Project Narrative (PN) has been awarded 50 thousand euros (about 75 thousand dollars) for its part in a collaborative research project funded by the government of Belgium. “Genre and Media” is the theme for the five-year collaboration. PN’s contribution will focus on transmedial and digital narrative forms, and will involve OSU faculty and graduate students in narrative theory, digital media studies, and popular culture.
Project Narrative and the program called Figura at the University of Montreal are the two international research partners joining the consortium of four Belgian institutions: the University of Leuwen, Free University Brussels, Université Catholique de Louvain, and Université de Liège. Project coordinator Jan Baetens at the University of Leuwen invited PN and Figura as two research centers with worldwide reputations for producing cutting-edge work on narrative.
Specific plans are still developing, but the collaboration is likely to include classes and workshops given by OSU faculty in Belgium; joint supervision of Belgian doctoral students who will come to OSU as Visiting Scholars for a semester; co-authorship of articles and co-editing of special journal issues; and an international conference at OSU in the fifth year of the grant.
The conference will focus on the impact of transmediality upon narrative, asking what new developments in the mediasphere mean for our conception of the narrative genres currently at the center of Project Narrative’s research: graphic memoir (Jared Gardner, David Herman and Robyn Warhol), comics (Gardner and Frederick Luis Aldama), television serials (Warhol and Sean O’Sullivan), film (Gardner and O’Sullivan), postmodern narrative and science fiction (Brian McHale), and literary fiction (Jim Phelan, Aldama, Warhol, and McHale). Faculty in the Digital Media Project (Louis Ulman, Scott DeWitt and Cindy Selfe) bring a mastery of emerging media forms to complement the PN faculty’s focus on the theory of narrative. The conference—for which we will put out an international call for papers--will result in an edited collection to be submitted to the Theory and Interpretation of Narrative series at OSU Press.