenges that must be faced is to foster positive emotions in our literature lessons, as they are essential to promote the students’ critical awareness and activism.


academic activism; literary education; manipulation; corpus linguistics; sentiment analysis

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