About this Issue


  • Editors / Herausgeber*innen


This special issue of DIEGESIS, edited by Marco Caracciolo, Carolin Gebauer, and Roy Sommer, presents some of the findings of the collaborative research project “Crises as OPPORTUNITIES: Towards a Level Telling Field on Migration and a New Narrative of Successful Integration,” funded by the European Union (Horizon 2020). The six contributions investigate how politicians, the news media, and diasporic communities use narratives to frame migration policies, influence public opinion, and shape collective identities. It also demonstrates how narrative theory, by developing concepts like narrative dynamics, crisis narration, frames and metaphors, scaling, and collective narrative, can provide new critical perspectives on migration. The special issue thus bridges the gap between the analysis of narratives by quantitative media studies in the social sciences and theoretically oriented narrative scholarship in the humanities.

By relating their inquiry to the novel concept of a narrative ecology of migration in an introductory survey article, the guest editors show how narrative theory can contribute to migration studies. Through detailed analyses of migration discourses in four European countries (Germany, Austria, Italy, and Hungary), the articles by Simona Adinolfi, Birgit Bahtić-Kunrath, Marco Caracciolo, Ida Fábián, Carolin Gebauer, and Roy Sommer illustrate the flexibility of a narrative approach, emphasizing the diversity of European migration debates. Rounding off this special issue is a case study of the African diaspora in Germany, understood as a narrative community by M. Moustapha Diallo and Mariam Muwanga.

In addition, this issue of DIEGESIS includes a featured article by Jan Alber, Thomas Niehr, and Hans-Jörg Sigwart, which introduces a new research paradigm: “disruptive narratives” are characterized by a high potential to shock audiences, presenting radically alternative realities that seek to disturb an established political order.

In the “Shape of Things to Come” section, our interview with Lindsay Holmgren highlights the role of narrative in generating and imparting knowledge. Holmgren speaks about a long-term interdisciplinary research project which investigates how young adults make sense of global challenges like climate change, war, or global pandemics through narrative. How, she asks, can narratives uncover the ways in which such experiences influence the life of this generation?

Three book reviews complete this winter issue of DIEGESIS. Christian Benesch discusses Erzählen ohne Worte. Eine Erkundung by Michael Niehaus (Hagen University Press and Georg Olms Verlag 2022); Jon Hegglund reviews Marie-Laure Ryan’s A New Anatomy of Storyworlds. What Is, What If, As If (The Ohio State University Press, 2022), and Sarah J. Link introduces our readers to Digital Fiction and the Unnatural. Transmedial Narrative Theory, Method, and Analysis, co-authored by Astrid Ensslin and Alice Bell (The Ohio State University Press, 2021).

We wish you all an interesting and inspiring read!