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WS: Narrative Futures, Future Narratives: The Story Depends on Your Perspective

When Jul 12, 2016
from 10:00 to 01:00
Where Phil I, GCSC, R. 001
Contact Name
Contact Phone (+49) 0641 99 30044
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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.

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?


Information about the lecturer:

PD Dr. Felicitas Meifert-Menhard completed her dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Christoph Bode in 2008 and has been a researcher in the project on „Narrating Futures“ at LMU Munich (2009-2012). In the context of this project she published a book with the title „Playing the Text, Performing the Future: Future Narratives in Print and Digiture“ in 2013. At the moment she is working as a scientific assistant of Prof. Bode.


Readings (available via PGN):


- Svend Age Madsen (1994) “Days With Diam”, Norwich.

- Stuart Moulthrop Hegirascope”: (online Hypertext)

Optional (also available on PGN):
- Meifert-Menhard, Felicitas (2014) “Emergent Narrative, Collaborative Storytelling: Toward a

- Narratological Analysis of Alternate Reality Games.” In: Alber, Jan/Krogh Hansen, Per (Hrsg.). Beyond Classical Narration: Transmedial and Unnatural Challenges. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 161-178.

- Meifert-Menhard, Felicitas (2013) Playing the Text, Performing the Future. [Series “Narrating Futures”: Vol. II]. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter. 1-32.


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