How contemporary German and English novels use multimodality to radically involve its readers in the narrative meaning making (completed)

Natalia Igl draws on cognitive narratology, research in multimodality as well as empirical findings and investigates how contemporary German and English novels use multimodality to radically involve its readers in the narrative meaning making.

A portrait of a smiling woman with glasses

Natalia Igl

Photo: UiO

Natalia Igl’s current MSCA research project (funded under H2020 EU, Project ID 794549) looks into the strategic engagement of readers as observers in contemporary German- and English-language multimodal novels. Works such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2005) or J.J. Abrams and Dough Dorst’s S [Ship of Theseus] (2013) integrate images and visual forms into the narration, utilize the pictorial quality of script, and overall emphasize and explore the media-specific possibilities of the printed book.

Taking the notion of the embodied and enactive reader as point of departure, the project aims to show how multimodal novels functionalize the positioning of readers as (co-)observers of the (materially) unfolding narration to radically involve them in the complex dynamics of narrative meaning making.

The project’s theoretical framework brings together cognitive narratology, research in multimodality and (book) materiality, as well as empirically substantiated models of reader engagement in literature.

For more information about the project’s objectives, upcoming events and research results please visit the "Readers as Observers" project website.

  • Natalia Igl is Postdoctoral Fellow in Literature 
Tags: Cognitive Narratology, Multimodality, Embodiment, Reader Engagement
Published Oct. 2, 2020 1:22 PM - Last modified May 11, 2022 2:20 PM