Welcome to the homepage of the interdisciplinary network on “Medieval Narratology”! Here we provide you with background information about our aims and activities, including past and upcoming workshops and conferences, publications, and details about the members of the network.
The network, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), aims to advance the theoretical field of historical narratology by expanding the scope and methods of narrative theory by medieval parameters of narration. The members of the network work on vernacular literatures from different European as well as Islamicate contexts and seek to describe and analyse the elements, forms, and functions of medieval narratives in order to develop – closely and critically engaging with the claims of existing narrative theories – a theoretical blueprint for understanding and approaching medieval narration. Central to the discussions will be questions of perspective, the narrator, character depiction, time and space, narrative logic, sequence as well as fictionality, always measured against and understood within the specific historical and cultural contexts of the texts. The texts under scrutiny cover the period from ca. 1200 to 1500 and are taken predominantly from the epic-heroic tradition, the romance tradition, and religious literature in order to comprise the breadth of medieval narrative texts. The members of the network will exchange their views of the state of the art in historical narratology as it pertains to the various disciplines before they turn to working closely with primary texts. Hence the network offers a crucial platform for interdisciplinary exchange on a topic relevant not only for medieval studies across the disciplines but also for literary studies, literary theory, and literary history more generally.