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The 2021 Project Narrative Summer Institute: Narrative Theory and Social Justice (Online) June 21 - July 2, 2021

Institute Co-directors:
Robyn Warhol, Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, and James Phelan, Distinguished University Professor of English

The 2021 Project Narrative Summer Institute: Narrative Theory and Social Justice (Online)

PNSI 2021 The Project Narrative Summer Institute is a two-week workshop on the campus of The Ohio State University that offers faculty and advanced graduate students in any discipline the opportunity for an intensive study of core concepts and issues in narrative theory.

PNSI 2021 will be devoted to Narrative Theory and Social Justice, and it will be conducted with an awareness of the call for the academy to recognize and address the structural inequalities that have made the Black Lives Matter movement and other forms of political activism both necessary and urgent. The Institute will be rooted in the principle that narrative is a way of knowing and of doing that is always situated in a socio-cultural context. Consequently, we will give substantial time to the work the narratives we’ll read and view seek to do. Our method will be to construct dialogues among those narratives, feminist narratology, rhetorical narratology, and critical race theory. We will be especially interested in establishing two-way traffic between the theories and the narratives. Even as these theories provide good entry points into the narratives, especially through their attention to intersectionality, ethics, and situatedness, we want to be open to the ways the narratives can lead us to enrich, extend or revise current theory.


We will conduct the Institute in daily synchronous sessions via Zoom. The 2020 Institute was conducted online, an experience that highlighted some advantages of the format, especially its opening up the Institute for participants who woud not otherwise be able to attend. In addition, that experience taught us a lot about the affordances of Zoom (breakout rooms, chat, screen sharing, recordings and so on) and we will design the 2021 Institute to maximize the efficacy of those affordances.

To Apply: 

Applicants should send a current CV, a short description of a teaching or research project related to the theme (no longer than one single-spaced page), and one letter of recommendation to Project Narrative by April 30, 2021. Please email all documents to projectnarrative@osu.edu.

Applications will be reviewed promptly after the deadline. If, in order to meet funding deadlines, applicants need an earlier decision, the co-directors will consider special requests for early action.

Please email projectnarrative@osu.edu with any questions about applying.

Fees and Housing:

Tuition for the 2021 Project Narrative Summer Institute is $1,800. Project Narrative cannot provide financial aid, but the co-directors will gladly write in support of participants’ applications for funding from home institutions. 

Accessibility Statement:

Project Narrative is committed to accessibility and ensuring that all programming is welcoming to all participants. We will actively be taking steps, including providing live transcription, to ensure that the virtual format is accessible. Please reach out to Joey Ferraro, the Graduate Assistant for Narrative, at ferraro.48@osu.edu with any specific requests or questions.

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to Adobe .pdf files requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact projectnarrative@osu.edu.