Narratology: Foundations, Domains, Frontiers | Humanities & Social Sciences

Narratology: Foundations, Domains, Frontiers

Course Number: 
LTP structure: 
Multi. Disc.


Course Objective

To introduce students to the fundamentals as well as state-of-the-art research in Narratology. The course will treat of narrative as both artifact and a fundamental way of making sense. It will acquaint students with the concepts and methods of narrative analysis in literature as well as other domains of society, politics and culture. It will enable an understanding of the theoretical problems in defining narrativity and in discerning degrees of narrativity within games, law, linguistics and philosophy, leading to the question “what is (the limit of) narrative?”


Course Content

The course will familiarise students with the beginnings of this field of study in Russian formalism, structural linguistics and anthropology, and then its entry into literary studies, discourse and stylistics. The course will trace the development of narratological concepts (e.g. fabula/sujet, narrative voice, focalisation, paratext metalepsis, unreliability, free indirect speech, orientation, evaluation, coda etc.) within schools of thought since the 1970s on. It will visit the debates on narrativity and gender, race, history, ideology, culture and cognition. The spread of narrative theory beyond literary works to other areas such as comic books and video games, as well as its relevance to other disciplinary inquires in sociology, legal studies, political theory, postcolonial theory and psychology will be discussed. The course will consider the philosophical questions of narrative and temporality, anti-narrative, subjectivity, language, action, personhood, framing, closure and evolutionary theory.
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