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Types Creators Cited Collections Quote Paraphrase Keywords. Kukkonen, Karin: Contemporary Comics Storytelling. Frontiers of Narrative. Program staff fully embrace the unique vision of each filmmaker, encouraging a rigorous creative process with a focus on original and deeply personal storytelling.

Amsterdam International Electronic Journal for Cultural Narratology (AJCN)

Other domains may be relevant as well. For example, feminist narratology will be relevant for the study of graphic narratives that represent characters struggling with gender stereotypes. But my larger point here is that research on specific narrative phenomena, such as characterization in graphic narratives, is the best way of coming to understand how the various postclassical approaches may interrelate and complement one another. Indeed, we may now be at a point where, instead of speculating about these sorts of interrelations, it would be better to engage with focused research questions and assemble the tools needed to answer them--tools that will sometimes derive from quite different traditions of narrative inquiry.

Shang: It's been almost a decade since you proposed the term postclassical narratology.

Looking back, can you tell us what achievements postclassical narratology has reaped in the past ten years? And what are the potential areas that are still left untouched and require further exploration? Herman: I think that one of the major achievements of postclassical narratology is that practitioners working under its auspices have come to see their individual projects as contributing to a large, diverse, yet still coherent body of research--an umbrella discipline that encompasses a range of approaches to and goals for narrative study.

If a poll of researchers in the field were conducted, my sense is that feminist narratologists, scholars of digital narrativity, cognitive narratologists, and analysts working on narratives across media would think of themselves as engaged in a common enterprise: namely, developing, testing, and refining models of what stories are and how they work, while also contributing to a joint effort to understand how narratives are imbricated with other sociocultural practices and processes of meaning-making.

That said, and to pick back up with issues broached in my response to question 2, much remains to be done when it comes to exploring how the different subdomains of postclassical narratology relate to one another--and how the concepts and methods used in one area relate to those used in another.

Jack Kirby: Story Teller (Jack Kirby art) Full documentary

For example, corpus-narratological approaches examine how features are distributed in large narrative corpora, in contrast with approaches that adopt a case-study approach and base their claims on the analysis of an illustrative text or two. The challenge is not only to bring such quantitative and qualitative methods together under the larger rubric of postclassical narratology, but also to open lines of communication between practitioners of the two approaches, such that their key findings can be, if not reconciled, then at least coordinated and cross-compared.

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One broad challenge is to create more opportunities for exchange between humanistic and social-scientific approaches to narrative--for instance, between literary narratology and ethnographic and sociolinguistic approaches to storytelling in everyday interaction. Very different research traditions have grown up around the study of literary narratives versus the analysis of everyday storytelling, and scholars interested in bridging these traditions need to make sure that they are not talking at cross-purposes when they use what seem to be the most basic terms like narration , event , perspective , etc.

And the difficulty of establishing common ground, together with the need for it, becomes ever more acute as the narrative turn unfolds across more and more fields of inquiry see my responses to questions 5 and 6 below. What is needed is an understanding of narrative capacious enough to accommodate different disciplinary interests and emphases, but without becoming so broad that the term story starts to include everything--and therefore nothing at all.

Shang: In answering my question about the interrelations among postclassical approaches to narratology, you frequently mentioned the term "storyworlds," which is also the name of a new journal of which you serve as editor. Why do you employ the term "storyworlds" instead of "narrativeworlds," since the latter term seems to be much larger in scope? As editor of the journal, can you briefly explain what you mean by "storyworlds"? When it comes to studying such narrative worlds, what are some of the primary approaches, key objectives, and potential results?

Herman: To respond to this question, I'll again need to elaborate more fully on parts of my response to question 2.

Contemporary Comics Storytelling by Karin Kukkonen

My use of the term storyworlds harkens back to the account developed in my book Story Logic ; there I use the term to refer to the world evoked implicitly as well as explicitly by a narrative, whether that narrative takes the form of a printed text, film, graphic novel, sign language, everyday conversation, or even a tale that is projected but is never actualized as a concrete artifact-for example, stories about ourselves that we contemplate telling to friends but then do not, or film scripts that a screenwriter has plans to create in the future. As such, storyworlds are mental models of the situations and events being recounted-of who did what to and with whom, when, where, why, and in what manner.

Reciprocally, narrative artifacts texts, films, etc. In print narratives, these blueprints are composed of the expressive resources of written language, including not just words, phrases, and sentences, but also typographical formats, the disposition of space on the printed page including spaces used for section breaks, indentations marking new paragraphs, etc.


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  • In graphic novels, meanwhile, the non-verbal elements play a more prominent role: the arrangement of characters in represented scenes, the shapes of speech balloons, and the representations of the scenes in panels that form part of larger sequences of images and textual elements, can convey information about the storyworld that would have to be transmitted by purely verbal means in a novel or short story without a comparable image track.

    Likewise, interlocutors in contexts of face-to-face storytelling, viewers of films, and participants in computer-mediated modes of storytelling use a variety of cues to construct a time-line for events, a broader temporal and spatial environment in which those events occur, an inventory of the characters involved, and a working model of what it was like for these characters to experience the more or less disruptive or non-canonical events that constitute a core feature of narrativity. Although in using the term storyworlds it may seem as though I am privileging narrative worlds over the textual blueprints that encode or evoke them, in actual fact I intend the term to be a shorthand way of referring to all the dimensions of the process just described, including the use of textual designs to encapsulate information or trigger inferences about narrative worlds, as well as cognitive-emotive aspects of the experience of inhabiting those worlds.

    Also, in developing this conception of storyworlds in the study as well as in later work [5] , my aim has been to further the project of cognitive narratology, which to reiterate can be defined as the study of mind-relevant dimensions of storytelling practices.


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    Focusing on the idea of storyworlds has allowed me to put my work into dialogue with--and build on--consonant traditions of research pioneered by cognitive psychologists, discourse analysts, psycholinguists, philosophers of language, and others concerned with how people create and make sense of texts or discourses. Relevant concepts taken from these other domains of inquiry include deictic center , mental model , situation model , discourse model , contextual frame , text world , and possible world.

    These terms, too, along with the research traditions that have grown up around them, are meant to explain the nature of the link between textual patterns and the situation or world that they are used to represent. There is another reason for my focus on storyworlds, which dovetails with my interest in developing postclassical approaches to narrative inquiry and which also gets at the last part of your question above: namely, about approaches, objectives, and results associated with the study of storyworlds.

    Significantly, classical, structuralist narratologists failed to come to terms with the referential or world-creating properties of narrative, partly because of the exclusion of the referent in favor of signifier and signified in the Saussurean language theory that informed the structuralists' models.

    Contemporary Comics Storytelling - University of Nebraska Press : Nebraska Press

    By contrast, worldmaking practices are of central importance to many scholars working in the umbrella field of postclassical narratology, from feminist narratologists exploring how representations of male and female characters pertain to dominant cultural stereotypes about gender roles, to rhetorical theorists examining what kinds of assumptions, beliefs, and attitudes have to be adopted by readers if they are to participate in the multiple audience positions required to engage fully with fictional worlds, to analysts and designers of digital narratives interested in how interactive systems can remediate the experience of being immersed in the virtual worlds created through everyday narrative practices.

    Hence a focus on storyworlds is in my view an emphasis that cuts across the multiple strands of research on narrative that together form the domain of postclassical narratology. Let me conclude my response to the present question by providing more information about the scope and aims of the new journal that you mentioned. Unlike existing journals that target particular disciplines in which only certain kinds of narratives are the primary object of study, Storyworlds will feature research on storytelling practices across a variety of media; it will also showcase cutting-edge methods of analysis and intepretation brought to bear on narratives of all sorts.

    Relevant storytelling scenarios include face-to-face interaction, literary writing, film and television, virtual environments, historiography, opera, journalism, graphic novels, plays, and photography. At the same time, contributors to the journal can approach narrative from perspectives developed in multiple fields of inquiry, ranging from discourse analysis, literary theory, jurisprudence, and philosophy, to cognitive and social psychology, Artificial Intelligence, medicine, and the study of organizations.

    In short, Storyworlds aspires to be THE place for publishing interdisciplinary research on narrative across media.