New Perspectives on Narrative: Reading Group 2021

Welcome to the “New Perspectives on Narrative” reading group! The group is set to meet four times during both the spring and autumn terms 2021. The discussion is inspired by reading articles on contemporary narrative theory and pieces of short fiction side by side as well as introductions to the topics by expert speakers. Please see the program below.

The reading group encourages multidisciplinary discussion. Everyone interested in narrative theory, from all backgrounds and disciplines, is warmly welcomed to join! The reading group is in English as well as all the texts assigned for meetings. During the spring, the group meets in Zoom (see the link below).

Please email Anna Ovaska ( and Hanna-Riikka Roine ( to join the reading group and get the texts not available online.





Tuesday, 23 February, 14:15 EET

Introduction by Anna Ovaska & Hanna-Riikka Roine (Tampere University)

Political narratology:

Greta Olson & Sarah Copland: “Towards a Politics of Form” (2015, republished in 2018): 


Susan Glaspel: “A Jury of Her Peers” (1917): 


Tuesday, 23 March, 14:15 EET

Introduction by Kaisa Kortekallio (University of Helsinki)


Erin James & Eric Morel: “Introduction.” Environment and Narrative: New Directions in Econarratology (2019): 


Jeff VanderMeer: Chapter 1 from the novel Annihilation (2014) 


Tuesday, 20 April, 14:15 EET

Introduction by Matti Hyvärinen (Tampere University)

Master & counter narratives:

Matti Hyvärinen: “Toward a theory of counter-narratives: Narrative contestation, cultural canonicity, and tellability” (2020) 


Kristen Roupenian: Cat Person” (2017), The New Yorker: 


Tuesday, 25 May, 14:15 EET

Introduction by Joonas Säntti (University of Jyväskylä)

Queer narratology:

Susan LanserQueering Narrative Voice” (2018) 


Gertrude Stein: Miss Furr and Miss Skeene (1923)Vanity Fair 


Lydia Davis: “What She Knew” (1985), The Paris Review: 




Tuesday, 21 September, 14:15 EET

Introduction by Anna Ovaska (Tampere University)

Narrative and empathy:

Erin McGlothlin: “Empathetic Identification and the Mind of the Holocaust Perpetrator in Fiction: A Proposed Taxonomy of Response” (2016) 


Toni Morrison: “Recitatif” (1983)


Tuesday, 2 November, 14:15 EET

Introduction by Merja Polvinen (University of Helsinki)

Cognitive narratology & enactivism:

Merja PolvinenThe Dark Inside the Prologue: Enactive Cognition and Eerie Ontology in Catherynne M. Valente’s Radiance” (2021) 


Cathrynne M. Valente: Radiance (2015) (fragments)


Tuesday, 23 November, 14:15 EET

Introduction by Samuli Björninen (Tampere University)

Fiction & fictionality:

Richard Walsh: “Fictionality as Rhetoric: A Distinctive Research Paradigm” (2019) 




Tuesday, 14 December, 14:15 EET

Introduction by Hanna-Riikka Roine (Tampere University)

Non-human, digital environmental:

N. Katherine Hayles: “Three Species Challenges: Toward a General Ecology of Cognitive Assemblages” (2021) 


Ted Chiang: “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” (2019)