Research Area 2: Cultural Narratologies
Focussing on the interplay between culture and narration and drawing on key concepts of narrative theory, research in this area explores the role of narratives in cultural meaning-making, the cultural work that they do, and the question of how far the forms and functions of storytelling are culture-specific and subject to historical change. The umbrella term ‘cultural narratologies’ subsumes recent international research in a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from narrativistic theories of history (H. White), the anthropological notion of ‘writing culture’ (J. Clifford) and narrative psychology (J. Bruner) to feminist, postcolonial, cognitive and transmedial narratologies (M.L. Ryan, D. Herman) in literary studies. This RA explores the role of narratives in ordering experiences, negotiating collective values, constructing versions of the past and forging identities, while also analysing the historical changes of narratives as culture-bound and culture-productive practices. Continuing to exploit Giessen’s strong research capacity in narratology, current and future research in this area undertaken by junior GCSC researchers will revolve around three key issues: (1) the development of approaches for the investigation of the forms and cultural functions fulfilled by literary and non-literary narratives; (2) the subject of transmedial narrativity and medial change; and (3) the uses of storytelling in genres, media and disciplines other than literary fiction, e.g. in historiography, journalism, law, medicine and organisations.
Who we are:
The driving force and the life blood of the research area “Culture and Narration” are its Ph.D. students. At every meeting we discuss new developments in the intersection between the study of culture and narratives. Our primary purpose is to build networks which enable the dialogue with scholars from other institutions. To achieve this goal we launch projects like our cooperation with Ph.D. students from Graz, a conference about narrative genre in new media (which will be held in the first half of next year) and workshops with experts in the fields of culture and narration like Wolf Schmid or Katrin Dennerlein.
What we think:
Parallel to the academic framework of the GCSC, our conception of the study of culture and narrative is not limited to certain approaches or theories. Every object and topic needs a specific way of dealing with it and it is the responsibility of the scientist to choose an approach which will yield the most relevant and interesting insights. The effect of this syncretist groundwork is a plurality of approaches which are often interdisciplinary and use a wide range of different theories and methods. Concerning research in cultural and narratological fields our research area offers an inspiring diversity of opinion; instead of forcing an artificial consensus we celebrate our diversity which allows us to consider our research from different angles.
- May 24th: Workshop with Bettina Hagen: "Storytelling als Methode in Marketing und PR"
- May 7th: Master Class with Henry Jenkins: "How Content Gains Meaning and Value in the Era of Spreadable Media"
- January 24th: Research Area Meeting with Doris Bach-Medick on "The Spatial Turn in Cultural Studies: An Introduction" and project presentations
- June 8: Workshop "Possible Worlds Theory and Transmedial Narratology" with
Dr. Marie-Laure Ryan
- May: Cooperative Workshop about autobiography with graduate students from the Life-Writing Kolleg in Mainz
- May 4-6: Conference about narrative genre in new media. Cooperative project of RA 2 and the LOEWE-Kulturtechniken sub-project “Narrative Kompetenzen und ihre Medialisierung”
- March: Workshop “Narratologie des Raumes” with Dr. Katrin Dennerlein from Julius-Maximilains-Universität Würzburg (cooperative project of RA 2 and “AG Konzepte und Funktionen des Raumes”)