A One-Day Conference: Trouvères Transposed. Sounding Conversations Between Chansons and Their Relatives

A one-day interdisciplinary conference to be held at King’s College, Cambridge, on 5 May 2018 will explore the circulation of lyrical and musical material as a species of intertextual reference, rivalry, and engagement.  Quotation, both musical and textual, brings the chanson into dialogue with other genres, other languages, and other literary and musical spaces. The diversity of quotational practice and the variously opposing and cooperating forces of music and text are the theme of the event.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers from the fields of literature and musicology with a focus on troubadour song, trouvère song, or quotations of either repertory within other types of contemporaneous works.

Themes and topics might include:

  • Lyrics in narrative: the function of lyric in narrative forms and the refashioning of song in a non-lyric context.
  • Citation as performance practice: how far might performers go in evoking a different piece, style, or genre? Might some quotations be eliptical in manuscript, yet function as a performance direction?
  • Dialogue as dramatic narrative: what is the boundary between indirect and direct speech in lyric forms? How does quotation contribute to the dramatic sense of conquest, competition, or play?
  • Generative quotation: songs built around quotations and according to models. How do contrafaction, multi-author genres, and refrain quotation interact with the problem of origins? When can we talk of improvisation to an existing model, when of adopting tropes and formulae?
  • Citation and compilation: how does the scribal craft struggle with or build off of the re-use of material? Can we argue that links of this kind were as accessible to readers as they were to listeners?

Proposals of 200 to 300 words should be sent as an email attachment (in pdf or doc format) to the conference organisers at cambridgeborrowedsong@gmail.com

They should include:


author’s name(s)

affiliation (where applicable)

author’s email address

The deadline for proposals is 22 February, 2018. Decisions will be communicated by early March.

Conference Committee:

Sam Barrett

Bill Burgwinkle

Nicholas Bleisch

Trouvères Transposed – Call for Papers


Leave a comment

Filed under NEWS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s