Storytelling & Wellbeing, international conference, Potsdam (Germany)

The international conference on Storytelling and Well-being across Media Borders will be held at the University of Potsdam, Germany from 25-26 June 2020.

Abstract submission deadline: October 31 2019. The conference is for both scholars and practitioners "working on narrative arts for promoting pro-social behaviours and mental well-being across different media". The conference organisers are inviting two kinds of submissions: 

1. Research papers 

2. Workshops by artists, designers, health professionals and other practitioners working on pro-sociality and storytelling.

Abstracts (max. 300 words) and bio notes (max. 100 words) must be submitted (as PDF or Word attachment) to

The complete conference details are available online (​) and in the Call for Papers below:


Pro-Social Play! 

International conference on Storytelling and Well-being across Media Borders 

25-26 June, 2020, University of Potsdam, Germany


Conference Chairs:

Chiao-I Tseng (Bremen), Dieter Declerq (Kent), Hans-Georg Wolf (Potsdam)


Plenary Speakers

Charles Forceville, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam

Tobias Greitemeyer, Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Anja Laukötter, Center for the History of Emotion, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany

Harry Yi-Jui Wu, Medical Ethics and Humanities, Hong Kong University


This interdisciplinary and international conference brings together scholars of empirical and theoretical research as well as practitioners working on narrative arts for promoting pro-social behaviours and mental well-being across different media. To date, the pro-social narratives have often been studied with a focus on testing people's media exposure and pro-social effects. Nevertheless, as explicitly pointed out by most of these studies, we also need to investigate how the narrative factors are designed, structured and mobilised in a specific coherent way to effectively achieve the intended prosocial purposes. Hence, it is crucial to advance the theoretical link between the design choice of narrative, media technological features for engaging people in difficult topics and their pro-social response. Establishing the link is precisely the main objective of this conference.This includes, but is not limited to, the following topics:  

  • Narrative factors for evoking people's empathy, achieving educational purposes
  • Storytelling, practical application and mental health
  • Technology features of different media platforms that afford, strengthen or constrain the pro-social, persuasive functions of narratives
  • Impact of social cultural conventions on different narrative designs
  • Historical perspectives of pro-social storytelling
  • Transmedia comparison of pro-social messages, for instance, across film, TV, comics, video games, games, literature, etc. 
  • Pro-social storytelling in social media
  • Pro-social storytelling through live performances and live interaction
  • Balance between emotional engagement and message credibilities
  • Empirical evidence of pro-social, persuasive functions in storytelling across media
  • Pro-social narrative designs for children and adolescents
  • Narrative medicine

Abstract submission deadline: 31.10.2020


Programme Committee:

Markus Appel, Department of Psychology, University of Würzburg, Germany

Mehul Bhatt, AASS, Örebro University, Sweden / CoDesign Lab

Emilia Djonov, Early Childhood Literacy, Macquarie University, Sydney

Lars Elleström, Center of Intermedial and Multimodal Studies at Linnaeus University, Sweden

Tilo Hartmann, Vrije University of Amsterdam

Fei Victor Lim, National Institute of Education, Singapore

Theo van Leeuwen, University of New South Wales, Australia

Daniel Vuillermin, Medical Humanities, Peking University

Aylish Wood, School of Arts, University of Kent


We look forward to receiving your abstracts!