The Russian trace within narratology (publié le 03 mai 2012)
Call for papers - International conference
Conference dates: November 25th to November 27th 2012
Deadline for submitting abstracts: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
The Balashov Institute of the Saratov State University invites scholars to reflect upon the profound influence of Russian formalism and structuralism on the origin and development of modern-day transmedial and interdisciplinary narratology.
The general aim of this conference is to provide a forum to bring together individuals from literary criticism, linguistics and other humanitarian disciplines to discuss classical vs. postclassical paradigms of research in the narrative theory with an emphasis on Russian influence on the various perspectives it has taken since the first decades of the XXth century.
More specifically, the conference also aims at attracting the attention of Russian scholars to the recent developments in narratology abroad to inspire them for new visions and reevaluations of narrative and narrativity as research instruments and cognitive entities.
The explosion of interest in narrative in a wide range of research contexts that has spread over the world in the past two decades poses the necessity to reconsider the concepts of “original narratology”. One of the central intellectual questions facing today narrative inquiry and narrative practice across multiple disciplines is “How do narratives affect life and cognition?” Indeed, there is broad agreement that narratives are cognitive structures equipping us with basic tools for adapting to the environment, for cognizing the world, for understanding our place in it. It is this vision of narrative as a sense-making instrument that is of key interest to psychology, literary theory, linguistics, cultural studies, sociolinguistics, media studies, sociology, history, philosophy, education, religious studies, etc.
On the other hand, universal character of narrative and its influence on various humanitarian disciplines leads to various interpretations and generalized, often metaphoric definitions. In other words, incorporating narrative into the unlimited context of up-to-date research areas often hinders our vision of its essential features, of seeing it as a clearly outlined object of study. It is not accidental that, as David Herman put it, in modern cognitive narratology “at issue are frameworks for narrative research that build on the work of classical, structuralist narratologists but supplement that work with concepts and methods that were unavailable to story analysts such as Barthes, Genette, Greimas, and Todorov during the heyday of the structuralist revolution” (Herman D. Cognitive Narratology: http://hup.subuni-hamburg.de/Ihn/index.php/Cognitive_Narratology. - 2011). It is a most profound observation, since cognitive narratology constitutes at present “more a set of loosely confederated heuristic schemes than a systematic framework for inquiry” (ibid.). The situation as such suggests the idea of taking a sort of analepsis – a flashback
into the Russian roots of narrative studies to reevaluate the basic concepts of narrative theory as a self-contained discipline. The Russian linguists, literary critics, psychologists and philosophers – V. Propp, V. Shklovsky, B. Eikhenbaum, R. Jakobson, B. Tomashevsky, Yuri Tynyanov, M, Bakhtin, L. Vygotsky, later B. Uspensky, Y. Lotman, B. Korman, M. Kagan and others – left decisive traces in the theory of narrative and actually shaped the framework of the French narratology of the 1960s from which contemporary interdisciplinary narratology has evolved. After the revolution of 1917, formalism fell out of favour in the Soviet Russia and academic communication between what became the Soviet Union and Western Europe and North America virtually ceased. Still, such basic concepts as sujet/fabula distinction, ostranenie (depersonalosation, later termed as “foregrounding”), chronotope, dialogue, point of view, composition etc., were shaped within the Russian Formalist school and linguo-philosophic tradition. Formalism, despite its “frontierness”, or, rather, thanks to it, offered a theoretic model, effectively translated into a variety of scientific contexts that followed, up to the contemporary mental-oriented “universal” narratology (see: Ян Левченко http://russ.ru/pole/Russkie-formalisty-nauchivshiesya-zhit-so-vsej-toskoj). At the same time, the historical-cultural context affected the destiny of narratology, which is now thriving in Europe, America and elsewhere, while in Russia few steps forward have been made since 1970s. It is time for Russian scholars to reconsider the perspectives for their research drawing on the considerable achievements of western narratologists, in order to rehabilitate the status of Russian narrative studies. In their turn, mind-discourse-oriented narratologists can enjoy a chance to have a look at the Russian legacy in narrative studies.
Scholars are invited to organize panel sessions and present papers on various aspects of the broad theme of “The Russian trace within narratology.”
Possible topics include:
The original base of formalist/structuralist concepts of narrative and new developments in literary text analysis.
The Bakhtinian ideas of chronotope and dialogism in the framework of narrative theory.
Methods of classical and postclassical narratology in linguistics and literary criticism.
Narrative paradigms of research in cultural studies, journalism, media studies and other disciplines.
Narrative theory vs. genre theory. Classical and new narrative genres.
The educational potential of narrative.
Two plenary sessions will ask prominent scholars from different disciplines to present a paper and discuss a central question related to the Russian trace in the developments of narrative theory. Time will be given for debate and interaction between the presenters and the audience. A final plenary will compare approaches to the study of narrative. The audience will be given opportunity to exchange ideas with the panelists.
Valery Tyupa – Doctor of Philology, professor, the Chair of theoretical and historical poetics, the Institute of philology and history of the Russian State University for the Humanities. Leading specialist in theory of literature, aesthetics of history, rhetoric, narratology, comparative studies. Moscow, Russia;
Boris Egorov – Doctor of Philology, professor, leading researcher at St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, academician of the Independent Academy for aesthetics and free arts, Moscow (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Chantal Cornut-Gentille D’Arcy, a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Zaragoza and one of the founder members of IBACS (Iberian Association of Cultural Studies) (Zaragoza, Spain)
Ursula Ganz-Blaetter – a Ph.D. in Medieval History and a habilitation degree in Film and Television Studies; senior lecturer in media and cultural studies, specializing in the history and theory of audiovisual narratives; Sociology Institute of the University St. Gall and the Lucerne Highschool of Applied Sciences (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Ludmila Tataru – Doctor of Philology, professor, the Chair of English at the Balashov Institute of Saratov State University (Balashov, Russia)
Svetlana Bozrikova – lecturer at the Chair of English, PhD student at the Chair of Literature, the Balashov Institute of the Saratov State University ( Balashov, Russia)
Nadezhda Beze – lecturer at the Chair of German, PhD student at the Chair of Literature, the Balashov Institute of the Saratov State University ( Balashov, Russia)
Although the language of the conference will be Russian, papers delivered in English are welcome.
Guidelines for submissions
We welcome proposals for individual papers (15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions) and panels (30 minutes). Submissions should be in the language of presentation (Russian or English). Please submit your proposal, including an abstract of no more than 300 words, via e-mail: email@example.com (Svetlana Bozrikova)
Abstracts are due on July 31st, 2012.
More information here