Michael Basseler; Ansgar Nünning; Christine Schwanecke (eds.)

The Cultural Dynamics of Generic Change in Contemporary Fiction


Theoretical Frameworks, Genres and Model Interpretations

With the recent renaissance in the theory and history of genre, questions regarding what brings about and, consequently, explains transformations within and between particular genres have become central. Whether literary genres are conceptualized as families or classes of texts, sets of norms and conventions, repertoires of devices, pragmatic constructs, bodies or fields of knowledge, social contracts between authors and readers, or interpretive tools, to name but a few of the most dominant explanatory frameworks, one thing is clear: genres are dynamic and changing phenomena. Yet, although literary theory has come up with a broad range of ways to account for generic change, scholars have neither given systematic and up-to-date overviews of the various explanations of generic change nor have they closely looked at the ways in which new genres have actually emerged to test the hypotheses generated by genre theory.

Accordingly, this volume sets out to shed further light on the processes involved in what can be referred to as ‘the cultural dynamics of generic change.’ As this phrase immediately suggests, the contributions gathered in this volume are particularly focused on exploring the ways in which genres are determined not only by changes within the literary system, but also by ‘extra-literary’ – i.e., cultural – factors and contexts. While the chapters in the first part are dedicated to theorizing the cultural dynamics of generic change by offering systematic overviews of existing approaches as well as spelling out new hypotheses, the chapters in the second part of this volume examine a great variety of fictional genres within, as well as beyond, British and American literature.

Inhaltsverzeichnis / Table of Contents (PDF)


ISBN 978-3-86821-491-8, 408 S., kt., € 45,00 (2013)

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