Head: Prof. Harm-Peer Zimmermann

In the research focus Narratology, we endorse an open notion of narrative that encompasses narratives of every kind, intention and subject as well as different media and forms. Accordingly, we consider alongside traditional genres and formats (myth, fairy tale, saga, etc.) also current themes and forms of narrative with a principal perspective on everyday life and of actors. We understand narration as communicative action, as events deeply embedded in everyday life-worlds. Narrative patterns, plots and structures correspond with historical and contemporary socio-cultural contexts and situations. Thus, narratological research that embraces everyday life needs to set out from a dialogical relationship between text and context. Complementary, it is also important to address issues of autopoiesis and autonomy in a aesthetics of popular narratives and narration.

Members of staff:
Simone Stiefbold
Maximilian Jablonowski


Current Projects

  • PhD project: “Popular Drone Stories. Civil drones and the anthropology of the contemporary” (Maximilian Jablonowski)
  • Postdoc project: “Current and historical perspectives on weather narratives” (Simone Stiefbold)

Current Research Areas

  • Musical narration, especially mythical aspects in folk and pop music (e.g. Bob Dylan)
  • Brothers Grimm, traditional genres (fairy tales, myths, legends) including aesthetic theory
  • Theories of the aesthetics and epistemologies of narration and narratology
  • Narratological approaches to cultural heritage and exhibition design (e.g. UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, “Tales of the Brothers Grimm”)
  • Narrative gerontology (e.g. old age, dementia, Turkish migrants)

Completed PhD-projects

  • PhD-project “Sichtweisen des Menschlichen in lebensweltlichen Kontexten und als Formen narrativen Wissens im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert” (Simone Stiefbold)

Completed Projects

  • Research project “Identity and Image – The popularity of the brothers Grimm and their fairy tales” (2007–2010), sponsored by HMWK, IHK, UNESCO World Heritage Initiative
  • Exhibition “The popularity of the Brothers Grimm and their fairy tales” (2008–2012), sponsored by HMWK, exhibitions in Marburg (Haus der Romantik), Frankfurt am Main (Caricatura Museum für Komische Kunst), Ulm (Ulmer Museum), Steinau (Brüder Grimm-Haus), Schleswig (Landesmuseum Schloss Gottorf)
  • Exhibition “Real Hessian? Land – Life – Fairy Tales”(2012–2014) on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Children’s and Household Tales, sponsored by HMWK and the University of Marburg, exhibited in the Museum of Art and Cultural History, Marburg