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Design meets Science

Prof. Dr. Lars Elleström


Prof. Dr. Lars Elleström | Växjö/Sweden: Professor of Comparative Literature

Prof. Dr. Lars Elleström presides over the Linnæus University Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies and chairs the board of the International Society for Intermedial Studies. Elleström has written and edited several books, including Divine Madness: On Interpreting Literature, Music, and the Visual Arts Ironically (Bucknell University Press, 2002), Media Borders, Multimodality and Intermediality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and Media Transformation: The Transfer of Media Characteristics Among Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He has also published numerous articles on poetry, intermediality, semiotics, gender, and irony. Elleström’s recent publications, starting with the article “The Modalities of Media: A Model for Understanding Intermedial Relations” (2010), have explored and developed basic semiotic, multimodal, and intermedial concepts aiming at a theoretical model for understanding and analyzing interrelations among dissimilar media.

The Role of the Body in Cognition and Signification

The talk will be framed within the area of human communication and based on the idea that mind and body are profoundly interrelated. The following main areas will be considered and systematically interrelated: 1) The body as a producer of media products. All communications starts with a “producer’s mind” situated in a body that somehow creates a media product, which should be understood as the intermediate entity that makes communication among minds possible. 2) The body as a media product. Media products are necessarily material in some way, meaning that they are physical entities or processes. They may be either organic bodies, non-organic entities, or a combination of these. 3) The body as a perceiver of media products. The “perceiver’s mind” cannot get in contact with the media product in any other way than through sensory perception, which is very much a corporeal phenomenon. 4) The body in the mind perceiving media products. When bodies have the function of media products, they act as signs – in Peirce’s terminology “representamens”. However, bodies may also be the “objects” of signification; they may be represented. Communication may thus involve the representation of bodies and other concrete objects. Communication may also involve the representation of more abstracts entities such as concepts, ideas, intentions, and relations; yet, also abstract, mental notions like these are to a large extent rooted in the experience of being a body interacting with the surrounding world.

Die Konferenz FURE „The Future of Reading“ konzentriert sich auf die Chancen und Herausforderungen des Umbruchs in der Medienwelt.