Seymour Chatman

Professor Emeritus


BA, Wayne State University, Detroit

PhD in English and Literature, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1956


Research Interests

Narratology, Michelangelo Antonioni, narrative structure

Seymour was born on Aug. 30, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan, to William B. and Betty Davis Chatman. He attended Central High School. Seymour was part of a large extended family in the local Jewish community, though his immediate family was small. He lost his father while in his teens and his younger brother Michael while in his 20s. Seymour attended Wayne State University in Detroit, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1948. In 1956, he earned a Ph.D. in English and Literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Early in his career, Seymour worked on a State … read more

Michelangelo Antonioni: The Investigation (Cologne, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Tokyo: Taschen, 2004).

"Parody and Style," Poetics Today, 22:1 (Spring, 2001), 25-39.


"Slant Ironizes Filter" and "Introduction" of Narrative Perspective: Cognition and Emotion, edited by Will van Peer and Seymour Chatman (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001), 117-131.


"New Directions in Voice-Narrated Cinema" in David Herman, ed. Narratologies: New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis (Columbus: Ohio State University, 1999), 315-339.


Articles on "The Narrator" and "Point of View" in Encyclopedia of the Novel, edited by Paul Schellinger (Chicago: Fitzroy, 1999).


"Antonioni in 1980: An Interview," Film Quarterly, I:1 (Fall, 1997), 2-10.


"Whatever Happened to Literary Theory?" a paper given at the third annual meeting of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics in November, 1997, appeared in The Southern Review, 34 (Spring, 1998), 367-382.


"2 1/2 Film Versions of Heart of Darkness," in Conrad on Film, edited by Gene Moore (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 207-223.


Reading Narrative Fiction (New York: Macmillan, 1992),


"Argumentation in Film: Mon Oncle d'Amerique," Bologna: La Cultura Italiana e le Letterature Straniere Moderne (Bologna: Longo Editore Ravenna, 1992),163-181.


Coming to Terms: The Rhetoric of Narrative in Fiction and Film (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990).


"What Can We Learn From Contextualist Narratology?" Poetics Today, 11:2 (1990), 309-328.


Michelangelo Antonioni's l'Avventura: A Screenplay, Rutgers University Press Screenplay Series (screenplay plus thirty page critical introduction, history of the production, collected articles and reviews on the film, filmography, etc.), edited, partially translated, and with an introduction (in collaboration with Professor Guido Fink, University of Bologna) (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1989).


"The Rhetoric of Fiction," in Reading Narrative, edited by James Phelan (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1989), 40-52.


"Who is the Best Narrator? The Case of The Third Man?" Style, 23 (Summer, 1989), 183-196.


"On Deconstructing Narratology," Style, 22 (Spring, 1988), 9-17.


"The Representation of Text-Types," Textual Practice, II (1988), 22-29.