Narratology and historiography – PhD workshop

One of the fields in which narratological analysis is still considered problematic is that of ancient and Byzantine historiography.

In spite of the ‘narratological turn’ provoked by the work of Hayden White and others, the adherance to historiographical texts as representing the ‘truth’ still prevails among many scholars. At the same time, collaboration between narratologists and linguists has increased over the last few years, resulting in not only interdiciplinary perspectives but also more refined methodological tools.

On October 13 we will gather in Oslo to consider these question with a point of departure in some current MA and Phd projects. Participants are kindly asked to prepare by reading the chapter on historiography in Irene de Jong’s Narratology and the Classics (2014) and by submitting in advance a brief presentation (5-10 pages) of their ongoing projects, specifying theoretical and methodological issues they would like to discuss. These presentations will be circulated among the participants at least a week before the event. The seminar will be moderated by Ingela Nilsson with the participation of Irene de Jong, Uffe Holmsgaard Eriksen, Markéta Kulhánkova and Margaret Mullett.

Detalied programme

9.00 Matthew Kinloch (Oxford)

The title of my thesis and for the October workshop will be “Rethinking Thirteenth-century Byzantine Historiography.” I will try to get some feedback on the overall arc of the project and the intersection of its four main elements in relation to historiographical problems: narrative structures, the formalisation and construction of events, the subordination of action to characterisation, and the plural/palimpsestic quality of historiography.

9.30 Oskar Andersson (Uppsala)

This presentation will discuss suspense as a literary phenomenon and the problems which arise from investigating suspense in Greek and Roman literature. Furthermore it will show how narratology can be used as a theoretical framework and present some examples of suspense analysis deriving from my M.A. project on suspense in representations of agon.

10.00 Fredrik Sixtensson (Uppsala)

I work on the relationship between κράτος and ἀρχή as terms for political power. Part of my wider theoretical framework is derived from functional and cognitive theories of linguistics. I am interested in the intersection between such linguistic theories and narrative theory, and how I may complement my work with the latter.

10.30 Discussion and Coffee

12.00 Aske Damtoft Poulsen (Lund)

My project consists of a close reading of the accounts (narratives?) of northern barbarians in Tacitus’ Annales. My main aim is to explore the functions of these accounts, that is, how they are connected to the overall structure of the books in which they appear as well as of the Annales as a whole. With the term “northern barbarians” I intend the peoples who live to the north of or in the northern part of the Roman Empire. They can be either independent, semi-independent, or annexed into a province of the Roman Empire, as long as they are described as maintaining a separate identity. The term thus comprises primarily Germani, Britons, Gauls, and Thracians.

12.30 Milan Vukašinović (Paris / Belgrade)

The idea behind my project is to shed light on the ambiguously defined concept of ideology in the post-1204 Byzantine world and uncover a more balanced and comprehensive heterarchical power structure inside as well as between Nicaea, Epiros and Serbia, by looking at the way the authors shaped the narrative about the world they were acting in.

13.00 Discussion, followed by joint lunch

This workshop is open for all, but please note that the lunch is only for speakers and discussants.

Published Sep. 14, 2017 12:38 PM - Last modified Sep. 14, 2017 1:12 PM