ENN5: The 5th conference of the European Narratology Network, Prague

The aim of the conference was to offer space for this revision, for the discussion of the metamorphoses of the study of narrative, of its further potentials and boundaries, but also of older and current conceptions of narratological studies. Conference keynote addresses were focused on the questions of the relationship of narrative and structure from the historical point of view as well as on questions of visualizing narratives by diagrams and “dual narrative movement”. The keynote speakers were Prof. Wolf Schmid, Universität Hamburg (The Slavic cradle of narratology: From Shklovsky’s “defamiliarization” to Mukařovský’s “semantic gesture”), Dr. Marie-Laure Ryan, independent scholar (Visualizing the narrative engine: What diagrams can tell us about the functioning of narrative; a revised version of the speech was delivered with the title: On the Material Turn in Contemporary Fiction: Towards an Object-Oriented Narratology), Prof. Marina Grishakova, University of Tartu (Narrative and dynamic structures), Prof. Dan Shen, Peking [Beijing] University (How dual narrative movement can metamorphose or extend narratology).

In total, 157 speakers gave a talk at the conference. Conference talks were delivered in five parallel sections over three days (the programme of the conference can be found in Programme-2017-Prague.pdf; http://narratology.net/enn5). Some of the sections were set up with pre-defined panels in mind – there were 12 conference panels in all. There was also space for a poster section (with 13 posters registered). All abstracts of the conference contributions (keynote speakers, panel overview, oral presentations, posters) can be found in Guide_and_abstracts-2017-Prague.pdf; http://narratology.net/enn5).

The conference was jointly opened by Ondřej Sládek (chair of the conference), Gunther Martens (chair of the ENN) and Pavel Janáček (director of the ICL CAS). A joint conference dinner was held at the Art Restaurant Mánes on the second conference day (Wednesday, September 14).

There were 6 plenary sessions during the conference. Four of them were reserved for keynote speakers’ talks; the other two were general meetings. Both general meetings were opened by Gunther Martens, who also presented a detailed report on the activities of the Steering Committee of the ENN in 2016–2017. The ENN Steering Committee had the following members in the said period:

Gunther Martens (Ghent University) Chair, Karin Kukkonen (University of Oslo), Ondřej Sládek (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague). The Steering Committee had also co-opted three ENN members: Nora Berning (University Of Mannheim), Hilary Duffield (University of Trier), Stefan Iversen (Aarhus University).

In the first general meeting, Karin Kukkonen informed about the discussions and a survey among ENN members as to whether they agree with the idea that ENN could be transformed from a network into a society with membership fees and a more extended organisational infrastructure (for this issue see next section). The aforementioned issues were discussed also during the second general meeting, which was primarily aimed at voting on the change of Section 3 of the ENN Constitution (remote electronic voting) and election of a new Steering Committee.


The approved change in the Constitution concerns Section 3 (Voting), which has been amended by one sentence (highlighted in bold):


§ 3 Voting

Each Individual Member of the ENN is entitled to one (1) vote. Votes may be cast in person at a General Meeting or by a written and signed proxy forwarded to a Member who attends the Meeting; no Member shall be allowed to accept more than two (2) proxies. It is also possible to arrange for a remote electronic vote outside the General Meeting.


After the three candidates had presented themselves, the new Steering Committee was elected with the following members for the 2017–2019 period:


Ondřej Sládek (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague)

Valerij Tjupa (Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow)

Peter Hühn (Hamburg University)

In conjunction with the 5th International Conference of the European Narratology Network, a preconference doctoral seminar on cognitive narratology was held: Preconference Doctoral Seminar. Cognitive Narratology Today (Prague, September 11–12, 2017). The doctoral seminar was primarily devoted to the topics connected with general narratological and poetological concepts such as Fictional Characters and Their Minds, Time and Temporality, and Reader, Reading and Interpretation as viewed from the cognitive perspective. The doctoral seminar was intended for students of Ph.D. programmes who have a general interest in narratology or directly employ the concepts of cognitive narratology in their research.

The coordinator of this seminar was Bohumil Fořt (ICL CAS) and the seminar leader and main speaker was Prof. Monika Fludernik (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg). The two-day seminar was divided into four thematic sections, which were, in addition to Prof. Fludernik, led by Anežka Kuzmičová (University of Stockholm), Richard Müller (ICL CAS), Michael Sinding (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) and Marco Caracciolo (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg). Each of them chaired one section that thematically focused on specific research issues. Each participant received a certificate of seminar completion, including 6 ECTS credits. There were altogether 22 doctoral students from various countries and universities from around the world who took part in the seminar (see Guide_and_abstracts-2017-Prague.pdf; http://narratology.net/enn5).

The conference and the preconference doctoral seminar was made possible by the financial support of the Institute of Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Czech Academy of Sciences, the City of Prague, The Czech-German Fund for the Future and the State Fund of Culture. We wish to thank these institutions for their support. We extend our gratitude to AMCA – Academic and Medical Conference Agency, which managed the secretariat of the conference, for their great help in arranging the conference. The conference was held under the auspices of Professor Eva Zažímalová, the President of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and Jan Wolf, Prague City Councillor for Culture. 

About us

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.