New Book on Narrative Instability in Popular Culture

ASL’s Stefan Schubert recently published his dissertation on Narrative Instability: Destabilizing Identities, Realities, and Textualities in Contemporary American Popular Culture. The book is part of the series “American Studies - A Monograph Series” published by Universitätsverlag Winter, and it will also be available in the university library soon.

From the blurb: “This book introduces the concept of ‘narrative instability’ in order to make visible a new trend in contemporary US popular culture, to analyze this trend’s poetics, and to scrutinize its textual politics. It identifies those texts as narratively unstable that consciously frustrate and obfuscate the process of narrative understanding and comprehension. Despite—or rather, exactly because of—their destabilizing tendencies, such texts have attained mainstream popularity in recent years across media, most prominently in films, video games, and TV series. Focusing on three clusters of instability that form around identities, realities, and textualities, the book argues that narratively unstable texts encourage their audiences to engage with the constructedness of their universes, that narrative instability embodies a new facet of popular culture, that it can only be understood transmedially, and that its textual politics particularly speak to white male middle-class Americans.”

The book’s table of contents is also available via the listing in the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.