Narrative Matters 2014, the 7th Narrative Matters conference, will be held from 23rd June to 27th June 2014 at the University of Paris Diderot and the American University of Paris. The conference will address the theme of Narrative Knowing/Récit et Savoir.
This conference will bring together scholars of all disciplines — psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, linguistics, literary studies, feminist and gender studies, education, medicine/healthcare, social work, biology, law, theology, computer science, visual studies, etc. — to reflect on the issue of the, sometimes, contested epistemic powers of narrative.
What relations are there between narrative and knowledge? How do forms of knowledge inform and produce narratives? How do narratives communicate or produce knowledge? Which ones? What is the nature of narrative knowledge as opposed to other forms of knowledge (common or spontaneous knowledge of reality, scientific knowledge, philosophical “wisdom”, etc.)? Does narrative constitute a privileged mode of knowledge or is it an epistemologically opaque means of pursuing the truth?
Proposals for papers or panels are invited for submission before 15th November 2013. Potential themes include but are not limited to:
- Narrative knowing. What is the role of narrative form in the production of knowledge? Is narrative a way of thinking, accounting for human affairs, opposed to logical reasoning, describing the natural world?
- Narrative analysis. How does gathering and interpreting narrative data generate knowledge in the social sciences (social relations, human development and aging, mental health, learning, organizations, politics, etc.)?
- Scientific narratives. What is the role of narratives in constructing forms of scientific knowledge and in learning from them? What is the relation between narrative discourse and scientific discourse?
- Narrative medicine. How does narrative participate in the construction and transmission of medical knowledge, the understanding of illness and the application of medical knowledge in research, the doctor’s office and public health?
- Narrative and the media. What is the place of narrative in the media (cinema 3D, “High Frame Rate”, interactive video games, social media, journalism) and the kinds of knowledge created and transmitted by audiovisual, digital and other media?
- Narrative and social reality. How do narratives imagine the past, collective identity and collective memory? Is historical writing a science or storytelling? How do stories challenge ways of knowing, in counter-memories or revisionism?
- Narrative and epistemology. What kind of object of knowledge is narrative (e.g., in narrative theory, education sciences, etc.)? Is narrative a means of knowledge, mediating knowing? How can narrative operate as obstacle to knowledge, refusing knowledge by denying narrative?
- Narrative and fiction. How do different forms of narration challenge the borders between fiction and non-fiction (autofiction, literary journalism, novelistic biographies or autobiographies, historical novels)? Can the narrative point of view be a way of knowing in fiction and non-fiction?
- Narrative representation. How is knowledge in fictional literary narrative configured and represented? What can literature bring to our understanding of society and social relationships?
- The “connaissance de l’écrivain” (“writer’s knowledge”, Jacques Bouveresse). What are the epistemic benefits of reading literary narrative?
We will accept both empirical and theoretical contributions. All methods and approaches are welcome. Proposals can be in English or in French. Some of the proposals will be selected for publication. Visit our web site for more information and for the CfP in French.