Call for Papers: Narrative and Semiosis

Special panel at the 11th World Congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, Nanjing, China (5 – 9 October 2012)

Convened by Henry Yiheng Zhao (Sichuan University),
Paul Cobley (London Metropolitan University),
and Marina Grishakova (University of Tartu).

In tandem with the increasing awareness of the omnipresence of narrative in human environments, the conditions are ripe for a general semiotics of narrative. Clearly, this does not simply entail narratology, or a semiology of narrative in which merely the internal mechanisms of narratives are identified and analysed. Rather, in the face of contemporary studies of narrative - in the social sciences, cognitive science, postclassical narratology and systems theory - the relations between narrative and semiosis need to be considered on a much wider basis, including those to do with cognition, networks and systems.

This panel therefore seeks to address the following questions:

  • What are the current relations between semiotics and narrative?
  • Does narrative theory have a wider semiotic (rather than just a semiological/narratological) background?
  • What are the details of this background?

We will be particularly interested to receive abstracts for papers which are concerned with the following issues:

  • the role of semiotics in helping to find pre-conditions for narrative creativity/production – semiotic environments, conditions, tools;
  • the nature of narrative as a networked phenomenon;
  • the development of multi-tracking, navigating, networking, blending and enactivism in current narrative theory;
  • the specific character of networking – distributed and blended (the idea that ‘there is nothing in the mind’; that ‘everything is networked’);
  • proposals for solutions to the difficulty found by cognitive science in identifying the locations of network functions;
  • the role of emotions in nodal points of networks (e.g. narrative and game-playing)
  • the condition of narrative as experienced within a network;
  • narrative and distributed cognition;
  • remediation – current uses of narrative and contemporary ‘content’ of narratives.

Papers on narrative in any medium will be welcomed.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, as a Rich Text Format document attached to an email, to the panel organizers

zhaoyiheng2011 @
marina.grisakova @
p.cobley @

by 27 February 2012

Main Congress website:

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