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WS: Felicitas Meifert-Menhard: Narrative Futures, Future Narratives: The Story Depends on Your Perspective (GCSC)

When May 23, 2017
from 02:00 to 05:00
Where Phil I, Building B, R.029
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 641 / 99-30 180
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Future Narratives include situations which open up the space for more than one continuation. Thus, they actually stage the future and conceive of it as a space of openness, potentiality, and possibility. The clear boundaries between formerly self-contained (fictional) texts and processual (real-life) experiences increasingly become blurred in Future Narratives. Thus, dealing with Future Narratives allows for a process-oriented approach taking into account performative aspects of text-based narrations. What do these texts in turn reveal about the future of narration and the reader?

The workshop will explore innovative storytelling formats, which are based on instances of choice-making (e.g. Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, specific forms of games) and which thus open up spaces of agency for the reader as user or player of the text. A special focus will be placed on the notion of consequences, i.e. how choices and ensuing actions produce results, and how these results are mediated, processed, and negotiated within the fictional world and by the reader/player. The significance of medial differentiation (between print, film, digital media, and gaming) regarding the generation and impact of consequences will also be taken into consideration.

Our discussion will be based on the preparation of different theoretical texts written by Felicitas Meifert-Menhard but also on our own experience with the primary sources that work like Future Narratives.


The central questions to be discussed are among others:

-       What are the possibilities and limitations of Future Narratives?

-       How is the reading experience altered by these narrative formats?

-       What impact does this have on our understanding of the reader and of the process of reading?

-       What competencies does the reader/user/player need to develop and employ to interact with the text?

-       How can we discuss the text’s architecture in relation to the reader/user?

-       How do Future Narratives relate to narrating time and narrated time?

-       Which insights do we gain into possible future(s) of (new media) narration?

-       To what extent are there texts inspired by other media and what do these references tell us about current challenges and new orientations of literature in the age of new media and computer games?

-       How do Future Narratives enable (or enforce) choice and how do consequences result as an effect of these choices? Are some Future Narratives more consequential than others?


// PD Dr. habil. Felicitas Meifert-Menhard

LMU (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Fakultät für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften)

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