Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Edward Jacobs

Committee Member

Manuela Mourão

Committee Member

David Roh

Committee Member

Avi Santo


Despite Bakhtin's notion of the chronotope and recent advancements in spatial theory by David Herman, Marie-Laure Ryan and Susan Friedman, narrative space is arguably still one of the most under-researched elements in narrative theory, taking a back seat to its corollary of narrative time and plot. This oversight can be largely attributed to the structuralist separation of text types exemplified by Genette's assertions that description and narrative were distinctly different forms. Recent approaches such as David Herman's rejection of such a separation in Story Logic, however, argue that "spatial reference plays a crucial, not optional or derivative role in stories" (264), and that spatial reference is, rather, "a core property that helps 'constitute' narrative domains" (296).

In response to this gap, this dissertation examines the relationship between textual constructions of narrative space and the material forms of serialized narratives across specific medias. By looking at the intersection of the textual construction of storyworld space, the serialized form, and the materiality of media, this project argues that in both literary and televised contexts, the serialized form plays a key role in shaping the configurations of narrative space in these storyworlds and in constructing their rhetorical and ideological effects. Specifically, the project explores how the textual aspects of serial narratives affect the structure of storyworld spaces and how this affect is crucially tied to rhetorical and interpretive implications in final configurations of the narrative audience.

As a result, this project makes connections between the serialized literature produced between 1830-1860 in Victorian England and that of televised narratives produced during the last decade in both Britain and the United States. Each case study is carefully historicized and examines the intersection between the materiality of the texts, their status as mediated objects, and the spatial structure of the narrative they construct.