20 Years of Text World Theory: A Celebration

2019 marks twenty years since the publication of Paul Werth’s influential monograph, Text Worlds: Representing Conceptual Space in Discourse. Over the intervening decades, Text World Theory has become one of the most dynamic and exciting areas of research and teaching in both linguistics and literary studies. A global network of academics and students now uses the framework to examine a wide range of discourses, and their published work has included explorations of oral narrative, newspaper discourse, poetry, children’s literature, legal language, narrative fiction, and dramatic texts, to name only a few. Text World Theory is also increasingly being taken up as a pedagogical approach in English classrooms at all levels of education across the UK.

The University of Sheffield is delighted to announce that it will be hosting a two-day symposium on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th September 2019 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Paul Werth’s inspiring text, as well as the diverse and ground-breaking work being undertaken by the vibrant international community of text-world theorists today.


The fee for the symposium is £75 (student rate £65). The cost includes lunch and refreshments on both days, as well as a celebratory reception and supper on the evening of Thursday 5th September.

Because we aim to develop an extended, open, and inclusive discussion across all the sessions in the symposium, we hope that everyone will attend for both days and we have set a flat fee for this purpose. Anyone wishing to attend for one day only should contact the symposium organising team: textworlds@sheffield.ac.uk

To register for the symposium, please follow this link:



A full programme is available here.


The symposium will be held in the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. Maps and directions to the venue can be found here:



Hotel accomodation around Sheffield is plentiful and there are lots of budget options available. The following are all located within easy walking distance (less than 20 minutes) of the symposium venue:

Hampton by Hilton Hotel

Hotel Ibis

Jury’s Inn

The Leopold Hotel

Mercure Sheffield St Paul’s

Novotel Sheffield Centre

Premier Inn Sheffield City Centre

Travelodge Sheffield Central



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