The German Research Foundation (DFG) has granted a Reinhart Koselleck Project to Prof. Dr. Monika Fludernik of the Department of English at the University of Freiburg. The foundation awards aid to people with outstanding reputations in research. The program’s aim is to support scholars pursuing exceptionally innovative projects or those that involve a high level of positive risk. Fludernik’s award has an endowment of €1 million ($1.2 million). Her project, “Diachronic Narratology,” aims to expand the current narratological model. The latest DFG grant means there are now six Reinhart Koselleck Projects at the University of Freiburg.
Another goal of Fludernik’s is to innovatively reorient narratological study. Rather than relying on traditional synchronism oriented on a single period of time, she focuses on a diachronic approach and studies successive points in time. Up to now, narratology has been pursued according to the tradition of the French literary theorist Gérard Genette. In essence, it is a synchronous discipline with claim to universality of its categories—for example, the relationship between narrative time and narrated time, or narrative perspective, which is also known as focalization. By contrast, Fludernik’s project is based on narratology that adds a historical perspective to the conventional model, analyzing continuities and discontinuities in narrative forms and functions starting from the late Middle Ages and proceeding to modernism.