Telling a Different Story: Non-Linear Narratives in Early Modern History
The workshop is intended for scholars from different fields of early modern studies, who want to explore alternative paths in the narration of early modern culture. Rather than proceeding along well-trodden paths, non-linear narratives aim to shed new focus on the less well-known corners, and move in the more ‘secluded’ regions of the past. When applied to the writing of history, the idea of non-linear narratives invites, on the one hand, to deliberate the theoretical nature of narrative structures and temporalities; on the other hand, it raises practical questions on how to employ non-linear narratives in historical writings and find alternatives to ‘genealogical’ writings that track the lineages of new, ideas, practices, and institutions.
Through several case studies, such as expanding the perspective on outsiders, heretics, women, and losers, or inspecting new frontiers of knowledge (from ontology and metaphysics, to cosmology, alchemy and botany, and to ethics and politics), or constructing alternative (hi)stories and narrations, such as eclecticism, opposing methodologies, and unearthing shadows in the age of evidence and light (such as irrationality enshrined in the age of reason), the workshop is not intended to simply present one’s own research, but aims to reflect on the role of alternative narrations while telling a different story.
- Interventions aim to both investigate non-linear narratives, their actors, methodologies, and disciplines, and answer these methodological questions.
- How would you describe the ‘grand narratives’ in your field? To which extent do they still dominate your field, explicitly or implicitly?
- How does your own research relate to these narratives? Where do you see the critical, revisionist potential of your research? How much an alternative narration surfaces in your field, and does it reveal more engaging reflections? What is the result of this enlarged perspective?
- Where do you see points of contact between your historical research and present discourses? Why do you think that these points of contact can be best described and analyzed in terms of a non-linear narrative?