CFP: The Narrator in Theory and Practice

September 27th, 2016

Call For Papers
“The Narrator in Theory and Practice
Abstracts Due: September 30th

As Sylvie Patron writes, “The narrator … is a concept used widely in the teaching of literature, even though it is a subject of continued debate within narrative theory or theories” (“The Death of the Narrator and the Interpretation of the Novel” 253). While Patron interrogates the concept of the narrator in communicational models of narrative and takes up the question of whether one always needs to posit a narrator in fictional narratives, other points of debate concern the usefulness of the concept of “voice,” the relation between narrators and focalisation or the analysis of narrator unreliability, for instance. The postulation of the presence or absence of a narrator in certain texts ties in with fundamental narratological issues like, for example, our understanding of (fictional) narrative, the notion of fictionality, the cognitive processing of narrative or the historical development of fictional narrative.
This panel seeks to bring together papers that discuss and question theoretical approaches to the narrator concept in view of specific literary test cases. Papers on all kinds of narrators (both what is traditionally referred to as first and third person narrators) are welcome, as are papers with a diachronic focus.

Please submit abstracts for papers by Friday, 30 September to Rahel Orgis, University of Neuchâtel, Abstracts should be about 150 words long and accompanied by brief statement (no more than 100 words) about your work and your publications.”

Call for Papers: ACLA 2017 – History, Fiction, and Historical Fiction

September 27th, 2016

Call for Papers:
“ACLA 2017: July 6-9, 2017, Utrecht, Netherlands

Proposed Seminar: History, Fiction, and Historical Fiction

Organizers: Chris Chiasson, Indiana University Bloomington
Charles Chiasson, University of Texas at Arlington

Georg Lukács initiated a fruitful line of inquiry into the conditions of nineteenth-century realism with his pioneering study The Historical Novel (1937) and Hayden White has spawned an even more capacious literature about the narratological strategies of historical writing with his Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1973). Strangely, though, the connections suggested by these two seminal works between nineteenth-century historiography and literature have yet to be fully explored, and the general questions they raise about the relations between history and literature have been addressed in broad theoretical terms more often than in discussions of concrete examples. This seminar proposes to examine the generic and narratological interplay between literary and historical writing through close readings of particular works.

Beginning with Herodotus and Thucydides in the Western tradition, historians have borrowed large-scale narrative architecture, small episodes, and particular verbal formulations from literary genres high – ode, tragedy, and epic, among others – and low – folk tale, comedy, and novel, among many others. At the same time, literary writers have not only mined historians’ accounts for source material but re-plotted them, lifted anecdotes and exempla, and used them to adjust their notions of literary form in a general evolution towards more complex chronotopes and the more open-ended structures of the novel, if Bakhtin is to be believed. Each paper should address how a particular historical text adapts a generic or narrative strategy from a literary text or corpus, or vice versa.

Topics could include but are not limited to:
– the Greek and Roman historians’ use of epic, lyric, and tragedy, and the use made of them in turn by later literary writers
– the relationship of the Medieval chronicle to the Arthurian romance
– how 16th century writers used the Greek and Roman historians for micro-genres like the anecdote and the exemplum
– questions of verisimilitude relating to history and literature in the Italian Renaissance
– historical drama from Shakespeare to German Romanticism
– Hume, Gibbon, and the eighteenth-century British novel
– the relations between the 19th-century historical novel and the great 19th-century histories
– modernist and post-modernist historical novels, especially attempts to abandon traditional literary form and create radically open-ended structures in line with current theorizing about avoiding the imposition of narrative on history
– emplotment and endings in historical narratives according to White, Ricoeur, Kermode, D. A. Miller, and/or Peter Brooks
– micro-history’s relation to fiction
– thinking about literary form in terms of big history (e.g., Richard McGuire) and non-human agents in contemporary history and literature (e.g., Wendy Doniger)

Abstracts (~250 words) will be accepted through the ACLA website from September 1 to September 23, 2016. If you have any questions about the seminar, please contact Chris Chiasson (”

CFP: Wolfgang Iser – Towards a literary anthropology

September 27th, 2016

Call for Papers:
Wolfgang Iser – Towards a literary anthropology

Enthymema, n. 15 (June 2017)
Deadline for proposals: 31st January 2017

“On the intersection of the tenth anniversary of his death (2007) and of the fortieth anniversary of the first publication of his most famous work The Act of Reading (Der Akt des Lesens, 1976), we would like to celebrate the critic and literary theorist Wolfgang Iser with a special section.
Our reflection can only start from the critical classic The Act of Reading that contributed in making reader’s response theories a cornerstone, generating a most lively debate, in the field of literary theory in the following forty years. Nevertheless, we would also like to provide a better focus on the arrival point of Iser’s critical and theoretical reflections.
In the thirty years that separated the issue of that fundamental work from his death, Iser never stopped expanding his research. First, he moved from the field of English literature on Spenser, Beckett, and Joyce to theoretical studies on the concepts – so relevant in the current debate – of the fictive and the imaginary. Eventually, Iser developed the project of a new discipline, namely literary anthropology, with which he aimed to provide an account of literature as a universal and human device for self-interpretation, as a tool for the relentless urge of human beings to become known to themselves.
Iser was aware of the fact that in order to analyse such a complex human activity, a single, fixed perspective is not enough: (self) interpretation is not just a practice, it is a human need that allows us to expand and shape ourselves. Literature works in the same vein. Indeed, the latter is nothing but interpretation at every level.
Such an enquiry of human life requires specific heuristic tools and cannot make use of frames borrowed from other disciplines. The risk would otherwise be that literature is merely used to provide illustrative examples. Which is why in his more recent works (especially in The Range of Interpretation, 2000) he pursued a self-contained heuristic framework within the new discipline. Still, he continuously kept an eye open on all possible intersections with hermeneutics, cybernetics, biology, and cognitive and evolutionary studies.
It is with the same spirit that we are inviting contributions for proposals on Iserian themes with the aim to reflect on his own theoretical production, and to continue his own project.
Article proposals in English, Italian, French, or German, must be sent to and must contain the following details: the title of the contribution, a 350-500 word abstract, and a short bio-bibliographical profile of the author (including e-mail address and the university/institution of affiliation). The deadline for proposals is 31st January 2017.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

– Reading and readers; theories of the interaction between the reader and the text; current relevance and need of aesthetical response theories; the implied reader.
– Indeterminacy, implied reader, and the narrative text.
– Indeterminacy as the mark of narrative genres.
– Literature and play. The interaction between the fictive and the imaginary.
– Fiction, fictive, and fictional.
– Towards a literary anthropology: problems, questions, and reflections.
– Literature as self-interpretation and self-poiesis.
– Wolfgang Iser as a literary critic and theorist.
– Influence of Iser’s theories in the current critical and theoretical debate.
– The application of Iser’s theories in the field of narrative studies.

CFP: Diegesis – Illness Narratives

September 27th, 2016

Call for Papers:
The e-journal DIEGESIS ( invites abstracts, reviews of new works, and conference reports on the theme of “Illness Narratives”.

Deadline for the submission of abstracts: September 30th, 2016
Deadline for the submission of articles: June 30th, 2017

“We relate and describe illnesses in different situations, for various purposes, and in diverse ways. The range of illness narratives includes, among others, documentation of patients’ medical histories, autobiographical accounts of illness (clinical narratives),
narratives which are co-constructed during doctor-patient conversations, case reports in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, fictional accounts of illnesses, as well as visual and narrative representations of sick people and disease in painting, photography, film, and other media. Recently, empirical disciplines have made some initial attempts to develop a “narratology of doctor-patient communication” (Elisabeth Gülich) and to bring about
a ‘narrative turn’ within medicine.
The DIEGESIS-issue “Illness Narratives” explores the nexus of illness and its narrative representation. Which specific functions does narrative (re-)construction of illness fulfil?
Is there a connection between specific illnesses and their respective narratives (and if so, is it useful for differential diagnostic purposes)? In order to do justice to the diversity of illness narratives, we invite scholars from different disciplines to submit proposals for methodological contributions, exemplary case studies with a focus on narratology, or comparative investigations drawing on conversational linguistics, psychology, psychotherapy, medicine, cultural studies, history, sociology, literary studies, art
studies, and other disciplines.
We invite abstracts of approximately half a page (DIN-A4) by September 30th, 2016 at the latest. Please send your abstract, along with a brief CV, to the editorial team of
DIEGESIS: The editorial team and the editors will decide on the acceptability of proposals by November 15th, 2016. Contributions have to be submitted by June 30th, 2017. The issue will be published in December 2017.
In addition, we always welcome REVIEWS of new works (i.e. works published in the last three to four years) in the field of narratology; we specifically welcome cross-disciplinary contributions in addition to contributions from those working in the fields of language and literature. Recommendations for reviews can be sent to the aforementioned e-mail address at any time; in your e-mail, you should name the book(s) you would like to review and provide a brief overview of your academic career.
Furthermore, we would also like to invite suggestions for CONFERENCE REPORTS on any events in the field of narrative research. If you want to send us proposals for such reports please include brief information on the topic, venue, date, and organizers of
the event as well as a short outline of your academic career.”

CFP MLA 2018

July 11th, 2016

The ISSN Program Committee (Dan Punday, Paul Wake, Kay Young) invites proposals for the Society’s guaranteed session at the 2018 MLA, scheduled for January 4-7 in New York City.

A topic may be proposed by any current member(s) of ISSN, who would also chair or co-chair the chosen panel. Participation on the panel will be open to all members of MLA. Proposals for the ISSN session at MLA 2018 should include a session title and a brief rationale not to exceed one page.

Please submit your proposal to Dan Punday ( by November 1, 2016. The Program Committee will announce its selection by December 1, 2016.

Geographical Narratology CFP

July 5th, 2016

In the past twenty or thirty years narratology has diversified into narratologies and we now commonly speak of cognitive narratology, for example, unnatural narratology, socionarratology, and historical narratology. Yet, despite the spatial turn that began to occur some time ago in the humanities and humanistic social sciences and despite the large amount of recent work on the inscription of (literary) texts in space and on the representation of space in (literary) texts, there has been no real attempt to develop a geographical narratology focused on examining the links between geography and narrative forms or traits. A special number of Frontiers of Narrative Studies, to be published in 2018, will be devoted to the exploration of the program such a narratology might follow and it will welcome, in particular, papers studying the (possible) links between geography and specific narrative features (e.g. free indirect discourse, external focalization, or anterior narration) and (possible) new exploitations of space by narrative. Please send your abstracts (300-500 words) to Gerald Prince ( by October 1, 2016. Papers will be due March 1, 2018.

Call for Papers: “The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In”

June 30th, 2016

Call for Papers
The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In

“The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In” is a proposed volume in the series Critical Approaches to Comics Artists at the University Press of Mississippi. This volume will contain an array of critical essays on the comics of Alison Bechdel, offering new examinations of her entire body of work.

The collection takes as its starting point the phrase “from the outside in,” and proposes to look at Bechdel from several perspectives: Bechdel as an outsider and her changing position in the world of comix/comics and beyond; her investigation of interior life and its relationship to the outside world; and her many modes of drawing, writing, and performing queerness. Essays from interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged, including critical approaches from comics studies, art history, cultural studies, material culture, print culture, life writing, queer theory, trauma studies, psychoanalytic theory, history of sexuality, archive studies, and adaptation studies.

Essays that engage Bechdel in light of the following topics would be particularly welcome (although this list is by no means exhaustive or prescriptive; essays that address topics not listed here will be considered as well):

Bechdel as outsider/in from the margins:

· alt-comix: the world of Dykes to Watch Out For and how it changed the world of comics/comix

· Bechdel and alternative weeklies

· Bechdel and censorship

· Bechdel in the classroom/Bechdel and pedagogy

· Bechdel in the academy/the Bechdel industry

· Bechdel the bestseller

Interiors and the outside world:

· imagined spaces/places/objects

· furniture and design

· architecture

· autography/memoir/life writing

· trauma/mourning

· inside the archive

· sexuality and subjectivity

Drawing, writing, performing queerness:

· the many modes of Alison Bechdel: blogging, interviews, adaptation, photography, film and Hollywood cinema (the Bechdel test)

· Bechdel and music: popular, classical, queer

· Bechdel and Broadway: music, adaptation, the tradition of comics on the stage

· Bechdel and the body: gender normativity, butchness, bodybuilding

· Bechdel and performativity

· Bechdel and queer print culture

· LGBT history and activism

Please send abstracts of at least 500 and no more than 1000 words, along with CV and contact information, to Janine Utell at by December 1.

Officer Nominations

June 22nd, 2016

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 other Society members.

This year, that is Sarah Copland (MacEwan University), Mari
Hatavara (University of Tampere), and me (Aarhus Institute
of Advanced Studies).

All ISSN members are invited to propose names for the
nominating committee to consider. Self-nominations are
entirely in order, so don’t be shy!

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 at the MLA
Convention. At the same time, don’t hesitate to nominate
someone, including yourself, who for good reason (lack of
funding, distance, etc.) cannot make it to MLA. Candidates
for Second VP should have attended 3 out of the last 5
annual conferences.

Please send your suggestions to Sarah, Mari, and me (along
with a brief indication of the reason for your
recommendation) no later than July 15, 2016.

Sarah Copland:
Mari Hatavara:
Jan Alber:

All the best,
Jan Alber

2017 ISSN Conference CFP

June 14th, 2016

Call for Papers-LEON EDEL PRIZE

June 14th, 2016

The Leon Edel Prize is awarded annually for the best essay on Henry James by a beginning scholar. The prize carries with it an award of $150, and the prize-winning essay will be published in HJR.

The competition is open to applicants who have not held a full-time academic appointment for more than four years. Independent scholars and graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Essays should be 20-30 pages (including notes), original, and not under submission elsewhere or previously published.

Send electronic submissions to:

Author=s name should not appear on the manuscript. Please identify essays as submissions for the Leon Edel Prize.

A brief curriculum vitae should be included. Decisions about regular publication are also made at the same time as the prize decision.

Deadline: November 1, 2016