Narrative is a form of meaning that is shared by stories of all kinds. Narratives pervade contemporary culture and the cultural history of civilisations throughout the world.

We associate narrative most, perhaps, with fiction and literature, though fictional stories take many other forms. Narrative is found in a wide range of media, such as: film and television, performance, dance, graphic narrative, interactive and digital media, oral storytelling, and even our dreams. Beyond fictional stories are the many forms of non-fictional narrative in (for example) journalism, historiography, documentary, and autobiography, as well as in the social sciences and indeed the hard sciences. Moreover, we rely on narrative in our ordinary lives both to understand and to communicate our experiences. Indeed, understanding experience in the form of stories is ingrained in how we think: the foundations of narrative lie in distinctive human cognitive capacities.

Given its protean nature, narrative studies is necessarily an interdisciplinary and transmedia field in which theory, critical practice and empirical study are all in continual dialogue. The British and Irish Association for Narrative Studies exists to draw together these common interests across the institutional and disciplinary boundaries within academia, as well as between academic, creative and communicative approaches to narrative.


The nature and purpose of the Association

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Research areas

A key to the range of research specialisms within narrative studies, linked to the profiles of Association members

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Directory of BIANS members

Information about members of the Association, sortable by name, institution and research area

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Discussion forum

BIANS maintains a discussion forum – to which it is possible to subscribe

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The Association and its members have connections and affiliations with a number of other narrative-related organisations worldwide

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Why you might want to join the Association, and how to go about it

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