A cornfield at sunset in Danbury, CT

A cornfield at sunset in Danbury, CT

The Photograph:

A cornfield at sunset in Danbury, CT


My photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Jeanne Iris


21 October, 2016

Field of Dreams and Iconic Realism (Click here to view the movie trailer.)

In the photo, you will see the baseball field, which was actually constructed in an Iowa cornfield for the film, Field of Dreams.  

"An example of iconic realism in a film would be the baseball field within the 1989 film, Field of Dreams, based on the novel written by W. P. Kinsella and the screenplay written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson. Throughout the film, the audience knows that the mysterious baseball diamond, carved out of an Iowan cornfield by farmer Ray Kinsella, connects with the sport of baseball. Two iconic factors are present, the sport, which many view as America’s heart and the location, which is the heartland of America" (Lakatos 57).

"The realism is the actual grass, the parameters of the field, which consist of the edge of a cornfield and the players, themselves, which are the Chicago Black Socks, a team which had gone through a series of legalities during its prime season. The baseball players are ghosts from this infamous team, who simply wish to play out eternity on a ball field. As the plot unfolds, Ray’s true reason to construct the field revolves around ‘having a catch’ with his father. Therefore, the iconic feature of an authentic baseball field, placed in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa, a very unlikely place for a baseball field, elicits the cultural awareness from the main character. Ray’s illusions of his father were detached from a realistic understanding of his father’s passion, for he very much like Ray, himself, was a hardworking young man, who loved baseball" (Lakatos 57).

"Therefore, Robinson’s use of iconic realism in the Field of Dreams illustrates a personal mission of opening the consciousness of America to the conflict within the heart of its people and traditions. The use of illusion and human consciousness illuminate the struggle with personal motivation that produces results as stated repeatedly throughout the film, “If you build it, he will come.” This feature of iconic realism in the Field of Dreams adapts well to contemporary statements of community in iconic characterizations and the realistic dynamics of connection and detachment" (Lakatos 57).

Work Cited: 
Lakatos, Jeanne. The Theory of Iconic Realism: Understanding the Arts through a Cultural Context. Lewisburg, New York: Edwin Mellen Publishers, 2009.

11 October, 2016

Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Iconic Realism

painting by William Rock, Chinese calligraphy by Huang Xiang

“The eclipse of May 29,1919 confirmed Einstein’s theory that the light could be bend by the gravitational force of the sun. An English expedition in the area of the eclipse have actually measured the deflexion of starlight from the sun. The data of the expedition was presented to a special joint meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Society of London on November 6, 1919." 
(Dr. Ljubo Vujovic, Secretary General, Tesla Memorial Society of New York)

This scientific event held at the conclusion of WWI illustrates iconic realism in the media. Albert Einstein, an icon of the scientific community, received confirmation of his theory of relativity through data collected by an English expedition. The manner which this event illustrates the theory of iconic realism is the juxtaposition of a representative of Germany and England, countries at war, in a scientific conference, which led to a united elevation of human consciousness.

Ironically, twenty years later, this same peace activist urges President Roosevelt to begin research into the production of the atomic bomb as a means to bring a quick end to Nazism and WWII. And we all know the rest of that narrative.

Work cited: 
Vujovic, Dr. Ljubo. Albert Einstein (187901955). Tesla Memorial Society of New York. http://www.teslasociety.com/einstein.htm

09 October, 2016

Sydney Owenson's "Lay of an Irish Harp" and Iconic Realism

(photo by me)

In her 1807 lyrical collection, Lay of an Irish Harp, Sydney Owenson uses the iconic imagery of a harp to scrutinize the resonating cry for enlightened human consciousness shortly after the Act of Union 1801 has been enforced. She illustrates the harmonics of human intellect surrounding the Irish message of perseverance in times of hardship and indignity suffered when human rights are ignored, using rhythmic structure within her poetics and iconic allusions through intricate semiotic fusion of philosophy and history. According to her memoirs, Owenson’s aspiration was as follows: 

...to make my native country better known, and to dissipate the political and religious prejudices that hindered its prosperity…Neither lovers, friends, nor flatterers, ever turned my attention from the steady, settled aim of my life-- and that was to advocate the interest of my country in my writings…        

When enlightenment merely reflects the ignorance of cultural bias, the abrasive consciousness of society suppresses creative exploration and moves into a mire of lost intentions and spiritual limitation. Owenson begins a personal quest to enlighten her contemporaries of a plausible if not impossible endeavour for the Irish and the British to maintain a semblance of harmony in Ireland. She uses the aural traditions of harp music and the power in lyrical structure to express innovative concepts through the traditional aural experiences of narratives and music.  Kate Bowan and Paul Pickering remark: 

Music is central to the formation of identities whether national, ethic, religious, or political as it can by virtue of being a social activity, include or exclude, and is open to countless reshaping and re-articulations in various contexts.

Thus, Owenson’s literary works demonstrate an iconic vision in the midst of dissonance, as she focuses her reading audience’s attention on discordant elements within nineteenth century Irish society that need transformation. (excerpt from my paper, read at the Association for Franco-Irish Studies conference in 2012)

03 October, 2016

Political Media Campaigns and Iconic Realism

As the United States Presidential 2016 election draws near, I see an increase in the use of iconic realism among many of the political candidates' ads. Making sure a photo opportunity occurs in an iconic venue, be it a local diner, children's playground, senior citizen home, hospital, battle ground or board room, the television ads present these individuals in the midst of earnestly engaging in some form of activism to illustrate the need for cultural reform.

In contrast, campaign mud-slinging by both candidates attempts to perpetuate confusion in the  public mind-set rather than provide any interest to vote for this or that particular candidate.

Personally, I would prefer to view the type of campaign ad that uses a positive form of iconic realism, which demonstrates that a candidate may actually have an innovative thought for positive change... in my dreams...

27 September, 2016

Natural Equality and Iconic Realism

I took this photo in Coole Park, County Galway, Ireland

In his Second Treatise of Government, John Locke states, "People are born in a state of perfect equality, where naturally there is no superiority or jurisdiction of one over another." If one were to gaze upon the photograph I have posted above, a sense of this equality exists within the natural balance of the trees' trunks, for they vividly reflect the underground root system, the source of their immensely visual structures.

This illustrates the existence of iconic realism in the natural world in that it is unusual to see a tree's trunk and branches specifically revealing the source of its power. Usually, one would have to dig beneath the surface to see this, but as I walked beneath the branches of these enormous evergreens, I could almost feel the life force surging from the unseen root systems below my feet.

What does this reveal in a cultural sense? Those leaders that become the most powerful, whether in government, business, education or the arts, acknowledge the source of their power exists within the individuals who contribute to the root of their successful endeavors, originating from that which flourishes from below the surface.