Instrumental Narratives: The Limits of Storytelling and New Story-Critical Narrative Theory develops ideas and analytical instruments that will equip researchers, professional groups and non-academic audiences to navigate today’s social and textual environments that are dominated by storytelling. We put contemporary literary fiction in dialogue with the manipulative stories that spread around the internet, in order to reveal the dubious relationship that some narratives have with identity, truth, politics, and complex systems such as climate change. In order to confront these issues, we reveal the sophisticated story-critical ideas and techniques offered by works of contemporary fiction.
Instrumental Narratives is directed from the University of Tampere, with each subproject in Tampere, Turku and Helsinki managing its own team and organizing their share of events. Tampere team PI Maria Mäkelä, also the consortium leader, is University Lecturer in Literary Studies (UTA) and the Director of the research center Narrare: A Center for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies. Turku team PI, Hanna Meretoja, is Professor of Comparative Literature (UTU) and the director of research center SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientality and Memory. Helsinki team PI Merja Polvinen is University Lecturer in English Philology (HU). Helsinki team is able to benefit from the international and interdisciplinary environment provided by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, a current or former home to two of the team’s researchers. The interdisciplinary setup of the consortium is crucially facilitated by these established and active multidisciplinary research hubs. The consortium receives its four-year (2018-2022) funding from the Academy of Finland.