University of Oulu

Jarkko Toikkanen (2020) Feeling the unseen: imagined touch perceptions in paranormal reality television, The Senses and Society, 15:1, 70-84, DOI: 10.1080/17458927.2019.1709301

Feeling the unseen : imagined touch perceptions in paranormal reality television

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Author: Toikkanen, Jarkko1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
2Tampere University, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-08-26


In paranormal reality television, the medial evidence of senses adding to the visual and auditory may produce the most compelling intermedial experience. When little can be seen or heard, the lasting impact of a ghost hunting show may rely on what it makes the audience feel through the sense of touch. Even if the touch perceptions were imagined — or precisely because they were imagined — the experience can be all the more powerful. Intermediality research supplies the rhetorical devices of ekphrasis and hypotyposis as tools for a study of the television show Ghost Adventures. A definition of senses as media is advanced in conjunction with a three-tier model of mediality to lay open the intermedial experience involved in imagined touch perceptions as medium-specific instances of rhetorical figuration.

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Series: Senses and society
ISSN: 1745-8927
ISSN-E: 1745-8935
ISSN-L: 1745-8927
Volume: 15
Pages: 70 - 84
DOI: 10.1080/17458927.2019.1709301
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 518 Media and communications
6122 Literature studies
Funding: This article was completed with support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Academy of Finland (project number 285144, “The Literary in Life: Exploring the Boundaries between Literature and the Everyday”).
Copyright information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Senses and Society on 26 Feb 2020, available online: