Sligo Abbey, Ireland

The Photograph

A cup o' coffee on a snowy January morning


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!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris
To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:


I have demonstrated or will demonstrate the application of this theory at the following locations:
April, 2016 @ University of Notre Dame:
A 'Daughter of Attila' Speaks: The Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism in the Cultural Identity of Irish Celts and Magyars
November, 2016 @ Massachusetts Maritime Academy:
"A Terrible Beauty is Born"...The Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism and William Butler Yeats' poem, Easter 1916
Dates pending: I will present the theory of iconic realism at universities and art institutes which have purchased my book.

12 May, 2016

Bluebirds and iconic realism

The other day, I went for a walk down my street. It felt wonderful to be walking passed the farms again. The goats, sheep, llamas, cows, horses all seemed to perk their heads up and smile at me as I treaded once again upon the familiar path. It was brisk, for I live in New England, and winter doesn't want to give up its stronghold just yet. However, over my head flitted two beautiful bluebirds, their brilliant blue feathers glistening in the bright, early spring sun. At this moment, I realized why these are my favorite birds, and I knew this walk was a blessing.

Then, it occurred to me. These bluebirds were another example of iconic realism, for bluebirds are iconic associations with joy, summer, and general calm. They were flying from tree to tree, realism. Yet, it was so bitterly cold outside. This juxtaposition brought to my attention the cultural dilemma of the importance for us humans to maintain appropriate stewardship of our world. So many beautiful, valuable, fragile creatures' lives are at stake. 

Thank you, oh God, for this lovely lesson!

09 May, 2016

Sydney Owenson's "The Missionary" and Iconic Realism

In her novel, The Missionary, Sydney Owenson presents two religious communities, the Hindu community of 17th century India and the European Roman Catholic community during the Spanish Inquisition. Set in the year, 1620, after the establishment of the British East India Company in the lush jungles and arid desert of Western and Northern India, this tale illustrates a political genesis of European imperialism represented by the two central characters, Hilarion, a 25-year-old Portuguese Franciscan Nuncio and Luxima, a young, widowed Brahmin priestess.  

To some readers of this narrative, Owenson may appear to be telling an adventurous romance in an exotic setting to entertain her aristocratic readers, and this may be partially true. However, her romantic novel illustrates much more, for iconic properties of parochial dynamism reside at the core of each character’s restrictive community. These properties include the intense need for the Missionary to convert non-Christians to Catholicism and the deep conviction of a Hindu’s integration of natural and spiritual beliefs. Furthermore, Owenson creates an unrestrictive, fertile setting, where the Catholic missionary represents dogmatic and imperious Britain and the Hindu priestess, faithful to her own belief and community, represents the fervent hope for freedom of faith found in Owenson’s Catholic Ireland. 

Therefore, in her novel, The Missionary, Sydney Owenson illustrates the semiotic theory of iconic realism by representing two disparate icons, placed within a realistic community, to reveal a cultural reality that strict adherence to an intolerant dogma ultimately leads to the consequence of cultural cynicism.