Framings, or mind the décalage!

By: Sara Nocerino


Volume: 09
Issue: 02:Winter 2023
ISSN: 2459-2943
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2023.0022
Pages: 123-142
Lic.: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Short story collection



The article discusses framings as a theoretical interdisciplinary tool for investigating the circulation of discourses over time, space, and media. Specifically, framings are introduced to tackle the preliminary challenge of developing a functional diachronic approach to a composite semiotic network. In further developing the meta-historical perspective of Verón’s latest work, framings are defined as ‘intermediate spaces’ where producers and receivers negotiate the codification of reality ‘here and now.’ Using examples from modern painting to performative arts, the paper elaborates on three essential features – liminal responsiveness, historical plasticity, and cultural meta-representativity – revealing framings as highly flexible devices that, nonetheless, maintain a consistent heuristic efficacy toward the ever-evolving semiotic network. Another example examined is two short story collections dating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis of their multimedial framing devices reveals the long-lasting paradigm, tracing its roots back to Boccaccio’s Decameron, of Western meta-discourse over storytelling. The cases examined demonstrate that framing devices represent a powerful interdisciplinary tool to outline the functioning pattern of “the mediatization of mediations as a general process” (Averbeck-Lietz 2021: 76), through which we can grasp the meta-history of our ever-evolving semiotic network.


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