Marina Grishakova

July 3, 9:30 – 10:30

Between Nature and Artifice: Reality Effects and Transcodifications of the Natural    

In recent research on embodied cognition and emotions, effects of “immediacy” and “presence” have been of central interest in literary, art and media studies. The realistically encoded images and naturalistic effects, functioning as “shortcuts” to reality, prompt somatic and imaginative involvement and elicit affective-bodily response.  At the same time, they reveal ambivalence at the core of “realism,” understood as a seemingly simple “mimesis,” and the role of the artificial (material, technical, artful) in conjuring reality effects. Whereas naturalistic effects, not unlike Barthes’ punctum, imply immediate response, the “reality effects” may involve memory mediation, including historical and cultural (Barthes, Ankersmit, Runia), but also individual (procedural, episodic, autobiographical) memory.  In this talk, I shall discuss the role of mediation in the manifestations of the “real” and transcodifications of the “natural” in verbal, visual (from “memory objects” in painting to cinematic collages) and ecological arts. I shall also touch on the relationships between visual “reality effects” and rhetorical figures, such as hypotyposis and ekphrasis.        


Marina Grishakova is Professor in Comparative Literature at the Institute of Cultural Research, University of Tartu, Estonia, Chair of Literary Theory and Intermedial Studies. Her scholarly interests include interdisciplinary narratology, intermedia and interart studies, cognitive humanities, and the semiotics of culture. Her current research focuses on complexity and theories of representation. Among her recent publications are Intermediality and Storytelling (with M.-L. Ryan, De Gruyter, 2010); Narrative Complexity: Cognition, Embodiment, Evolution (with M. Poulaki, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), and The Gesamtkunstwerk as a Synergy of the Arts (with M. Fusillo, Peter Lang, 2020).  In 2016 she was elected a member of the Academia Europaea, and she is currently Vice President of the ICLA Research Committee on Literature, Arts, and Media.