Online Lecture: Marina Grishakova & Anneke Sools

Thursday, June 10, 2021, 7:00pm


Anneke Sools (University of Twente): Will the World Never Be the Same? Narrative Anticipatory Imagination of a Post-Corona Future


The corona-pandemic presented an opportunity to rethink our priorities, values and default assumptions about what the future will hold. During the first phase of the pandemic, a global leitmotiv emerged “The world will never be the same again” (see During that phase we started collecting everyday narratives of and from the future. This talk presents the digital methodology we used for empirically researching narrative anticipatory imagination in two applications: (1) personal imagination of a preferred post-corona future using letters from the future; (2) narrative sense-making of emerging corona-related moral issues in response to visual prompts in the form of drawings created for the study. The data collection methods of both applications will be described, followed by a brief example of possible ways to analyze the data (e.g., dominant/counter narratives). Finally, strengths and limitations of digitally collecting everyday anticipatory narratives while crisis is happening will be discussed.

Further information on the "Post-Corona Futures Project" can be found here.

Recommended Reading: Sools, Anneke. "Back from the Future: A Narrative Approach to Study the Imagination of Personal Futures". International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 2020.


Anneke Sools is a psychologist of culture and religion. She is Program Director of the Storylab at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Sools is the recipient of the 2018 Early Career Award from the AERA Narrative Special Interest Group, granted for her contribution to narrative theory.Her research focuses on narrative anticipatory imagination, with a special interest in reimagining moral and existential issues and experiences. For her current research on how people construct hopeful, possibility-rich futures in social and societal situations where possibilities are under pressure (e.g. stillbirth, precarious employment, at risk youth) she collaborates with researchers, professionals and artists.


Marina Grishakova (University of Tartu): Re-imagining the emplacement: The eco-chronotopic analysis of the letters from a post-pandemic future


This talk introduces a cross-case study of the Letters from a Post-Pandemic Future conducted by the group Narrative, Culture, Cognition at the University of Tartu. It explores how human future engagements with their environments are imagined in the time of crisis and how these imaginings serve as evidence of current environmental concerns and possible alternatives to the current situation. The imaginings of the future are meant to reassure against present fears, to give purpose to present efforts and struggles or, on the contrary, to prognosticate deterioration and failure as consequences of present actions, and this inevitably impacts on how imagination is put at use. The conceptual focus of the study is on the revision of the Bakhtinian concept of “chronotope,” originally understood as an amalgamation of temporal and spatial relations in human experience and in narrative representation, and its integration in the framework of environmental studies and emplacement research. The modes of emplacement are discussed in connection to specific chronotopic nexuses, i.e., time-space matrices seen as stabilized structures of collective imagination. The study is based on the selection of six key (recurrent and structurally most prominent in the letters) chronotopic nexuses, such as city and countryside, home, garden, path, and internet, – and the analysis of their narrative representations.


Marina Grishakova is Chair Professor in Literary Theory and Intermedial Studies at the Institute of Cultural Research, University of Tartu, Estonia. Her scholarly interests include narratology and narrative studies, theory and philosophy of literature, intermedia and interart studies, and cognitive humanities. Her current research focuses on complexity and theories of representation. Among her recent publications are Intermediality and Storytelling (De Gruyter, 2010); Theoretical Schools and Circles in the Twentieth-Century Humanities: Literary Theory, History, Philosophy (Routledge, 2015), Narrative Complexity: Cognition, Embodiment, Evolution (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), and The Gesamtkunstwerk as a Synergy of the Arts (Peter Lang, 2020). She is currently Vice President of the ICLA Research Committee on Literature, Arts, and Media and the leader of the research group Narrative, Culture, Cognition at the University of Tartu.

Here you will find further information on the research group "Narrative, Culture, Cognition".