CFP: Interruption — Narrative Conference, Birmingham, (10/15/08; 8/4-6/09)

by Jessica C. Murphy


Organizers: Matthew Garrett (Wesleyan University), Kara Wittman (Stanford University)

This panel explores the function and significance of narrative interruptions. Interruption appears in many ways: as break in formal structure (caesura, sentence, paragraph, chapter division, serial issue), as dilation (in the shift from narration to description, in the magnification of a detail, in the development of a theme), as digression, as pause, or as repetition or stutter that produces a hesitation in the flow of story. We are interested in the various ways interruption determines both what and how a text means by affecting, for example, the distribution of readerly attention, the pace of reading, the constitution of formal structure, the capacity to provoke, suggest, or mystify, and so on. We welcome papers that engage with questions of meaning and form as such, as well as those that attempt to draw inferences about reading from the analysis of formal traits — especially those that unite formal and historical questions. Papers on narratives from any place, period, or medium are welcome: one goal of the panel will be to present a comparative account of the question of narrative interruption.

Send a 250-word abstract and a short CV to Matthew Garrett at by October 15.