The 4th International Conference on Narratology

Guangzhou, China, November 6-9, 2013

China’s 4nd International Conference on Narratology and the 6th National Seminar on Narratology was held in Guangzhou, China, from November 6 to 9, 2013. As usual, the conference was sponsored by the China Narratology Association; it was hosted by Southern Medical University. Approximately two hundred scholars from all over China and the West attended the conference. Prof. Shen Dan, president of the China Narratology Association, gave the opening lecture at the opening ceremony.

The keynote lectures were delivered by Brian McHale (Ohio State University, USA), Shen Dan (Peking University, China), Ning Yizhong (Beijing Language and Culture University, China), Marie-Laura Ryan (Belvue, Colorado, USA), Fu Xiuyan (Jiangxi Normal University, China), Cheng Xiling and Zhao Yiheng (Sichuan University, China), Meir Sternberg and Tamar Yacobi (Tel Aviv University, Israel), Ruth Page (University of Leicester, UK), and Yan Jingxin (National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan).
Fu Xiuyan, executive vice president of the China Narratology Association, delivered the closing address.

At the plenary sessions, the keynote speakers made in-depth explorations into such issues as “Narrative, database and the end of the world” (Brian McHale), “What is covert progression and how to uncover it?” (Shen Dan), “Storyworld as cognitive and ontological concept” (Marie-Laura Ryan), “The spatial characteristics of weird narrative” (Ning Yizhong), “A tentative classification of narrative genres in general narratology” (Zhao Yiheng), and “Non-fiction narrative and new media” (Ruth Page). All the plenary lectures were informative, constructive, and well received.

In addition to the plenary sessions, eight parallel sessions were organized, centering on various topics of current narratological interest and analytical approaches. Among these topics were “New theoretical developments in narratology,” “Transmedia and interdisciplinary narrative research,” “Narratological approaches to the interpretation of narrative texts,” and “The establishment and development of Chinese narrative theory.” Featured at the conference was recent research in illness narratives (pathography), presented by Tang Weisheng and other Chinese scholars.

The success of the conference bore witness to the vitality of narratology in contemporary research and to interaction with other fields beyond verbal media and literary discourse, thus opening up new directions for narrative studies in intermedial and interdisciplinary contexts.

It was announced that a selection of articles from the conference will be published in book format by the conference organizer. The next conference will be held in Kunming, Yunnan, China in 2015.

Cheng Qian
Jinan University, China

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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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