5/1030:What is Intermediality? Part I

I have a feeling I’m not going to be able to finish this tonight, so I am preemptively calling it something unfinished. I mentioned yesterday that I am going to start looking closely at texts, and that’s what I’m doing now, though it’s taking all my willpower to not plump down on the sofa and turn on the TV.

Let me start with “Intermediality, Intertextuality, and Remediation: A Literary Perspective on Intermediality” by Irina O. Rajewsky. One of the foremost scholars looking at intermediality in Germany, I had the honor of attending a seminar co-headed by Dr. Rajewsky and my current sponsor. Obviously, her seminar topic inspired me to pursue the project that will become my dissertation.

The article on intermediality serves many purposes, but it primarily distinguishes itself from other writings on the subject by focusing on literary studies of the phenomenon. To understand that there can be literary studies, let’s start at the beginning: What is intermediality?

A quick google search could provide you with a few suggestions of how to answer that question, but really, I think the answer, succinctly, is referencing another media in one kind of media. One can confuse this with intertextuality, but obviously inter-text involves references from one text to another. Everything plays in the semiotic space of script. Intermediality, however, involves references to something like music, image, moving image, etc. in a medium that is unlike the ones being referenced. There are many products that can be found on the spectrum of intermediality. One has ekphrasis, which is the verbal description of a visual form of art. One has comics, in which image and text supplement each other to bring the story across. A popular topic in intermedial conversations are video games, where storylines and the moving images controlled by the player are intertwined. There are many moments of intermediality that we have become used to in literature, as the amount of media we are exposed to on a daily basis has increased. In fact, studying intermediality only relatively recently became a “thing,” and it’s still mostly pursued in Germany and Canada.

I know I did a horrible job starting to define this term. I’ll have to return to it (and provide more pointed explanation of Dr. Rajewsky’s essay) tomorrow.

Disclaimer: this series is a collection of brainstorms and free-writes that are a part of my planning for actual text in my dissertation. Therefore, I am giving myself the liberty to make mistakes, make assumptions (call me out on offensive ones, though!), not tie up loose ends, and generally not make any sense. 

Copyright 2016 Dorothea Trotter: because these writings are planning for actual text in my dissertation, some of this will appear in my dissertation. I hold the right to the words in this post and require that interested parties ask for permission before copying the words or ideas too closely. Obviously, the date of posting is the date of copyright and I reserve the right to challenge suspected plagiarism in my future dissertation submission using these blogs as proof of originality. 


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