1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Narrative Theory

Edited By Paul Dawson, Maria Mäkelä Copyright 2022
    596 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Companion to Narrative Theory brings together top scholars in the field to explore the significance of narrative to pressing social, cultural, and theoretical issues. How does narrative both inform and limit the way we think today? From conspiracy theories and social media movements to racial politics and climate change future scenarios, the reach is broad. This volume is distinctive for addressing the complicated relations between the interdisciplinary narrative turn in the academy and the contemporary boom of instrumental storytelling in the public sphere. The scholars collected here explore new theories of causality, experientiality, and fictionality; challenge normative modes of storytelling; and offer polemical accounts of narrative fiction, nonfiction, and video games. Drawing upon the latest research in areas from cognitive sciences to complexity theory, the volume provides an accessible entry point for those new to the myriad applications of narrative theory and a point of departure for new scholarship.


    Introduction - Narrative Today: Telling Stories in a Post-Truth World

    Paul Dawson (University of New South Wales) and Maria Mäkelä (Tampere University)

    I Narrative and Its Others

    1. My Story, Your Narrative: Scholarly Terms and Popular Usage

    Maria Mäkelä (Tampere University) and Samuli Björninen (Tampere University)

    2. Non-Narrative Genres: Exposition, Lists, Lyric, etc

    Monika Fludernik (University of Freiburg)

    3. Narrative and Economic Modelling

    Lindsay Holmgren (McGill University)

    4. Data Narratives: Visualization and Interactivity in Representations of Covid-19

    Madeleine Sorapure (UC Santa Barbara)

    II Narrative and the Public Sphere

    5. What is ‘the Narrative’? Conspiracy Theories and Journalistic Emplotment in the Age of Social Media

    Paul Dawson (University of New South Wales)

    6. Rodney King, The Fugitive, and the Cogency of Cultural Narratives

    Alan Nadel (University of Kentucky)

    7. Personal Storytelling in Social Movements

    Francesca Polleta (University of California Irvine)

    III Narrative and Social Media

    8. Co-tellership in Social Media Storytelling

    Ruth Page (University of Birmingham)

    9. (Small) Stories as Features on Social Media: Toward Formatted Storytelling

    Alex Georgakopoulou (King’s College London)

    10. Quantified Storytelling: How the Tellable and the Countable Intermingle on Digital Platforms

    Alex Georgakopoulou (King’s College London), Stefan Iversen (Aarhus University), and Carsten Stage (Aarhus University)

    11. Networks, Interfaces, Digital Media Infrastructure, and Their Implications for Fictional World Theory

    Dan Punday (Mississippi State University)

    IV Narrative Truth

    12. Legal Facts, Affective Truths, and Changing Narratives in Trials Involving Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo

    Greta Olson (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen)

    13. My Mouth, Your Story: On Co-Witnessing

    Irene Kacandes (Dartmouth College)

    14. Playing Games with the Truth: Tabloid Stories, Urban Legends, Tall Tales, and Bullshit

    Marie-Laure Ryan (independent scholar)

    V Narrative and the Novel

    15. The Undead Novel: A History of Realism or a History of Prose Fiction?

    Paul Dawson (University of New South Wales)

    16. This is Not a Novel: Some Varieties of Anti-Novel

    Brian McHale (The Ohio State University)

    17. Panexperientiality, Media, and Narrative’s Time Management Problem

    David Ciccoricco (University of Otago)

    18. Chinese Narratology: Tradition, Developments, and Perspectives

    Biwu Shang (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

    VI Narrative and Selfhood

    19. Life and Narrative

    Hanna Meretoja (University of Turku)

    20. Just the Facts? Nonfictionality and Life Writing

    Julie Rak (University of Alberta)

    21. Toward a Rhetorical Narrative Medicine: Or, Corpus, Close Reading, and the Cases of Oates’s "Hospice/Honeymoon" and Ward’s "On Witness and Respair"

    James Phelan (The Ohio State University)

    22. Reading Celebrity Autofiction: Fictionality, Authorship, and Reader Responses in Narrative Theory

    Alison Gibbons (Sheffield Hallam University)

    VII Narrative and Social Change

    23. It Gets Better vs. To This Day: Queerness, Causality, Narrativity

    Jesse Matz (Kenyon College)

    24. What Does It Mean to #BelieveWomen? Popular Feminism and Survivor Narratives

    Tanya Serisier (Birbeck, University of London)

    25. Narrating Eighteenth-Century Black Lives: Abolition and the Politics of Form

    Susan S. Lanser (Brandeis University)

    VIII Narrative and Cognition

    26. Human Cognition and Narrative Form

    Richard Walsh (University of York)

    27. Adaptationism, Postmodernism, and a Biocultural Narratology

    H. Porter Abbott (University of California, Santa Babara)

    28. The Experience of Narrative: Aesthetics and Embodiment

    Karin Kukkonen (University of Oslo)

    IX Narrative and Complex Systems

    29. Video Games as Complex Narratives and Embodied Metalepsis

    Astrid Ensslin (University of Bergen)

    30. Perspectives on Causality in Sciences and Arts: On the Limits and Benefits of Narrative Representation

    Marina Grishakova (University of Tartu)

    31. Concepts and Aspects of an Integrated Narrative Generation Approach Based on Post-Narratology

    Takashi Ogata (Iwate Prefectural University)

    32. Storytelling and Narrative Capital in Organizations: Bringing Boje and Bourdieu into Conversation

    Klarissa Lueg (University of Southern Denmark)

    X Narrative and International Relations

    33. Narrative in Politics and the Politics of Narrative

    Monika Barthwal-Datta (University of New South Wales), Roxani Krystalli (University of St Andrews), and Laura J. Shepherd (University of Sydney)

    34. The Narrative Turn in European Studies: A Synergic Approach

    Luis Bouza Garcia (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) and Carmen Sancho Guinda (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

    35. Migration and Narrative Dynamics

    Roy Sommer (University of Wuppertal)

    36. Deconstructing the ‘Hollow Man’: Visual Narrative Analysis and World Politics

    Katja Freistein (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Frank Gadinger (University of Duisburg-Essen)

    XI Narrative and the Environment

    37. Fables for Tomorrow: Narrating Net Zero

    Genevieve Lively (University of Bristol)

    38. Storying the Anthropocene: Narrative Challenges and Opportunities in Times of Climate Change

    Marco Caracciolo (Ghent University)

    39. Narrative’s Environments

    Eric Morel (University of Delaware)


    Paul Dawson is the author of two monographs, The Return of the Omniscient Narrator: Authorship and Authority in Twenty-First Century Fiction (2013) and Creative Writing and the New Humanities (Routledge, 2005). Paul is also a poet and the author of Imagining Winter (2006). He teaches Literary Studies and Creative Writing at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    Maria Mäkelä is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Tampere University, Finland. Her publications deal with storification and the storytelling boom; the neoliberal logic of narrative and fiction; exemplarity; consciousness, voice, and realism across media; the literary tradition of adultery; authorial ethos; and critical applications of postclassical narratologies.