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Narrating the Mesh: Ecology and the Non-Human in Contemporary Fiction and Oral Storytelling

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 NARMESH project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the NARMESH project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "NARMESH" about.

temporal    told    carbon    self    narrative    builds    heighten    morton    relations    attitude    emerges    material    express    levels    theory    uses    natural    everyday    bias    sufficiency    subjectivity    action    connections    advancing    culture    overcome    phenomena    conversational    significance    contemporary    interdisciplinary    close    plot    things    idea    indispensable    opposed    ecological    atoms    metaphor    ontological    convey    weaving    turn    envisage    earth    mesh    constant    ways    reflect    dialogue    conversation    rethink    sub    social    today    engage    establishing    interconnectedness    interviews    belief    novels    literary    bacteria    human    exchange    causal    life    charts    systematically    interaction    beliefs    intestines    readings    serving    storytelling    qualitative    realities    print    supporting    practices    sciences    stories    sense    strategies    formal    scholarship    combination    people    agency    assumption    single    biased    physical    map    forge    narratives    timothy    theorist    tool    catalyst    fictional    interdependence    explore    intersection    crisis    prompts   

Project "NARMESH" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GENT
postcode: 9000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Total cost 1˙130˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙130˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-02-01   to  2022-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT GENT BE (GENT) coordinator 1˙130˙000.00


 Project objective

Today’s ecological crisis prompts us to rethink our attitude towards physical and natural realities that have traditionally been seen as opposed to human subjectivity and agency. What emerges from this “non-human turn” is a sense of our interdependence on things like the bacteria in our intestines or the carbon atoms supporting life on Earth. Ecological theorist Timothy Morton uses the metaphor of the “mesh” to express this idea of human/non-human interconnectedness. This project will map the formal and thematic strategies through which contemporary narrative practices engage with the non-human and envisage this interconnectedness. Storytelling is an indispensable tool for making sense of experience by establishing temporal and causal relations. But it is also biased towards the human-scale realities of action and social interaction. How can narrative overcome this bias? How does it convey phenomena that challenge our belief in the ontological and material self-sufficiency of the human? Comparing fictional narratives in print (novels and short stories) and conversational storytelling, we will systematically explore the ways in which narrative can forge connections across levels of reality, weaving together the human and the non-human into a single plot. The assumption is that narrative is a field where fictional practices are in constant dialogue with the stories told in everyday conversation—and with the culture-wide beliefs and concerns those stories reflect. Through its three sub-projects, the proposed research charts this complex dialogue while greatly advancing our understanding of how stories can be used to heighten people’s awareness of the mesh and its significance. The project builds on a combination of methods (close readings of novels, qualitative analysis of interviews), aiming to open up a new field of study at the intersection of literary scholarship and the social sciences—with narrative theory serving as a catalyst for the interdisciplinary exchange.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Marco Caracciolo
Deus Ex Algorithmo: Narrative Form, Computation, and the Fate of the World in David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten and Richard Powers’s The Overstory
published pages: 47-71, ISSN: 0010-7484, DOI:
Contemporary Literature 60 no. 1 2020-03-24
2019 Marco Caracciolo
Form, Science, and Narrative in the Anthropocene
published pages: 270-289, ISSN: 1063-3685, DOI:
Narrative 27 no. 3 2020-02-06
2020 Marco Caracciolo
Object-Oriented Plotting and Nonhuman Realities in DeLillo’s Underworld and Iñárritu’s Babel
published pages: 45-64, ISSN: , DOI:
Environment and Narrative: New Directions in Econarratology 2020-02-06
2019 Gry Ulstein
What\'s Weird about Giant Flying Bears?
published pages: , ISSN: 2506-7982, DOI:
Collateral 15 2019-09-09
2019 Shannon Lambert
published pages: 78-87, ISSN: 0845-4450, DOI: 10.1386/public.30.59.78_1
Public 30/59 2019-08-29
2019 Marco Caracciolo
Form, Science, and Narrative in the Anthropocene
published pages: 270–89, ISSN: 1063-3685, DOI:
Narrative 27 no. 3 2019-08-29
2019 Marco Caracciolo, Andrei Ionescu, Ruben Fransoo
Metaphorical patterns in Anthropocene fiction
published pages: 96394701986545, ISSN: 0963-9470, DOI: 10.1177/0963947019865450
Language and Literature 2019-08-29
2018 Marco Caracciolo
Notes for an Econarratological Theory of Character
published pages: 172–189, ISSN: 2509-4882, DOI:
Frontiers of Narrative Studies 4 no. 1 2019-08-29
2018 Marco Caracciolo
Negative Strategies and World Disruption in Postapocalyptic Fiction
published pages: 222-241, ISSN: 0039-4238, DOI:
Style 52 no. 3 2019-06-13
2018 Marco Caracciolo
A Walk Through Deep History: Narrative, Embodied Strategies, and Human Evolution
published pages: 123-146, ISSN: 2532-2001, DOI:
Costellazioni 5 2019-06-13

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