Past Events

Real Fictions: Resistance to and Reception of Contemporary Narratives

5-6 April 2018, University of Tampere, PinniB building (Kanslerinrinne 1, Tampere)

Keynote Speakers:
Sam Browse: ‘Political Fictions’
Alison Gibbons: ‘When Fiction imprisons Life: The trial of Ahmed Naji, or, morality and fictionality at the intersection of intention and reception’

In the so-called “post-truth” age, the boundary between reality and fiction seems increasingly hard to distinguish: politicians spin stories; novelists and actors appear as self-named characters in novels, sitcoms, and movies; and historical events are narrativised in literary texts. Moreover, the post-truth or refer-fictional phenomenon reaches beyond the intentions of creators and beyond the fabric of texts. For one thing, the growing popularity of life-writing genres such as memoir, autofiction, and historical fiction demonstrates a desire on the part of consumers for (at the very least, a fictionalised version of) reality. For another, the media “echo-chambers” of the internet demonstrate a desire on the part of citizens for news and opinion that reflects their own perceptions of social and political reality, rather than an established authority. Ultimately, in the twenty-first century – when life becomes fiction and fictions have lived consequences – the dominant sentiments are personal or emotional versions of the truth, and such sentiments can be evidenced in texts created by writers and speakers as well as in the actions and responses of readers, viewers, and the voting public.

Thursday April 5th

11.15−12.45 I session, PinniB4116, chair: Maria Laakso

Samuli Björninen, Aarhus University: “The Rhetoric of Factuality: Post-Truth and Alternative Facts in the Context of Cognitive Rhetoric”

Mari Hatavara, University of Tampere: “Fictionality Studies, Narrative Modes & Cross-Fictionality”

Teresa Pepe, University of Oslo: “Autofiction and Hoaxes in the Egyptian Blogosphere”

lunch, own expense

14.15—15.45 II session, PinniB4116, chair: Juha Raipola

Siim Sorokin, University of Tartu: “Digital Enclaves as Leakage Spaces for Societal Realities: Reciprocal Misogyny of Skyler White”

Joe Ondrak, Sheffield Hallam University: “They Came from the Web! How Creepypasta’s Post-postmodern Monsters Creep into Reality”

Markus Laukkanen, University of Tampere: “The Truth is Here”

coffee break: coffee, tea and some fruit available

16.15−17.45 Key note lecture, PinniB1096, chair: Mari Hatavara

Alison Gibbons: “When Fiction imprisons Life: The trial of Ahmed Naji, or, morality and fictionality at the intersection of intention and reception” PinniB1096

18.00−20 Welcoming party, PinniB4087: light refreshments & wine available

Friday April 6th

10.15−11.45 Key note lecture, PinniB1096, chair: Matti Hyvärinen

Sam Browse: ”Political Fictions”

lunch, own expense

13.15−14.15 III session, PinniB4116, chair: Samuli Björninen

Cinzia Orlando, Università di Pavia: “Walter Siti: autofiction and contemporary realism”

Elise Kraatila, University of Tampere: “Conspicuous Fabrications: Confrontations of the Post-Truth in Speculative Fiction”

coffee break: coffee, tea and some fruit available

14.45−15.45 IV session, PinniB4116, chair: Siim Sorokin

Juha Raipola, University of Tampere: “Narrating the Anthropocene: Anthropocene Fiction and Non-Fiction”

Maria Laakso, University of Tampere: “Fictionalizing science in Alan Weismans World Without Us and TV series Life after People”

Welcome to a guest lecture Wed 29 Nov 11.00-12 (Pinni B3111)

Dr Sjoerd-Jeroen Moenandar (Avans University of Applied Sciences)
Exercises in Applied Narratology: Designing Narrative Learning
Environments and the Structured Narrative Interview


In this presentation, I will introduce some of the work I have done in ‘applied narratology’: the transfer of narratological methods and findings to professional practices of narrative. After introducing the field of applied narratology as I see it, I will discuss the structured narrative interview that I developed together with Floor Basten and the work I have done on designing narrative learning environments together with Floor van Renssen.

The structured narrative interview came about as an attempt to integrate some of the extensive research on narrative in the humanities and to use possibly relevant findings of narratology in sociological research, not merely as a tool for analysis, but also as an instrument to gather data. We designed an interview method based on Greimas’ tools for analysis: actants and components of the narrative program are explicitly used to instruct interviewees. The resulting structured narrative interview can be used in varied ways.

Together with a teacher training institute in the Netherlands, I have been involved in attempts to construct narrative learning environments based on the idea that ideally, education is, like narrative fiction, a ‘giant laboratory’ (Ricoeur 1990) where experiments with estimations and evaluations, with judgments of approval and condemnation can take place. Both are served by a certain degree of autonomy that allows for such experimentation. And both are, in the best cases, strongly polyphonic, rather than dominated by one single story. Thus, insights gained from the study of narrative fiction in literature and other forms of high and low culture may inform our programme for narrative learning environments.

Narrative and Wellbeing 19.-20. Oct 2017


Thursday 19 Oct

9.45-10.00 Registration (Pinni B 3107)

10.00-10.45 Narrare welcomes you to the conference (Pinni B 3107)

Maria Mäkelä (Director of Narrare): Opening words

Matti Hyvärinen (Vice-director of Narrare): A doctor’s story: Counter-narrative and tellability

10.45-11.00 Registration (Pinni B 3107)

11.00-1.00 Parallel sessions I (Pinni B 3117 & 3118)

Lunch break

2.00-3.30 Parallel sessions II (Pinni B 3117 & 3118)

Coffee break (+walk to the Linna building)

4.00-5.00 Plenary talk (chair: Mari Hatavara, Linna K103) Cindie Aaen Maagaard (University of Southern Denmark): Second-person narration in post-intensive recovery: Nurses as narrators of patients’ diaries

6.30 Conference dinner at Ravintola Tampella (Kelloportinkatu 1)


Friday 20 Oct

10.00-11.00 Plenary talk (chair: Laura Karttunen, Pinni B 1096) Maura Spiegel (Columbia University): “I have story about myself…” Thickening a thin story with film in the narrative medicine classroom

Coffee break

11.30-1.00 Parallel sessions III (Pinni B 3117 & 3118)

Lunch break

2.00-3.30 Parallel sessions IV (Pinni B 3117 & 3118)

Program of the parallel sessions downloadable via this
link (pdf-file, last update 16.10.2017)

Format for presentations: 20-minute talk followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

Invited speakers

Our wonderful invited speakers are Cindie Aaen Maagaard (University of Southern Denmark) and Maura Spiegel (Columbia University).


Cindie Aaen Maagaard (Thursday 4-5 pm. Linna K103)

Second-person narration in post-intensive recovery: Nurses as narrators of patients’ diaries

My talk explores the role of narrative in well-being through a practice designed to help patients recover from the often traumatic experience of intensive care: nurses’ writing of daily diary entries on behalf of patients who are heavily sedated or in a coma. The diaries are intended to fill in the gaps in patients’ memories and thus help alleviate psychic distress on leaving the intensive care unit. Despite their brevity, the first-hand, second-person diary entries demonstrate great complexity with respect to narration, as texts addressed to a “you,” in order to communicate with a “you,” but which are also about that “you” and on “behalf” of “you.” My talk will address issues of narration raised by the diaries, and what we may learn from them, not only about patients, but also about how nurses navigate among professional and personal constraints as they make narrative choices that both interpret patients’ experiences and shape patients’ understanding of them during recovery.


Cindie Aaen Maagaard is Associate Professor in the Department of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark. Her teaching and research areas are communication, multimodality and the uses of narrative and counter-narrative in organizational and institutional contexts, including clinical settings. She is currently implementing a recent collaboration on patient diaries with Odense University Hospital and is part of a team developing a teaching program in narrative medicine for students in health care professions at the University of Southern Denmark. Selected recent work includes “Narratives in medicine” together with Anders Juhl Rasmussen, forthcoming, for the Danish publication Syg Litteratur [Sick Literature], “Counter-narratives” with Marianne Lundholt and Anke Piekut, for the International Encyclopedia for Strategic Communication, and “’Speaking through the other’: Countering counter-narratives through stakeholders’ stories” (Routledge, 2016).


Maura Spiegel (Friday 9-10 am. Pinni B 1096)

“I have story about myself…”: Thickening a thin story with film in the narrative medicine classroom

The hospital and the clinic have a way of thinning out lived experience for caregivers and patients alike. Discussions of films and short writing exercises can offer a technique for re-awakening attention to the complexity, ambiguity, curiousness and richness of lived experience in the clinic. It can thicken the story to positive effects. I will draw on my experience of teaching film to and facilitating writing prompts with medical students and senior caregivers over the past 15 years.


Maura Spiegel teaches literature and film at Columbia University and Barnard College. She is the associate director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she also teaches a film course to first-year medical students. With Rita Charon, MD, PhD, she edited the journal Literature and Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press) for seven years. She co-authored The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine (Oxford University Press), The Grim Reader: Writings on Death, Dying and Living On (Anchor/Doubleday), and has published articles on many subjects including the history of the emotions, Charles Dickens, Victorian fashion, and diamonds in the movies. She is currently finishing a book on the life and films of Sidney Lumet (St. Martin’s Press).



The conference is free of charge. Participants must cover all their
expenses, including the conference dinner on Thursday. It’s also
possible to participate in the conference without giving a paper.

Conference venue

The conference will take place in the Pinni B building on the main
campus of the University of Tampere.
Map of the campus area

Contact information

Conference organizer: Laura Karttunen laura.s.karttunen[at]
Conference secretary: Matias Nurminen matias.nurminen[at]




Tampereen yliopiston Paavo Koli –salissa (Pinni A) perjantaina 13.10. klo 10.15 – 15.15

10.15 – 11.45 PÄÄESITELMÄ
Timo Pankakoski:
Poliittiset metaforat: mitä ne ovat, miten niitä käytetään ja miten niitä tulisi tutkia?
*** LOUNASTAUKO 11.45 – 12.30 ***
12.30 – 13.00
Maria Mäkelä:
Poliitikot somessa: kertomusvaarallisia näkökulmia joukkoistamalla kerättyyn aineistoon


13.00 – 13.30
Matti Hyvärinen:
Metaforat, kertomus ja Big Data: Demokratian äänet-projekti


*** KAHVITAUKO 13.30 – 13.45 ***


13.45 – 14.15

Mikko Poutanen:
Alkoholin kehykset suomalaisessa julkisessa keskustelussa

14.15 – 14.45

Matias Nurminen:
Punainen pilleri, eli kuinka maailma selitettiin: intertekstuaalinen metafora manosfäärin ideologisena oikeutuksena


14.45 – 15.15





VTT Timo Pankakoski, Helsingin yliopisto

Poliittiset metaforat: mitä ne ovat, miten niitä käytetään ja miten niitä tulisi tutkia?


Tarkastelen poliittisten metaforien luonnetta ja niiden hedelmällisen tutkimisen tapoja niin ”varsinaisessa” politiikassa kuin poliittisessa ajattelussakin sekä analysoin esimerkkitapauksia molemmilta aloilta. Poliittisten metaforien erityisyys kytkeytyy nähdäkseni niiden käyttöihin ja funktioihin, ei asiasisältöihin tai institutionaalisiin kriteereihin. Politiikassa metaforilla esimerkiksi nostetaan asiakysymyksiä agendalle tai neutralisoidaan niitä, säädellään poliittiseen yhteisöön kuulumista sekä ohjataan tulevaisuuden kehitystä tai menneisyyden tulkintaa luomalla ajallisia rakenteita ja kiteytyneitä kertomuksia. Poliittisia metaforia käytetään myös metapoliittisemmin määrittämään politiikan luonnetta ja häivyttämään näkyvistä valintojen poliittisuutta. Toistaiseksi metaforatutkimus ei ole riittävästi huomioinut poliittisten metaforien erityisyyttä eikä poliittisen ajattelun historian eksegeettisiä erityistarpeita. Hahmottelen syitä tähän ja esitän alustavia kriteerejä nämä seikat paremmin huomioivalle lähestymistavalle.


VTT Timo Pankakoski toimii Suomen Akatemian tutkijatohtorina Eurooppa-tutkimuksen verkostossa Helsingin yliopistossa. Hänen tämänhetkinen projektinsa käsittelee poliittisen konfliktin käsitettä ja sen metaforisia ulottuvuuksia modernissa saksalaisessa politiikan teoriassa. Aiemmin Pankakoski on työskennellyt mm. tutkijatohtorina Turku Institute for Advanced Studiesissa, Eurooppa-tutkimuksen vt. yliopistonlehtorina Helsingin yliopistossa, tutkijatohtorina Jyväskylän yliopistossa sekä vierailevana tutkijana Queen Mary -yliopistossa Lontoossa. Hänen tutkimuksensa kohdistuu pääasiassa politiikan teoriaan, (etenkin saksalaisen) poliittisen ajattelun historiaan, radikaaliin konservatiiviseen ajatteluun, intellektuaalihistorian ja käsitehistorian metodologiaan, politiikan ja kaunokirjallisuuden yhtymäkohtiin sekä metaforateoriaan ja poliittisiin metaforiin.


Narrative and Experience – concept workshop, University of Tampere, Mon 18 Sep 2017

Narrare, Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies, and the national network for the study of experience will arrange a joint concept workshop at the University of Tampere on Monday, 18th September, 2017. The event is a continuation of the workshop held in April at Tampere, and this time we are going international with two guest speakers from Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden. The day will consist of their talks followed by the concept workshop in which we will discuss, once more, how narrative relates to experience and experientiality. The objective, as set out in the spring, is to keep working on the definitions for Narrare’s e-directory of concepts.

Anne Holm and Niklas Salmose, both senior lecturers based in English literature at the Department of Languages, will present on blends of narrative and experience. Holm is a cognitive stylistician specializing in metaphor as a means of conveying embodied experience. She is particularly interested in narrative representations of nomadity and dislocation in contemporary literature. Salmose will investigate nostalgic fictive experiences in film and literature from a stylistic perspective rather than through representation. First he will talk about what constitutes a nostalgic experience and then he will analyze how that experience can be simulated through narrative fiction.

Join the workshop to come together with other experts working on narrative and experience. Similar to April, if you would like comments on your own research, you may send in your idea paper (1–2 pages) in advance and receive helpful tips from your colleagues on the day. Then again, if you only wish to attend as a member of the audience, that is an option too. The event will also be streamed online. Details on all practical matters will be resolved closer to the date of the workshop.

The day will be hosted by Jarkko Toikkanen and Maria Mäkelä. Email jarkko.toikkanen[at] on your chosen method of attendance – idea paper or audience member, in class or online – by 1 Sep.

UPDATE 11.9.2017:

Open lectures (Main Building, A1):

Opening words, 10:15-10:30

Anne Holm: “Nomadity as embodied absence: narrating the experience of dislocation”, 10:30-11:30

Niklas Salmose: “A Method of Analyzing Emotional Experiences in Fiction”  11:30-12:30


National network for the study of experience (in Finnish):



Deadline for proposals April 13!

If your PhD project involves studying narrative or if you make use of narrative methods, this announcement is for you. On Monday May 8,

Narrare: the Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies hosts the second annual spring seminar for PhD students. The seminar provides a chance to meet PhD researchers from diverse backgrounds who work on or with narrative, but also to participate in Narrare’s ongoing endeavor of developing theories, methods and analytical tools for the interdisciplinary field of Narrative Studies. The seminar papers will be commented on by the senior researchers and professors of the Centre.

The participants are asked to submit a 5-page seminar paper that can be your PhD research plan or a sample analysis of the materials you are studying. Submissions are to be written in either English or Finnish. Please apply by sending an abstract of 200–300 words to Maria Mäkelä (maria.e.makela[at] by April 13. The deadline for the 5-page seminar papers is April 26, and they are to be sent to the same address.



We-Narratives: An Interdisciplinary Seminar on Plural and Collective Storytelling

Friday, April 7th, 2017

University of Tampere, lecture hall Pinni B 3109

Organizer: Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies / Maria Mäkelä



Workshop with Ann Phoenix
University of Tampere, February 3, 2017
Organizer: Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies

Fri 3 Feb 10.10 am – 14.15 pm / lecture room Pinni B 4075


Thu 2 Feb 4.15 – 5.45 pm / lecture hall Pinni B 4113
Ann Phoenix, Professor of Psychosocial Studies, Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University of London
“Another Long and Involved Story”
Organizer: Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies, University of Tampere



GUEST LECTURE, 18.10.2016 at 10.15-11.45, Main building A3


Nielsen takes his point of departure in the recent paradigm shift in the wake of Walsh 2007 (cp. also Nielsen, Phelan and Walsh (2015), Zetterberg Gjerlevsen (2016), Walsh (2016), and Phelan (2011) where fictionality as communicational strategy is extricated from fiction as a genre denominator. This allows for an examination of fictionality outside fiction. He looks at contemporary politics in forms ranging from clearly ideological and political fake news to election videos by right wing parties and to media coverage of the current election campaign in America.

Henrik Skov Nielsen is Professor at The Department of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University. He heads “Narrative Research Lab”, and ”Centre for Fictionality Studies”, He is currently visiting professor at Tampere University, Finland. Main areas of expertise include first person narratives, unnatural narratives and fictionality.


September 29th to 30th, 2016

Symposium “The Ideological Force of Narrative” with invited speakers Jan Alber and Dorothee Birke, including a worskhop for PhD and MA students.

Thursday lectures are open for all, welcome


GUEST LECTURE, 26.8. at 12-14, B 3107

Dr. Richard Walsh (University of York): Sense and Wonder: Complexity and the Limits of Narrative Understanding

My talk considers certain cognitive constraints upon the possibility of understanding complexity, as a preliminary attempt to negotiate with those constraints. I examine what it is to bring complex systemic processes into a meaningful relation with our cognitive capacities – which is to say, into relation with narrative; our narrative understanding of systemic behaviour latches onto the system’s emergent behaviour, at the cost of a disregard for how this emergent behaviour is actually being produced. This limit on understanding nonetheless implies the possibility of an inhabitable cognitive borderland, if we view our cognitive engagement with complexity as an “edge of sense” phenomenon. I pursue this idea by considering the (rather surprising) attempts to define emergence in terms of surprise, and put the notion of surprise in narrative context by invoking Alfred Hitchcock’s well-known distinction between surprise and suspense. Doing so provides a way to clarify the affective dimension of the observer’s experience of emergence, and locates it in a certain double relation to knowledge in narrative. This double perspective clarifies the respect in which things may appear to make sense even while we are unable to make sense of them; an affective experience I equate with wonder. Wonder is, among other things, a religious feeling conforming to the double perspective structure I have proposed; the order of things, whilst eluding us, submits to omniscient cognition. I situate omniscience in relation to its literary analogue, omniscient narration, and contrast it with the position of the character narrator, in the middest – drawing upon Don DeLillo’s White Noise as example. DeLillo’s novel provides a suggestive link to The Cloud of Unknowing and a mystical tradition of understanding as a feeling, and even a relinquishing of knowledge. I end by considering whether such mystical ideas can help clarify the wonder I have associated with emergence in complex systems.




In Finnish only: Tutkimuskeskus Narraren keskustelutilaisuus, Pinni B4116 12-14

Kokemus, odotus ja kerronnallisuus

Elämän narratiivisuuden merkitystä analyyttisen nykyfilosofian valossa tarkastelee akatemiatutkija Antti Kauppinen. Keskustelijoina myös filosofian professori Arto Laitinen, sosiologian professori Matti Hyvärinen sekä englannin kielen ja kirjallisuuden yliopistonlehtori Jarkko Toikkanen.




Open lecture by LTL Guest Professor Henrik Skov Nielsen

Paavo Koli auditorium 14-16

Edgar Allan Poe and René Descartes imagining madness

In the paper I read three short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, two of which are canonical; “The Black Cat”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and “The Oval Portrait”. I contextualize the narratives in relation to unnatural narratology, to fictionality and to the meditations of Descartes. More than anything the paper is concerned with close readings. If listeners have a chance to acquaint themselves with one or more of the stories that is great but anyone will be able to follow.



Oct 22, 2015

Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies presents

Kertomuksentutkimus 2015

Oct 22 2015

Seminar (in Finnish) on the state of the art in Narrative Studies.

The seminar day also sees the unveiling of two new publications:

Narrative Theory, Literature, and New Media. Narrative Minds and Virtual Worlds, eds. Mari Hatavara, Matti Hyvärinen, Maria Mäkelä & Frans Mäyrä, Routledge 2015.

Hajoava perhe, eds. Matti Hyvärinen, Eriikka Oinonen & Tiina Saari, Vastapaino 2015.



June 4-6, 2015

International conference Ethics of Storytelling: Historical Imagination in Contemporary Literature, Media and Visual Arts



May 20, 2015

Terminology workshop on ”Narrative Identity”



May 19, 2015

Memory and metaphor: How do we make sense of the past?

Guest Professor Jens Brockmeier (The American University of Paris)


May 5, 2015

Fictionality as documentation strategy: The Act of Killing and The Ambassador

Henrik Skov Nielsen (Aarhus University; Guest Professor at the School of Language, Translation, and Literary Studies, UTA)


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