Stanford University

For more information please contact
Amy Elghoroury
Christy Wampole

For information on travel to and lodging in the Stanford area, click here.

Click here for a Microsoft Word version of the CFP.






























JANUARY 26th AND 27th 2007
Department of French and Italian

"The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it."
-- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Meditations

  • Conversion is traditionally understood to be a mode of transition in which an individual directs her or his mind, attention, or actions toward a new focus. We propose a more expansive definition of conversion that incorporates both individual and collective bodies and offers a point of access to broad paradigms such as religion and spirituality, politics, media, history, psychoanalysis, economy, and aesthetics. In addition to literary analysis and enquiry regarding the conversion of genre, form, or substance, we invite interdisciplinary and extra-literary approaches to the topic in hopes of achieving a more comprehensive understanding of the notion of conversion.
  • Topics may include (but are not limited to):
    • Conversions of the mind: converts as subjects/objects; conversion strategies; conversion as rupture, crisis, trauma; shifting identities
    • Conversions of body: alchemical conversions and drug culture; hybrids and mutation; conversion as violence or catastrophe; body modification
    • Conversions of time: prognostics/forecasting; history/historiography and the philosophy of history; acceleration, deceleration, and perception; temporal dynamics
    • Conversions of space: changing landscapes; urbanization; environmental politics; interior and exterior shifts; geographical elasticity

Keynote Speakers:

Albert R. Ascoli

Terril Distinguished Professor of Italian Studies

University of California - Berkeley

Françoise Meltzer,

Mabel Greene Myers Professor of the Humanities in French and Comparative Literature

University of Chicago


Guidelines for submissions:

  • Submissions may be on a topic involving the French and Francophone tradition, the Italian tradition, or a combination of both. They may also address general theoretical issues or writers of other national traditions that deal with French or Italian topics.
  • Graduate students interested in presenting a paper should send an abstract of 200-500 words. Presentations can be given in Italian, French, or English and should last no more than 20 minutes (circa 8 pages). The abstract should include a working title, author's name and institutional affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, and email address.
  • Send abstracts to:
    or via post to:
    • "Conversions" Conference
      Department of French and Italian
      Pigott Hall, Stanford University
      Stanford, CA 94305-2010
  • Deadline for abstracts: Monday, November 27th, 2006

Contact persons:
Amy Elghoroury (
Christy Wampole (

Last updated on July 1, 2006 09:40:00 PST
by David Lummus