Global Humanities Junior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University
August - December 2014
Building and Telling Evolving Stories
The congruences of open-ended, flexible stories and the active reader is the point of departure in my dissertation project Building and Telling Evolving Stories (working title). Non-linear and opaque narratological and structural compositions, which are visible in recent graphic novels, television series, computer games, music albums, or websites, rely on a “reader” who is willing and eager to complement and work out the stories' meandering ways over and over again. She is encouraged in a seemingly playful way to explore and re-arrange these open-ended narratives while being, in effect, turned into a manager of their manifold possibilities. These flexible narratives occur in a neoliberalized and digitalized cultural moment which brings forward readers–or rather “citizen-subjects of a neoliberal order” to borrow from Wendy Brown–who partake in self-care, self-fashioning and self-extension in all spheres of their lives. Fiction, then, seems to be affected by these dynamics as well: my dissertation interrogates this overlap of the reader's relentless extending and building of non-linear narratives with the curating and managing of her opaque and flexible selves.
Rieke Jordan is a doctoral candidate of American cultural studies at the Graduate School of North American Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Bielefeld University in American Studies, British Studies, and Psychology in 2009 and her Master of Arts from the John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin in 2012. She also studied at the University of Amsterdam during an ERASMUS exchange semester in 2010/2011 and participated in the Design Thinking course at the Hasso Plattner Institute of the University of Potsdam.