Monday, November 08, 2010

Project Narrative Summer Institute (PNSI), Ohio State University, June 13-24, 2011.

The Project Narrative Summer Institute (PNSI) is a two-week workshop on the Ohio State University campus that offers scholars who have earned a Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) in any discipline the opportunity for an intensive study of core concepts and issues in narrative theory. Jim Phelan and Frederick Aldama will direct the 2011 institute, which will accept twenty participants and will run from Monday, June 13 to Friday, June 24.

"Narrative understanding;" "narrative explanation;" "narrative as a way of thinking;" "narrative as self-construction:" these phrases are now common currency in the conversations of literary critics, historians, philosophers, social scientists, therapists, legal scholars, and even some scientists and medical professionals, as their disciplines reflect on the ubiquity and power of storytelling. This Narrative Turn, with its cross-disciplinary consensus about the importance of narrative, invites investigation into narrative's form and effects, into its production and consumption. What is it about character, plot, ways of telling, and other elements of narrative that make it such a widely-deployed way of organizing and explaining experience and knowledge? More simply, how does narrative work in itself, how does it try to work on audiences, and how do audiences work with and against it?

The Project Narrative Summer Institute will explore these questions in conjunction with a group of diverse literary narratives -- diverse both in their media and in their cultural origins -- and, in so doing, provide insight into essential elements of narrative and narrative theory. Even as the institute explores such theoretical issues as the dynamics of narrative transmission, the architecture of narrative worlds, and the distinction between fictional and nonfictional narrative, it will emphasize the value of establishing two-way traffic between narrative and narrative theory, that is, of recognizing that just as theory informs our understanding of individual narratives, so too do narratives lead us to revise, extend, and on occasion overturn existing theory.

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