Online via Zoom, May 13-14, 2021
CFP (by April 16, 2021)
Conference Organizers: Verena Baier (Regensburg), Tamara Heger (Regensburg)
Confirmed Keynote Speakers and Discussants: Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee (Mainz), Prof. Dr. Sidonie Smith (Michigan), and Prof. Dr. Julia Watson (Ohio State)
“If life writing was a “rumpled bed” in 2000, it is now a messy multi-sensorium, teeming with the potential—and the pitfalls—of vibrant self-presentations across media, geographies, and worlds.”
(Smith/Watson, Life Writing in the Long Run (2017), xlvii)
We invite early career scholars currently working on projects in the field of Life Writing Studies to meet and contribute to dialogues about the significance, potential and pitfalls of studying diverse forms of self-representation today.
In the past decades, Life Writing as a concept has proven a fruitful expansion opening up new perspectives to identify acts, forms, and media of self-thematization that allows to analyze the well-known forms such as autobiography, letters, and diaries, but has also included emerging new arenas of self-presentation and autobiographical discourse, also on the non-textual level.
Following Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson’s approach, Life Writing Studies challenge the ideas of a unified story and a coherent self. Rather, they acknowledge the complexities of autobiographical acts and subjectivities and their performative nature, in which “selves” are constantly produced and remade through memory, experience, identity, spatial location, embodiment and agency.
Thus, the study of Life Writing can be as complex as its materials, which is why in this workshop we want to discuss a number of ongoing international research projects in the field.
As we want to explore new trends and tendencies in Life Writing Studies and engage in open-minded discussions, we deliberately do not choose a thematic focus for this workshop, but will let emerging projects in the field of Life Writing determine the scale of our workshop. Thus, we invite contributions from all areas and disciplines of Life Writing Studies.
We are especially addressing early career scholars, i.e. PhD students and postdocs working on pertinent projects with life writing materials.
We are inviting proposals for short presentations of ten minutes that sketch the main research interests and the core materials, and also address problems and questions that propel and guide a stimulating and fruitful discussion of around twenty minutes.