About the Project

The ecological crisis makes us aware of how interdependent everything is

Morton 2010, 30

The “mesh” is Timothy Morton’s metaphor for the interrelation between humans and a large gamut of “nonhuman” realities, from the bacteria in our guts to macro-entities such as climate change. “Narrating the Mesh” (NARMESH in short) is a multidisciplinary research project interrogating contemporary narrative and its potential for staging, challenging, and expanding the human imagination of the nonhuman.

How can narrative, in both literary fiction and oral storytelling, capture the ways in which humans are dependent upon the climate or the geological history of our planet? How can we narrativize entities that elude the human scale? How can stories undercut anthropocentric ideologies and foster a sense of respectful coexistence with realities beyond the human?

NARMESH addresses these questions by bringing together literary studies, narrative theory, and narrative approaches in the social sciences. The 1.1-million-euro project is funded by the European Research Council and based at the Department of Literary Studies of Ghent University in Belgium.