Patterns of Reality

Presentation in co-authorship with Dr. Claire Ahn (Queen’s U) for Moving Histories: International Symposium on Screened History.


The current political environment of North America has reignited skepticism towards different forms of media. This phenomenon has led to a general call to action aimed at researchers, educators, corporations and governments to address the problem of deceptive media (Bellemere, 2019; Gold, 2019). Some of these calls stress the fact that current mediatic developments have put the historicity of certain events and characters at risk by calling their authenticity into question. Until now, most of the solutions provided by those who have taken to themselves addressing this challenge, consist of fixing what they perceive is broken in the media infrastructure. Instead of focusing on the current media landscape, I will discuss how certain genres tend to have greater currency than others when it comes to the reception of visual and aural artifacts depending on how and when those genres stabilized (Schryer, 1994), and how the stabilization of such genres in our collective memory scaffolds the credibility of other events, past and future: I will discuss reality as a genre.