The Poetics of Knowledge: Experimentation, Modeling, and the Limits of Narrative Representation



The Poetics of Knowledge: Experimental Narratives, Scientific Imaginaries, and the Limits of Representation

How to represent the evolution of species? Or a natural disaster and extinction of species? If and how do factual and nonfactual narratives convey “truth” or “knowledge”? The issues of the limits of representation and knowledge are central to current academic and public discussions. The project explores the functioning and interplay of scientific and imaginative discourses in contemporary culture and addresses the role the narrative representation can play by extending the cognitive pay-off of these discourses beyond the limits of scientific factuality.


The Role of Imaginary Narrative Scenarios in Cultural Dynamics

Affiliated Projects

Introduction to Cognitive Humanities: building and teaching a BA/MA course for the Spring semester 2022 (with guest speakers Reet Hiiemäe, Isik Sarihan, Steven Willemsen and Dimitar Uzunov). Introduction to Cognitive Humanities capture the interdisciplinary dialogue between the study of the human mind and different fields of the humanities such as literary, art and media studies, linguistics, and philosophy.

“‘Unnatural’ Fairy Tales: A Cognitive Approach”. Francesca Arnavas (Mobilitas Pluss Postdoctoral Researcher Grant; supervisor: prof. Marina Grishakova).

“Negotiating Ethics Through Fictional Minds and Bodies”. Marzia Beltrami (Mobilitas Pluss Postdoctoral Researcher Grant; supervisor: Marina Grishakova).
ETIS link

“Imagining the Inner Journey: Conversion and its Discontents in Film Narratives from the 1960’s to the 2010’s”. Hanna Ilona Eerika Mäkelä (Mobilitas Pluss Postdoctoral Researcher Grant; supervisor: prof. Marina Grishakova).

Post-Corona Letters (Story Lab)
The corona outbreak is having a huge impact on the lives of people all over the world. This global crisis has changed our daily routines in a way we never imagined possible. This shows us that far-reaching changes are possible. It makes us aware of the fact that many things we have always found normal can be questioned. When this crisis is over, do we want to go back to the way it was or are there things we would rather see changed? Suppose we had the opportunity to design a new future, what would it look like?
This study is led by Anneke Sools (Department of Psychology, Health and Technology; Story Lab) and Yashar Saghai (Department of Philosophy; the Millennium Project: Global Futures Studies and Research) from the University of Twente in collaboration with members of our international consortium from King’s College London, Leibniz University Hannover, the University of Crete, the University of Humanistic Studies, the University of Tartu, the University of Eastern Finland, and the University of West England Bristol.
In Estonia, the study is led by the research group of professor Marina Grishakova (University of Tartu, Institute for Cultural Research). For contact: prof. Marina Grishakova (, Paula Taberland (MA student).

Twente Ülikooli Story Lab algatatud rahvusvahelises võrdlevas uuringus osalevad teadlased Euroopast, Põhja-Ameerikast ja Aasiast. Materjalid koondatakse Twente Ülikoolis loodavasse rahvusvahelisse andmebaasi. Kasutades haridus- ja terviseuuringute kontekstis rakendatud “projektiivsuse” kontseptsiooni, kunstipõhist lähenemist ning narratiivset meetodit, uuritakse, kuidas pandeemia eriolukorras erinevates ühiskondades tulevikku kujutletakse ja mudeldatakse, millised on esilekerkivad ajalisuse mudelid ning milline on praeguste stsenaariumide ja valikute võimalik mõju tuleviku ühiskonnale.
Eestis korrraldab uuringut professor Marina Grišakova uurimisrühm (TÜ kultuuriteaduse instituut). Kontaktisikud: Prof. Marina Grišakova (, Paula Taberland (magistrant).

A Report on the Letters from the Future project and Futures article, published in the University of Tartu Research News section.
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