Archive for September, 2010

Call for nominations for ISSN candidates

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Nominations are invited for ISSN Second Vice President and for the Executive Council, for positions that will run from 2011 to 2013. Candidates should be members of the ISSN and regular attendees of the annual conference. Please send nominations to Brian Richardson (, chair of the Nominations committee, by September 20.

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)