Inge van de Ven’s blog

A blog on the intersections between art, literature, culture, media and cognition. By a scholar of literary and media studies who is excited about exploring the cognitive functioning of her study objects.

‘It’s like you disappear’ – Fleabag’s Attentional Conflicts

In his book Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age that has been extensively discussed on these pages, Alberto Acerbi asks how the diffusion of digital media might influence the dissemination and success of cultural traits, and how this in turn affects cultural transmission. The quality and modes of human attention might be considered a case in point. How we allocate attention, and what modes of attention we have at our disposal, are under transformation under the influence of changes in the media we use, and this in turn is reflected by cultural objects. In this blog, distraction-conflict theory helps explain how an acclaimed television series dramatizes attentional conflict and probes the implications of a contemporary phenomenon that many of us are afflicted by: being constantly suspended between two places.

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Do COVID-19 conspiracy theories stem from gullibility or skepticism?

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic that has the world in its grip, gaps in public knowledge still abound. It is therefore not surprising that during the last weeks a whole bunch of

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How Jordan Peterson became an Intellectual Guru

I think I have discovered something that no one else has any idea about, and I’m not sure I can do it justice. Its scope is so broad that I can see only parts of it clearly at one time, and it is exceedingly difficult to set down comprehensibly in writing.
- Jordan Peterson (1999, 473)

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Why read a big book? Quantitative Relevance in the Attention Economy

In a 2016 essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education that functioned as a teaser for her book Making Literature Now, Amy Hungerford, Professor of English, boldly revealed that she refused to

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