Culture studies try to understand how people assume identities and how they perceive reality. In this perspective narration, as a basic form of cognitive processing, is a fundamental cultural technique. Narrations provide the coherence, temporal organization and semantic integration that are essential for the development and communication of identity, knowledge and orientation in a socio-cultural context.
In essence, Anderson’s “Imagined Communities” need to be thought of as “Narrated Communities” from the beginning. Narration is made up by what people think; and vice versa, narration makes up people's thoughts. What is considered "fictitious" or "real" no longer separates narratives from an "outside" they refer to, but rather represents different narratives.
Narration not only constructs notions of what was “real” in retrospect, but also prospectively creates possible worlds, even in the (supposedly hard) sciences, as in e.g. the imaginative simulation of physical processes. The book’s unique interdisciplinary approach shows how the implications of this fundamental insight go far beyond the sphere of literature and carry weight for both scholarly and scientific disciplines.
Editors’ Introduction: A Sociological Perspective on Science and Narration
Stones, Mortar, Building: Knowledge Production and Community Building in Narratives in Science
Narration and Abstraction in Natural Sciences
Narratives in Physics: Quantitative Metaphors and formula ∈Tropes?
“Render Innocuous the Abstraction We Fear”: Johann Wolfgang Goethe in the Epochal Conflict between Scientific Knowledge and Narrative Knowing
Between Logos and Mythos: Narratives of “Naturalness” in Today’s Particle Physics Community
Narration, Fiction and the Entangled Human Sciences
Philosophy as an “Introduction to a General Science of Revolution”? On Peter Sloterdijk’s Narrative-Evocative Philosophizing
Narrative Persuasion and Narrative Irritation in Psychotherapy: Bio- graphical Narratives, Deferred Dramaturgy and Narrative Affirmation
Narrating the Uncanny – Uncanny Narration: Freud’s Essay and Theories of Fiction
Narration, Memory and Identity
Literature and (Ethno-)Nationalist Narratives in the (Post-)Yugoslav Region
Doris Lessing’s “Alfred and Emily” and the Ethics of Narrated Memory
Closed Timelike Curves: Gödel’s Solution for Einstein’s Field Equa- tions in the General Theory of Relativity and Bach’s “The Musical Offering” as Configuration Models for Narrative Identity Constructions in Richard Powers’s “The Time of Our Singing”
Translating Narrations into Different Cultures and Media
Translatio/ns of Identity-Building Narratives: The Character of “El Cid” in Spanish and Latin American Texts from the 12th to the 20th Century
The Politics of Images: Considerations on French Nineteenth-Century Orientalist Art (ca. 1800–ca. 1880) as a Paradigm of Narration and Translation
Notes on Contributors
Index of Names
Academic personnel in various disciplines concerned with narration: culture studies, literature, history, psychology, politology, translation studies; -- people with general interest in a transdisciplinary approach to culture studies and science.