Archive for November, 2016

Perkins Prize Winner 2017

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Award Announcement from the Vice-President of ISSN, Jan Alber:

“As Chair of this year’s Perkins Prize committee, I now have the pleasure of announcing the winner.

The Perkins Prize for the book making the most significant contribution to the study of narrative in 2015 goes to:

Erin James, for The Storyworld Accord: Econarratology and Postcolonial Narratives (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press).

And an Honorable Mention goes to:

Robyn Warhol and Susan S. Lanser (eds.), for Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer and Feminist Interventions (Columbus: The Ohio State University Press).

Congratulations for these excellent books. The citations will be read at the Narrative conference in Lexington, KY, in March 2017.

The Perkins Prize was established in honor of “the many past and continuing contributions of Barbara Perkins and George Perkins to the development and success of the Society, including the founding of both The Journal of Narrative Technique and the Society itself.” The award consists of a prize of $1000 plus a contribution of $500 toward expenses for the winning author to attend the Narrative Conference, where the award is presented.

My thanks to the other members of the prize committee this year, Alice Bell and Thomas Pavel, for their scrupulous work.


ISSN 2016 Election Results

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
The ISSN membership has elected Maria Mäkelä of the University of Tampere as Second Vice-President, and Per Krogh Hansen of the University of Southern Denmark and Tara MacDonald of the University of Idaho as members of the Executive Council.  Please join me in congratulating Maria, per, and Tara in and thanking them in advance for the valuable work they’ll do on behalf of the Society over the next several years.
Please also join me in thanking our other excellent candidates for their willingness to serve: Nancy Pedri, Marco Caracciolo, and Catherine Romagnolo.

CFP: Emily Dickinson’s Narrative Cartography

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
Proposals Due: December 1st
“The Emily Dickinson International Society and the International Society for the Study of Narrative invite papers for a proposed special session entitled “Emily Dickinson’s Narrative Cartography,” at the 2018 MLA conference in New York, scheduled for January 4-7. Participation on the panel will be open to all members of the MLA.
Narrative theory’s attention to plot, traditionally, has been more concerned with the temporal than with the spatial—more with sequences of events than their spaces. However, contemporary narratology’s “spatial turn” evinces an increasing concern for space, place, and geography. Recent developments in narrative theory direct our attention to a second meaning of “plot,” offered by the Oxford English Dictionary, where “plot” refers to “A fairly small piece of ground, esp. one used for a specified purpose, such as a building or gardening,” a definition that invites reflection on the intersection of narrative and space in ways that might usefully illuminate the study of both.
In June 1869, Emily Dickinson famously wrote to T. W. Higginson, “I do not cross my Father’s ground to any House or town” (L 330), then cultivated her “solitary Acre –” (Fr. 778) as a rhizomatic locality from which her imagination radiated. In poems and letters, as well as in her herbarium, Dickinson recurrently probed the intersecting zones of house, garden, and world. Revolving, on the one hand, around the particular experiences, memories, and artifacts attaching a life to a place, her writings seem, on the other hand, to call forth a vision of the world—this “Apocalypse of Green –” (Fr. 1356)—as a network or ecology of chaotically circulating voices and elements, a place where we cannot get our bearings. Following the spatial turn in Dickinson, mapping the immersive environments evoked in her writings, as well as reading her poems and letters as environments encourages the production of new, layered narratives—“plots”—broadly concerned with Dickinson’s relation to geography, cartography, memory, and genre.
Possible paper topics include the relationship between memory, space, and narrative; the dynamic between what Christine Gerhardt calls “near and far geographies”; and the poetics of cartography. More specific inquires into Dickinson’s green narratives—her botanical imagination, her poetry of the garden, and, beyond it, the land- and sound-scapes—as well as narratives exploring the recent archaeological excavation and reconstruction of the garden site at the Dickinson Homestead are also welcome.
Proposals should be no more than 300 words, and include a title and a brief biographical note. Please submit your proposal to Dan Punday ( and Marta Werner ( by Dec. 1, 2016.”