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Matters of Fact in Fiction

Matters of Fact in Fiction

LiteratureModern languages • Research Funding

British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship


The award

Dr Stacie Friend held her Fellowship within the Department of Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London, and was awarded £43,805 to undertake her 12 month Senior Research Fellowship from 2013 to 2014.

The project

Dr Friend was awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship to write a monograph on her own systematic account of the role of fact in fiction. Motivated by a rejection of the concept of non-fiction as fact and fiction as fabrication, Dr Friend argues that works of fiction are about the real world, even if they ask us to imagine the world differently from how it actually is.  Her Senior Research Fellowship enabled her to develop a new framework for understanding how works of fiction can be about both the real and the invented, allowing her to argue that factual representation plays an indispensable role in explaining how we learn from fiction, why we care about fictional characters and why we value many great works of fictional literature.

Our funding

The funding from the BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship provided Professor Bendelow with a 12 month period dedicated solely to her research project and away from her normal teaching and administrative commitments to allow her to complete her monograph.


Dr Friend's monograph ‘Matters of Fact and Fiction’ will be published by Oxford University Press in late 2015. As a result of her research Dr Friend was invited to become co-investigator for a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council project on ‘Learning from Literature’, which builds on the themes in her Fellowship research.

Dr Friend’s Fellowship was also a contributing factor in her obtaining a post at Birkbeck College, University of London.