Current Postings

The postings below are all still active, and organized by deadline. Once the deadline has passed, they will be moved to the IABA Posting Archive, on the CBR Website


Announcing H-Biography

by Jesse Draper – Interim Executive Director

H-Net proudly welcomes H-Biography to its family of nearly 200 networks, now available on the H-Net Commons. Read on and follow the links below for more information about this exciting new network!


H-Biography is an interdisciplinary and international network devoted to biography as an object and a method of scholarly research. H-Biography considers Biography Studies as a unique field, distinct from the related approaches of autobiography, life writing, and literary theory. As such, while the network will occasionally publicize biographies of individuals that represent exemplary theory, methods, scholarship, or writing style, its primary purpose is to allow for the discussion and dissemination of information relating to Biography Studies more broadly.

H-Biography Editorial Staff

Daniel R. Meister, Queens University – Network Editor

David Veltman, Biography Institute, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen – Network Editor

H-Biography Advisory Board

Hans Renders, Professor of History and Theory of Biography, Director Biography Institute, University of Groningen (Netherlands)

Billy Tooma, Documentary Filmmaker & Assistant Professor of English, Essex County College (US)

Barbara J. Messamore, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Fraser Valley (Canada)

Maryam Thirriard, Assistant Professor of English, Aix-Marseille Université (France)

Melanie Nolan, Professor of History, Australian National University; Director, National Centre of Biography; General Editor, Australian Dictionary of Biography (Australia)

All H-Biography content is freely accessible at:

You can contact the editors of H-Biography here:

A free account and subscription are required in order to receive discussion posts by email for all of our networks.  For assistance with creating accounts and managing subscriptions on the H-Net Commons:

For instructions to create an account in the Commons go to:

For instructions on subscribing to H-Biography go to:

For tutorials and assistance in using the H-Net Commons, visit H-Net’s Help Desk:

H-Biography is owned by H-Net, Humanities and Social Sciences Online. H-Net is a nonprofit, tax-exempt international network of scholars in the humanities and social sciences that creates and coordinates electronic networks, using a variety of media, and with a common objective of advancing humanities and social science teaching and research. H-Net was created to provide a positive, supportive, equalitarian public environment for the friendly exchange of ideas and scholarly resources.  It is hosted by the Department of History at Michigan State University.

For more information about H-Net, point your web browser to:





Life Narrative Futures: 

An International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) networking event for graduate students and early-career researchers

Sponsored by the IABA SNS, and the IABA regional chapters

Friday 29th October, 2021 (Australian CST)

Call for Expressions of Interest

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the IABA Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe chapter convenors, I am pleased to announce this on-line networking event aimed at linking graduate students and Early-Career-Researchers (ECRs) across the globe who are working on life narrative projects. 

In their special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies “What’s Next? The Futures of Auto/Biography Studies” (2017) Ricia Anne Chansky and Emily Hipchen aimed to give “established and emerging scholars from multiple disciplines the time and space to enter into lively discourse on our possible futures.” The result was an incredibly timely multivocal, interdisciplinary conversation about where we are heading as a discipline. 

Such conversations seem even more important now. 2020/2021 have been especially challenging periods for graduate students and ECRs. Travel restrictions have affected networking opportunities, and IABA would like to acknowledge this by organising this event aimed at supporting and celebrating emerging scholars.

Format: Via Zoom conferencing, graduate students/ECRs will be placed in small groups and will make short, informal presentations about their projects. Each group will also contain an established IABA scholar who will act as a mentor in offering feedback on the projects in their small group.

The event will be held virtually in an ‘around the world’ format with the aim of accommodating different time zones in an inclusive way.

To participate in this event, please make a submission of approximately one page as a Word doc including the following information:

  • Your name;
  • University, Department/Faculty affiliation;
  • 50-word bio;
  • Thesis or current project title;
  • Short abstract for your project;
  • Two-three challenges emerging from your research project/topic;
  • Questions /issues you would like to discuss with your fellow graduate students/ECRs.

The extended deadline for submissions in September 10, 2021. Please make your submission to:

Any questions, or for more information, please contact the organizers:

Kind Regards, Kate Douglas (Flinders University, Australia), 

on behalf of the IABA regional chapters and IABA SNS.

International Auto/Biography Association Worldwide

IABA Student and New Scholar Network (SNS); on Facebook:


Deadline for Submissions September 15, 2021

Announcement: Call-for-Papers

This slightly revised call is for abstracts for a scholarly, international edited collection entitled, Cultural Representations of the Second Wife: Literature, Stage, and Screen.
Currently I am seeking a number of academics and professionals in the field who might like to send me an abstract for consideration for inclusion in the book.

Due to effects of the covid-19 pandemic 2020-21, and the strain this has placed on people and businesses (including academics and universities world-wide), the deadline for abstracts for this project has been extended.

New deadline for abstract submissions: 15 September 2021

The aim of this scholarly edited collection is to reveal how the personal expectations and actual experiences of the second wife may differ from the social and cultural expectations and realities of the role of the second wife; and how the second wife may be perceived in the popular and social culture of various cultures, in screen, stage, and literary productions and pop culture narratives.

In any culture, religious and cultural beliefs are inseparable, and intrinsic one to the other, and are important to the marriage  customs and laws of that particular culture or society.
Regardless of whether a culture is mainly monogamous or polygamous, one female figure that attracts attention is the second wife. A woman may become the “second wife” either by fact or by custom, or by religious law, or by de facto relationship, or by concubinage. In most though not necessarily all cultures, and according to the religious and cultural beliefs and laws of a culture, as well as the civil laws of that country, a man who has been but is no longer married may remarry; and in some cultures also, a man who is currently married may marry or take a second wife who may or may not have been formerly married to some different man. In some other cultures, cultural customs, or religious dictates, or accepted practices, or inheritance factors, forbid men who are divorcees or widowers to remarry. Similarly, and perhaps more so than with men, some cultures forbid widows or divorced or abandoned women from remarrying.

It is generally understood that whether she is welcomed by her new in-law family, or not, the first wife as a new wife, brings with her some baggage into the new relationship, into the life of the man she weds, and hence into the family into which she marries, and ultimately into that society; but perhaps this is more so in the case of the second wife.  From antiquity to the present, like the first wife, the second wife features in stories, anecdotes, and jokes, and in both high and low culture, but in a way that is vastly different to how the first wife is depicted. The concept of the second wife is an important part of social and cultural history and ritual in most societies, world-wide, yet it would seem that to date, there are no published scholarly edited collections, no academic books, on representations of the second wife from the angle suggested in this cfp.

In can be said that in any culture, the role of the second wife may differ to that of a first wife. The act of becoming and the experience of being a second wife may also be somewhat different to that of being a man’s first wife. Questions arise: within any culture, regardless of her status as a woman, what are the implications for a woman who marries a widower or divorced man? Likewise, what are the implications for a second wife in a polygamous relationship?  

Some suggestions for potential contributors to consider, and that could be addressed, may include but are not limited to are:

  • What are the cultural and social duties of the second wife; what are the cultural expectations of her; and what are her personal realities and expectations, as represented in the popular culture of a particular culture/society? Is it possible to detect differences or sameness between the fictionalized portrayals and the realities and social dictates of that culture?
  • How do class, ethnicity, culture, race, gender, and possibly history, shape representations of the second wife, as indicated in the popular screen, stage, and literary productions of any one particular culture?
  • What is the range of ways in which the second wifeis represented in the popular/social culture of the various societies?
  • Are there any powerful cultural or socially historical antecedents for the representation of the second wife in popular/social culture, as screen, stage, and literary productions?
  • What are the creators and/or the producers intentions behindtheir portrayals of the second wife; what are the messages or lessons they intend for their audiences through these depictions?
  • How would we establish the underlying cultural, historical, or production motivations for particular depictions of the second wife?

How often, if at all, are these representations told from the point-of-view of the second wife herself?

  • Is there a difference between the ways in which the second wife is represented in cinematic film to that in small screen, and between those mediums to representations in drama, and to literature? Or in these representations, is there a reasonably broad consensus between these genres?

This collection of scholarly essays will make an intervention in the field: it will be the first of its kind to make a comprehensive study of what being a second wife means to and for the woman, the family, the community, the culture, and the society to which she belongs; to explore whether or not there are characteristic features of the second wife between cultures that may have either some similarity, or that are totally dissimilar, in popular belief and popular culture; to document and record how various eastern and western societies perceive and represent the socially and culturally important figure of the second wife in screen, stage, and literary works and pop culture narratives; to indicate if there is agreement or difference between the various cultures on how the figure of the second wife is represented in popular culture to the viewing/reading audiences; to establish a new and dynamic area of theoretical research crossing family studies, women’s studies, cultural studies, social history, gender studies, social studies, and the humanities in general; to point the way to possible future cross-disciplinary work through examining various peoples and societies by way of cultural representations of the second wife; and to permit scholarly consideration of the extent to which the creators and producers of narratives about the second wife place this figure on the perimeter of society or at its center.

Submission instructions:
At this initial stage, in lieu of “chapters,” this proposed work, Cultural Representations of the Second Wife, calls for extended abstracts for consideration for inclusion in the book.

  1. The extended abstracts must be more than 1,000 and less than 1,500 words.

Full-length chapters of 6,000 – 7,000words each (including notes but excluding references lists, title of work, and key words) will be solicited from these abstracts.

  1. Please keep in mind that your essay-chapter will be written from your extended abstract. Your abstract will carry the same title as your essay-chapter.
  2. To be considered, an abstract must be written in English, and submitted as a Word document.
  3. When writing your abstract use Times New Roman point 12,and 1.15 spacing.
  4. At the beginning of your extended abstract, immediately after the title of your work and your name, add 5 to 8 keywords that best relate to your work.
  5. Use the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition.
  6. Since this work is intended for Lexington Books, USA, please use American (US) spelling not English (UK) spelling, and not Australian English spelling;
  7. Use the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary;
  8. Use endnotes and not footnotes, use counting numbers not Roman numerals, and keep the endnotes to a bare minimum, working the information into the text where possible;
  9. Do cite all your work in your extended abstract as you would in a full chapter:

a) in the body of the abstract, add parenthetical in-text citations (family name of author and year, and page number/s) (e.g. Smith 2019, 230);
b) fully reference all in-text citations in detail and in alphabetical order, in the References list at the end of your abstract;

  1. Please send your abstract as a Word document attached to an email;
  2. To this same email please also attach, as separate Word documents, the following:
  • Your covering letter, giving your academic title/s, affiliation, your position, and your home and telephone numbers, your home address, and your email contact details;
  • A short bio of no more than 250 words;
  • Your C.V., including a full list of your publications and giving the publishing details and dates, and including those in press, and published.

Editor: Dr Jo Parnell, PhD, Researcher and Honorary Associate Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science, College of Human and Social Futures, University of Newcastle, Australia. 
Papers should be forwarded to:  
Jo Parnell at:  or or

Dr Jo Parnell. | Honorary Associate Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
College of Human and Social Futures
M: +61 (0)421 993 253
International author and editor  
Latest books:
Representation of the Mother-in-Law in literature, film, drama, and television (Lexington Books USA, 2018).
New and Experimental Approaches to Writing Lives (Macmillan International Higher Education, Red Globe Press, 2019).
The Bride in the Cultural Imagination: Screen, Stage, and Literary Productions (Lexington Books USA, 2020).
Taking Control: the critical and creative uses of digital tools in the now, the foreseeable future, and beyond, in screen, literature, and the visual arts. culture (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2021/22).
Writing Australian History on Screen: cultural, sociological, and historical depths in television and film period dramas “down under,” with Julie Anne Taddeo (Lexington Books, USA, forthcoming 2021/22).
Cultural Representations of the Second Wife: Literature, Stage, and Screen (Lexington Books, USA, forthcoming 2021/22).
The University of Newcastle
University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia


Deadline for Submissions 9/30/2021

CFP: Biographies as “Probes” of Transformation? ‘Agency’ of Nazi Perpetrators after 1945 in the Federal Republic, the GDR and Austria

Workshop at the University of Vienna, 03-04 March 2022

The workshop focuses on political biographies of perpetrators of National Socialism after 1945, with a regional emphasis on West Germany, the GDR and Austria.

Research on Nazi perpetrators published in recent years has increasingly concentrated on the definition of the concept of perpetration, on the identity and agency of Nazi perpetrators, and on the conditions for their participation in the crimes. In doing so, however, the “prehistory” during the German Empire, World War I, the Weimar Republic, and the First Republic was incorporated into the political biographies of the perpetrators. Further activities of the perpetrators after the end of the “Third Reich” are only mentioned as the aftermath of National Socialism, in the “politics of the past”, and are rarely interpreted as the prehistory of post-National Socialist societies.

Moreover, transformation processes around the macro-historical caesura of 1945 are primarily analyzed from a structuralist perspective. Studies on this topic tend to focus on the examination of (federal) ministries, using the year 1945 as a marker of collapse and new beginning (which is also constituted in the biographies), and thus, contribute to the construction of a dichotomy of continuity and breaks. The individual perspectives of the biographical subjects, however, hardly become visible.

Adopting Thomas Etzemüller’s approach of viewing biographies as instruments or “probes” (“Sonden”), into an integrated social history “in order to understand the functioning of society”, we will consider and examine – on the basis the biographies of female and male perpetrators in National socialism – society and the individual not as separate entities, but as constituents involved in a reciprocal relationship. In this context, we will discuss and question in the workshop the dichotomy of macro- and micro-perspectives as well as the concepts of “structure” and “agency”.

Workshop papers may address, but are not limited to the following questions:

– Perpetration: How did individual perpetrators deal with their participation in Nazi crimes? How is their participation integrated into the narrative of their own biography? Did they hide, legitimise, or deny their participation? What strategies did they use?

– Careers and networks: How did perpetrators react to system collapses and changes? Who succeeded in integrating into new systems and who did not? Which agents were able to use their qualifications and “expertise” acquired under National Socialism and how? How did system changes influence private and professional networks and functional elites?

– Integration: How did former Nazi perpetrators integrate into new systems? How did integration possibilities differ for perpetrators, especially with regard to elites? Where did integration succeed, where did it fail?

– Structure: The conditions and norms of post-National Socialist societies influenced and confronted the perpetrators first in the occupation zones, later in Austria, the GDR and FRG. How did the developing societal structures, constitutional systems, and norms influence the perpetrators’ decisions to act?

– Legality and illegality: Who fled? Who maintained their legal existence and who entered illegality? What can be determined about the relationship between actual and feared prosecution and how did this influence the actions of the perpetrators? How did (feared) prosecution affect (dis)integration processes?

Application: We particularly encourage doctoral students in history and related disciplines to apply. Proposals should include an abstract describing the topic, relevance, empirical basis, and methodological approach of your paper, as well as a short CV of the applicant. Please send your proposal, which must not exceed two pages, as one PDF file to by 30 September 2021. Conference languages are German and English. Travel and accommodation costs can be reimbursed to a limited extent. Contact Info:

Oliver Gaida / Kathrin Janzen / Stefan Jehne / Yves Müller Contact Email: URL:…


New Developments in 20th- and 21st-century Life Writing

(9/30/2021; 3/10-13/2022) Baltimore, USA

contact email:

New Developments in 20th- and 21st-century Life Writing (Panel for NEMLA conference, March 10-13, 2022, Baltimore MD)

Forms and approaches to self-representation continue to diversify as the landscape of possible media, tools, subjects, and cultural accounts is growing. Historically, life writing genres such as biography, autobiography, memoir, correspondence and ancestral documentation have been used as archival, political and sociological resources. However, the value and use of life writing extends far beyond these textual forms and practical uses. In an increasingly mobile and interconnected world, issues of subjectivity, identity, belonging, self-constitution and dialog become more pressing, particularly in response to social and cultural upheaval. Examples include Walter Kempowski’s so-called collective diary Echolot or Katja Petrowskaja’s autofictional family history Vielleicht Esther.

The panel looks at voices and perspectives that have gained new traction in recent decades. In particular, we invite papers that consider genre developments within Life Writing with an eye towards methods, forms and interpretations that broaden the range of voices and subject positions we explore. While significant research regarding Life Writing has been undertaken within the field of German Studies in recent years, we also welcome proposals from other disciplines and fields.

Please submit a 250-300 word proposal through the NeMLA submission portal by September 30, 2021:
If you have any questions regarding the panel, please contact the organizers:
Friederike Eigler ( and Samantha Grayck (


Ethics of Witnessing

NeMLA (9/30/2021 3/10-13/2022 Baltimore USA   contact email:

In the aftermath of mass atrocities, where the humanity is both the subject and object of a destructive process, the historical truth is almost impossible to access. On the one hand, perpetrators have tendency to deny their responsibility in committing atrocities, and on the other hand, victims’ experience remains unspeakable due to the impact of trauma. After the Holocaust, researchers from different disciplines focused on the possibility of transmission of the traumatic events related to the atrocities, as well as the obstacles that are faced during this process. One of the interesting areas of research in this regard is the victim-perpetrator encounter and the dynamics of witnessing in relation to the historical truth. This panel investigates the dynamics of witnessing and its representations through the artistic production.

Deadline for submissions–9/30/2021.


Deadline for Submissions 9/30/2021

Rock Music Icons

  deadline for submissions:  September 30, 2021   full name / name of organization:  For the Record   contact email:

Well-developed essays on major rock music artists are sought for publication in the For the Record book series. These essays should extend beyond biography into some aspects of the artist’s creative work. Of particular interest are essays on rock performers who have made an impact since 1980 and essays that discuss the artist’s music, iconic status, and cultural significance. Of course, essays on Elton John, David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and other major figures who made their mark before 1980 are also welcome. 

Proposals of about 200-300 words may be sent from July through September 30, 2021 and should indicate the direction of your essay. Essay proposals and inquiries may be sent to Dr. Robert Mc Parland at or

Complete essays of 5,000-6,500 words will be due by the end of 2021. 


Deadline for Submissions September 30, 2021

NeMLA 2022 – Representing Care and Being Together in Refugee Writing (9/30/2021; 3/10-13/2022) NEMLA, Baltimore USA

Please consider submitting an abstract for the following panel at the 2022 Northeast Modern Language Association Conference to be held from March 10-13, 2022, in Baltimore, MD. Abstracts are accepted from June 15 to September 30, 2021.

Submit abstracts at the NeMLA portal:

This panel invites papers that attend to new perspectives on the representation of refugee histories and experiences in literature. The figure of the refugee has been the subject of much political and philosophical debate, ranging from discussions about the “bare life” of the refugee (Agamben 1995) to their being subjects of humanitarian violence (Nyers 2006). More recent investigations in literary studies have focused on the misrepresentation or absence of refugee histories in post/colonialism, diaspora studies and modernity such as with David Farrier’s Postcolonial Asylum: Seeking Sanctuary Before the Law, Lyndsey Stoneridge’s Placeless People: Writing, Refugees and Rights and Daniel Coleman’s et al. Countering DisplacementThe Creativity and Resilience of Indigenous and Refugee-ed Peoples. More can be said, however, about the representation of refugee experiences and histories of care, desire, and aspiration in literature. What experiences other than violence and trauma remain to be elucidated in refugee writing? How is refugee writing envisioning alternative ways of caring and being together?

Paper topics include but are not limited to: 

  • Representations of refugees in graphic novels and memoirs
  • Refugee memoirs and testimonials 
  • Refugees in film and television 
  • Collaborative writing projects 
  • Experiences and histories of refuge or asylum in opera and musical theatre

If you have any questions, please contact Jonathan Nash (Universisty of Victoria) at 


Deadline for Submissions, Sept. 30, 2021

Legacies of Trauma: The Tragedy of Before and After
deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021

Language, Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies
contact email:

CALL FOR PAPERS For a Special issue Of Language, Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies

Legacies of Trauma: The Tragedy of Before and After

In the last couple of decades, life-writing has come to be seen as a singular site of reclaiming unclaimed experiences of trauma. Despite the apparent crisis of representation, a wide array of strategies and innovations are employed in life-writings towards the cause of conveying trauma. Life-writing in its various avatars dealing with trauma foreground the insight that trauma is not only a “drama of past event, but also, even primarily, a drama of survival” (Rubin). For the autobiographical subject, modalities of articulation and testimony present grounds for recovery of selfhood, leading to a possibility of re-engagement with the lifeworld. In putting together the fragments of memory, life-writing potentially counters trauma through the enactment of witnessing one’s own trauma in telling and its transmissibility to the reader, through whom the questions of secondary victimhood come to be seen as another determinant in the complex signification towards the experience of trauma. However, language miserably gives way to its own splintering before the overwhelming traumatic experience and fails to remain a witness thereof. Nevertheless, across different genres of expression, including digital and hybrid ones, dilatation of conventional idiom of expression with a view to register creatively what resists or slips away is crucial.
Subjects living as survivors of life-threatening events take to different means of expression. The complexity of textualizing trauma is such that the narrative oftentimes betrays a great deal about how the subject re-constitutes itself to come to terms with the experience, thereby underlining themes of truth telling and reconciliation in the face of trauma. However, one of the complex threads of survivor’s narrative is the interpellation of memory in the act of composing a narrative. It also brings to fore an aporia inherent in the very enterprise of representing trauma that is typically taken as unrepresentable. Delayed response to trauma, fragmented memory, complexity of experience, denial, and fear of persecution dislocate the subject from its history, culture, and context.
This call for paper stems out of the realization that there is much to be reckoned with in the experience and imprint of traumatic experiences in life, which seem to be hinged to the tenor of (our) times. Representations of trauma abound in photography, cinema, paintings, memoirs, testimonials, etc., giving a spectrum of positions to engage and tease interdisciplinary lines of inquiry.
Scholars are invited to explore the area by engaging and going beyond the following thematics:

  • Partition Literature/Literature of Crisis and Trauma
  • Restorative Function of Art
  • Tropes/Metaphors and Articulation of Trauma
  • Modernity and Trauma
  • Memory Studies and Trauma
  • Disability Studies and Trauma
  • Trauma in Pre-modern Life-writing
  • Life-writing and Childhood Trauma
  • Construction of the Childhood/Figure of Child in the Survivor’s Narrative
  • Intergenerational/Transgenerational Trauma
  • Historical Trauma and Methods of Recuperation
  • Testimonial Projects and Legal Framework
  • Limits of Representation in Autobiography
  • PTSD in Non-Western Narratives
  • Construction of Trauma and Politics of Trauma
  • Pathography and Limits of Autobiography
  • Trauma and Scriptotherapy
  • Trauma and Public Memory
  • Pandemic and Trauma
  • Exile and Trauma
  • Refugee Crisis and Trauma
  • Representation of Trauma through Photographs

Only complete papers will be considered for publication. The papers need to be submitted according to the guidelines of the MLA 8th edition. You are welcome to submit full length papers (3,500–10,000 words) along with a 150 words abstract and list of keywords. Please read the submission guidelines before making the submission – Please feel free to email any queries to –
Submission deadline: 30th September, 2021
Website –
Facebook –


Deadline for Submissions, Sept. 30, 2021

#MeToo and Contemporary Literary Studies (NeMLA panel)

deadline for submissions:  September 30, 2021
  Mary K. Holland and Heather Hewett, SUNY New Paltz contact email:

#MeToo and Contemporary Literary Studies: panel accepted for the 2022 NeMLA conference (March 10-13, 2022; Baltimore, MD)

While feminist literary scholars have been examining the relationship between literature and rape for decades, the #MeToo movement has reenergized this work. Building on recent scholarship (Serisier 2018; Field 2020; Holland and Hewett 2021), and along with forthcoming work (Gilmore; Hobbs), this panel considers the range of critical frameworks with which literary critics are addressing gender, identity, violence, and power. Reassessing these aspects of experience and representation in light of this movement calls for a rethinking of the critical practices we use to produce scholarship and theory about literature and culture, and requires rereadings of literature and authors whose participation in or critique of rape culture has yet to be made visible, or whose work can be revisited to shed light on the current moment.

The panel is particularly interested in transnational, transcultural, and intersectional approaches that attend to genre and genre-blurring; publication and reception; rape culture outside and inside academia; the interconnections between written literature and social media; narratives about sexual violence, racism, and colonialism authored by BIPOC authors; queer violence and survivorship; and the recent outpouring of published literature, particularly memoir and lifewriting, about sexual violence, testimony, trauma, and healing. Most broadly, this panel will ask how current theoretical and critical approaches are positioned in the long history of literary activism against sexual violence, and what role literature and literary studies can play in the project of ending sexual violence and rape culture.

More specific topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Rethinking critical practices in light of #MeToo.
    • Ways in which intersectional analyses of #MeToo narratives might provide another context for interpreting creative work, particularly texts that explore bodily violence, trauma, and survivorship;
    • How #MeToo, and social media more broadly, interacts with traditionally published life narratives and changes the possibilities of creating, sharing, and using personal narratives;
    • Ways in which sexual politics in the university or publishing world inhibit critical work that unmasks misogyny and sexual abuse;
    • Ways in which critics might silence themselves when writing about misogynistic texts or texts that support rape culture;
    • Implications of authorial accusations of sexual abuse for critical readings of authors’ work (eg, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie).
  • Feminist rereadings of authors or specific texts whose misogyny, rape culture, and/or scenes of sexual harassment, abuse, or rape have yet to be identified and critiqued by critics.
    • Reconsiderations of canonical authors whose sexual politics have so far escaped scrutiny (eg, Coetzee, Updike; this list may include female authors);
    • Readings of lesser known texts that critique rape culture in effective ways;
    • How young adult literature treats sexual assault and rape culture (Erik Cleveland and Sybil Durand published on this topic in 2014);
    • How sexual assault is normalized even in otherwise female-empowering literature, film, or TV;
    • How depictions of sexual assault and rape culture in contemporary texts differ from those in earlier texts, because of changes in the law, cultural changes, political movements, etc;
    • Texts that draw parallels with the current political and social climate of backlash against women’s rights.

Please submit your abstract using the NeMLA conference portal:


Deadline for Submissions, Sept. 30, 2021

NEMLA 2022: Family Inheritance in Original Creative Work (9/30/2021; 3/10-13/2022) Baltimore, USA

Writers inherit much from their families: stories, material wealth, trauma, discipline, genetic traits, knowledge, and other legacies. What do we do with this heritage and how do we make it our own in our original creative productions? Will the legacy become a heirloom seed that produces exquisite blooms or a hereditary disorder that wilts inspiration on the vine? Bestselling memoirists Mary Karr, Sherman Alexie, Ocean Vuong, and many others have famously shaped family trauma into achingly poignant works of art, begging us to ask if such pain is a necessary ingredient of their success. On the other hand, poets such as Robert Hayden and Ruth Stone have eulogized family members through art, thereby immortalizing the positive aspects loved ones have left behind.

This panel will explore these positive and negative inheritances through readings of creative works followed by a panel discussion. Writers are invited to interpret the theme of inheritance broadly, to read a 10 to 15-minute excerpt of the poetry fiction, or creative non-fiction (including memoir) that showcases their inheritance, and participate in a discussion of how writers make use of what their families leave them. Please submit a 200-250-word abstract of your presentation, including how it applies to the theme of inheritance, and a two-page excerpt of the creative work you will read.  Submit to by September 30, 2021. Contact Info: 

Dr. Betina Entzminger

English Department

Bloomsburg University Contact Email:


Deadline for Submissions Oct. 1, 2021

“Ecce mulier”: Female celebrity culture and the visual arts around 1900

Call for papers Image and Narrative 24.2 (2023)

Guest edited by Carlijn Cober, dr. Floris Meens and dr. Tom Sintobin, this issue will focus on representations and self-representations of female key figures during the fin de siècle of the 19th century. By combining visual, narrative and historiographical analyses, we aim to gain insight into how female artists, authors, actors, musicians, salonnières, scholars and muses both functioned within the cultural field and have been ‘imagined’ or imagined themselves during their lifetime and beyond.

Research questions can concern either literal or figurative interpretations of terms relating to both ‘image’ and ‘narrative’. In the case of literal visual imaginations, possible questions would be: How are female figures depicted in visual media, such as photographs, films, paintings, sketches, or cartoons? Against which background, in what posture, in whose company? Does that depiction follow, establish or transgress norms? How – through what media and in which circles – were these images established, distributed or consumed, both synchronically and diachronically? What was the relationship between various forms of representations and the women’s fame? Who was responsible for these depictions: did women have agency and to what extent can they be seen as a coproduction?

In the case of figural forms of imagination, questions could be: How did famous or influential women construct or fashion their own image? How are they visible in literary texts, poetry, diary entries, biographies, letter exchanges, plays, operas, operettas and songs? What role did they play within the cultural imagination? How have they been imagined, within which framework, in what role or position, in relation to whom? How have either their image or narrative evolved over time, during their life or ours? How can we render them visible or highlight different perspectives of them?

We are looking for articles with an average length of 5000 words (including notes and bibliography) that together address a wide range of methods and approaches related to this topic, and original interpretations of both ‘image’ and ‘narrative’. Those interested to contribute can submit an abstract of maximum 250 words and a cv to by October 1st, 2021. The deadline for the first drafts will be March 1st, 2022 the final deadline July 1st, 2022.
  Contact Email:


Deadline for Submissions Oct. 19, 2021

Announcement: Call-for-Papers:

This call has been slightly revised.
This call is for abstract submissions for an international edited collection now entitled Taking Control: the use of critical and creative digital tools in the now and beyond, in  screen, literature, graphic texts, and visual culture narratives.
Currently I am seeking a number of academics and professionals in the field who might like to send me an abstract for consideration for inclusion in the book.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline date for abstracts has been extended:
Abstracts now due: 19  October 2021.
The aim of Taking Control is to highlight the human-AI blend in creativity as a vibrant multidisciplinary thematic area where we urgently need better understanding and clear parameters to judge success and failure.
Taking Control seeks to examine the current uses, and the potential for expansion and extension, and possible future uses of AI in relation to screen and literature, including e-books and electronic literature genres and graphic texts, and visual culture narratives; as well as the little explored angle of cultural criticism and cultural meaning in those human-AI assisted productions.
Suggestions for potential contributions to consider, but not limited to, are, how the use of AI in these productions may:

  • connect to the viewer’s/reader’s world to foster a new reality and encourage learning;
  • sharpen, and ask for answers to, big questions that intersect with our society and environment and worlds;
  • encourage further research that opens new possibilities as well as an open-mindedness in the quest for a deeper understanding;
  • create platforms that cross cultures and borders, to become inter- and multi- disciplinary;
  • provide immediate access to resources that we can trust to provide accurate information, and that is enriching and productive;
  • bring to the table a common “language” that can create a shared experience, with the potential to cross borders into other disciplines, and sustain our cultural heritage;
  • discuss how the human-AI blend can be used to highlight or determine the use of cultural criticism and/or cultural meaning in the relevant productions;
  • discuss the potential of the human-AI blend for extension and expansion, and possible future uses in the stated genres.

Technology can be misused, yet in the human-AI blend humans have the power to intervene. In these interactions, there is the potential to take things to a different level. The power of the human, the ability to think differently, and critically and creatively, together with the technical abilities of the immediate computer for holding, sorting, and providing masses of big data, hold out the possibility of expanded human creativity. When you choose and use information fairly, it makes the outcome compelling and accurate. AI affects what people look for; what they enter, and how they respond, and what that reveals and changes about the people, can affect our societies and cultures. Wherever you add questions about our environment, for instance, AI it sharpens it so we can relate to it.  Thus, how it relates to the human experience, to our world, and human society, much depends on how we manage it, where we take it and what we do with it.

Questions remain: In what ways can human-AI assisted screen, literature, graphic texts  and visual culture narratives expand, grow, and bring deeper understanding of ourselves, our worlds, our environment, our culture and society, and bring about change?  How do these works address cultural criticism, and social and cultural meanings, and add to our understanding of our cultures and society? What is the potential for exploring human experience and that connect to our world, and the possible import of these productions for the future? Admittedly, there are differing views and opinions on the future of AI. Some think an Artificial General Intelligence  can exist and others think not. What does all this mean for our future society and culture?  
At this initial stage, in lieu of “chapters,” this proposed work, Taking Control, calls for extended abstracts for consideration for inclusion in the book.
Submission instructions:

  1. The extended abstracts must be more than 1,000 and less than 1,500 words.

(Full-length chapters of 6,000 – 7,000words each (including notes but excluding references lists, title of work, and key words) will be solicited from these abstracts.)

  1. Please keep in mind that your essay-chapter will be written from your extended abstract. Your abstract will carry the same title as your essay-chapter.
  2. To be considered, abstracts must be written in English, and submitted as a Word document.
  3. When writing your abstract use Times New Roman point 12,and 1.15 spacing.
  4. At the beginning of your extended abstract, immediately after the title of your work and your name, add 5 to 8 keywords that best relate to your work.
  5. Use the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition.
  6. Use English spelling not American English spelling.
  7. Use endnotes, not footnotes, use counting numbers not Roman numerals, and keep the endnotes to a bare minimum, working the information into the text where possible.
  8. Do cite all your work in your extended abstract as you would in a full chapter.

a) in the body of the abstract, add parenthetical in-text citations (family name of author and year, and page number/s) (e.g. Smith 2019, 230);
b) fully reference all in-text citations in alphabetical order, in the References list at the end of your abstract.
10. Please send your abstract and your documents as attachments to an email. At the same time as
submitting your extended abstract, in separate documents please send the following:

  • Your covering letter, giving your academic title/s, affiliation, your position, and your home and telephone, and email contact details;
  • A short bio of no more than 200 words;
  • Your C.V., giving your publications to date, and the publishing details and dates.

Papers should be forwarded to:
Jo Parnell  alternatively  or 
Dr Jo Parnell. | Honorary Associate Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
College of Human and Social Futures
M: +61 (0)421 993 253
International author and editor  
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Deadline for Submissions November 15, 2021

FULL PAPERS: 15 February 2022
ABSTRACTS: 15 November 2021

Special Issue: Life Writing & Persona

2022 Vol. 8 Issue 1 Persona Studies

Call For Papers:
Persona Studies is seeking papers and creative projects that investigate the ways in which personas are produced, managed, used, and disseminated in the contexts of life writing. We take “life writing” here in the very broadest of senses to include written texts (published and unpublished; written, print and online) but also other forms and genres of representation/self-(re)presentation including film, art, theatre, publicity, social media and more.
In this issue we are interested in life writing as a site of persona production, persona performance, and persona dissemination. Whether vlogs and Facebook posts or celebrity memoirs, profiles or biopics, life writing texts are doing persona work – often quite intentionally and strategically in the cases of public figures and public texts. Indeed, life writing seems both an obvious and natural home for studying persona and there are productive sites of overlap in how these fields theorize performativity, authenticity, strategy, agency, and reputation.
But the study of life writing as a site of persona work also has the opportunity to stretch both fields in new directions: private life writing texts, for example, offer a challenge to the supposition in Persona Studies that personas are mechanisms for being public. Persona Studies in turn complicates distinctions between public and private mechanisms of self-(re)presentation that have historically structured Life Writing Studies. Theoretically, both fields have much to offer each other: how might theoretical work on the slash in auto/biography, truth-telling, and auto/biographical pacts be brought to bear on persona performances? How might life writing benefit from thinking about playability, mediatization, and role-playing?
This special issue on life writing and persona welcomes abstracts and papers related to these and many other issues including (but certainly not limited to):
·       Social media and other forms of presentational media as sites of persona work and life writing
·       Persona and biographical representational media forms: films, profiles, biographies, etc.
·       Self-presentation in representational media forms
·       Persona in public and private life writing texts
·       Referentiality and truth-telling in persona work
·       Issues of agency, performativity, and reputation in life writing
·       Strategic productions of persona in life writing
·       Personas in the publicity and marketing of life writing texts

Abstracts and Expressions of Interest (300-500 words) should be submitted by 15 November 2021 to with the subject heading “Life Writing and Persona.” Full papers may also be submitted at this time.
Notification of acceptance will follow by 1 December 2021. Please note that final acceptance of the full paper and project is contingent upon the peer review process.
Full papers (6,000-8,000 words) and creative projects will be due 15 February 2022.


Deadline for Submissions November 15, 2021

Call for Papers 


22-23 April 2022, Wrocław, Poland
University of Wrocław and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon 

Conference website:

The capacious category of life-writing accommodates conventional biography and autobiography – with their insistence on linearity, coherence and a stable sense of the self – as well as auto/biographical works that embrace digital media, mix genres and break down neat life narratives into fragments. In order to give a name to the disruptive strand of the auto/biographical tradition, Irene Kacandes has proposed the term “experimental life-writing,” which encompasses texts employing an unconventional formal device “for the purposes of fact or of enhancing, reinforcing or drawing attention to the referential level.” They are driven by the desire “to convey some aspect of the ‘realness’ of certain life experiences that could not be conveyed as well without pushing at the form itself.” Kacandes distinguishes between experiments regarding time, medium, the relation between the author, subject and reader, and the work’s focus. Julia Novak goes on to define “experiments in life-writing” as works that “push at the boundaries of existing forms to mould them into something that better suits the writer’s efforts of representation.” In her co-edited volume (with Lucia Boldrini) Experiments in Life-Writing (2017), she suggests an alternative classification, based on experimentation with the auto/biographical subject, generic composites, style, structure, intertextuality and metalepsis, names and pronouns, and media. 1975 – the year of the publication of Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes and Joe Brainard’s I Remember – can be viewed as the onset of that overtly experimental streak in auto/biographical writing, which has recently yielded such diverse works as David Clark’s 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (2008), Joan Wickersham’s The Suicide Index (2008), Anne Carson’s NOX (2010), Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015), Una’s Becoming Unbecoming (2015) and Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House (2019). However, as Max Saunders has argued, that tradition can be traced back to the Modernist practice of autobiografiction and claim such literary classics as Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1928) and Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933). 

Our conference aims to theorize, historicize, and exemplify the still very fresh critical notion of experimental life-writing. We have a particular interest in contemporary Anglophone writing and welcome comparative papers about works in English and other languages. Possible issues and forms to explore in conference papers include (but are not limited to):  

  • fragmentary life-writing, 
  • genre-defying graphic memoirs, 
  • multimodal, multimedia and collage-like life-writing, 
  • digital/online biography, 
  • conceptual (life-)writing, 
  • postmodern life-writing and avant-garde autobiography, 
  • anti-biography, 
  • fake auto/biography, 
  • the self as archive/database, 
  • digital identities and the quantified self, 
  • auto/biography and social media, 
  • formal experimentation in the context of trauma, grief and/or radical vulnerability, 
  • queer life-writing, 
  • autobiography in the second or third person, 
  • generic hybridity in life-writing, 
  • unconventional relations between the author, narrator, subject and reader, 
  • playing with frames/framing, 
  • pedagogical implications of experimental life-writing. 

Proposals (ca. 300 words), together with a biographical note, should be sent to Vanessa Guignery ( and Wojciech Drąg ( by 15 November 2021. 

Keynote speakers: Irene Kacandes, Teresa Bruś and David Clark.


Deadline for Submissions November 30, 2021

Call for Papers International and Interdisciplinary Conference   Hybridity in Life Writing: How Text and Images Work Together to Tell a Life
Organizers: Clare Brant (King’s College London), Arnaud Schmitt (Bordeaux University & LARCA, Université de Paris)
Venue: Université de Paris, Paris, 7–8 July, 2022
Keynote Speaker: Pr. Teresa Bruś (Wrocław University)  

  • Please submit an abstract of approx. 250 words and a short bionote to and by 30 November, 2021 at the latest.   It might seem that, to some extent, almost all visual content in autobiographical texts is visual aid. But what is it in aid of? Of the text, somehow. Victor Burgin notes that “we rarely see a photograph in use which does not have a caption or a title, it is more usual to encounter photographs attached to long texts, or with copy superimposed over them. Even a photograph which has no actual writing on or around it is traversed by language when it is ‘read’ by a viewer.” As powerful as images can be, and they frequently outshine the text that precedes or follows them, their narrative potential is nevertheless tethered to the text that introduces them or comments them a posteriori. In other words, the text has the first or last word, it frames the picture and, in a way, ‘tames’ its impact: a picture is at the text’s service. And yet, it can also be argued that images contradict texts in the same Derridean way as texts and more particularly words contradict each other, or at least unsettle themselves. In Picture Theory, W. J. T. Mitchell states that he wants “to concentrate, however, on the kinds of photographic essays which contain strong textual elements, where the text is most definitely an ‘invasive’ and even domineering element.” Thus, even if and when they are supposed to work together, words and images in a memoir establish a balance of power, one that requires investigation as the autobiographical narrative of a hybrid memoir depends on this very balance.
From a historical point of view, this balance of power may also result from the evolution of each medium’s status, as an art form or cultural artefact. For instance, it can be argued that the first memoir written by a photographer is Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature. Teresa Bruś claims that “The Pencil of Nature, presented to the public in 1844, is the first autobiographical book of a photographer. […] aligning the ‘art’ of photography with a rhetorical, if not a literary, project.” But in Photography and Literature, François Brunet points out that, contrary to what might have been expected, Talbot’s effort had little effect on the publishing world, and this “estrangement of photography from literature,” with the odd exception, lasted until the end of the 19th century. According to him, nothing much happened before the beginning of the 20th century and “the growing recognition of photography as a distinct art form.” It makes sense that photography’s relation with literature very much depended on its evolving status.[1]
On a more positive note, hybridity may also be seen to operate beyond this semantic and cultural balance of power and to aim at an additional meaning created thanks to intermediality at a level where, despite their intrinsic cognitive features and differences, text and images are able to produce content that they would not have been able to produce had they been kept separate. In a way, it hinges on how a book balances text and images, how it ‘monitors’ intermediality. But Gilles Mora writes that “photography has rarely generated autobiographical works able to exist without the support of language” (“la photographie a rarement produit des œuvres autobiographiques qui puissent se passer de l’appui du langage”). Maybe because one of the main (if not the only) functions of photographs in life writing is to authenticate. Roland Barthes is mostly responsible for the widespread belief that photography is better at accessing the past than words, principally through two assertions he made in Camera Lucida: “it [photography] does not invent; it is authentication incarnate. […] Every photograph certifies a presence” (“elle [la photographie] n’invente rien ; elle est l’authentification même. […] Toute photographie est un certificat de presence”) and “It seems that Photography always carries its referent with it […]” (“On dirait que la Photographie emporte toujours son référent avec elle […]”). The role of non-photographic images in hybrid memoirs or autobiographical works is thus more complex as paintings for instance do not have this ability to authenticate and similarly to words do not “carry their referent with them.” However, in a post-PhotoShop age, the way photographs have the ability to tamper with or even falsify “their referent” can be seen as highly problematic in an autobiographical context.
The same can be said about graphic memoirs, a booming field, as drawings are also very low on the ‘authentication scale’. Nevertheless, Narratologist Robyn Warhol made the following remark regarding them: “The juxtaposition of cartooning with verbal memoir offers methods of representing subjectivity that are unprecedented in traditional autobiography. Indeed, as Versaci asserts ‘while many prose memoirists address the complex nature of identity and the self, comic book memoirists are able to represent such complexity in ways that cannot be captured in words alone’.” But is this “subjectivity” represented separately or jointly? And in the latter case, how? Also not as authenticating as photographs, paintings remain nevertheless a potential narrative resource for any autobiographer. In The Privileged Eye, Max Kozloff reminds us that “a main distinction between a painting and a photograph is that the painting alludes to its content, whereas the photograph summons it, from wherever and whenever, to us.” It might only be “alluding to a content,” but a painting in a memoir simply is another form of hybridity and a way for an author to diversify the work’s content. Stanley Cavell wrote that we might say that “a painting is a world” and that “a photograph is of the world” but a painting in many ways continue to allude to the world, and more precisely to the autobiographer’s world.
Finally, beyond the intermedial question, there is the issue of autobiography, and more specifically autobiography at the beginning of the 21st century, a different type from previous centuries, one more informed of the limits of referential writing and more than ever aware of its importance; one also that has often outgrown its usual vessel—even though the latter remains its most prestigious one in terms of official recognition­—and has branched out into social and often more visual media (just one example among so many: the renowned American photographer Stephen Shore’s Instagram account on which he posts one picture everyday). Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson have identified and explored “the visual-verbal-virtual contexts of life narrative” which have multiplied through for example performance and visual arts, autobiographical films and videos, and variously curated online lives.
Véronique Montémont rightfully points out that Philippe Lejeune, one of the most prominent life writing theorists, “does not mention photography because for him autobiography involves enunciation, a narrator in other terms.” And yet photography has entered the field of autobiography in a multitude of ways. In Picturing Ourselves: Photography & Autobiography, Linda Haverty Rugg sums up her study’s main objectives thus: “This book explores the intersection of these two debates—the point at which photographs enter the autobiographical act. What (or how) do photographs mean in the context of an autobiography?” The aim of this symposium is to explore the point at which an image, any image, whether fixed or moving (in vlogs for instance), enters the autobiographical act and confronts the verbal form.

Keynote Speaker: Pr. Teresa Bruś (Wrocław University), author of the forthcoming Face Forms in Photography and Life Writing of the 1920s and 1930s