Genre

This section of the project addresses questions of agency and individual expression in the works at hand by establishing the extent to which each work may be considered autobiographical. To this end, I have placed each narrative on a continuum from journal to biography. Although the potential for self-expression varies between these works, I argue that each, as a narrative of conversion, necessarily possesses some kernel of selfhood--i.e., evidence of a unique individual beneath the layers of generic narrative convention. By viewing these works through the lens of generic category, I have attempted to establish the function each narrative may have fulfilled for its "author"(the person possessing editorial control) or speaker (the supposed narrator) and the limits that genre and context impose upon that function.

Click on the names at left for excerpts from the narratives.

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Introduction                            Chronology                            Genre                            Summary

"Such a Means of Promoting His Work Amongst Us":
Evangelicalism and Autobiography in Early American Conversion Narratives

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