Public talk (online) by Dr. Marco Bernini, “Phantasmal Intersubjectivity: Co-Presence and the Emersivity of Literary Characters”. From 09:45 to 11:15

December 2, 2020 / Dr. Marco Bernini

A guest lecture about Co Presence and the Emersivity of Literary Characters

In a study we have conducted with 400 readers of the 2014 Edinburgh
Book Festival (Bernini M Alderson Day B Fernyhough C 2017
Uncharted Features of Reading Voices Characters and Crossing of
Experiences Consciousness and Cognition) we were surprised to find
that 20 of the readers reported to experience the presence of fictional
characters outside of the immediate context of reading I have suggested
to call this phenomenon experiential crossing because characters seem
to cross the boundary of the storyworlds and accompany or stay with
the reader in real world situations This crossing seems to be
spontaneously activated by a wide range of triggers (mainly contextual or
affective) to have a complex phenomenology (characters are perceived
either as silent auditory multi sensory or conceptual presences) and
show different degrees of felt presence in the reader s minds or even in
their physical environment This type of imaginative or phantasmal
emersion is experientially and theoretically intriguing and complex
because it raises important issues regarding the possibility of
entertaining in the real world intersubjective relations with non actual
beings or what I will call a phantasmal intersubjecitivty To date
cognitive literary studies (and in particular theories of immersion Gerrig
1993 Zwaan 2008 Angeles Martinez 2014 Ryan 2015 have focused
exclusively on the other direction of transit namely on how our real past
experiences can sustain enhance or modify our experience of a literary
narrative (or its storyworld immersivity) By contrast how fictional
elements from a storyworld can surface or transmigrate into real life
cognition has been basically ignored Building on and adapting models
of narrative immersion the lecture will present a theory and a model for
what will be called the emersivity of literary characters

Contact If you are interested in attending, please contact Prof. Dr. Sibylle Baumbach (sibylle.baumbach@ilw.uni
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