This site contains the proceedings of the 7th Narrative Matters Conference. This series of international meetings was initiated at the University of St. Thomas, Canada (New Brunswick) in 2002. The 2012 conference was held at the American University of Paris, in partnership with the University of Paris Diderot (Narrative Matters 2012: Life and Narrative). The 2014 conference took place from 23rd June to 27th June 2014 at the University of Paris Diderot, in partnership with the American University of Paris. The general theme of the conference: Narrative Knowing/Récit et Savoir.

This conference has brought together scholars of all disciplines — psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, linguistics, literary studies, feminist and gender studies, education, medicine/healthcare, social work, biology, law, theology, computer science, visual studies, etc. — to reflect on the issue of the, sometimes, contested epistemic powers of narrative.

  • Organizing and Scientific Committee

    • Organizing Committee

      Sylvie Patron, Associate Professor and Research Supervisor (maître de conferences habilitée à diriger des recherches) in French Literature, specialist in narrative theory, University of Paris Diderot
      Brian Schiff, Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of Psychology, The American University in Paris,
      Benoît Corbin, Conference Manager
      Laure Le Vavasseur, Conference Manager

    • Scientific Committee

      Sylvie Archaimbault, University of Paris Diderot
      Clive Baldwin, University of St. Thomas
      Catherine Bernard, University of Paris Diderot
      Florence Binard, University of Paris Diderot
      Ernst Bohlmeijher, University of Twente (Netherlands)
      Jens Brockmeier, The American University of Paris
      Florence Dumora, University of Paris Diderot
      Hanoch Flum, Ben-Gurion University of the Neguev (Israel)
      Anne Goliot-Lété, University of Paris Diderot
      Marc Hersant, University of Jean Moulin-Lyon III
      Christian Hervé, University of Paris Descartes
      Christian Kober, Goethe University of Frankfurt
      Gary Kenyon, University of St. Thomas
      Françoise Lavocat, University of the Sorbonne nouvelle-Paris III
      Céline Lefève, University of Paris Diderot
      Lissa Lincoln, The American University of Paris
      Linda Martz, The American University of Paris
      Elizabeth McKim, University of St. Thomas
      Maria Medved, The American University of Paris
      Kai Mikkonen, University of Helsinki (Finland)
      Nathalie Montoya, University of Paris Diderot
      Claude Murcia, University of Paris Diderot
      Jacqueline Nacache, University of Paris Diderot
      Frédéric Ogée, University of Paris Diderot
      Sylvie Patron (see above)
      Nathalie Piégay-Gros, University of Paris Diderot
      William Randall, University of St. Thomas
      Claudia Roda, The American University of Paris
      Cécile Sakai, University of Paris Diderot
      Brian Schiff (see above)
      Anneke Sools, University of Twente
      Gabriela-Spector-Mersel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Ben-Gurion University
      Pierre-Olivier Toulza, University of Paris Diderot
      Carine Trevisan, University of Paris Diderot
      Gerben Westerhof, University of Twente
      Tammar Zilber, Hebrew University of Jerusalem


  • Call for Papers

    What relations are there between narrative and knowledge ? How do forms of knowledge inform and produce narratives? How do narratives communicate or produce knowledge ? Which ones ? What is the nature of narrative knowledge as opposed to other forms of knowledge (common or spontaneous knowledge of reality, scientific knowledge, philosophical “wisdom”, etc.) ? Does narrative constitute a privileged mode of knowledge or is it an epistemologically opaque means of pursuing the truth ? Potential themes include (but are not limited to):

    — Narrative knowing. What is the role of narrative form in the production of knowledge ? Is narrative a way of thinking, accounting for human affairs, opposed to logical reasoning, describing the natural world ?

    — Narrative analysis. How does gathering and interpreting narrative data generate knowledge in the social sciences (social relations, human development and aging, mental health, learning, organizations, politics, etc.) ?

    — Scientific narratives. What is the role of narratives in constructing forms of scientific knowledge and in learning from them? What is the relation between narrative discourse and scientific discourse ?

    — Narrative medicine. How does narrative participate in the construction and transmission of medical knowledge, the understanding of illness and the application of medical knowledge in research, the doctor’s office and public health ?

    — Narrative and the media. What is the place of narrative in the media (cinema 3D, “High Frame Rate”, interactive video games, social media, journalism) and the kinds of knowledge created and transmitted by audiovisual, digital and other media ?

    — Narrative and social reality. How do narratives imagine the past, collective identity and collective memory ? Is historical writing a science or storytelling ? How do stories challenge ways of knowing, in counter-memories or revisionism ?

    — Narrative and epistemology. What kind of object of knowledge is narrative (e.g., in narrative theory, education sciences, etc.) ? Is narrative a means of knowledge, mediating knowing ? How can narrative operate as obstacle to knowledge, refusing knowledge by denying narrative ?

    — Narrative and fiction. How do different forms of narration challenge the borders between fiction and non-fiction (autofiction, literary journalism, novelistic biographies or autobiographies, historical novels) ? Can the narrative point of view be a way of knowing in fiction and non-fiction ?

    — Narrative representation. How is knowledge in fictional literary narrative configured and represented ? What can literature bring to our understanding of society and social relationships ?

    — The “connaissance de l’écrivain” (“writer’s knowledge”, Jacques Bouveresse). What are the epistemic benefits of reading literary narrative ?