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Even though ‘postclassical’ narratologists get excited when thinking of the manifold underlying implications of identity formation through life stories or corporate narratives, one has to accept that such phenomena transcend not merely disciplinary or institutional boundaries but also the competencies and research interests of ‘narrative’ sociologists or marketing experts. The second part will discuss the endeavor to reconceptualize narratology as a basic discipline responsible for narrative phenomena in different fields of research. In an age in which even economists and politicians have for some time realized the crucial importance of storytelling and narratives to the modern economy, to organizations and to the world of politics,15 it certainly seems high time that narrative theorists should also begin to leave behind the boundaries that structuralist narratologists seem so keen to retain. A second explanation is that narratology, due to its foundation in literary studies, has its roots in the theory of fictional narrative. To prevent the suspicion that I am once more, as David Darby (2003: 429) put it, attempting “to close the barn door long, long after a number of purebred […] horses have escaped”, I will deal with both expansionist claims in a twostep procedure, initially considering the actual state of affairs in literary studies on the one hand and in the humanities on the other, thereafter examining the arguments for the proposed changes in the two fields of research. Narratology and Literary Studies Apart from some leftover structuralists, almost every narratologist in current literary studies seems to be hooked by the idea of a fundamental renewal of narrative theory. Anyone who wants to come to terms with the wide-ranging and important cultural and ideological functions that narratives and storytelling actually fulfil in our present-day media culture needs to take into account the contexts on which contextualist approaches to narrative are currently focusing. “A Survey of the Theory, History, and New Areas of Research of Feminist Narratology”. Only an extremely restrictive canon of seminal narratological works by Propp, Genette and, sometimes, Chatman is routinely admitted to the footnotes in works by ludologists, economists or psychologists dealing with stories, while current narratological research is all but ignored. Narratology’s recent development seems to be an illustration of this rule. Given the widespread interdisciplinary interest in the “narrative construction of reality” (Bruner 1991) and the ubiquity, as well as importance, of narratives in contemporary media cultures, there is certainly every reason to share Fludernik’s (1993: 757) “measured optimism” about narratology’s continued survival.

Here, narratology is still in its infancy, despite the ground-breaking work by Monika Fludernik, David Herman and other proponents of cognitive and linguistic approaches to narrative and narratology. This is the central demand of the large subclass of new approaches to narrative theory that have been, for some years now, categorized as ‘contextual narratologies’.3 The claim can be traced back to Susan S. Only then will they be in a position to take ac- 15 For an excellent overview, see Salmon (2007), who summarizes the main developments, and the works of Stephen Denning, the ‘guru’ of the storytelling approach in management. (Bortolussi/Dixon 2003: 2) One plausible explanation for such mutual ignorance between ‘unintegrated’ fields of research is offered in Sandra Heinen’s survey article in the present volume. Instead, I will address a claim that has, since the 1990s, been put forward in various contributions to narratology, irrespective of their particular programmatic * 1 I would like to thank Tilmann Köppe and Jan Christoph Meister for their criticism of an earlier draft of this paper. A world made perfectly safe for narratology may offer the delights of Candide’s garden to the wise. Heinen points to the fact that narratologists are traditionally interested in narrativity in a very general way, and whereas this sounds almost tautological in narratological ears, one has to understand that researchers in other disciplines are interested in narratives for a wide range of reasons— except for narrativity. See, for example, Herman (1999), Nünning (2000), Fludernik (2000), Nünning/Nünning (2002a; 2002b), Kindt/Müller (2003a), Sommer (2004), Meister/Kindt/Schernus (2005). To cut a long story short: my paper will analyze a trait of the ongoing debates on the present and possible future state of narrative theory which I will from now on refer to as ‘narratological expansionism’. But their contentment should not be bought at the cost of denying others the risks of intellectual travel. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Narratology in the age of cross-disciplinary narrative research / edited by Sandra Heinen, Roy Sommer. Wuppertal, May 2009 Sandra Heinen and Roy Sommer Contents SANDRA HEINEN, ROY SOMMER Introduction: Narratology and Interdisciplinarity......................... In: Ansgar Nünning (ed.): Literaturwissenschaftliche Theorien, Modelle und Methoden. ” (Scholes 1998: 153) Such questions have always been genuine concerns of narratology, and the categories and models created by narratology for the analysis of narrative provide useful tools for getting to grips with them.

The contributions by Andreas Mauz and Harald Weilnböck were added in order to emphasize the cross-disciplinary character of the volume. In: Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 27, p. Context and form, content and narrative technique, are, after all, more closely intertwined than structuralist narratologists have tried to make us believe.

Printed in Germany Cover design: Christopher Schneider, Laufen Preface This volume contains revised versions of the papers presented at the Inaugural Symposium of the Center for Narrative Research, which took place from June 25-26, 2007 at the University of Wuppertal. (Jameson 1981: 99) If one accepts the idea of a semanticization of narrative forms, any literary and cultural historian who wants to address ethical, ideological, or political issues raised in or by narratives can, therefore, profit from the application of the toolbox that narratology provides.