Fakultät für Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften

Research

OPPORTUNITIES Project

This collaborative project, funded by the European Commission from 2021-2025, brings together researchers, NGOs and artists from Austria, Belgium, France, Ghana, Germany, Italy, Mauritania, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Senegal. The goal is a critical revision of European migration discourses since the refugee "crisis" in 2015, and a fair narrative on migration.

The Horizon 2020 project “Crises as OPPORTUNITIES: Towards a Level Telling Field of Migration and a New Narrative of Successful Integration,” funded by the European Union, is located at the Interdisciplinary Center for Narrative Research, where humanities scholars conduct research on the topics of narrative and migration under the scientific coordination of Prof. Dr. Roy Sommer.

The international team, consisting of Dr. Moustapha Diallo, Ida Fábián, Dr. Carolin Gebauer, and Dr. Mariam Muwanga, investigates media representations of forced displacement and migration in order to model the dynamics of European migration debates by combining approaches from narrative theory and discourse analysis. In fostering a joint exchange between scientists, non-governmental organisations, and migrants, OPPORTUNITIES seeks to develop and test new discourse rules for a fair dialogue on migration and integration.

The international and interdisciplinary consortium of the project includes universities, research institutions, and non-governmental organisations from eleven European and African countries, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauretania, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Senegal. Toward the end of the project, the Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg KVS theatre in Brussels will translate the project’s findings into a travelling stage production. The ensemble will tour through several European countries, including Germany; it will also visit Wuppertal.

For further information, please visit the website of the OPPORTUNITIES project or watch this video on Youtube.

Recent publications of the project:

Gebauer, Carolin, and Roy Sommer (2022). Beyond Vicarious Storytelling: How Level Telling Fields Help Create a Fair Narrative on Migration. University of Wuppertal. [Working paper of the OPPORTUNITIES project 101004945 – H2020] 

Gebauer, Carolin, and Roy Sommer. “Crises as Opportunities – For a Fair Narrative on Migration.” BUW.OUTPUT 27.1 (2022): 30-35.

Gebauer, Carolin, and Roy Sommer, eds. Migration and Narrative: Key Terms and Concepts. Wuppertal: University of Wuppertal, 2021. [Glossary of the OPPORTUNITIES project 101004945 – H2020.]

Sommer, Roy. “Migration and Narrative Dynamics.” In The Routledge Companion to Narrative Theory, edited by Paul Dawson and Maria Mäkelä, 498–511. New York, NY and London: Routledge, 2022.

Sommer, Roy. “Narrative Dynamics and Migration: Centrifugal vs. Centripetal Forces.” Wuppertal: University of Wuppertal, 2022. [Working paper of the OPPORTUNITIES project 101004945 – H2020].

The OPPORTUNITIES-project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement n°101004945.

The Slow Novel: Reading and the Commodification of Time

The novel is a slow art form in more ways than one. While long genre fiction makes for a fast reading experience, characterized by suspense and narrative urgency, ‘slow’ narrative design, the art of complicating fictional worlds, has always been the domain of the long literary novel. Of course, short experimental forms can be difficult reads, too; as Roy Sommer's upcoming book will argue, however, it is the longform novel with its narrative excess, stylistic exuberance, labyrinthine plots, complex character constellations, intertextual networks, recursive structures, strategic redundancy and sheer scope that poses the biggest challenge to readerly attention – and allows us to think of reading as a subversive cultural strategy, challenging the commodification of time.
 

This project has received funding from the VolkswagenStiftung

"Libraries of the Mind: What Happens After Reading"

Roy Sommer’s essay “Libraries of the Mind. What Happens after Reading” engages with the nexus between narrative, reading and the future – the resonance of texts in our long-term memory. It explores various aspects of forgetting and remembering literature, including the potential and the limits of empirical and experimental approaches to our Kopfbibliotheken (‘libraries of the mind’). Blending concepts and metaphors from neuroscience, cognitive psychology and narrative theory, the featured article offers a phenomenological account of forgetting and remembering fiction. It introduces the metaphor of “architexture” to describe a hypothetical neuronal trace of our reading experiences, a vital element of worldview curation in a reader’s mind. You can read the essay here.
 

This project has received funding from the VolkswagenStiftung

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