Narrative Conversions

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Monday 2 June 2014, 9.45AM

2-3 June 2014   A two day collaborative Workshop sponsored by CREMS and HRC (University of York), and Early Modern Conversions (IPLAI, McGill University)

Further information from Helen Smith (

Download Programme: Narrative Conversions Programme (PDF  , 207kb)

Download Poster: Narrative Conversions Poster (PDF  , 262kb)

Draft Programme:

Monday 2nd June

9.45        Welcome and brief introductions

10.30      Workshop session 1: Narrative lines, with Bronwen Wilson

Gilles Deleuze. “The Actual and the Virtual”.  In Gilles Deleuze, and Claire Parnet, Dialogues II. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (NYC: Columbia University Press, 1977), 148-153.

Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari. "1440: The Smooth and the Striated." In A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), 474-500.

Marin, Louis "Frontiers of Utopia: Past and Present." Critical Inquiry 19, no. 3 (1993): 397-420.

Ingold, Tim. Lines: A Brief History. New York: Routledge, 2007.

12.30      Lunch

1.30        Five-minute presentations from graduate students and early career researchers, outlining their research interests and posing a single question or challenge to the workshop members.

              Confirmed presentations: Claire Canavan (York), Sheila Coursey (Michigan), Yelda Nasifoglou (McGill), Anastasia Stylianou (Warwick), Anna Reynolds (York), Lieke Stelling (Leiden), Bronwyn Wallace (Penn).

2.30        Presentations on pre-circulated papers

Three respondents, each taking up to ten minutes to raise questions relating to c. three of the pre-circulated submissions.

Confirmed papers from: Torrance Kirby (McGill), Robin MacDonald (York), Steven Mullaney (Michigan), Emilie Murphy (York), Yelda Nasifoglou (McGill), Susan Royal (Durham), Helen Smith (York), Lieke Stelling (Leiden), Bronwyn Wallace (Penn), Stephen Wittek (McGill).

3.30        Coffee

4.00        Break into small groups, led by one of the respondents, each discussing one set of papers.

5.30        Drinks


Tuesday 3rd June

10.00      Workshop session 2: Translation and transnationalism, with Warren Boutcher

12.00      Lunch

12.45      Workshop session 3: Narrative and the unspeakable, Carla Zecher

The workshop will explore how conversion might be constituted through narrative acts. My research focuses on descriptions of music found in 16th- and early 17th-century European accounts of travel to the Levant and to North America. While none of these accounts offer tales of conversion accomplished by means of music, the question of the affective power of devotional music making - the promise or threat of conversion via listening - is a common thread. Each description of music heard may be viewed as indicating that a transformation had taken place in the listener, who then held those sounds in his or her memory. But readers could only experience the music in "translation," that is, via the text. In the session, we will consider an anthology of early modern narrative excerpts, and discuss how music functioned as a particular instance of the "unspeakable" in the early modern period.

2.45        Conversion narratives walking tour of York

5.00        Closing roundtable, led by John Sutton

Location: The Treehouse, 1st Floor, Berrick Saul Building