Document Actions

Research Area 2: Cultural Narratologies

Focussing on the interplay between culture and narration and drawing on key concepts of narrative theory, research in this area explores the role of narratives in cultural meaning-making, the cultural work that they do, and the question of how far the forms and functions of storytelling are culture-specific and subject to historical change. The umbrella term ‘cultural narratologies’ subsumes recent international research in a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from narrativistic theories of history (H. White), the anthropological notion of ‘writing culture’ (J. Clifford) and narrative psychology (J. Bruner) to feminist, postcolonial, cognitive and transmedial narratologies (M.L. Ryan, D. Herman) in literary studies.

Document Actions

Research Area 2: Cultural Narratologies

Research Area 2 "Cultural Narratologies" explores how narration shapes the cultures and the world versions we know.
Cultural Narratologies aims to study how narratives are employed in constructing the versions of the world to which we have access, and to analyze the system of values embedded within such conceptions of the world. This necessitates making sense of the narrative processes themselves and how they convey any set of values. Such an approach can help us interpret the plurality of stories that govern our understanding of the world. Being aware of the processes that are used to shape narratives can indeed become a powerful tool for cultural analysis, making us ask questions about the cultural, social, medial, and historical contexts of a given narrative, and the specific ends to which they are produced. Possibly, for example, we could read the image on this page as a narrative. In doing so, we must also ask who tells the story, with what means, and to what ends? What do the women, seated neatly in a row, tell us as they listen to this young man asking for their attention?


Narratives are contingent upon the cultures from which they emerge. This, in turn, lends them their colourful particularity in the form of idiosyncratic characters, topics, plots, and styles. Cultural Narratologies, consequently, means the study of those particularities, and of the practices and modes of story-telling, whether fictional or factual. Often fatefully, narratives can decide between war and peace, veneration and vilification, which values we hold dear and what futures we dread. This Research Area thus explores how stories are told: how they are created or erased, made famous or forgotten, bought or sold, broken or repaired, fashioned as truth or debunked as lies.


Active Members

  • Stefano Rozzoni
  • Edward Djordjevic
  • Vira Sachenko
  • Lukas Helbich
  • Clara Verri
  • Candace Goodrich
  • Ruth Manstetten
  • Richard Damian Vargas López
  • Maaike Hommes
  • Jaqueline Winkel
  • Sijie Wang
  • Robin Schmieder
  • Tobias Schädel
  • Edith Ruvalcaba Galindo
  • Jennifer Kappe
  • Juulia Jaulimo
  • David E. Susa
  • Juan Camilo Brigard
  • Herman Steve Peumadji Seukdeu
  • Zahra Vodjgani
  • Dr. Imke Polland-Schmandt


If you are interested in joining us, please get in touch with our speakers and sign up for our newsletter and reminder e-mails:

Document Actions

Past Events


  • January 24: Keynote Lecture with Albrecht Koschorke: "Stories and Decisions. Toward a Theory of Factual Narratives"
  • January 25: Anniversary Workshop with Albrecht Koschorke: "We Are the People and I Am Speaking on Behalf of You: Populist Narratives and Democratic Representation"
  • April 20/21: Conference: "Realms of Royalty: New Directions in Researching Contemporary European Monarchies"
  • May 23: Workshop with Felicitas Meifert-Menhard: "Narrative Futures, Future Narratives: The Story Depends on Your Perspective"
  • June 20/21: Symposium: "Literature and Institutions"
  • June 29 to July 1: Conference: "Online Vitriol: Advocacy, Violence, and the Transforming Power of Social Media"
  • November 14/15: Workshop "Challenging Concepts of Broken and Unnatural Narratives" with Stefan Iversen and Jan Alber
  • November 14: Keynote Lecture with Stefan Iversen: "Strange Narratives in Rhetorical Discourse"
  • November 15: Master Class with Stefan Iversen: "Broken Narratives: The Works of Joshua Oppenheimer"


  • July 5: Keynote Lecture with Birgit Neumann: "Pushing Narrative to its Limits: Ekphrasis and Visuality in Teju Cole's Fiction"
  • July 6: Workshop with Birgit Neumann: "New Directions in the Study of Culture and Narration: Verbal-Visual Configurations in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction"


  • June 11: Deathbook. Der Thriller 3.0. Multimediale Autorenlesung mit Podiumsdiskussion zur Zukunft des Lesens mit Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hallet, Dr. Uwe Naumann, Andreas Winkelmann, Ute Nöth, Nicole Wiesmann.



  • May 14: Master Class with Brian Richardson: “Unnatural Narratives: Transcending the Conventional, Writing the Unspeakable”
  • July 3: Master Class with Richard Walsh: “Story and World: Robbe-Grillet’s Jealousy”
  • August 5: Keynote Lecture with Richard Walsh: “Narrating Complexity: The Antipathy of Stories and Systems


  • January 24: Research Area Meeting with Doris Bachmann-Medick on "The Spatial Turn in Cultural Studies: An Introduction" and project presentations
  • May 7: Master Class with Henry Jenkins: "How Content Gains Meaning and Value in the Era of Spreadable Media"
  • May 24: Workshop with Bettina Hagen: "Storytelling als Methode in Marketing und PR"


  • March 1: Workshop “Narratologie des Raumes” with Katrin Dennerlein from Julius-Maximilains-Universität Würzburg (cooperative project of RA 2 and “AG Konzepte und Funktionen des Raumes”
  • May: Cooperative Workshop about autobiography with graduate students from the Life-Writing Kolleg in Mainz
  • May 4-6: Conference about narrative genre in new media. Cooperative project of RA 2 and the LOEWE-Kulturtechniken, sub-project
  • June 8: Workshop "Possible Worlds Theory and Transmedial Narratology" with Marie-Laure Ryan
Document Actions


Document Actions


Download View full-size image
Document Actions


Download View full-size image