College Media Network

The Observer

The Student Newspaper of Case Western Reserve University
  • Home
  • News
    • Sports
      • Opinion
        • Focus
          • About Us
            • Info
            • Staff
          • Archives
          • Options
            • Login
            • Register
            • Write to the Editor
            • Syndication
            • Search
          • New Features
            • Plan Spring Break!
            • Learn about your Finances
          • Advertising

          International Conference on Narrative successful and engaging

          Cory Hershberger

          Issue date: 4/16/10 Section: Focus
          • Print
          • Email
          • Page 1 of 2 next >
          True Blood. Harry Potter fiction. The music of Warren Zevon. Though these pieces of pop culture may seem disconnected externally, all three were brought together last weekend through a common thread: the concept of narrative.

          The International Society for the Study of Narrative held its 25th annual International Conference on Narrative last Thursday through Sunday downtown at the Renaissance Hotel on Public Square, with nearly 400 scholars and students in attendance. The massive conference was coordinated by CWRU's own Kurt Koenigsberger, associate professor in English. Nineteen countries were represented at the event, with scholars from England, Finland, Germany, and Denmark among many others presenting papers to the attending audience of narrative theorists, both budding and professional.

          Session topics ranged from the expected topics of early modern narrative and narrative and poetry, to seemingly bizarre yet fascinating discussions on narrative theory across the professions and the strange histories of rock and roll.

          A particularly enlightening discussion dealt with Alfred Hitchcock's seminal 1958 film Vertigo, and the narrator-narratee relationships contained within. John Hellmann, the presenter of the paper, brought a refreshing look to the much-studied piece, offering up an interpretation in which the film's prologue is actually a dream of Scottie Ferguson, the film's main character. "In the film, Gavin Elster functions as playwright and director, while the character of Judy/Madeleine is the actress in a romantic tragedy for an audience of one: Scottie." He also pulled Freudian psychology into his analysis, identifying the three main characters in the film's opening prologue scene as manifestations of the id, ego, and superego.

          Hellmann's session also included a presentation by Silke Horstkotte on the concept of unreliability in another seminal film classic, Robert Wiene's 1920 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The two papers fit quite well together, and even the presenters commented on the cohesiveness of their works. The conference committee did a great job placing similar papers together in the same session, making for smooth and connected presentations of papers and projects that could have easily seemed disjointed and random.
          Page 1 of 2 next >

          Article Tools

          Be the first to comment on this story

          In This Issue


          • Can you name this place?
          • Cleveland Institute of Art announces new president
          • Have you heard about The Confused Greenies
          • Relay For Life hoping for success as event begins today
          • Undergraduate Student Government inaugurations bring new faces, new initiatives


          • For Gobies, this weekend is first step to goal
          • Howe's love of game grows
          • Smetona's workouts work out
          • Spartan Spotlight: Jon Edmunds
          • Spartans drop 13th and 14th straight to Wooster
          • Spartans go 2-2 against Wolverines, Lords
          • Spartans near best win total in school history
          • Whalen auditions for Browns, Mangini
          • When fans care


          • City boasts unusual outdoor spaces for observing Cleveland in springtime
          • Editorial: Although meal plan policy remains unchanged, policy seems fundamentally flawed
          • Letters to the editor: Greek Life opportunities
          • Political leaders are ill-equipped to decide when wars are "just"
          • Sticks and stones: bullying still hurts, but can be stopped with just one word
          • What's your favorite flower?


          • August: Osage County astonishes audiences
          • International Conference on Narrative successful and engaging
          • Just a Perfect Day
          • Pokémon returns to Nintendo DS with best games in years
          • Rompers: this season's divisive trend
          • Safety First
          • Take a picture, It'll Last Longer: CIA student photo exhibition
          • The Buzz
          • Tremont: The A-list of Cleveland's bars
          National College Advertising and Marketing | Privacy Policy (9/9/09) | Terms of Use (9/9/09)
          Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (4/27/09) | RSS Terms of Use



          This Week's Front Page

          Download Print Edition PDF