Lanser selected to narrative society presidential cycle

Susan S. Lanser

Susan S. Lanser, head of the Division of Humanities, professor of English, women’s and gender studies, and comparative literature, has been selected for the four-year presidential cycle for the International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN). The term begins immediately after the 2013 Modern Language Association convention. The first board meeting will take place in Manchester, England, this June.

The ISSN is a nonprofit association of scholars dedicated to the investigation of narrative, its elements, techniques, and forms; its relations to other modes of discourse; its power and influence in cultures past and present.

According to the ISSN, "narrative" is a category that may include the novel, epic poetry, history, biography, autobiography, film, the graphic arts, music, performance, legal writing, medical case histories and more.
“This is an organization that I have a very deep commitment to because it crosses so many disciplines in its focus on narrative,” says Lanser. “The study of narrative has been at the heart of my career from the beginning.

Lanser says she’s looking forward to taking a role and shaping the next phase of the organization, which is deeply international. Officers are from Europe, Israel, Australia who are part of not only the organization but part of the leadership.

“Professor Lanser's election is an acknowledgement of the membership's respect and appreciation for her decades of work as a narratologist,” says Emma Kafalenos, ISSN first vice president, director of undergraduate studies and senior lecturer in comparative literature at Washington University in St. Louis. “She’s been involved with our ongoing narrative theory panels for a number of years. Her work is very impressive.”

As the incoming president, Kafalenos says Lanser’s appointment is a great honor.

“The field of narrative studies includes not only all of the languages, but other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences as well,” says Kafalenos. “One direction in which narrative studies is moving is to include cognitive studies from the field of psychology, a broadly based discipline.”

Lanser’s appointment as second vice president is part of a four-year cycle, in which she will become president of the association.  Lanser previously served on the executive board of the ISSN.
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