Narrative Co-Construction: Author-Audience Interactions and Narrative Theory

deadline for submissions: 
December 20, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Malcah Effron, Margarida McMurry, Virginia Pignagnoli
contact email: 

Contributions are being sought for a proposed edited collection on Narrative Co-Construction: Author- Audience Interactions and Narrative Theory. A prospectus and list of potential contributors for the proposed collection will be submitted to the Theory and Interpretation of Narrative Series (OSU Press).

Rationale and Submission Parameters

Considering narrative as a communicative act implies that all interlocutors in this act take an active role. From this rhetorical stance, narrative has always been a co-constructed world-building exercise: the audience, as much as the author, builds a story-world as conveyed by the narrative. Accepting this stance requires a reexamination of our current models of narrative communication. Thus, to address the audience’s contribution to the worldbuilding underpinning the narrative act, we define the notion of co- construction in our article in Narrative (October 2019). For us, co-construction refers to collaborative processes of imagining or building both story-worlds and the actual-world. It thus differs from co-writing, or authorial collaborations and interactions, instead focusing on the interaction(s) between author and audience which produces the—or perhaps more appropriately a—narrative.

In our article, we highlight two main facets of co-construction: types of interactions that generate a narrative (reconstruction, extension, and application) and types of critical apparatuses to analyze these interactions (assumptions, digital epitexts, and the realism effect). We actively seek other forms that can reveal how narrative creates an author-audience relationship that allows mutual engagement in story- and actual- world-building processes. The goal of this edited collection, therefore, is to bring together work narrative scholars are doing that can more fully explicate, elaborate upon, and/or benefit from employing the notion of co-construction and its critical role in narrative production.

We are open to all related topics, including such articles that:

  • Develop further the interactional spaces of reconstruction, extension, and application

  • Identify new author-audience interactional spaces relevant to narrative production

  • Identify and develop critical apparatuses useful for studying such interactional spaces

  • Analyze co-construction in literary narratives (written, graphic, filmic, and televisual)

  • Analyze co-construction in non-literary narratives

  • Identify and/or analyze intersections of co-construction and other critical theories

    While our Narrative article is based in rhetorical narrative theory, submissions need not situate themselves similarly to be considered for the collection.

    Please send 300-word abstracts and a 150-word bio note to Malcah Effron (meffron_at_mit.edu), Margarida McMurry (e.m.mcmurry_at_bham.ac.uk), and Virginia Pignagnoli (vpignagnoli_at_unizar.es) by 20 December 2021. Decisions will be sent by Jan. 31, 2022 and the proposal will be submitted by March 31, 2022.