Beyond Narrative: Literature, Culture, and the Borderlands of Narrativity

Beyond Narrative: Literature, Culture, and the Borderlands of Narrativity

Sebastian M. Herrmann, Katja Kanzler, Stefan Schubert (Leipzig University)
Beethovenstr. 6, 04107 Leipzig (University Library Lecture Hall)
From - Until
10.10.2019 - 12.10.2019
Sebastian Herrmann

Scholarship in the wake of the ‘narrative turn’ has often tended to either expand the conceptual breadth of ‘narrative’ to encompass almost any form of cultural expression or to diagnose a binary opposition between narrative and non-narrative symbolic forms. The former tendency, a willingness to assume an a priori narrative quality in nearly everything, has diminished the value of narrative as an analytic category, while the latter, a tendency to dichotomize narrative and non-narrative forms, has obscured the extent to which the two mix, overlap, and interact in cultural materials and practices.

This conference aims to instead focus on the areas of overlap, the borderlands between narrative and other symbolic logics, with a particular interest in the cultural work that is done there. More specifically, it asks how the narrative and the non-narrative—tied to symbolic forms such as database, play, spectacle, ritual, network, or the lyric—work together in instances of cultural expression.

The conference is free and open to the public. Students and other guests are welcome to attend the conference (including only individual sessions).


Thursday, October 10

5pm: Opening and Welcome

5.30-7pm: Keynote Lecture I
Jared Gardner (Ohio State)
Title: "Play/Time: The Long History of Comics and Games (& What It Can Teach us About the Future of Both)"
Response by Katja Kanzler (Leipzig)
Chair: Gesine Wegner (Dresden)

7.30pm: Dinner

Friday, October 11

9.30-11am: Panel I: Media / Graphic Novels

Lukas R.A. Wilde (Tübingen): “Characters without Stories – On the Pre-Narrative State of Fictional Characters”
Charlotte Pylyser (Leuven): “Narrative on Edge in the Belgian Graphic Novel”
Chair: Katharina Gerund (Erlangen-Nürnberg)

11-11.30am: Coffee Break

11.30am-1pm: Keynote Lecture II
Caroline Levine (Cornell, remotely via Zoom)
Title: “Endings and Sustainability”
Response by James Dorson (Berlin)
Chair: Stefan Schubert (Leipzig)

1-2.30pm: Lunch

2.30-4.30pm: Panel II: Literature

Fiorenzo Iuliano (Cagliari): “The Portrait of a Fugue: Henry James’s Baroque Consonances”
Laureano Corces (Fairleigh Dickinson): “Expressionist Rambling and Baroque Spectacle in Selected Latin American Texts”
Sarah Link (Freiburg): “Narrative and Scientific Logic in Detective Fiction”
Chair: Regina Schober (Mannheim)

4.30-5.30pm: Poster Presentations on “Narrative Liminality” / Coffee Break

5.30-7pm: Keynote Lecture III
Maurice S. Lee (Boston)
Title: “Stirring Enumerations”
Response by Sebastian M. Herrmann (Leipzig)
Chair: Stefan Schubert (Leipzig)

7.30pm: Dinner

Saturday, October 12

9.30-11am: Panel III: Lyricality

Samuel Caleb Wee (Vancouver): “Narrativity (versus) Poeticity? Rethinking the Threshold in Narrative Theory”
Otilia Teodorescu-Stadler (Konstanz): “Memory and Narrative Liminality in Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Zong!”
Chair: Michaela Beck (Dresden)

11-11.30am: Coffee Break

11.30am-1pm: Panel IV: Play

Sören Schoppmeier (Berlin): “Residues on the Palimpsest: Red Dead Redemption’s Ambient Operations and the Narrative Liminalities of the Database Western”
Kübra Aksay (Freiburg): “Playing the Narrative in Return of the Obra Dinn”
Chair: Sebastian Domsch (Greifswald)

1pm: Farewell

1-2pm: Optional Lunch

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