CfP: Experimental Narratives: From the Novel to Digital Storytelling

Stichtag: 01.09.2014

Institute of Modern Languages Research
Senate House, University of London

26. bis 27. Februar 2015
Stichtag: 1. September 2014

‚Forms evolve‘ – ‚Forms are there to serve the culture, and when they die, they die for a good reason – or so I have to believe, the novel having long since gone dark for me‘
David Shields, How Literature Saved My Life

Major changes in the twentieth- and twenty-first century media landscape have raised a number of questions about the role of the novel in contemporary culture. Its main structural components seem to have been superseded with postmodernity. Yet, while some writers and critics claim that ‚the novel is dead‘ (Shields) or ‚culturally irrelevant‘ (Lee) in our society, others still defend its crucial role in making sense of the world.

This conference aims to provide a forum for discussion of the experiments and changes in the novel form since the early twentieth century and their relationship to the culture and society in which they have been situated. We are interested in a comparative perspective that might help to understand the changes in the novel as a phenomenon over time and across cultural boundaries. Our overarching questions will be: how has the novel form changed through experimentation from modernism to digital narratives? And what is the future of the novel in the ‚post-print era‘ (Hayles)?

We welcome submissions on all areas related to this topic; including:

  • Genres, types and their evolution – hybrid novels, fiction and non-fiction, New Journalism, proto-novels, etc.
  • Text experimentation – from modernist fragmentation to transmedia storytelling
  • Authorship – from the Auctor to ‚dispersed authorship‘, collaborative writing and fan fiction
  • Readership – from reception to interaction
  • Developments in novel theory
  • From print to electronic literature, hypertexts, digital storytelling
  • Cross-hybridization between the novel and other arts – ekphrasis, graphic novels, etc.
  • Cross-language and cross-cultural comparisons

Proposals for a 20-minute paper should include a 150-word abstract (with mini-bio) and should be sent to by 1 September 2014.

Dr Jordana Blejmar, Dr Emanuela Patti and Dr Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR)

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