International Conference on Narrative April 7-10

Just as every society has it stories, so too does every discipline.

The history of opera and the history of science are narratives just as surely as the events unfolding in our newspapers and the tales of playground drama children bring home to their parents.

Beginning Thursday, April 7, approximately 350 scholars from across the United States and abroad will gather in St. Louis for the International Conference on Narrative, which explores the use of narrative in literature, history, cultural studies, medicine, psychology, art history, music and other disciplines.

The annual gathering, which runs through April 10, is sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN) and by the College of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

All events will take place at the Sheraton Clayton, 7730 Bonhomme Ave., with the exception of a plenary talk by Michael Rothberg, professor of English and the Conrad Humanities Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

That talk, titled “Progression, Procession, Transition: Kentridge With Benjamin,” will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, April 8, in Graham Chapel.

Events are free and open to WUSTL faculty and graduate students; otherwise, registration is required. For more information, visit

Held annually since 1986 at sites across the United States, Canada, France and England, the International Conference on Narrative is sponsored by the ISSN in partnership with a host university. Recent conferences have been hosted by Rice, Emory, Dartmouth, Northwestern, Georgetown and the University of California at Berkeley, among others.

The 2011 conference is organized by Washington University’s Emma Kafalenos, senior lecturer in comparative literature in Arts & Sciences; and Erin McGlothlin, associate professor in Germanic Languages and Literatures in Arts & Sciences as well as director of research and grants in the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences.

The ISSN, which was begun in 1984, is a nonprofit association dedicated to the investigation of narrative, its elements, techniques, and forms; its relations to other modes of discourse; and its power and influence in cultures past and present. In addition to the annual conference, the society publishes the journal Narrative three times a year as well as an annual newsletter.