The 2019 Project Narrative Summer Institute: July 7-19, 2019

Institute Co-Directors:

Jared Gardner, Joseph V. Denney Professor of English and Sean O’Sullivan, Associate Professor of English.

The Narrative Summer Institute draws on the co-directors’ long involvement in—and various contributions to—critical conversations about serial and visual narrative and about narrative theory. Even as each does original research that tilts toward one of these aspects (comics for Jared and serial television for Sean), each has expertise in the history, evolution and diversity of visual and serial narrative theory and practice. Scholars in all humanities and social science fields are welcome.

The 2019 Project Narrative Summer Institute: Serial and Visual Narrative

PNSI is a two-week workshop on the campus of 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. The focus for summer 2019 will be Serial and Visual Narrative, and it will be co-directed by Jared Gardner and Sean O'Sullivan. The serial and the visual are two narrative aspects as old as storytelling itself, and they have become increasingly central to 21st-century narrative media, and to recent developments in narrative theory. While we will discuss the history of modern visual and serial narratives, beginning in the 18th century, our primary materials will focus chiefly on recent examples of the dominant serial forms that emerged in the 20th century: television, comics, and serial radio (now podcasts). Among the stories we'll examine are Donald Glover’s Atlanta, Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez’s Love & Rockets, Sarah Koenig’s Serial and—as an example of the rise of transmedial seriality—the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We'll engage a range of narrative-theoretical readings and approaches, while we pull in tools and insights from outside the main currents of narrative theory. In addition to the work of the co-directors and other members of Project Narrative, our readings will draw from Frank Kelleter, Jennifer Hayward, Jason Mittell and Umberto Eco, among others. The workshop will conclude with presentations of projects developed by the institute participants.

To Apply:

Applicants should send a current CV, a short description of the proposed project (no longer than a single-spaced page), and one letter of recommendation to Project Narrative by May 1, 2019. 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. Applications can be emailed to or sent by post to the following address:

421 Denney Hall Attn: Project Narrative 164 Annie and John Glenn Avenue Columbus, OH 43210
Please email with any questions about applying.

Fees and Housing:

Tuition for the 2019 Project Narrative Summer Institute is $1700. This does not include housing, but the Project Narrative staff will assist participants in finding affordable housing options according to individual needs. Project Narrative cannot provide financial aid, but the co-directors will gladly write in support of participants’ applications for funding from home institutions.