Between Sensorimotor Data and Conceptual Message: Embodied Simulation as an Approach to the Reading of Two Science Fiction Plays, Jennifer Haley’s The Nether and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Boom

Khaled Mostafa Karam


This paper explains how the activation of the reader’s cognitive capacity of embodied simulation can improve the perception of science fiction and its interest in exploring the materiality of bodies. It offers an embodied cognitive interpretation of Haley’s The Nether and Nachtrieeb’s Boom, stressing the role of close reading of sensorimotor data in triggering the mental process of simulation and reinforcing the reader’s embodied involvement within the text. This paper also illustrates the cognitive link between linguistic input data in the process of reading science fiction and the stimulation of the capacity of embodied simulation. It argues that the more intensive the sensorimotor data is, the more appealing to the capacity of embodied simulation the text proves to be. The paper attempts to prove that the close reading of science fiction drama, abundant in sensorimotor data, is capable of generating an embodied simulative experience which guarantees a deeper understanding of the thematic content and an empathic engagement with the characters.


Embodied Simulation, Science Fiction, Sensorimotor Data, Engagement

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