Announcement // In January 2021 Narrative will devote a special issue to the topic of “Narrative in the Public Sphere.” This message is a call for abstracts for potential contributions. Contributions on health/medical humanities narrative in the public sphere would be very welcome.

The overarching goal of the special issue is to participate in and influence conversations about narrative’s role in the construction and understanding of the public sphere as well as its potential role in changing that construction and understanding.

The issue will work with a broad and inclusive concept of the public sphere, one that has its roots in Habermas’s work but one not fully tied to his account. The key components of the concept for the special issue are that it includes multiple domains (and their attendant activities) that feed into a collective sense of a metaphorical public space within a society and culture. Examples of such domains include politics, education, health care/medicine, the law, economics, art, literature, journalism, religion, and more. The special issue is open to submissions about narrative in any domain provided that the work of the essay involves linking the narrative(s) under consideration to larger issues in that domain or in the broader public sphere. For example, an essay within the domain of religion should focus less on the nature of individual beliefs or practices and more on the consequences of a set of beliefs or practices for the society and culture in which that religion is located. Similarly, an essay on literary narrative should focus less on the intricacies of structure and more on possible effects/efficacy of the narrative for the society and culture in which it is produced.

Here’s the timetable for the special issue: abstracts (350-500 words) due April 1, 2019; decisions on abstracts by May 15, 2019; essays due January 15, 2020; special issue, January 2021.

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