Call for Papers: The Stories We Tell

Call for Papers: The Stories We Tell: Forceful Discourses and the Veracity of Narrative(s)

An Interdisciplinary Conference

Fourth Annual Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Student Conference

University of California, Merced

April 22nd 2017

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Brown University

Dr. Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley

As we enter the field of ideas, the presence of the narratives by which we ply our trade await us and steer our thoughts with the weight and gravity of their presence And so we must face the problem of precedent and the limits it places on what is available to be said and how and by whom it can be spoken or what can be allowed to speak, as well as forcing us to acknowledge the erasure or preclusion of certain Subjects and their Narratives. Therefore, this conference seeks to critically investigate our own narratives to consider those voices, human or otherwise, that have been silenced and forgotten. This conference takes seriously the entire enterprise of the humanities—and of human beings—invoking Raymond Williams’ directive when he writes that “we need different ideas because we need different relationships.”[1] Our disciplinary confines must be productively eroded and dissolved so that in the words of the late Benedict Anderson, we can embrace the useful feeling of becoming and being marginal and strange as we “begin to notice what is not there” and “become aware of what is unwritten as well as what is written.” Finally, we strive to become less comfortable and thus less complacent with the currents of our inquires and, like Julia Kristeva’s foreigner, feel “strengthened by the distance that detaches” us from others and renders ourselves “relative while others fall victim to the ruts of monovalency” that direct not just our scholastic moves and motives but also our thoughts and means of expression remains strategically necessary.[2] Joining these three concepts—the need to establish different relationships to the world, the recognition of the untold, and the renovation of the scholastic identity—this conference will ask how to approach our work from the outside, from the perspective of an intellectual foreigner rather than succumbing to the overwhelming draw of what has already been spoken and to those who speak it.

This conference seeks to expand our existing perspectives and practices, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, to illuminate a wider view of what can be discussed with rigor beyond what we currently consider critical scholarship and who or what can participate in it. We question what counts as narrative, the devices and structures that legitimate it, and who decides what stories we are allowed to tell. How do we engage with the stories that are already told, and how might we mitigate lost narratives or narratives that have never been told? How do we speak from an Archive of erasure? What archival gaps remain to be populated with these abandoned voices? How do we challenge narratives that speak falsely? Considering the Anthropocene and the retroactive erasure it has wrought, can we find alternative post-human narratives to tell more truth than we ourselves may be comfortable facing or want to understand?

Possible presentation topics include but are by no means limited to the following, and we encourage topics that straddle the borderlines of conventional classification:

  • Post-humanism and the non-human
  • The intervention and impact of technology on narrative
  • Religion, philosophy, and theology
  • Disciplinary disruptions and their effect on storytelling
  • The problems imposed by disciplinary structures and intellectual precursors
  • Transcultural studies
  • Narratives of resistance, captivity, and those that are hidden, silenced, or hitherto untold
  • Autobiography
  • (Pre)historic memory and social imagination
  • Deployment of digital archives, and the ramifications of increasingly availability information
  • Translation and cross-cultural, cross-national, cross-species communication
  • Bare life and non-life

Please submit 300 word abstracts for: individual papers, presentation, poster, or panel proposals, along with a brief CV, or any questions to: For more information, please visit our website at: deadline to submit a proposal is February 17th 2017. The conference will be held on April 22nd 2017 at the University of California, Merced.

[1] Williams, Raymond. “Ideas of Nature.” Culture and Materialism. New York: Verso, 1980: 85.

[2] Kristeva, Julia. Strangers to Ourselves, trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Colombia University Press: 1991: 7.




Call for Papers: “Illness Narratives”

Call for Papers: “Illness Narratives”

Interdisziplinäres E-Journal für Erzählforschung Interdisciplinary E-Journal for Narrative Research

DIEGESIS 6.2, winter 2017 Topic: “Illness Narratives”

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

About the TOPIC:

We relate and describe illnesses in different situations, for various purposes, and in di- verse 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 ful- fil? 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 diver- sity of illness narratives, we invite scholars from different disciplines to submit pro- posals for methodological contributions, exemplary case studies with a focus on narra- tology, or comparative investigations drawing on conversational linguistics, psychol- ogy, 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

Interdisziplinäres E-Journal für Erzählforschung Interdisciplinary E-Journal for Narrative Research

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-disci- plinary contributions in addition to contributions from those working in the fields of language and literature. Recommendations for reviews can be sent to the aforemen- tioned 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.


DIEGESIS is the first interdisciplinary journal dedicated to narrative research that pro- vides free online access to full-text articles and reviews (www.diegesis.uni- The high standard of work published in DIEGESIS is ensured by a combination of competitive calls for papers and a peer review process.

DIEGESIS is published at the University of Wuppertal and in cooperation with the local Centre of Narrative Research (CNR) ( by Matei Chihaia (Romance studies), Sandra Heinen (literature and media studies), Matías Martínez (German studies), Michael Scheffel (general literary studies) and Roy Sommer (English and American studies).



Call for Papers Animal Narratology

Call for Papers: Animal Narratology

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Storytelling is often cited as one of the characteristics that distinguishes humans from animals; yet, a look at world literature reveals many animals as the narrators of our tales. Animals speak not only in fables and fairy tales, but also narrate novels, voice love poems, and deliver philosophical treatises. Across genres and time, both wild and domesticated animals give accounts of their lives and their worlds, which usually contain human beings. Animal narrators negotiate their relationship with humans, while defamiliarizing the human way of perceiving the world. And yet, these texts are written by human authors who chose an animal voice, a specific species, and a literary genre for a particular purpose—one that tends to be as much, if not more about the human as it is about the animal. In fact, analyses have predominantly focused on the human side of these texts until the recent “animal turn” in literary studies. This focus on the animal in literature vows to take the animal seriously, which has been generating new readings and discoveries regarding texts from the canon and beyond. Literary animal studies has the potential to reveal the history of animal narration, such as clusters of animal species, type, or even breed at certain times; to interrogate animal narrators’ appeals to particular audiences, from children’s books to political satire; and to uncover writers’ ways of avoiding censorship and persecution by channeling an animal voice in their works. In addition, concepts from animal agency to zoopoetics have increased the theoretical complexity of the investigation of animals in literature and are connecting animal studies to some of the concerns of fields such as environmental humanities, race and gender studies.

However, studies of animal narration are still scant and scattered, and there seems to be a need to close a perceived gap between classical scholarship on animals in literature (such as, for instance, Theodore Ziolkowski’s insightful 1983 genealogy of “philosopher dogs” in the Western canon) and newer theoretical premises brought forth by literary animal studies that petition for reading the animal as animal. There also appears to be a perhaps problematic tendency toward taxonomy inherent in approaches to both animals and narration that has yet to be addressed.

This Special Issue of Humanities on the theme of “Animal Narratology” aims to paint a fuller picture of animal narrators from various species, at different times, and from a variety of literary traditions. The breadth of this approach is to be supplemented with systematic considerations of the specific texts and contexts, so as to account for larger developments relevant to the literary history, genre, and narratological strategies exemplified by each animal narrator. Humanities thus invites contributions that bring together the close reading of texts containing animal narrators with (a) theoretical deliberations about narratology (such as dialogism, diegetic levels, empathy, focalization, framing, graphic storytelling, metaphoricity, realism, reliability, representation, serialization, simultaneity, structure, suspense, symbolism, etc.) and (b) relevant questions of ethics, religion, race, gender, sexuality, history, philosophy, sociology, science, and the arts. Texts from literature in any language are welcome (with translation), and an even distribution of Western and non-Western literature is desired.

Articles will be due January 1, 2017 and should be between 6000 and 8000 words in length. Interested contributors should send a proposal of 250–500 words with a short bio or their CV to the guest editor, Dr. Joela Jacobs, at by July 20, 2016. You will be notified of your preliminary acceptance (subject to peer review of the completed article) within two weeks, and questions are welcome at any time. Humanities is an international, peer-reviewed, quick-refereeing scholarly open access journal with a focus on the core values of the Humanities. There is no article processing fee, and this special edition is slated to appear both online and in book format (e-book and print on demand). Please go to for more information.
Joela Jacobs
Guest Editor

Contact Info:
Any questions should be directed to the guest editor, Dr. Joela Jacobs, at Please go to for more information.



“Periodising Postmodernism, or, Beginnings and Endings”

“Periodising Postmodernism, or, Beginnings and Endings”

Brian McHale

Distinguished Professor of English, Ohio State University

Thursday, 11 June, 2015
6.30pm – 7.30pm


When did postmodernism begin? The consensus seems to be that it emerged over the course of the “long sixties”; let’s say, for the sake of the thought experiment, that its onset dates from 1966, a year in which avant-garde tendencies converged, mingled and crosspollinated with developments in popular culture, to explosive effect.
When did it end? Not in the years 1989-1993, despite the epochal geopolitical events of that period. Postmodernism seemed, if anything, to come into its own in the nineties. Let’s say, instead, “on or about September 11, 2001″ – an endpoint no more fictitious (but no less so) than selecting 1966 as postmodernism’s onset.

Professor Brian McHale is Distinguished Professor of English at the Ohio State University and a co-founder of Ohio State’s Project Narrative. He is the author of Postmodernist Fiction (1987), Constructing Postmodernism (1992), and The Obligation toward the Difficult Whole (2004), as well as articles on narrative theory and modernist and postmodernist poetics. He has co-edited five volumes, including the forthcoming Cambridge History of Postmodern Literature. His Cambridge Introduction to Postmodernism is due out later this year.

McMahon Ball Theatre
Old Arts Building
The University of Melbourne
Admission is free. Bookings are required. Seating is limited.
To register visit:

For further information please contact Dr Linda Weste


INPUT NARRAUS Narrative and the Novel CFP

Narrative and the Novel/the Novel as Narrative

Narrative and the Novel/the Novel as Narrative

A symposium hosted by the Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia

SATURDAY May 16th, 2015
School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales

Keynote Speaker: John Frow, University of Sydney

The novel as a distinct genre of prose emerged in the period of modernity. From the eighteenth century, marked by scholars as the period of the ‘rise of the novel’, to the late twentieth century, during which the trope of ‘the death of the novel’ gained cultural traction, the novel has sought to both  draw  upon  and  distinguish  itself  from  other  narrative  genres,  from  history,  biography,  memoir, and travelogues, to film, television, and digital storytelling.

Starting  with  the  premise  that  the  constitutive  features  of  the  novel  are  its  narrativity  and  its  fictionality,  this  symposium  will  address  both  theoretical  and  historical  approaches  to  the following issues:

- In  what  ways  does  the  novel  interpenetrate  with  other  genres  of  narrative  (in  print  and other media), and what is distinct to the form?

- If  the  novel  (“the  younger  sister  of  romance”)  is  said  to  have  found  generic  identity  as realism, how can recent scholarly attention on its fictionality help us rethink its relation to both modernism and our contemporary period of ‘reality hunger’ and autofictions?

250 word proposals to be sent to by April 1st.

Organized by Paul Dawson and Elizabeth King, in conjunction with the UNSW Narrative and the Novel reading group. (