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(Trans-)National Criteria, Norms and Standards in Literary Studies Beitrag

A Comparative Analysis of Criteria-Based ‘ex ante’ Evaluation Forms of Funding Proposals in the Humanities

Nora Berning, Ansgar Nünning, Christine Schwanecke

Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, Volume 65 (2015), Issue 1, Page 115 - 135

In view of the demand for greater transparency and accountability regarding the expenditure of taxpayers’ money, techniques and practices such as benchmarking and the establishment of seemingly objective criteria used in evaluation have been imported from the United States into European higher education where they are used in all sorts of contexts: for the evaluation of manuscripts, theses, applications, and funding proposals. Focusing on an analysis of criteria, the present study examines evaluation forms distributed among reviewers to assess funding proposals in the humanities. By using a comparative framework, the authors seek to make a meta-theoretical and empirical contribution to the lively debate about quality assessment and assurance in the humanities in general and literary studies more particularly. Drawing on data from ten funding organizations in eight European countries, this is the first empirical study of its kind to address the construction and dissemination of (trans-)national criteria, norms and standards and, in doing so, to make a modest attempt to get to grips with the complex meta-category called ‘quality’.


Critical Ethical Narratology as an Emerging Vector in the Study of Literary Narrative Beitrag

Nora Berning

Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, Volume 63 (2013), Issue 1, Page 103 - 115

Previous research on ethical narratology has proven insufficient for a holistic, intersubjectively verifiable analysis of a narrative’s story ethics, i.e. a work’s constructive values. In this essay, I argue that an alliance between classical, structuralist narratology and postclassical narrative theory can lead to new and productive lines of research regarding the multi-level ethical dimension of narrative. By incorporating narratological categories that emerged out of both classical narratology (narrative situation, narrative time) and postclassical narrative theory (character-spaces, narrative bodies) into an integrative analytical framework – Critical Ethical Narratology (CEN) –, it becomes possible to analyze the ways in which individual narratives function as vehicles for the dissemination of ethical values and worldviews. CEN is an emerging vector in the study of literary narrative, because it unites not only classical and postclassical narrative theory but also ethical and transmedial narratology.

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