Transmedial Narratology: Current Approaches

: Dr.  Jan-Noël Thon (University of Nottingham)
Time: Tuesday June 12, 2018 (11:30–17:30)
Venue: University of Jyväskylä
Workshop language: English

Narratives not only play a key role in how we understand ourselves and our place in the world but also centrally define contemporary media culture. Whenever we read a novel or a comic, go to the cinema or use our mobile phone to watch an episode of our favourite television series, or play the singleplayer mode of the latest video game, we are likely to engage with narrative media. Yet, the ways in which such media tell stories differs considerably, requiring a theory of narrative that is both “transmedial” in scope and “media-conscious” in attention to detail (see, e.g., Herman 2009; Kuhn/Thon 2017; Ryan 2006; Ryan/Thon 2014; Thon 2015; 2016; 2017). The workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to explore theoretical and methodological issues related to such a transmedial narratology as well as present their current work-in-progress on the full range of narrative media.

Papers can also address more general themes, such as

– media consumption

– media reception

– media-specificity vs. transmediality

– adaptation vs. transmedia

– possibilities of public domain vs. licensing

– transmediality of fan productions

– transmedial storyworlds and/or characters

– material and theoretical foundations of transmedia storytelling

– transmediality, intermediality, transtextuality, and other related terms/phenomena


To apply: Send a one-paragraph abstract of your paper and a short bio note (including the stage of your research, contact details, and affiliation) to Mikko Keskinen ( by April 1, 2018. All applicants will be informed about acceptance no later than April 15, 2018.

Papers: Essays, presentation papers, and (excerpts of) manuscripts of under 3,000 words (excluding references and a possible contextualizing foreword) are all welcome. Accepted applicants are to submit their papers by May 12, 2018 to Oskari Rantala ( Please note that all submissions will be distributed to all workshop participants. If you have any questions concerning the workshop or would like to participate without presenting, please contact Mikko Keskinen (



Herman, David (2009): Basic Elements of Narrative. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Kuhn, Markus/Thon, Jan-Noël (2017): “Guest Editors’ Column: Transmedial Narratology: Current Approaches.” Narrative 25 (3): 253–255.

Ryan, Marie-Laure (2006): Avatars of Story. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Ryan, Marie-Laure/Thon, Jan-Noël (2014): “Storyworlds across Media: Introduction.” In: Ryan, Marie-Laure/Thon, Jan-Noël (eds.): Storyworlds across Media: Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1–21.

Thon, Jan-Noël (2015b): “Narratives across Media and the Outlines of a Media-Conscious Narratology.” In: Rippl, Gabriele (ed.): Handbook of Intermediality: Literature – Image – Sound – Music. Berlin: De Gruyter, 439–456.

Thon, Jan-Noël (2016b): Transmedial Narratology and Contemporary Media Culture. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Thon, Jan-Noël (2017): “Transmedial Narratology Revisited: On the Intersubjective Construction of Storyworlds and the Problem of Representational Correspondence in Films, Comics, and Video Games.” Narrative 25 (3): 285–319.


Analyzing Everyday Storytelling

 Prof. Amy Shuman (Ohio State University)
 Tuesday June 12, 2018 (11:00–17:00)
Venue: University of Tampere
Workshop language: English

The course theme: The focus of this course is on everyday stories and storytelling as they occur in and
shape social reality. What are the stories that people encounter, use, negotiate and co-construct in
everyday life? How, where and why are the stories told? How do these stories travel around? Who has the
right to tell particular stories? How do the “narrative environments” (Gubrium and Holstein) give form and
trigger particular kinds of social storytelling? What kinds of socially sanctioned storytelling practices exist?
The course provides participants with a theoretical framework and methodological tools for analyzing
stories and storytelling practices in varying everyday contexts.

Visiting teacher: Prof. Amy Shuman, Department of English, Ohio State University is a distinguished expert
in folklore, narrative, and critical theory. She has published on conversational narrative, literacy, political,
food customs, feminist theory and critical theory, and her books include Storytelling Rights: The Uses of
Oral and Written Texts by Urban Adolescents (1986); Other People’s Stories: Entitlement Claims and the
Critique of Empathy (2005); and (with Carol Bohmer) Rejecting Refugees: Political Asylum in the 21st
Century (2008).

Course format: Before the course, participants submit a paper (5–6 pages in total) that consists of the
research question, theoretical background and the intended way of reading the material (2 pages), and an
excerpt of the research material (3–4 pages). The course starts with Prof. Shuman’s lecture on the core
concepts and latest developments that interdisciplinary narrative studies have to offer to analyzing
everyday storytelling. During the course, every participant has 5 min time to introduce his or her problem
and materials followed by a discussion led by Prof. Shuman. The purpose of the course is to offer feedback
and ideas for reading, not to give long explanations about one’s own paper.

Credits: Presenting a paper in the pre-conference workshop: 3 credit points; presenting a paper and
participating in the conference The Literary in Life (LILI18): The Social, Affective and Experimental in
Narratives across Media 5 credit points.

Course organizers: Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies, Academy of Finland research
project “Literary in Life” (LILI), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere.

Contact persons: Matti Hyvärinen (, Matias Nurminen (
To apply: Send a one-page letter with information about your research question, theory, way of reading,
material, and the stage of your research, containing your contact details and affiliation, to Coordinator
Matias Nurminen


Deadline for applications and papers: April 1, 2018. The participants will be informed about acceptance no later than April 15, 2018. The papers (see Course format) must be sent no later than May 20, 2018.