Changsha, China, October 20-23, 2011
The 3rd International Conference on Narratology and the 5th National Conference on Narratology was held in Changsha, China, on October 20-23, 2011. The conference was sponsored by China Narratology Association and hosted by Hunan Normal University.
The conference attracted approximately two hundred scholars from China and the West. Prof. BAI Jiehong, Vice President of Hunan Normal University and Prof. DENG Yingling, Dean of Foreign Studies College of Hunan Normal University, welcomed the participants. Prof. SHEN Dan (Peking University), president of China Narratology Association, made the opening and closing speeches. Prof. Gerald Prince, representing the plenary speakers from the West, also made a speech at the opening ceremony.
The keynote addresses were delivered by James Phelan (Ohio State University, USA), FU Xiuyan (Jiangxi Normal University, China), John Pier (University of Tours, France), ZHAO Yanqiu (Hunan Normal University, China), Jan Baetens (University of Leuven, Belgium), Gerald Prince (University of Pennsylvania, USA), ZHAO Yiheng (Sichuan University, China), TAN Junqiang (Yunnan University, China), Nickloss Koss (Peking University, China), Monika Fludernik (Freiburg University, Germany) and LONG Diyong (Jiangxi Academy of Social Sciences, China).
The first plenary session featured James Phelan’s intriguing question of “Why Aren’t Characters Part of the Narrative Communication Model” and John Pier’s reflections on the hypothesis that the move from classical to postclassical narratology in some ways echoes the transition from Russian formalism to Czech structuralism. These were followed by two Chinese scholars’ informative talks about the Chinese narrative tradition and Jan Baetens’ provocative presentation on the photo-novel.
At the second plenary session, Gerald Prince spoke on “Narratology and its Future,” and TAN Junqiang traced the influence of Qiushan Literary Criticism (1703) on Chinese narrative theories. The other speakers focused on such topics as “the individuation of the narrator,” “the integration of factual narratives into narratology,” “the spatial representation of characters,” and “the introduction of the main characters in The Dream of the Red Chamber and Middlemarch.”
The panel sessions were devoted to various issues including “Narrative Theory,” “Chinese Narrative Tradition,” “Beyond Verbal Medium and Beyond Literary Discourse,” and “Narratological Reinterpretation.” The exchange of ideas was fruitful and the organization of the discussion impressive. All participants agreed that the conference did much to foster closer ties between Chinese and Western narratologists.
GONG Xuan, Peking University, China