CFP: Special Issue of Between Journal: «Forms, strategies and mutations of serial narratives»

Gianluigi Rossini's picture
Call for Papers
January 30, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Composition & Rhetoric, Film and Film History, Humanities, Popular Culture Studies

A narrative can be serialized in two fundamental ways: on the one hand, by repeating a model, a pattern or a narrative structure; on the other, by splitting it into separate and consecutive installments. The first option derives from oral communication and story-telling and its origins can be identified in fairy tales, mythological cycles, Nordic sagas, Medieval chivalry, Renaissance epic (and today it can be identified in popular literature, film and television series). The second typology is typical of modern times and is characterized by a subdivision into different units to be published at regular time intervals. Since the 1830s the practice of writing serialized novels, as feuilleton attached to a newspaper, began in England and France and spread all over Europe.

In both its forms, with endless possibilities of hybridizations, seriality has been adopted by all genres and by all media: comics, cinema, radio, television, video games and recently the web. It can be said that seriality is 'contagious'; it passes from a medium to another, from orality to writing, from writing to digital media. Seriality is characterised by intermediality and interculturality; it belongs both to high and popular culture and connects different cultures through mass communication. Seriality is strongly influenced by creative innovation and, at the same time, marketing strategies. Its mechanisms of repetition and continuity can be either simple or complex and can easily migrate from one medium to another.

Serial narrative creates a complex interaction between narration, production and distribution, questioning textual boundaries, the attribution of authorship, the relationship between author and audience, the completeness and wholeness of a fictional world that can expand and become uncontrollable.

The aim of Between number 11 is to explore the nature and forms of serial narrative, from a historical, narratological, cultural and medial point of view. Interdisciplinary contributions focusing on the relationships among literatures, media and cultures from a diachronic perspective are particularly welcome.

Possible topics:

  • Theory and definition of serial narrative
  • Serial narrative between literature, comics, film and television
  • History of serial narrative
  • Seriality and premodern literatures
  • Serial narrative between art and entertainment
  • Seriality and popular literature
  • Problems of authorship in seriality
  • The representation of hero/heroine in serial narrative
  • Problems of reception in serial narrative
  • Seriality and  journalistic narrative
  • Interculturality and intermediality of serial narrative
  • Serial narrative in the new media (www)

Paper proposals (ready to be published and accompanied by abstract) should be sent by January 30, 2016 following the instructions available on the submission page of the website. Texts selected to be submitted to peer-review  will be indicated by March 1, 2016. Papers finally accepted will be published in May 2016.

Proposals in language other than Italian or in bilingual version (including an English version) are appreciated and encouraged.

Contact Info: 

Guest editors:

Andrea Bernardelli, University of Perugia (

Eleonora Federici, University of Napoli "L'Orientale" (

Gianluigi Rossini, University of L'Aquila (

Contact Email: