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Workshop: Approaches to Narrative in the Russian and East European Context: Theory, Practice, Method

Conference venue: Oxford, UK
Period: February 6, 2015
Deadline for submitting abstracts: November 15, 2014



A CEELBAS research skills training workshop at TORCH - The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities 6 February 2015: What is narrative? How are narratives constructed? What are their uses, and how do we make sense of them?

Narrative shapes the ways in which individuals and societies come to know the surrounding world. It is important as both an object and a tool of study across a range of disciplines – from literary study to historiography to trauma studies. Understanding and handling narratives is an essential skill for students in any field of humanities, and this inter-disciplinary workshop will provide an opportunity to hone these skills and get feedback from a leading specialist in the field.

Eligible topics

Current postgraduates are invited to propose 15-minute papers on any theme related to the question of narrative in Russian and East European cultures. Potential topics include – but are by no means limited to – the following broad areas:

  • (auto)biographical narratives
  • mimetic and anti-mimetic narratives: developments in realism
  • metafictional narratives
  • oral narrative vs. written narrative
  • cinematic adaptations of literary or historical narratives
  • narratives of nationhood
  • formulations and appropriations of cultural/historical narratives by governments and political movements; historical narrative as an instrument of social control
  • challenges to dominant cultural/historical narratives
  • narrative in times of upheaval (e.g. literary and public responses to revolution, war, perestroika, or the end of communist rule)
  • narrative and trauma
  • the ontology of narrative: ‘truth’ and ‘fiction’
  • narrative as a tool of analysis in East European theoretical approaches to culture
  • comparative narratology: East European narrative theory in a wider context

Papers will be arranged into panels to facilitate discussion, after which the keynote speaker, Professor David Shepherd (Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Cultural Theory, Keele University, who has published on Russian literature, culture and critical and cultural theory) will comment on the papers presented and offer some concluding remarks.

Guidelines for submission

The closing date for paper proposals is 15 November 2014. Please send short abstracts (up to 200 words) and details of institutional affiliation to the organisers at:

The workshop is being organised under the auspices of the CEELBAS Postgraduate Training Programme, with additional support from TORCH and the University of Oxford Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages. First priority will be given to holders of CEELBAS doctoral studentships, followed by other postgraduate students at CEELBAS-affiliated universities. Some funding is available to cover the accommodation and travel costs of participants.


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