Call For Papers

Interim Conference of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) 2018
Ragusa, Italy, June 12-16, 2018
Organizer: SDS of Foreign Languages and Literatures of Ragusa - Department of Human Sciences (DISUM), University of Catania
The Special Didactic Structure of Foreign Languages and Literatures of Ragusa (University of Catania), in cooperation with the Department of Human Sciences (DISUM) of the University of Catania, is proud to invite the members of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research to hold an Interim Conference in Ragusa, Italy, on June 12-16, 2018.
The complexity of the field of Folk Narrative Research provides ample opportunities to compare different points of view and methods of study. In particular, the renewed interest in “identifying the origins of themes and motives, the reconstruction of their history, the process of their spread, their journeys and their metamorphosis” (Pioletti, Miti, temi, motivi fra folclore e letteratura, oralità e scrittura, 2010, p. 302) offers a multitude of perspectives on the encounters with the Other by focusing on regions of intensive cultural exchanges. As folkorists know well, the transmission (and ensuing transformation) of narratives over time is subject to processes of selection and assimilation. This often happens for ideological purposes which endorse views focused on the uniformity of cultural identities, rather than comparison and exchange. At the same time, folk narratives display a unique capacity to migrate, on the way crossing numerous borders and transforming the cultures they touch as well as being transformed themselves. Many other stories are hidden behind the transformations of folk narratives.
Within this framework, we invite papers and panels dealing with “the encounter” of cultures, with a particular focus on folk narratives. We encourage contributions with interdisciplinary approaches related to enlarged, dialogical, and critical perspectives. In particular, we suggest contributions to focus on the “journey” of oral narratives, myths, themes, and motives, through time and space, by analyzing the plural and intercultural nature of processes related to building and re-building identities (Lotman, Una teoria del rapporto reciproco fra le culture, 1992, pp. 126-127). In addition to enlightening aspects of regional relevance, the study of areas of extensive cultural exchange will lead to reassessing fundamental categories, such as the relationship between memory and function in myth and legend; linguistic strategies of exchange; the dynamics of losing, latency, interpolation, reactivation of meanings, structures, themes and “itinerant” motives in the folk tales.
We welcome scholarly presentations concerning any of the following topics:
-        Reassessing Approaches to Narratives: Theories, Models and Definitions
-        Storytellers and Their Strategies
-        People and Places: Etiological Legends Composing Memories
-        Revisions and Memories in Times of Migration
-        Heritage and the Construction of Identities in Oral Tradition
-        Linguistic Strategies in Cross-cultural Contact
Submission of Abstracts [Deadline: November 1st, 2017   ]
You are welcome to submit your conference registration by sending an e-mail to:              
The deadline for proposals is November 1st, 2017  
Please make sure to include the following information with your proposal:

  • full name, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation;
  • membership status;
  • the title of your proposed paper;
  • a 250 word abstract;
  • a 150 word bionote;

Sessions and panels will be structured according to topics (with a maximum of four participants). Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of ISFNR members and of Scholars who live in the region hosting the meeting. The committee will send notification of acceptance or rejection for the meeting program in early February 2018 and post an online preliminary program schedule by March 2018.
N.B. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of discussion.
Panels: [Deadline: October 1st, 2017]
Participants wishing to suggest a panel are most welcome. Those wishing to organize a panel need to submit their suggestions following a specific form (chair/convenor of the panel, topic, titles of papers and participants). In doing so they must comply with the thematic guidelines of the sub-topics and general topic of the congress.
Please submit your registration by e-mail:                              
Registration Fee
Regular Registration (until January 10, 2018)
regular member rate: € 180
reduced member rate (unemployed colleagues and PhD students): € 120
additional fee for non-members: € 50/25
Late registration or on site payment (after January 10, 2018)
regular member rate: € 210
reduced member rate (unemployed colleagues and PhD students): € 150
additional fee for non-members: € 50/25
Note. Participants of the Interim Conference are reminded that this is an event organized primarily by and for members of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research. To ensure their full ISFNR membership status participants will be asked to check with the treasurer or the treasurer's representative, and ISFNR members who have not yet paid their dues will be asked to do so during on-site registration. The current membership rates are 25 Euros or 30 US Dollars per annum. Non-members wishing to participate in the Ragusa congress are welcome, but will be expected to pay an additional registration fee of 50 EUR prior to registration. Reduced rates at 25 EUR for non-members will only be applicable for students, unemployed, and accompanying persons. Please note that all payments to the ISFNR treasurer must be made in cash.
The conference fee includes:
participation in the conference sessions and guided tours to historic and artistic places of interest in Ragusa Ibla among the conference activities, stationery costs, printing and photocopying facilities, coffee breaks and conference dinner (with a coach transfer).
For those who may wish to extend their stay, at the end of the conference it will be possible to sign up for a full-day excursion that will include coach transfer, lunch with typical local produce, entrance to the Camarina archaeological museum, entrance to the Donnafugata Castle and its park, at an extra cost of € 60.
International Scientific Committee:
Sadhana Naithani, Ulrich Marzolph, Mirella Cassarino, Santo Burgio, Antonio Pioletti, Eliana Creazzo, Ilenia Licitra, Alba Rosa Suriano, Francesca Rizzo Nervo, Attilio Scuderi, Carlo Donà.
Local Committee:
Mirella Cassarino, Eliana Creazzo, Alfredo Criscuolo, Cristina La Rosa, Ilenia Licitra, Stefano Lo Presti, Rosa Pennisi, Daniela Potenza, Alba Rosa Suriano.         
Further Information
A second circular including further information will be issued in February 2018.
A third circular including the definitive congress program will be issued shortly before the congress dates.
Should you have questions, please send us  an e-mail:                       
Please find regularly updated information regarding the congress, next circulars, registration procedures, etc., on the following websites: