Saturday, 29 August 2009

intimate publics

Though it really doesn't fit with my research agenda for the next year and a half (which is how far I can plan ahead, at the moment) I keep reading and mentally rereading this call for papers for a conference next year on life writing and intimate publics. It's the sort of meeting I'd like to take part in for personal reasons - to do some critical thinking and discussing about what this blogging thing is, does, means - as much as professional ones. If I was to try to go I'd be dabbling but that's all right.

But I'd like to try to send in a panel proposal, and to do it with 'friends', which is why i'm posting the CFP here. If anyone who reads this blog is interested in tossing a few ideas around, drop me a line. (Need to do it soon lol!)

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, Alistair Thomson, Dorothy Sheridan, 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 profession.

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 producers?

" 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?


Mindy said...

Sounds fascinating. I'd love just to be able to be in the audience.

WV doesn't think I'll be there: shnott. Unfortunately, probably correct.

David said...

I should go to that.

cristy said...

I'm so interested in this. Will have to do some serious thinking about it though. Will let you know if anything decent strikes me.

ThirdCat said...

I have masses of beginnings of writings about life writing...ordered around the vague topics of blogging, stand-up comedy and truth-telling...put like that they sound completely unrelated, but their all weaving themselves together. Slowly.

Is that anything like you'd be interested in?

Ampersand Duck said...

Sounds terrific: I'd do a panel of bloggers talking about how blogging allows one's working self to be constructed; how blog 'life writing' can bridge the gap between intention and achievement. Thirdcat, what do you reckon?

Bernice said...

Heard Portelli speak at an OHA conf a couple of years ago; I'd go just for that.

Bernice said...

Sorry - premature commentulation. Worth tracking down Hamilton & Shopes 'Oral History & Public Memories' from Temple Univ Press. Hamilton is on staff at UTS.

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Elisabeth said...

I'm new to your site. AnnoDyne pointed me here.
This call for papers suits me well. I too agonised over it. And now I'm going.
What, if anything, happened to your panel proposal?

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