Telling Stories: Rethinking Narrative in Literary and Writing Studies

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
St John’s University Department of English

The Department of English at St. John's University invites papers that think about narrative across literary and writing studies. Our topic for this year's graduate conference, "Telling Stories: Rethinking Narrative in Literary and Writing Studies," asks us to conside what is entailed in generating narrative(s). We seek work that explores the cultural place of stories and their various modes of telling--through drama, poetry, prose forms, performance, digital media, translation--as well as the role of narrative in pedagogy and writing studies, in any historical, national, or diasporic tradition. Conceiving of "telling stories" broadly, we welcome work that critically engages or reconceptualizes storytelling, including analyses of individual, collective, or representative texts or performances; considerations of the making or origins of narrative; and theoretical and pedagogical approaches to the telling or composition of stories. 


Does storytelling constitute culture, or rupture it? Does it traverse cultural boundaries or reinforce them, assemble communities or alienate its tellers? How does one invent narrative voice creatively, or develop a plot through literacy or writing pedagogies? What is the role of race, sex, gender, class, or ability in the production of narrative, and do these identity categories become experimental in the writing, telling, or performing of stories? Are stories always told by human subjects? What is the status of omniscience--does it reinforce or subvert ideology? How does poetic, dramatic, or embodied voice deploy narrative? 


These examples reflect only some of the possible approaches to storytelling we envision. We hope to generate a common conversation across the wide spectrum of our discipline, from writing studies to literary studies, pedagogy to performance. Papers on all genres, periods, and methodologies are welcome, including creative work. Panels will reflect convergences among submitted work and will facilitate exchange, we hope, across periods, methodologies, and subfields. 


Submit 300-word abstracts for 15 minute papers to the conference committee at by February 15, 2018. Please remember to include your contact information and affiliation with your titled submission.