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Mari Hatavara


Current position: Professor, Finnish Literature, University of Tampere, Finland.

During her AIAS-Cofund Fellowship, Professor Mari Hatavara worked on the project 'Mediating Experience: Voices, Images and Narrative Self'.

Project at AIAS

It is a commonplace to see today’s society involved in or even regulated by different media: social media, television or mobile communication. The radical claim of this research project is that mediation and media transpositions are and have always been essential in making sense both in art and in the everyday. Human interaction operates through signs and media: bodily gestures, verbal utterances and artistic expressions. This research studies the autobiographical processes of making sense and communicating experience by applying the notions of voice, image and narrative. The research materials will consist of case studies ranging from sophisticated intermedial autobiographies to the emergent narrative practices in narrative journalism and social media and to conversational storytelling in online interview archives. Bringing together the domains of art and the everyday, the project investigates how fictional and non-fictional intermedial narratives shape and determine experience and its shareability.

Focusing on visual and verbal storytelling in and across different media I will study, what are the culturally available stories and modes of narration for sharing our experience. How do different narrative techniques enable representing and communicating the experience of one’s own and that of another? How is the narrative self constituted and negotiated in different mediatized environments? How do the prevailing modes for life narration change our understanding of narrative, experience, and the relationship between word and image?

Short bio

Mari Hatavara is Chair Professor of Finnish Literature at the University of Tampere, Finland. Hatavara specializes in narrative studies, word and image studies, and historical and documentary representation. She has published on fictional minds and worlds, autobiography, free indirect discourse, (unnatural) narrative communication, ekphrasis, fictionality, methodological exchange between different disciplinary traditions of narrative theory and analysis, and the poetics of historical fiction and metafiction. She is consortium Principal Investigator for the project “The Literary in Life: Exploring the Boundaries between Literature and the Everyday” funded by the Academy of Finland, 2015–2019.

Project title:

Mediating Experience: Voices, Images and Narrative Self

Area of research:

Literature and Art history

Fellowship period:

01 Feb 2016 – 31 Jan 2017