Organizer: Nicholas Paige
Co-Organizer: Holst KatsmaContact the Seminar Organizers
Papers sought for a seminar on formal change in the novel, from whatever period. Diachronic narratology, the history of the book, and Digital Humanities have been slowly modifying our understanding of the novel’s formal evolution, which was for decades dominated by approaches seeking to establish homologies between given forms and period-specific ideologies. Newer approaches, by contrast, have been thinking of the novel as an assemblage of techniques, adopted at temporal scales having little to do with consecrated periods, and potentially mixed-and-matched in ways that complicate the notion of discrete genres. We seek, on the one hand, methodological papers that interrogate our models for understanding formal change, and on the other, empirical studies of the novel’s evolving formal features (e.g., histories of the inset narrative, the first person, epistolarity, segmentation, cliff hangers, description, free indirect discourse and thought reports). We also welcome work on national forms (e.g., the Chinese novel), market niches (e.g., avant garde novels), subgenres (e.g., the gothic novel), and adjacent genres (e.g., the graphic novel).