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Literature and Narrativity

Research group manager

Guri Ellen Barstad

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The research group Literature and narrativity has existed since the autumn of 2012. It is organized under the Dept. of Business, Languages and Social Sciences, and is also open for colleagues from other departments at the college, as well as for academics from external institutions. The concept of narrativity crosses disciplinary borders. It has proven fruitful not only for specialists in literature, but also for those doing research in theology/religious history, health studies, psychology, law, pedagogics, history and a number of other disciplines. Although the group’s approach to narratives is mainly literary, members of the group examine the flexibility of the concept of narratives by crossing borders: they focus on text linguistics, history, cultural studies, ideology, religion and didactics. The group also operates with an extended concept of text, which also encompasses film, TV series, computer games and art. Interdisciplinarity is a characteristic of the group. Most of the group’s members work in different disciplines and languages (English, French, German and Spanish). This means that our approaches to texts are characterized by different cultures and methodologies, which the individual researchers can use to expand their understanding, beyond their own disciplinary backgrounds. Practical work in the group includes seminars where members present their own works in progress and comment on the work of others. But the group has also pooled resources in a common project which attempts to shed light on different aspects of the concept of identity. The interdisciplinarity of the group is evident here as the whole spectrum of our research interests is visible in our different cultural and subject-based approaches. The aim of the project is to publish an anthology in the course of 2017 and external authors will also be invited to participate. The anthology will be an international publication in English, and in connection with the project we are arranging a conference in Vienna. The research group cooperates with other, external networks (in all parts of the world) to advance our research: one research network has been working with children’s and young adult literature (with internal and external participants), and has completed an anthology which has the working title Narratology Plus: Studies in Recent International Narratives for Children and Young Adults. Brill Rodopi is interested in publishing this book. Several of our members from the department are participating in the ENTICE project (East-North Travel and Intercultural Communication in Europe), which is working on a book that Cambridge Scholars is interested in publishing. A number of the members of the research group arranged an international conference in 2014 entitled ‘States of Decadence / La Décadence dans tous ses États’, and the conference proceedings will be published by Cambridge Scholars in the Fall of 2016.