Belief Narrative Network Symposium,
Novi Sad, Serbia, August 28-30, 2012
INVITATION TO BNN Symposium
INSFR (Belief Narrative Network), Faculty of Philosophy, Novi Sad, Department for Serbian Literature, organize a three day symposium on the topic of BELIEF NARRATIVE GENRES which will take place at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia, from August 28th to 30th, 2012.
The theme of the conference is: BELIEF NARRATIVE GENRES
Belief narratives are known to be a very complex category of folk prose which were for a long time researched as legends (Erzälung, Predanie). ?t the begining of the 19th century Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm defined them as Sagen opposed to Märchen. The Grimm Brothers considered the Sagen as more historical and Märchen more poetical. Their contemporaries and followers used these ideas but also developed them in different directions insisting on their various dimensions. Thus they examined the relationship between the legend and the belief (Fraser, Boas, Röhrich, Dégh) and accordingly, the attitude of the individual narrator and the community towards the narrative (Malinovski, Sirovatka, Bascom, Halpert). In addition to this, the question of historicity of legends was important and often raised (Milosevic-Djordjevic, Sokolova), as well as the problem of the narrator's position within the story (Sidow, Cistov) and the position of the collective and individual elements in it (Sidow). Temporal and spatial dimensions of legends were also analysed (Bascom, Cistov). Researchers focused on how developed narratives are (narrative and non-narrative forms), motive, types (Simonsuri, Greverus, Sirovatka, Sokolova) and on the form and structure of the tales (Schmith, Sidow, Gusev, Cistov, Jason, Sirovatka). They also analysed the characters and heroes in the legends. On the long journey of legend analyses, the researchers, on different levels, introduced new genres and subgenres (ordinary legend, urban legend, local legend, migratory legend, news, rumours…). This necessarily led to the question of genesis and transformations of this extremely complex and vital category of tales, of the so-called classical and contemporary forms (Rörich, Boskovic-Stulli), and not only at the level of poetics but at the level of their psychological, socio-psychological and social function and nature as well (Jung, Ranke, Lüthi, Röhrich). What we usually call a legend, an active and interesting category of folklore prose which was originally oral, gradually in time entered the sphere of literacy and the written word as well as the contemporary form of electronic communication. This raises the question of media through which legends are told and the question of legends in the media. All of this contributed to the broadening of the scope of this complex genre/ genres. Moreover, the question of the relationship between beliefs ("history") and legends, beliefs in legends etc. grounded by the Brothers Grimm have since been not only constant but also dominant (Cistov, Sokolova), as could be seen in the new tendencies to rename legends into belief narratives, which is a wider, less specified category of folklore prose, and a consequence of a new perspective on the object of research. It would, therefore, on this occasion, be crucial to reassess not only different forms of legends in time and space and redefine their poetical characteristics, but also look into modifications of legends and accordingly redefine the notion/notions. In addition to this, it would be important to see how the beliefs have changed, even those that are central to the narratives, both within their narrow ethnic, confessional, gender, sex and age categories and in global terms.
In this respect, the Symposium would cover two thematic areas:
- Belief narrative genres - past and present (discuss, for instance: devil narratives, saint legends, belief tales, etc), and their relation to other genres (such as: anecdotes, tall tale...). The main question that needs to be asked is the one about boundaries: are they the same for the narrators as they are for the folklorists? And did they change over time?
- Reflexions about their scholarship, history of ideas, methods and analytical tools.
Abstracts (word document): August, 2011 (up to 400 words) in an email sent to email@example.com
Notification of acceptance: October, 2011
Full papers: October, 2012
Selected papers will be published in Special Volume of Symposium Proceedings
Presenters will be allowed 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion.
Work will be organized in plenary and thematic sections
Conference languages: English, Russian, Serbian (all abstracts will be translated into Russian/English by the organiser).
Registration Fees to be paid by March 1st, 2012
Foreign Participants: 120 EUR
Accompanying person: 90 EUR
Participants from Serbia: 60 EUR (payment is to be made in Serbian dinars; please apply exchange rate prescribed by National Bank of Serbia on the day of payment)
bank account number:
Late fee of 150 EUR would be chargeable after March 1st, 2012.
Registration fee includes: Conference kit, working lunch, tea/coffee during Symposium.
With warm regards,
Symposium Organizing Team
Symposium Program Committee
Willem de Blécourt
Host Organizing Committee at Faculty of Philosophy,
University of Novi Sad
Welcome to Novi Sad!