Call for papers

expanding universes.
exploring transmedial & transfictional ways of World-building

International Conference in Kraków (Poland)
23rd-25th September 2016

Thinking of storyworlds as representations that transcend media
not only expands the scope of narratology beyond its “native” territory
of language-based narrative […] but also provides a much-needed
 center of convergence and point of comparison to media studies.
Marie-Laure Ryan & Jan-Noël Thon


It is no doubt that with the dynamic evolution of fantastic narratives a world-centered model of storytelling has started to proliferate, changing the way one can interact with fictional representations of worlds in literature, movies, video games, comic books, any other media. A growing interest in media-conscious world-building, both amongst scholars and fans, clearly shows that the future of narrative and media studies lays not with monomedial, but transmedial studies—especially when no-one seems to question cross-overs, retellings, remediations, or any other narrative devices so common in contemporary storytelling. From Star Wars Expanded Universe/Legends top-down and bottom-up transfictional storytelling or transmedial campaign for  The Hunger Games the movie to multimodal storytelling in Doug Dorst’s “S” or Bioshock: Infinite—we all engage in a plethora ways of world-making, and what transmedial narratology needs nowadays to do, is to analyze these storyworlds in their variety without imposing any paradigmatic world-building model for creators to follow. Consequently, organizers of the conference will welcome presentations or full panel proposals covering:

  • key and emerging concepts in transmedia studies and transmedial narratology;
  • theoretical discrepancies between transmediality, multimodality, and transfictionality;
  • theory, history, and philosophy of world-building in literature and other media;
  • top-down and bottom-up world-building and storytelling;
  • ways of inhabiting fictional/virtual worlds: immersion, interactivity, and beyond;
  • franchises and franchised universes: their expansion and narrative potential;
  • fan & fandom studies with an emphasis on participatory authorship in shared universes, entertainment supersystems, and more;
  • means of narrative/economical control (i.e. canon, moderated/curated content, licencing etc.) in massive world-building enterprises;
  • psychological and philosophical contexts of world creation;
  • case studies of transmediality, transfictionality, and world-building across media (MCU, Game of Thro­nes, StarCitizen, Star Wars, DC Universe, and many more);

keynote speaker

Confirmed keynote speaker is a prominent narrative theorist, Marie-Laure Ryan, author of the most important books in possible worlds theory, hypertextuality, transmedia storytelling, transfictionality & multimodality, immersion theory, and narrative studies, such as Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence, and Narrative Theory (1991), Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media (2001), Avatars of Story (2006), or (co-edited), Narrative Across Media: The Languages of Storytelling (2004) or Storyworlds Across Media. Toward Media-Conscious Narratology (2015).

Registration, submissions & fees

The conference language is English.To register for the conference, one should sent in editable format (.doc, .docx.) 600-words abstracts featuring (1) the title of presentation, (2) a concise bio-note, (3) current affiliation, and (4) all necessary contact information (official email address & phone number) at by June 30th 2016. Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks after the deadline.

Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks after the deadline.

Attendees are also encouraged to send us full panel proposals composed of (1) abstracts from a minimum number of 4 delegates, (2) up to 600 words description of the panel, (3) a suggested title of the panel and, most importantly, (4) email addresses of all delegates included in the proposed panel.

The conference fee of 100€ will cover conference materials, catering and all other essentials, but does not include accommodation.

More info

Further details regarding the venue, suggested accommodation and transportation will be continuously updated at the website Organisers do welcome all questions and requests at

The conference will be followed by a peer-reviewed monograph, published by Facta Ficta Research Centre and licenced under Creative Commons 4.0 as an ebook stored in a globally accessible repository (CeON Center for Open Science) and / or in peer-reviewed special editions of renowned scholarly journals.

We look forward to seeing you in Kraków!

The Organising Committee

Ksenia Olkusz, PhD (Facta Ficta Research Centre in Kraków)
Piotr Kubiński, PhD (University of Warsaw)
Krzysztof M. Maj (Jagiellonian University, Facta Ficta Research Centre in Kraków) – project co-ordinator
Sven Dwulecki (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen)