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Stefan A. Ortlieb, Uwe C. Fischer and Claus-Christian Carbon

female.” ( De Quincey, 1838/1968 , p. 300) The beautiful and the sublime are two essential, but ill-defined concepts in empirical aesthetics. In Western philosophy three authors have mainly shaped the classical canon of the sublime ( Freeman, 1995 ): Longinus’ (1965) first-century treatise On Sublimity

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Stefan A. Ortlieb and Claus-Christian Carbon

, 2008 ), kitsch has become “one of the most bewildering and elusive categories of modern aesthetics” ( Cǎlinescu, 1987 , p. 232); but is there a perspective in empirical aesthetics broad enough to deal with it? When we think of empirical aesthetics, we usually think of art perception. Alike other

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J. Farley Norman, Amanda Beers and Flip Phillips

Psychology, Western Kentucky University, USA Received 6 September 2009; accepted 5 May 2010 Abstract Gustav Fechner is widely respected as a founding father of experimental psychology and psychophysics but fewer know of his interests and work in empirical aesthetics. In the later 1800s, toward the end of his

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Slobodan Marković

) and Valence (Ertel, 1973 ). In empirical aesthetics the judgment of beauty is dominantly associated with pleasure and pleasurable emotions and feelings (Leder et al. , 2004 ; Martindale and Moore, 1990; Winkielman and Cacioppo, 2001 ). Many studies have shown that the judgment of pleasure is

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Claudia Muth and Claus-Christian Carbon

Many artworks defy determinacy of meaning by inducing a variety of potential meanings. We aim to describe different kinds of such semantic instability (which we call ‘SeIns’) by comparing related concepts as well as specific phenomena in order to arrive at concise definitions. These analyses will be positioned in the framework of Predictive Coding. Furthermore, this article fathoms the specifics of semantic instability in art and presents a psycho-aesthetic account on the appeal of semantic instability in art. We propose that one factor for the appeal of semantic instability might be that it offers the opportunity of rewarding insight. Furthermore, we suggest that positive affect can be gained not only by arriving at an insight but also by anticipating it — a crucial point with regard to those kinds of semantic instability that are not ‘resolvable’ into semantic stability. Current challenges within this field of research include the necessity of an empirical approach to classes of semantic instability, the lack of a specification of psycho-aesthetic theories on the appeal of each class, as well as the need for an integration of context- and person-related facets of the experience of art.

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Claudia Muth, Marius Hans Raab and Claus-Christian Carbon

The perception of artworks rarely—if ever—results in the instantiation of a determinate meaning. Instead, when entering an art gallery, we often expect Semantic Instability (SeIns): the experience of perceptual and cognitive habits being challenged. By comparing the experience of an artistic movie in an exhibition with the experience in a laboratory via the Continuous Evaluation Procedure, we found that the movie was less semantically unstable and more pleasing to the eyes of gallery visitors than to those of participants in the laboratory. These findings suggest that a gallery context might induce the expectation of perceptual challenge, thus decreasing the intensity of SeIns and at the same time heightening the appreciation of SeIns. Exhibition visitors might even be on the lookout for challenging experiences.

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Muth and Claus-Christian Carbon  145 Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 185–264 2016 Boundaries, Transitions and Passages Jan Koenderink, Andrea van Doorn, Baingio Pinna and Johan Wagemans  185 Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful: Is there a Male Gaze in Empirical Aesthetics? Stefan A

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When Storyworlds Collide

Metalepsis in Popular Fiction, Film and Comics


Jeff Thoss

One can find it in the classics of experimental literature such as Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy or the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges, but also in the horror and fantasy fiction of Stephen King, in Mel Brooks’s spoof films and Grant Morrison’s superhero comics. The talk is of metalepsis, the transgression of narrative levels. While this device was long perceived as a narratological oddity reserved for avant-garde texts, it has recently emerged as a phenomenon of much wider bearing that exists in numerous media and in popular as well as high culture. When Storyworlds Collide wishes to do justice to this situation and offers both a refined model for the analysis of metalepsis across media and a detailed investigation of the uses and functions of metalepsis in popular culture, thus providing a valuable addition to the burgeoning field of post-classical and transmedial narrative theory.
Starting from a thorough reevaluation of the concept of metalepsis as it is discussed both in classical narratology and more recent endeavours, this book puts forth a deceptively simple yet flexible definition and typology of this device, centred on the violation of the border separating the inside and outside of a storyworld and designed to be transmedially applicable. In a second step, this model is put to the test through an analysis of a wide range of metaleptic narratives drawn from popular fiction, film, and comics. When Storyworlds Collide takes popular culture seriously, employing it neither to merely exemplify theory nor to demonstrate that it is ultimately a knockoff of high culture. Rather, it shows that metalepsis possesses a unique dynamics in popular storytelling and has become an essential device for pop-cultural self-reflection – while still retaining an immense potential to create amusing and entertaining narratives.
This book will be relevant to students and scholars from a wide variety of fields: narrative theory, intermediality and media studies, popular culture as well as literary, film and comics studies.
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Mikko Lagerspetz

stages — in fact, perhaps more than is the intention of the model itself. In their review of recent studies in empirical aesthetics, Leder and Nadal (2014: 448) present a revised version. The model has been complemented with a remark on temporary overlap of the first three processing stages, with more

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Abstracts from the 5th Visual Science of Art Conference (VSAC)

Berlin, Germany, August 25th–27th 2017

Claus-Christian Carbon and Joerg Fingerhut

,* and Richard Taylor 2 1 The University of New South Wales, Australia; 2 University of Oregon, USA Abstract The field of empirical aesthetics has long been divided as to whether aesthetic preferences are best considered universal or individually and culturally specific