CFP: DIEGESIS 12.1 "Trust and Narratives of Crisis and Catastrophe" (31.03.2022)

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DIEGESIS 12.1, summer 2023


Date of publication: June 2023


Topic: “Trust and Narratives of Crisis and Catastrophe”


Special issue with guest editors:

Sandra Heinen, Uta Poplutz, Cécile Stehrenberger


Deadline for the submission of abstracts: March 31st, 2022

Deadline for the submission of articles: October 1st, 2022


About the TOPIC:

The anticipation, the mitigation, the experience and the commemoration of catastrophes and crises is often accompanied by, mediated through, and represented in various types of narratives. Such narratives are produced and find application in domains such as disaster risk reduction and emergency management (e.g. in crisis communication), cultural production (including literature and film), journalism, historiography and scientific discourse (e.g. disaster studies or climate science).

Many of these narratives depict the role that trust, as well as the lack of trust and what is presented as its antithesis (mistrust, doubt, disappointment etc.), play in catastrophes and crises. Some of the narratives have the explicit goal to generate trust or one of its contrary vectors. Many narratives that primarily deal with trust/mistrust or that seek to further either – e.g. narratives which are reproduced in religious or scientific contexts – emerge in reaction to and as a response to a crisis or catastrophe.

Issue 12.1 of the journal DIEGESIS will explore these and other facets of the relationship between trust and crisis and catastrophe in narration across a variety of genres, in different fields, and from several historical and geographical contexts. Rather than taking given definitions of the terms ‘trust’, ‘crisis’ and ‘catastrophe’ as points of departure, we are more particularly interested in contributions that discuss existing definitions or examine how, for example, catastrophe and crisis are distinguished from one another (in those cases in which both appear) in the material analysed.

We are seeking papers which explore one of the following or related topics and research questions:

  • How do narratives that deal with the topic of crisis or catastrophe represent the roles that trust, a lack of trust or mistrust play as causes of or antidotes to crises and catastrophes?
  • How are trust-depicting narratives of crisis or catastrophe structured? What narrative techniques are employed? With what strategies do these narratives produce authenticity, evidence and authority?
  • In what ways do narratives of catastrophe and crisis seek to build trust (and in whom or what?) or generate its antithesis (mistrust, doubt, disappointment etc.)? Can they be interpreted as performative speech acts, as interpellations, as parts of a specific politics of emotion?
  • How can the production, the dissemination, and the consumption of narratives of crisis and catastrophe be understood as practices of ‘doing’ trust?
  • What are the practical, social and political functions of trust-depicting or trust-building narratives of crisis and catastrophe? What are the larger discourses, material practices and apparatuses they are coined by and in turn help to reproduce? What are the relations and technologies of power, the forms of governing, the structures of inequality, and the political and social struggles they can be linked to?
  • How might those narratives that can be considered as specifically narratives of trust be interpreted as a response to crisis and catastrophe?

We invite abstracts of approximately 350–400 words by March 31st, 2022 at the latest. Please send your abstract, along with a brief CV, to the editorial team of DIEGESIS: The guest editors of the special issue will decide on the acceptability of proposals by May 31st, 2022. Contributions have to be submitted in English by October 1st, 2022. The issue will be published in June 2023.



Das von der DFG geförderte E-Journal DIEGESIS. Interdisziplinäres E-Journal für Erzählforschung / Interdisciplinary E-Journal for Narrative Research erscheint als Open-Access-Publikation ausschließlich im Internet (

Der hohe wissenschaftliche Standard der in DIEGESIS veröffentlichten Forschungsbeiträge wird durch ein kompetitives Auswahlverfahren für Beiträge zu Themenheften sowie ein Peer Review-Verfahren gesichert.

Herausgegeben wird die Zeitschrift an der Bergischen Universität Wuppertal und in Kooperation mit dem dortigen Zentrum für Erzählforschung (ZEF) ( von den Professor*innen Matei Chihaia (Spanische und Französische Literaturwissenschaft), Sandra Heinen (Anglistische Literatur- und Medienwissenschaft), Matías Martínez (Neuere deutsche Literaturgeschichte), Katharina Rennhak (Anglistische Literaturwissenschaft), Michael Scheffel (Allgemeine Literaturwissenschaft / Neuere deutsche Literaturwissenschaft) und Roy Sommer (Anglistische Literatur-, Kultur- und Medienwissenschaft).

Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Nils Gelker] betreut –