CfP: Pop-Narratology. Social, Historical and Political Perspectives on Pop Cultural Narratives

5. Wuppertaler Graduiertenforum Narratologie

Tagung – Bergische Universität Wuppertal, 19. bis 21. Juni 2014

Stichtag: 1. April 2014

In an age of postclassical narratology, it can be argued that popular culture most prominently exerts its influence via narratives. Narratively constructed fictional worlds and compelling plots are all around us (e.g. in TV series in the evening, the comic book in the school bus, browser games during your lunch break) and affect many aspects of our daily lives. This dominance of narratives can also be traced in one of the most productive research areas to date: advertising, where ever-evolving commercial interests result in innovative uses of narrative elements. Some popular narratives transcend media-specific boundaries and offer experiences in which we ourselves turn into characters as in theme parks, holiday resorts, or fan conventions.

New technologies of communication, i.e. the ‘New Media’, play a major role in popular narratives. Recent research, for example, argues that the New Media have triggered new forms of narration. Thus, studies on the phenomenon of ‘participation culture’ discuss the shrinking difference between author and recipient, pointing towards a new form of shared narration in which consumers themselves become narrators. Besides these innovations, more traditional media like films, TV programs or popular literature offer a sense of ‘expanded narration’ by, for example, transcending traditional genre and media conventions (cf. Kracke/Ries 2013).

Such diversity of (new) narratives in pop culture requires diversity in research approaches. Therefore, in order to attain a satisfying grasp of pop culture, all disciplines (literary and media studies, cultural studies, philosophy, psychology, sociology etc.) and their specific ways of dealing with narratives can, and should, contribute.

This conference endeavors to move towards an interdisciplinary study of narratives in pop culture and invites contributions from doctoral students who share a common interest in popular culture and narratology. We are looking forward to contributions from a great variety of disciplines. As there are fewer exclusive aesthetic high/low-culture boundaries nowadays, please do not be afraid to expose your bad taste, guilty pleasures and/or ‘low’ fascinations.


 Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:

– The New Media and popular narratives (e.g. blogs, social networks, video games, social media storytelling etc.)

– Pop culture and its ‘classic’ media/ genres (e.g. film / TV, music, photography, comics, novels, visual arts etc.)

– Transmedial and transgeneric phenomena in popular narratives

– Narratives and non-linguistic phenomena of pop culture (leisure time activities, food, clothing, concerts, theme parks etc.)

– The ideology/ ideologies of pop narratives

– Narrative identity (individual/ collective) and pop culture

– Participation culture and pop narratives

– Advertising, pop culture and narratology

– Meta-theoretical discussions on pop culture and narratives

– Diachronic perspectives on the development of pop culture and its narratives


Papers should be 30 minutes (either English or German) and each paper will be accompanied by a 15-minute discussion. Please send abstracts for papers (no longer than 500 words in PDF or Word format), along with a short biographical sketch, by 01 April 2014 to:

Daniel Becker ( and Anne-Catherine Höffer (

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