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Anezka Kuzmicova
Stockholm University
  1.  29
    Decreasing Materiality From Print to Screen Reading.Theresa Schilhab, Gitte Balling & Anezka Kuzmicova - 2018 - First Monday 23 (10).
    The shift from print to screen has bodily effects on how we read. We distinguish two dimensions of embodied reading: the spatio-temporal and the imaginary. The former relates to what the body does during the act of reading and the latter relates to the role of the body in the imagined scenarios we create from what we read. At the level of neurons, these two dimensions are related to how we make sense of the world. From this perspective, we explain (...)
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  2. Presence in the Reading of Literary Narrative: A Case for Motor Enactment.Anežka Kuzmičová - 2012 - Semiotica 2012 (189):23-48.
    Drawing on research in narrative theory and literary aesthetics, text and discourse processing, phenomenology and the experimental cognitive sciences, this paper outlines an embodied theory of presence in the reading of literary narrative. Contrary to common assumptions, it is argued that there is no straightforward relation between the degree of detail in spatial description on one hand, and the vividness of spatial imagery and presence on the other. It is also argued that presence arises from a first-person, enactive process of (...)
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  3. Empathy at the Confluence of Neuroscience and Empirical Literary Studies.Michael Burke, Anezka Kuzmicova, Anne Mangen & Theresa Schilhab - 2016 - Scientific Study of Literature 6 (1):6-41.
    The objective of this article is to review extant empirical studies of empathy in narrative reading in light of (i) contemporary literary theory, and (ii) neuroscientific studies of empathy, and to discuss how a closer interplay between neuroscience and literary studies may enhance our understanding of empathy in narrative reading. An introduction to some of the philosophical roots of empathy is followed by tracing its application in contemporary literary theory, in which scholars have pursued empathy with varying degrees of conceptual (...)
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  4.  34
    M-Reading: Fiction Reading From Mobile Phones.Anezka Kuzmicova, Theresa Schilhab & Michael Burke - 2018 - Convergence: The International Journal of Research Into New Media Technology:1–17.
    Mobile phones are reportedly the most rapidly expanding e-reading device worldwide. However, the embodied, cognitive and affective implications of smartphone-supported fiction reading for leisure (m-reading) have yet to be investigated empirically. Revisiting the theoretical work of digitization scholar Anne Mangen, we argue that the digital reading experience is not only contingent on patterns of embodied reader–device interaction (Mangen, 2008 and later) but also embedded in the immediate environment and broader situational context. We call this the situation constraint. Its application to (...)
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  5. Literary Narrative and Mental Imagery: A View From Embodied Cognition.Anezka Kuzmicova - 2014 - Style 48 (3):275-293.
    The objective of this article is twofold. In the first part, I discuss two issues central to any theoretical inquiry into mental imagery: embodiment and consciousness. I do so against the backdrop of second-generation cognitive science, more specifically the increasingly popular research framework of embodied cognition, and I consider two caveats attached to its current exploitation in narrative theory. In the second part, I attempt to cast new light on readerly mental imagery by offering a typology of what I propose (...)
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  6. Does It Matter Where You Read? Situating Narrative in Physical Environment.Anezka Kuzmicova - 2016 - Communication Theory 26 (3):290-308.
    While language use in general is currently being explored as essentially situated in immediate physical environment, narrative reading is primarily regarded as a means of decoupling one’s consciousness from the environment. In order to offer a more diversified view of narrative reading, the article distinguishes between three different roles the environment can play in the reading experience. Next to the traditional notion that environmental stimuli disrupt attention, the article proposes that they can also serve as a prop for mental imagery (...)
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  7.  61
    Personal Relevance in Story Reading: A Research Review.Anezka Kuzmicova & Katalin Balint - forthcoming - Poetics Today 39.
    Although personal relevance is key to sustaining an audience’s interest in any given narrative, it has received little systematic attention in scholarship to date. Across centuries and media, adaptations have been used extensively to bring temporally or geographically distant narratives “closer” to the recipient under the assumption that their impact will increase. In this review article, we review experimental and other empirical evidence on narrative processing in order to unravel which types of personal relevance are more likely to be impactful (...)
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  8. Outer Vs. Inner Reverberations: Verbal Auditory Imagery and Meaning-Making in Literary Narrative.Anezka Kuzmicova - 2013 - Journal of Literary Theory 7 (1-2):111-134.
    It is generally acknowledged that verbal auditory imagery, the reader's sense of hearing the words on a page, matters in the silent reading of poetry. Verbal auditory imagery (VAI) in the silent reading of narrative prose, on the other hand, is mostly neglected by literary and other theorists. This is a first attempt to provide a systematic theoretical account of the felt qualities and underlying cognitive mechanics of narrative VAI, drawing on convergent evidence from the experimental cognitive sciences, psycholinguistic theory, (...)
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  9. Literature and Readers' Empathy: A Qualitative Text Manipulation Study.Anezka Kuzmicova, Anne Mangen, Hildegunn Støle & Anne Charlotte Begnum - forthcoming - Language and Literature 26.
    Several quantitative studies (e.g. Kidd & Castano, 2013a; Djikic et al., 2013) have shown a positive correlation between literary reading and empathy. However, the literary nature of the stimuli used in these studies has not been defined at a more detailed, stylistic level. In order to explore the stylistic underpinnings of the hypothesized link between literariness and empathy, we conducted a qualitative experiment in which the degree of stylistic foregrounding was manipulated. Subjects (N = 37) read versions of Katherine Mansfield's (...)
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  10. Audiobooks and Print Narrative: Similarities in Text Experience.Anezka Kuzmicova - 2016 - In Jarmila Mildorf & Till Kinzel (eds.), Audionarratology: Interfaces of Sound and Narrative. De Gruyter. pp. 217-237.
    Comparisons between audiobook listening and print reading often boil down to the fact that audiobooks impose limitations on the recipient’s continuous in-depth reflection. As a result, audiobook listening is considered a shallow alternative to reading. This chapter critically revisits the following three intuitions commonly associated with such comparisons: 1) Audiobooks elicit more mental imagery than print. 2) Audiobooks invite more inattentive processing than print. 3) Audiobook listening is more contingent on the environment than print reading. Instead of postulating the superiority (...)
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  11.  20
    Reading and Company: Embodiment and Social Space in Silent Reading Practices.Anezka Kuzmicova, Patricia Dias, Ana Vogrincic Cepic, Anne-Mette Bech Albrechtslund, Andre Casado, Marina Kotrla Topic, Xavier Minguez Lopez, Skans Kersti Nilsson & Ines Teixeira-Botelho - 2018 - Literacy 52 (2):70–77.
    Reading, even when silent and individual, is a social phenomenon and has often been studied as such. Complementary to this view, research has begun to explore how reading is embodied beyond simply being ‘wired’ in the brain. This article brings the social and embodied perspectives together in a very literal sense. Reporting a qualitative study of reading practices across student focus groups from six European countries, it identifies an underexplored factor in reading behaviour and experience. This factor is the sheer (...)
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  12. The Words and Worlds of Literary Narrative: The Trade-Off Between Verbal Presence and Direct Presence in the Activity of Reading.Anezka Kuzmicova - 2013 - In Lars Bernaerts, Dirk De Geest, Luc Herman & Bart Vervaeck (eds.), Stories and Minds: Cognitive Approaches to Literary Narrative. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 191-231.
    This paper disputes the notion, endorsed by much of narrative theory, that the reading of literary narrative is functionally analogous to an act of communication, where communication stands for the transfer of thought and conceptual information. The paper offers a basic typology of the sensorimotor effects of reading, which fall outside such a narrowly communication-based model of literary narrative. A main typological distinction is drawn between those sensorimotor effects pertaining to the narrative qua verbal utterance (verbal presence) and those sensorimotor (...)
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  13. Fidelity Without Mimesis: Mental Imagery From Visual Description.Anezka Kuzmicova - 2012 - In Gregory Currie, Petr Kotatko & Martin Pokorny (eds.), Mimesis: Metaphysics, Cognition, Pragmatics. College Publications.
    In this paper, I oppose the common assumption that visual descriptions in prose fiction are imageable by virtue of perceptual mimesis. Based on introspection as well as convergent support from cognitive science and other disciplines, I argue that visual description (and the mental imagery it elicits), unlike narrative (and the mental imagery it elicits), often stands in no positive relation to perceptual mimesis because it lacks a structural counterpart in perceptual experience. I present an alternative way of defining the kind (...)
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  14.  15
    Consciousness.Anezka Kuzmicova - forthcoming - In Leah Price & Matthew Rubery (eds.), Further Reading. New York: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter revisits three common ideas about how consciousness works when we read fiction. Firstly, I contest the notion that the reading consciousness is a container of sorts, containing a circumscribed amount of textual stimulus. Secondly, I argue against the view that readers abstract their personal concerns away in reading, and that they do so with benefit. Thirdly, I show how the reading consciousness encompasses rather than excludes the physical situation and environment of reading. For each idea revisited, I discuss (...)
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  15. Mental Imagery in the Experience of Literary Narrative: Views From Embodied Cognition.Anezka Kuzmicova - 2013 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    Defined as vicarious sensorimotor experiencing, mental imagery is a powerful source of aesthetic enjoyment in everyday life and, reportedly, one of the commonest things readers remember about literary narratives in the long term. Furthermore, it is positively correlated with other dimensions of reader response, most notably with emotion. Until recent decades, however, the phenomenon of mental imagery has been largely overlooked by modern literary scholarship. As an attempt to strengthen the status of mental imagery within the literary and, more generally, (...)
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