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What’s the Story? A Reverse Conference

  • Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018
  • Time: 4:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Venue: UCD Smurfit, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock

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This event is a 3 day conference beginning at 4pm on Wed 21st Feb and running until 4pm on Fri 23rd Feb.  

In a typical conference, attendees arrive at the conference with a paper, which they present, and they also listen to other papers being presented. They then leave with (hopefully) some new ideas. A reverse conference inverts this process. Attendees arrive with some ideas and spend the conference time working and writing (typically, but not exclusively, collaboratively) and at the end of the conference they leave with a draft of a paper.

The theme

The theme of this reverse conference is storytelling, a particular research interest of our visiting scholar and conference presenter, Professor Yiannis Gabriel from the University of Bath. At its broadest level, we are all involved, as researchers, in telling and retelling stories. We sit in front of blank screens and hope to craft what psychoanalyst Adam Phillips calls ‘good sentences’ in the hope of connecting with interested readers.

However, part of the theme of our reverse conference is to consider not only the stories we tell others, but also the stories we tell ourselves about our own story-telling. Writing is an anxiety-provoking activity frequently masked and soothed by stories we tell ourselves about our inability to get the words onto the page. Part of our work together at this conference will be to surface and explore the role of the unconscious in inhibiting and enhancing how (and what) we write. We will draw from psychoanalytic theory and Professor Yiannis Gabriel will help to guide us through the process.

Who should attend?

The reverse conference should be of interest to you if

(a) you are using narrative approaches as a central aspect of your research;

(b) you are taking a more ad hoc approach to the use of narrative methodologies and want to learn how to leverage stories that you come across as part of your research;

(c) you are not using narrative in your research but want to find out about the approach and how other scholars use it in their research.

Please note: there will be no traditional 'tell and sell' presentations. All participants will work on their writing for the duration of the conference.


The conference will consist primarily of

  • Small group writing time punctuated by;
  • Presentations from Professor Yiannis Gabriel and Dr Megan McGurk director of the Academic Writing Centre at UCD College of Business;
  • Small group exploration of writing fantasies.
  • Peer and mentor feedback;

How do I sign up?

Please click the blue button for more details and registration.


UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, Blackrock, Co Dublin. 


The reverse conference will run from 4 - 6.30pm on Wednesday 21 February. 8.30am - 5.30pm on Thursday 22 February and 9am - 4pm on Friday 23 February. Participants are required to attend all sessions.


There is no charge to attend the conference. Participants will be responsible for covering the costs of lunch each day.

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