The 7th Biennial International Auto/ Biography Association Conference

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    Alexandra Cuncev

    Call for Papers
    The 7th Biennial International Auto/Biography Association Conference
    University of Sussex
    28 June-2 July 2010
    Conference Topic: Life Writing and Intimate Publics

    The Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research and the International
    Auto/Biography Association invite scholars and life writers to attend the
    7th IABA conference, at the University of Sussex, Brighton, England.
    Keynote speakers include Nancy K. Miller, Sidonie Smith, Jenny Diski, Liz
    Stanley, Nadje Al-Ali and Alessandro Portelli.

    Late modernity has spot-lit intimate relations. Families, feelings and love
    lives have been opened to public politics through pressures of
    globalisation, digitisation, the mass media and social movements such as
    feminism. At the same time, traditional citizenships of public rights and
    responsibilities find new definition through trauma, consumption, identity
    and care. As boundaries between ‘public’ and ‘private’ multiply, new
    constituencies of belonging and claim are convened, from Fathers for
    Justice to flood survivors to Facebook. This conference begins from Lauren
    Berlant’s term ‘intimate public’ to explore these new constituencies in
    relation to life writing and life storying across media, discipline and
    Life writing and life story construct intimate publics in autobiographies,
    biographies, diaries, oral histories, blogs, reality television,
    photography, letters, life histories, documentaries, graphic memoirs,
    quilts, exhibitions, mobile phone texts. They have also been crucial agents
    in constructing counter-publics. We welcome papers dealing with the
    following questions, and others which may be related to the conference

    ” How do life writings construct citizenship, civic relations and/or
    counter-publics? How is life history used in non-governmental public
    actions and activisms? And how have governmental organisations used life
    history and life writing?

    ” What intimacies are facilitated by life writings and life stories?

    ” How does life writing relate to life story, life history and oral history?

    ” How has life writing and life story participated in care contexts such as
    parenting, social work, health, education? What discourses of risk, claim,
    vulnerability, rights and responsibilities are revealed in life writings
    and their uses?

    ” What engagements do/should life writing and life history have with
    therapeutic cultures?

    ” How does the economy of life story production and consumption relate to
    the construction of intimate publics and who are its consumers and

    ” In what ways can we compare ethical codes for life writing, oral history
    and life history? How do these manage the nature of intimate publics?

    ” How do life writing and life history contribute to public and private
    archives and to public history/heritage?

    ” How does life writing construct or obstruct cross-cultural or
    cross-linguistic relationships?

    ” As we understand more about the work of life writing, how is life writing
    making us work?

    ” What relationships persist between life writing as aesthetic and as
    social act?

    Because our primary concern will be stimulating and sustaining conversation
    between conference participants, papers should be limited to fifteen
    minutes in length. This will ensure time in all sessions for questions and
    discussion. Panels on a single topic and submitted together are welcome.
    (Panels and sessions will have three presenters.) Panels and individual
    papers may be conducted or delivered in the language of the participant’s
    choice -let us know well in advance so we may make all necessary
    arrangements. All participants should inform the organizers about media
    requirements -DVD, internet, visual projection, audio, and so on.

    Abstracts for papers should be @300 words long. There should be an
    abstract for each paper in a panel presentation. The deadline for
    abstracts will be 1 September, 2009. Though e-mail is preferred, abstracts
    can be submitted by mail or fax to the following numbers and addresses.

    * * *
    IABA Conference Call for Papers
    c/o The Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research
    Centre for Continuing Education
    University of Sussex
    Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QQ, England
    fax: 01273 877534


    This seems like an interesting conference. Does anybody know if this includes autoethnographic inquiry or otherwise address issues of reflective practice as well? I see these often connected to life history, though am not sure if that is the orientation of this conference.

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