La narrativité entre sémiotique, sciences cognitives et sciences sociales

Paris, December 9, 2011

The members of the seminar “Narratologies contemporaines” at the Centre de recherches sur les arts et le langage (CRAL - CNRS/EHESS) in Paris organized a conference on December 9, 2011, in collaboration with the Dipartimento di Comunicazione of the Università di Bologna. Within the scope of its program in transdisciplinary research and in the interest of furthering international exchanges in narrative theory, the workshop sought to offer a possibility for exchanges on the state of the art in narratological studies in Italy and in France, particularly with regard to the role currently played in narrative theory by semiotics and the cognitive and social sciences.
Following a brief introduction by Simone Morgagni (EHESS and Università di Bologna) to the general premises of the workshop, three lectures were given, each focusing on one of the three issues dealt with by this workshop.

Anna Maria Lorusso (Università di Bologna), in “Narration, narratif entre sémiotique et sciences sociales,” explored the role played by narration and the use of narrative theoretical tools in the social sciences, particularly in sociology and anthropology. In “Narrativité et cognition: un parcours entre sémiotique et sciences cognitives,” Claudio Paolucci (Università di Bologna) showed the important links and the theoretical changes introduced into narratological studies by the cognitive sciences, but also the probably more important theoretical modifications resulting from narrative when used to explain cognitive processes. Patrizia Violi (Università di Bologna), in her talk “Narrativité en acte: interactions, corps, passions,” connected recent works on interaction, embodiment and emotion to a global semiotic frame, showing the interest of a more comprehensive convergence between all disciplinary fields working on narrative.

The second part of the conference was devoted to a general roundtable discussion between the lecturers and the members of the “Narratologies contemporaines” seminar. This final rich exchange, as well as those following each of the papers, suggests that further discussion will continue to identify strong common points of reference between semiotics and francophone narratological perspectives as well as a number of divergences which, in themselves, can shed light on significant theoretical issues.


Simone Morgagni
EHESS and Università di Bologna

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ENN is the European Narratology Network, an association of individual narratologists and narratological institutions. ENN aims to foster the study of narrative representation in literature, film, digital media, etc. across all European languages and cultures.

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