Archive for November, 2019

Nominations for The Wayne C. Booth Lifetime Achievement Award

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, each year the International Society for the Study of Narrative confers the Wayne C. Booth Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the study of narrative over the course of a career. I am writing to invite members of ISSN to submit nominations for the 2021 winner of the Booth Award. Please send your nominations by December 9th, 2019 to Use my private e-mail address instead of replying to the entire list, please!

Our next year’s president Sylvie Patron and first vice-president Lindsay Holmgren will collaborate with me on preparing a list of nominees, drawing on your recommendations. From this list, the ISSN Executive Council will identify three finalists. Past winners of the Booth Award and past presidents of the ISSN will then select an honoree from among these three.

The Society gave its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Wayne C. Booth in 2006. Subsequent honorees have been: Gérard Genette, Susan Stanford Friedman, Dorrit Cohn, Seymour Chatman, Gerald Prince, Hayden White, Tzvetan Todorov, Lubomir Doležel, Marie-Laure Ryan, Mieke Bal, Slomith Rimmon-Kenan and Susan Lanser. The 2021 Award will be formally presented at the ISSN Conference in Chichester, England, June 16–19, 2021.

You will find more information about the award at:

Thank you for helping us to identify outstanding candidates for the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.

On behalf of the nominating committee,

Maria Mäkelä, 2019 President of ISSN

Invitation to Contribute: Instrumental Narratives guest blog

Monday, November 4th, 2019

Dear narrative colleagues,

Would you like to take part in a joint, international effort at popularising narrative studies & discussing and debating contemporary storytelling practices online? We have a platform for that all set up now!

We have just launched a visitor blog for our consortium project Instrumental Narratives. The first entry is by Marie-Laure Ryan and it deals with Trump and the case of escalated online storytelling known as the “Sharpiegate”.…/marie-laure…/

The next contribution will be by Peter Lamarque; we aim to publish one blog entry every month. What we’d like to do now is to invite all narrative colleagues across disciplines to send us very short, informal proposals for possible blog entries!

Please send your proposals to

Here’s a very short description of the blog’s general idea, and below a link to more detailed blog guidelines:

Everyone is urged to share their story today, from consumers to multinational corporations, from private citizens to nation states. Storytelling consultants are thriving in today’s storytelling economy, but where are narrative scholars? Do the professional analyzers and theorizers of narrative have a say in the current storytelling boom? The blog aims to popularize the insight and methods of narrative scholarship and features analyses of instrumental storytelling by high-profile narrative scholars.
Concept: The analyzed case – preferably just one – can deal with uses or abuses of the narrative form, storytelling practices or narrative sense-making in any area of life: politics, journalism, business, identity work, artistic/literary sphere, activism, forms of social participation. We encourage our contributors to evaluate possible societal risks or benefits of the type of instrumental storytelling analyzed, while paying special attention to the use of the narrative form in the chosen example. More general reflections on the storytelling boom, its causes and effects, are welcome as far as they support the analysis of the selected case.
Blog Guidelines…/

With my best regards, on behalf of the Instrumental Narratives consortium team,
Maria Mäkelä

Dr. Maria Mäkelä
Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature
Director of Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies
President, International Society for the Study of Narrative
Tampere University, Finland

Election Results

Monday, November 4th, 2019

Election Results!

The membership of the ISSN has elected the following officers:

Second Vice-President: Erin James, University of Idaho

Members of the Executive Council:
Helen Davis, Wilkes University
Aaron Oforlea, Washington State University

Please join me in congratulating them!

Please also join me in thanking the other candidates, whose willingness to serve is a great sign of the Society’s strength: Alison Gibbons, Sheffield Hallam University, Eva von Contzen, University of Freiburg, and Roy Sommer, University of Wuppertal.

I also want to thank the nominations committee for bringing the membership this excellent slate of candidates: Sylvie Patron, Irene Kacandes, Jonathan Culler, and Henrik Skov Nielsen.

Thanks, too, to Eddie Maloney, who did his usual bang-up job in overseeing the election process.

Jim Phelan