Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Election of New Officers for the Executive Council

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Dear Members of ISSN,

This October the Society will elect two new Executive Board members, to serve for three years, as well as its next Second Vice-President, who serves for four years (proceeding to First Vice-President, President, and Past President).

The nominations for these positions are drawn up by the nominating committee, which comprises the current VP and two or three other Society members. This year, that is Irene Kacandes, Jonathan Culler, Henrik Skov Nielsen and Sylvia Patron.

All ISSN members are invited to propose names for the nominating committee to consider. Self-nominations are entirely in order!

Note that eligible candidates will have attended recent ISSN conferences, and will usually commit to attending two meetings of the ISSN Executive Board in each year of their term – one at the ISSN Conference and one video meeting in December. Candidates for Second VP should have attended 3 out of the last 5 annual conferences.

Please send your suggestions to Irene Kacandes, Jonathan Culler, Henrik Skov Nielsen and Sylvia Patron (along with a brief indication of the reason for your recommendation) no later than August 15, 2019.

Irene Kacandes:

Jonathan Culler:

Henrik Skov Nielsen:

Sylvie Patron:

Narrative List – Call for Wayne C. Booth Award Nominees

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Dear colleagues,

The International Society for the Study of Narrative awards the Wayne C. Booth Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize outstanding scholar-teachers who have made sustained contributions to narrative studies over the course of their careers.

Please send your suggestions regarding potential nominees to the initial nominating committee:

Dan Punday (, Maria Mäkelä (, and Sylvie Patron (

The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2018.

This prize will be awarded at the 2020 Narrative Conference in New Orleans.

Thank you,

Dan Punday

Update Dates 2019 Conference Pamplona: May 30-June 1

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Dear Narrative Society friends,

Due to a number of extenuating circumstances, the dates of the 2019 International Conference on Narrative has been changed to May 30 to June 1, 2019. The conference website has been updated:

The plenary speakers will remain the same, and the deadline for proposals remains January 15, 2019 (send to

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience; the change had to be made for the best Narrative Conference experience possible! (We’re the BEST conference!)

If you have any questions, please do feel free contact me or the conference organizers, Professor Rocío G. Davis ( Professor Rosalía Baena (

Thank you as always for your understanding and good cheer!

Project Narrative Summer Institute: Narrative Medicine: Deadline Approaching 3/25/16

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Project Narrative Summer Institute:

July 4 – July 15, 2016

“Narrative Medicine across Genres and Media”

 The Project Narrative Summer Institute (PNSI) is a two-week workshop at The Ohio State University devoted to an intensive study of issues in narrative theory as they relate to a specific theme or movement. This summer’s PNSI on Narrative Medicine will be led by Project Narrative core faculty Jared Gardner and James Phelan. On July 13-14, we will be joined by Rita Charon (Columbia University), the pre-eminent scholar-practitioner of the movement.

 The goal of Narrative Medicine is to reform medical practice. It asks: how can reclaiming the centrality of narrative to the processes of illness, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery (or the impossibility of recovery) change the way both practitioners and patients experience those processes? How can narrative theory be marshaled to help effect these changes?

 This focus on practice and people feeds back into the project of narrative theory. To what extent has the field displaced the mind and body of the storyteller with theoretical tools designed to provide quantifiable, mappable, and universal structures? What happens when the endpoint of working with narrative theory is not the construction of new tools or new interpretations but practical consequences in the lives of tellers and listeners? 

 PNSI 2016 will take up these and other questions in connection with a wide range of narratives and narrative theory.  Above all, we will explore the complex interplay among medicine, narrative, and narrative theory that constitutes the lifeblood of Narrative Medicine. 

The deadline for applications is Monday, March 25, 2016. For more info on how to apply, see


Friday, February 12th, 2016

The Forum on Transdisciplinary Connections between History and Literature is soliciting papers on the topic of historical approaches to “writing resistance” or “writing rebellion”. We construe the topic broadly to encompass the narrative construction of historical incidents of resistance, but also the practice of writing history as a form of resistance, or, in yet another vein, the resistance to historico-literary approaches in our discipline. Papers that problematize the location of historical practice (Global North or South, for example) are also of interest. Furthermore, we welcome papers that address different media, including film and the digital, as well as papers that address material from a broad historical span. This is an open call for the Forum’s guaranteed MLA panel. Proposals are due on March 10 to Marguerite Helmers (



Eleni Coundouriotis


Department of English

University of Connecticut

215 Glenbrook Rd

Storrs CT 06269-4025

Phone 860 486 3050

Call For Papers: Narrative Empathy for “the Other” (2014 MLA in Chicago)

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Call For Papers

Narrative Empathy for “the Other”

International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN) panel

MLA 2014, Chicago, IL

January 9-12, 2014

Over the last two decades, scholars in a variety of disciplines ranging from cognitive psychology to neurobiology to child psychiatry have made exciting advances in understanding the nature and importance of empathy. Studies of autism have revealed the mechanisms of “theory of mind” cognitive processing, in which humans interpret the mental states of other humans by “reading” facial expressions, postures, gestures, and other forms of non-verbal communication. Neuro-scientists have discovered that “mirror neurons” cause the human brain to undergo a “shared activation” when observing another individual performing an action. This “embodied simulation,” which occurs automatically and unconsciously in the human brain, may provide the “fundamental functional mechanism for empathy and, more generally, for understanding another’s mind” (Gallese et al 2007, p. 132). Child psychiatrists and developmental psychologists have gained an increasingly nuanced understanding of how humans learn empathy during infancy and early childhood, primarily through the ability to recognize and identify emotions in specific faces. Most social scientists now understand empathy as a complex relation consisting of both affective and cognitive dimensions, which enables humans’ ability to experience love and mediates the “fight-or-flight” instinct to fear or attack the unknown and the unfamiliar.

This panel will investigate the relationship between narrative and empathy. Suzanne Keen’s groundbreaking 2007 work Empathy and the Novel argues persuasively that empathy is central to the experience of reading fiction as well as the act of writing fiction. Fritz Breithaupt suggests that narrative empathy “operates like a nutcracker to crack open the [reader’s] hard shell of selfhood in order to reveal the soft flesh that all [human] beings share” (“How” 407). Lisa Zunshine explains narrative empathy as an evolutionary adaptation that “pervasively capitalizes on and stimulates theory of mind mechanisms that had evolved to deal with real people…. As a sustained representation of numerous interacting minds, the novel feeds the powerful, representation-hungry complex of cognitive adaptations whose very condition of being is a constant social stimulation” (Why 10). In light of this inherently social context, Dominick LaCapra proposes that “empathy should be understood in terms of an affective relation, rapport, or bond with the other recognized as other” (Writing 212).

Submissions may consider diegetic empathy—the imaginative identification by a narrator or character with other characters in the text; readerly empathy—identification by a reader with narrators or characters; authorial empathy—the author’s own identification with his or her narrators or characters; or the complex relationships between these three elements of narrative empathy, defined broadly. Papers may discuss the role of narrative empathy in reconsidering figures of categorical difference—those marked as “Other,” based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, language, or any other category—as fellow humans. Panelists may wish to draw upon the emergent fields of cognitive literary studies or affect theory. All submissions will be carefully considered, but priority will be given to studies that focus on narrative structures and strategies that are especially likely to elicit readerly empathy, or those that tend to squelch or discourage readerly empathy. Discussions of non-fictional narratives or of other media, such as film or the graphic novel, are also welcome.

Please email abstracts of 500 words or less to Patrick Horn ( by March 1, 2013.

2012 Perkins Prize Committee Now Accepting Nominations

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
The prize, awarded to the book making the most significant contribution to the study of narrative in a given year, consists of $1,000 plus a contribution of $400 toward expenses for the winning author to attend the Narrative Conference where the award will be presented.

For books published in 2010, please send inquiries or informal, brief written nominations to the Chair of the judging committee, Professor Suzanne Keen:  Please send a copy of the nominated book to each of the Committee members at the addresses listed below.  Publisher, third party, and self-nominations are appropriate.  Deadline for nominations is June 1, 2011.  Books received after June 1 will be at a disadvantage. The winner will be announced at the Seattle MLA Convention in January 2012, and the prize will be presented at the Narrative Conference in Las Vegas in March 2012.  The prize, awarded to the book making the most significant contribution to the study of narrative in a given year, consists of $1,000 plus a contribution of $500 toward expenses for the winning author to attend the Narrative Conference where the award will be presented.

Professor Suzanne Keen
Department of English
Washington and Lee University
204 West Washington Street
Lexington, VA 24450 USA

Professor Susan S. Lanser
Comparative Literature and English
MS 023
Brandeis University
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453-2728 USA

Professor Priscilla Walton
Department of English
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottowa, ON
K1S 5B6


Call for Papers, MLA 2012 in Seattle

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Call for Papers

Joint Panel of Henry James Society and International Society for the Study of Narrative


2012 Modern Language Association Convention

January 5-8, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA

Questions of narrative form were so fundamental for Henry James that it is difficult to consider any work of his without confronting those same questions.  Inversely, Henry James’s work from the start inspired narrative theorists to coin new terms and to modify understandings of already existent ones.  Papers are now being solicited that provide new insights into any number of topics, such as James’s own pronouncements about narrative form and technique; his use of a particular form; the relationship between form and content in a specific work or group of works; his impact on the development of narrative theory.

Abstracts of 500 words and a one page cv should be sent to both organizers on or before March 1, 2011.

Donatella Izzo (


Irene Kacandes (

Call for papers, ISSN session at MLA 2012

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Call for 1-2 paragraph proposals for a 15-20 minute paper:

Tone in Narrative

Ways tone is indicated (or not indicated) within a narrative of any kind; how tone prompts affective response and values within a narrative; how tonal cues can vary, destabilizing affective response and ethical evaluation in a given narrative of any kind; how different media and disciplines have their own repertoire of ways to indicate appropriate tonal responses, etc.

Presenters must be members of both ISSN and MLA.

Send proposals as Word or pdf attachments to Molly Hite,

Submissions must be received by Friday, February 25.

ISSN special session at the MLA Convention 2011

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

141. New Thresholds of Interpretation? Paratexts in the Digital Age,

5:15–6:30 p.m. on Thursday 06-JAN-11 in Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott

The concept of “paratext” has, since its introduction in Genette’s eponymous study, provided a theoretical basis for many fruitful discussions of the way in which a text’s “relations with the public are organized.” An especially interesting thread of research is concerned with the question of how Genette’s framework can be applied to new forms of texts and textuality, and with them, new kinds and functions of paratexts. With the spread of phenomena like dvd special features and mobile storytelling, the distinction between text and paratext has become ever more precarious. New kinds of paratexts may extend fictional universes and thus arguably become part of the text (e.g. backstories, deleted scenes, mobisodes) or circumscribe these universes by foregrounding the artificiality of works (e.g. “making of”, bloopers, director’s commentary). In this panel, we ask: how do we need to extend Genette’s framework in order to account for and analyze the forms and functions of such new paratexts?

Chaired by: Dorothee Birke (University of Freiburg) and Birte Christ (University of Giessen)