Transmedial Narratology and Contemporary Media Culture

Transmedial Narratology and Contemporary Media Culture

Jan-Noël Thon

Frontiers of Narrative Series

558 pages
80 illustrations


August 2016


$60.00 Add to Cart

November 2018


$35.00 Pre-order

About the Book

It has become something of a cliché within the field of narratology to assert the commercial, aesthetic, and sociocultural relevance of narrative representations, but the fact remains that narratives are everywhere. Whenever we read a novel or a comic, watch a film or an episode of our favorite television series, or play the latest video game, we are likely to engage with narrative media. Similarly, the intermedial adaptations and transmedial entertainment franchises that have become increasingly visible during the past few decades are, at their core, narrative forms. Since a significant part of contemporary media culture is defined by the narratives we tell each other via various media, the media studies discipline needs a genuinely transmedial narratology.

Transmedial Narratology and Contemporary Media Culture focuses on the intersubjective construction of storyworlds as well as on prototypical forms of narratorial and subjective representation. It provides not only a method for the analysis of salient transmedial strategies of narrative representation in contemporary films, comics, and video games but also a theoretical frame within which medium-specific approaches from literary and film narratology, from comics studies and game studies, and from various other strands of media and cultural studies may be employed to further our understanding of narratives across media.

Author Bio

Jan-Noël Thon is a research associate in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He is the coeditor of a number of books on narrative and media studies, including From Comic Strips to Graphic Novels: Contributions to the Theory and History of Graphic Narrative and Storyworlds across Media: Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology (Nebraska, 2014).


"Thorough, well-grounded in prominent theory, and useful for scholars of contemporary media and narrative theory."—Erica McCrystal, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics

"An excellent contribution to transmedial narratology."—Hans-Joachim Backe, Diegesis: Interdisciplinary E-Journal for Narrative Research

"An extremely valuable contribution to the efforts of achieving a truly transmedial perspective without losing sight of the media-specific aspects of texts."—Sarah E. Beyvers, KULT Online

“This book is a sustained and utterly convincing demonstration of transmedial narrative theory’s ability to address the construction of twenty-first-century storyworlds in films, comics, and video games.”—Jared Gardner, author of Projections: Comics and the History of Twenty-First-Century Storytelling

“The adage that ‘narrative is everywhere’ has always been in need of a theoretical frame and method for analysis, and Thon’s carefully argued and well-researched book takes an important step toward such a genuinely transmedial narratology.”—Karin Kukkonen, author of Contemporary Comics Storytelling

“Remarkably well informed and thoroughly researched, precise in any criticisms, and elegantly moving through a tremendous amount of work on the various topics, this is an important book for narrative theory and media studies alike.”—Daniel Punday, author of Writing at the Limit: The Novel in the New Media Ecology

“This is a unique feat of narratology, deployed upon an impressive repertoire of contemporary media culture. There simply is no other book that so thoroughly and precisely develops the concept of transmediality.”—Susana P. Tosca, coauthor of Understanding Video Games: The Essential Introduction

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. Toward a Transmedial Narratology
Part 1. Storyworlds across Media
2. The Storyworld as a Transmedial Concept
3. Narrative Representation across Media
Part 2. Narrators across Media
4. The Narrator as a Transmedial Concept
5. Narratorial Representation across Media
Part 3. Subjectivity across Media
6. Subjectivity as a Transmedial Concept
7. Subjective Representation across Media
Works Cited

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