An international conference, being held 8 to 9 October 2021 at the Free University of Bolzano, focuses storytelling as a cultural practice. Abstracts should be sent before 01 May 2021.

Storytelling as a cultural practice permeates all phases and areas of human life. From their earliest days, children grow into a culture of storytelling, acquire language and develop writing skills, are introduced to literature through stories and learn to communicate through storytelling in multimodal ways: orally and in writing, by playing, drawing, designing, singing, and more. In the process of narrating, experiences are structured, identities are formed, social contexts are shaped, and wishes and futures are imagined. Narrative connects different times in history and diverse linguistic-cultural spaces, but it also requires time and space itself. Against the background of an educational landscape that is currently competence-oriented, the question arises as to what role the art of storytelling plays in educational contexts and what possibilities it opens up for learning. This conference aims to address this question theoretically and empirically from pedagogical
and linguistic perspectives.

Storytelling is not a mere account of events or experiences, but a constructive act in which thoughts are structured, meanings are produced, and experiences are made. In this way, events and experiences are shaped in perspective and acquire a subjective meaning. Narrating and listening, narrating and reading, and narrating and viewing are closely connected and mutually dependent, since both the interactions and the imagined others influence one’s own narratives. The tellability of a story and the way it is told are produced interactively in social situations and can differ in different linguistic-cultural contexts at the level of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Narrative research has recently gained much attention and can be located in different disciplines as well as in interdisciplinary contexts. Depending on the perspective taken, on the one hand more pedagogical, sociological, anthropological, or psychological questions can be pursued, focussing on the narrators themselves and the interactive communicative situations. On the other hand, there are more linguistic, literary, or text-oriented questions that focus on the linguistic or aesthetic object. Oral, written, or visual narratives, monologic or interactively produced narratives, individual acquisition trajectories or comparative situation representations will be considered.

The conference Storytelling as a Cultural Practice is dedicated to narrative in educational contexts and aims to make pedagogical and linguistic approaches fruitful for each other internationally. With this in mind, we invite theoretical, empirical, and didactic contributions that illuminate storytelling as a cultural practice from different perspectives and explore the interplay between narrative and learning.


The Committee is looking forward to your submission of theoretical, empirical, or didactic contributions focusing on the following topics:

  • Language, literature, and writing acquisition through narratives
  • Communication through storytelling in multimodal ways
  • Forming and imagining experiences in narrative
  • Identity construction through storytelling
  • Social communication through storytelling
  • Shaping the past and envisioning the future through storytelling
  • Different linguistic-cultural contexts of storytelling
  • Possibilities that storytelling opens up for learning
  • Thought structuring and meaning making in narratives
  • The interplay between narrating and listening, reading, and viewing skills
  • Narratives as a linguistic (i.e. syntactic, semantic, pragmatic) object

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Marina Bondi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy)
  • Sjaak Kroon (Tilburg University, Netherlands)
  • Daniel Perrin (Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland)
  • Petra Wieler (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)


The two categories of contributions are (1) individual papers and (2) posters.

Individual papers: Papers are formal presentations on original research by one or more authors, lasting a total of 30 minutes (20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion). Please note that the time limit will be strictly adhered to.

Posters: Poster sessions are for displaying research that offers the opportunity for individualised, informal discussion of the research. Posters are especially effective for presenting work-in-progress, fieldwork and results of empirical research if data can be presented visually (e.g. charts, graphs, tables, pictures, transcripts). A block of time will be designated when presenters can discuss their posters. Posters should be in the size of DIN A0 in portrait format.

The conference language is English.


Abstracts should be written in English and up to 350 words in length (including references). Short biographical notes giving name, affiliation, main areas of work and research (up to 50 words) should be added.

Submission is already open and will close on 1 May 2021. Presenters are requested to include their email address in the submitted MS-Word documents.

All proposals should be sent to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!.

Proposals will be evaluated in terms of quality of content, significance, originality, thematic relevance, and presentation. The acceptance of proposals will be announced by 1 June 2021.

Conference Presentation Policies

Individuals may submit a maximum of one abstract as first author, whether a paper or a poster. Only two authors are permitted per proposal.

It is assumed that all proposals represent original and unpublished work that is not yet available to the research community. The presenter must be a registered attending participant at the conference. The conference policy is that the author will present the paper on the day and time assigned by the conference organisers.


Selected contributions will be published in an edited volume after the conference.

Scientific Committee

Maria Cristina Gatti
Jeanette Hoffmann
Martina Irsara

Organising Committee

Cecilia Lazzeretti
Lynn Mastellotto
Barbara Huber

[Quelle: Call for Papers]

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