Despite the recent overuse of the term ‘relevance’ and the political and social signifi­cance attributed to ‘relevant’ actions and objects (of study), ‘relevance’ has not yet been sufficiently conceptualized. While quite a number of publications spanning the sciences and humanities feature ‘relevance’ in their titles, only a handful are dedicated to a thor­ough analysis of, and reflection on, the concept of relevance itself. This symposium on “Relevance and Narrative (Research)”, to be held at the Center for Narrative Research at the University of Wuppertal, suggests conceiving of relevance and narration as two closely related, perhaps even inseparable, entities. We invite scholars to think about how the interdependence of relevance and narration can be more adequately de­scribed, and to discuss the narratological, social and political implications of the analyti­cal concepts associated with these ideas.

We expect that, over the course of this symposium,

1. narratologists (in the widest sense of the term) can contribute to clarifying the meaning(s) of ‘(ir)relevance’, and that their attempts to conceptualize these politi­cally loaded terms will stimulate innovative approaches to the study of literary texts and cultural objects, thus providing new insights into various fields of social, cul­tural and literary studies; and that

2. this conceptualization of ‘relevance’ will offer innovative perspectives on traditional and current aspects of narrative research (e.g. the relationship between text and context, questions of genre, or narrative perspective), ideally leading to the con­struction of new narratological tools and models.


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

15:00 Welcoming Addresses

15:15-15:45 Matei Chihaia and Katharina Rennhak: Introduction: Relevance and Narrative Research as Conceptual Challenge
15.45-16.00 Discussion: Expectations and Aims of the Symposium

16:00-16:30 Susan Lanser: The (Ir)Relevance of Narratology
16:30-16:45 Discussion

Coffee Break

17:15-17:45 Roy Sommer: Relevance, Postclassical Narratology and Narrative Design
17:45-18:00 Discussion
18:00-18:30 Joel Faflak: Jane Austen and the Narrative Relevance of Happiness
18:30-18:45 Discussion

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

09:30 -10:00 Raphaël Baroni: The Relevance of Irrelevance in Mimetic and Configurational Narratives
10:00-10:15 Discussion
10:15-10:45 Andreas Mahler: Disciplining Relevance: On Manifest and Latent Functions of Narratives
10:45-11:00 Discussion

Coffee Break

11:30-12:00 Carsten Breul: Relevance Theory and the Narrative Representation of Speech and Thought
12:00-12:15 Discussion
12:15-12:30 General Discussion: First Results, Focus Points, Further Questions

Lunch Break

14:15-14:45 Sabine Schlickers: Unreliability and the Search for ‘Relevant’ Concepts in Narrative Analysis
14:45-15:00 Discussion
15:00-15:30 Elke D’hoker: The Relevance of Narrative Theories for the Study of Short Fiction: The Case of First-Person Present-Tense Narration
15:30-15:45 Discussion

Coffee Break

16.15-16:45 Sonja Klimek: Fantastic?! Metaleptic Events and Their Relevance for Readers’ Inferences about Fictional Worlds
16:45-17:00 Discussion
17:00-17:30 Julika Griem: Compassion Fatigue: Emphatic Relevance and the Pitfalls of a Normativization of Literary Theory
17:30-17:45 Discussion
17:45-18:15 General Discussion: First Results, Focus Points, Further Questions

Thursday, 2 October 2014

09:30-10:00 Michael Ranta: (Re-)Creating Relevance: Narrativity and Implied World Views in Pictures
10:00-10:15 Discussion
10:15-10:45 Sebastian Domsch: ‚Slice of Life‘ and the Question of Narrative Relevance
10:45-11:00 Discussion

Coffee Break

11:30-12:00 Susanne Schlünder: Narrative Strategies and the Construction of (Ir)Relevance in the Works of Echenoz and Toussaint
12:00-12.15 Discussion
12:15-13:00 General Discussion: Results, Retrospect and Prospect

Prof. Dr. Matei Chihaia:
Prof. Dr. Katharina Rennhak:

The Symposium will be hosted by the Center for Narrative Research at the University of Wuppertal and will take place at the Gästehaus,
Rainer‐Gruenter‐Str. 3, 42119 Wuppertal.

Beitrag von: Matei Chihaia

Redaktion: Christof Schöch