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


Dear colleagues,

You are warmly invited to this exciting online event on Friday 7 May, 14.00 – 15.30 (CEST / GMT+2) that brings together two acclaimed women in conversation – Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah and South African writer and critic Elleke Boehmer – discussing Literature and the Politics of the Past in Southern Africa.

Award-winning author Petina Gappah recently published Out of Darkness, Shining Light (2019), a novel which writes back to the tradition of David Livingstone biographies by imagining the recollections of two of his bearers. Elleke Boehmer is not only a central postcolonial and life writing scholar, but also an acclaimed author in her own right, most recently of To the Volcano (2019). In this event, the authors will read from their recent works and discuss the role of literature in negotiations over the past in the Southern African region.

Register for free here.

You can also visit the event’s Facebook page here.

The event is convened by the project Literatures of Change: Culture and Politics in Southern Africa funded by the Nordic research councils and organised by Astrid Rasch, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Amanda Hammar, University of Copenhagen; Minna Johanna Niemi, The Arctic University of Norway; Lena Englund, University of Eastern Finland; and Nicklas Hållén, Karlstad University.


Biographers International Organization (BIO) and the Leon Levy Center for Biography

announce the 11th BIO Conference, May 14-16, 2021

Highlights of the conference include the keynote address on Saturday afternoon by the BIO Award winner David Levering Lewis and, on Saturday morning, the James Atlas Plenary with David W. Blight and Annette Gordon-Reed in conversation about “Overlooked Lives.” Registration is $99 ($49 for members).   On both Saturday and Sunday you can participate in up to six of twelve panel discussions on subjects ranging from how to choose a subject and conduct interviews to obituary writing and organizing your narrative kaleidoscopically. Registration will provide links to watch pre-recorded plenary events at your convenience and to participate in real-time panels and roundtables with Zoom. At a later date, your registration ticket will provide access to recordings of all twelve panels.   Friday includes the presentation of BIO’s various awards and fellowships plus short readings from new work by BIO members. Sunday will include roundtable discussions and the presentation of the Plutarch Award for the best biography of 2020. 
For a complete conference schedule, go here:

To register for the conference, go here:    To join BIO, go here:


Deadline for Submissions, May 15, 2021

Stories of Change, Stories for Change

The International Auto/Biography Association, Chapter of the Americas
5th Biennial Conference: October 1, 2021

Co-conveners: Laura Beard, Ricia Chansky, Eva Karpinski, and Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle

Abstracts are invited for the 2021 International Auto/Biography Association Chapter of the Americas 5th biennial conference, “Stories of Change, Stories for Change.” This virtual conference is hosted by the University of Alberta and co-sponsored by the University of Alberta Faculty of Arts’ Signature Area on Stories of Change. 

How do we use narrative to act for change on both personal and communal levels? As we navigate these early years of the twenty-first century what are some of the ways in which we parse through our lives by structuring them as stories? How have we historically crafted stories that enact/ed change? In what ways do our stories chronicle change or even act as change? And how does the circulation of our life stories enact change on local and global levels?  

The co-conveners invite lightning papers (5 minutes) on any aspects of the power of stories in our lives. We understand stories broadly, thinking of the larger stories of our cultures and the individual stories of our daily lives. What is your story of change? What is your story for change? 

Potential subjects include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Storytelling in/as social activism and social justice
  • Storytelling and sharing as community building and acts of belonging 
  • Memory (and its fallibility) in stories of/for change, including collective memory, testimony, testimonio
  • Erasure and silencing in stories and storytelling as undermining erasure and silencing
  • Embodied stories of/for change
  • Stories of migration, diaspora, refugees, resettlement, and citizenship
  • Decolonizing lives through storytelling 
  • Bearing witness through storytelling
  • Telling stories of illness, mortality, disaster, and crisis
  • Storytelling in/through archives, genealogy, and genetics
  • Narrative facilitators — who collect, translate, edit, anthologize, curate and otherwise facilitate the circulation of stories of/for change
  • Stories as objects of collecting and objects that tell stories 
  • How are stories moving through modality, medium, and genre and for what purpose 

Please submit a 150 word abstract for a 5 minute paper and a brief biographical statement by May 15th, 2021. Abstracts must be submitted through the conference website: We expect to notify applicants by June 15, 2021. Inquiries are welcome at

We ask that abstracts be submitted in English or in English and a second language; however, we will assist with arranging translation for scholars who would like to present their papers in Spanish, Portuguese, or French. Please indicate in your abstract submission whether you will need assistance with translation of your paper.

The conference organizers gratefully acknowledge the support of the Kule Institute of Advanced Study, the Arts Resource Centre, the Department of Modern Languages & Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, and a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.

At the University of Alberta, we acknowledge that we are located on Treaty 6 and Métis territory. These lands are and have been a traditional gathering place for many Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.     —  

Laura J. Beard she/her/hers  

Professor, Modern Languages & Cultural Studies,

Faculty of Arts Co-Lead, Arts Signature Area, Stories of Change   Associate Vice President (Research) 

Office of the Vice President (Research and Innovation)

2-51 South Academic Building (SAB)

University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6G 2G7 780-492-5320  

The University of Alberta is located in ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ / Amiskwacîwâskahikan on Treaty 6 territory, the territory of the Papaschase, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.   


Deadline for Submissions May 15, 2021

Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (JCLA)
Vol. 44, No. 4, Winter 2021

SPECIAL ISSUE – Telling Lives, Signifying Selves: Life Writing, Representation, and Identity

Guest Editor: Mukul Chaturvedi
Associate Professor of English, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi, India


Stories have an irresistible charm, and they continue to fascinate us. In fact, stories or narratives are the only way we understand ourselves and our world. If, as Seyla Benhabib (1996) says, “we are who we are, or the ‘I’ that we are, by means of a narrative”, then the narrative of a life or writing about one’s own life may be a crucial way in which the writer can inscribe or access subjectivity. Life writing fundamentally embodies a crises of representation as it struggles to represent a life by ordering it in a narrative form and foregrounds ways of being in the world. As a discourse on the self, life writing traverses’ various disciplinary terrains like history, literature, journalism, ethnography, and pushes the limits of writing the self. Extending the traditional generic boundaries of autobiography and biography, life writing encompasses a vast array of self-induced narrative forms that have spawned in recent years. Other than life writing texts like memoirs, diaries, and testimonies there is also an upsurge in graphic memoirs and digital storytelling that have brought a new dimension to practices of narrating the self. In the field of cinema, biopics have spawned in recent years and there is a keen interest in adapting real-life stories.

Dismantling the notion of a coherent self and positing it as provisional and contingent, life writing acknowledges the complex nature of autobiographical acts and their performative nature in which ‘selves’ are constantly configured through experience, memory, location, identity, and ability. Also, life writing has emerged as a more inclusive genre which allows for collaborations, non-hierarchical connections to emerge as it gives voice to oral and marginalized subjectivities. Interestingly, one key aspect of life writing is how it circulates across languages, cultures, borders through translation and its various trajectories in transnational contexts. While translation of life writing texts as forms of testimonial acts or role of personal narratives in human rights (Gilmore 2017 Smith and Schaffer 2004) has been empowering as narrators find voice and reclaim agency, critics have cautioned towards the pitfalls and appropriation of these texts as they circulate beyond the locus of their origin. (Whitlock 2007)

Addressing the epistemological, ethical, methodological and translational issues in life writing scholarship across varying narrative forms and media, this special issue of JCLA envisages itself as an interface between life writing researchers/academicians, life writing practitioners, life writing translators and calls upon the contributors to examine the sub-themes mentioned below. These themes are only suggestive and in no way restrictive. Contributors are welcome to go beyond them and offer creative and critical insights from a range of life writing forms.

  • Pushing the Boundaries: the limits of life writing
  • Autobiography and Truth Claims
  • Life writing and Memory
  • Life Writing as Testimony
  • Life in Translation: Challenges and Responsibilities
  • Life Writing and Gender
  • Ethics of Authorship: Collaborative life writing
  • Life writing and Censorship
  • Queer & Trans Lives
  • Disability life writing
  • Life on Celluloid: Biopics
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Graphic lives/memoirs
  • Autoethnography

Please submit abstracts of 300 words with a brief bio note.

Last date for the submission of abstract: 15th May 2021
Intimation of selection of abstracts: 30th May 2021
Full Paper (5,000-6,000 words) submission: 15th September 2021

Please email your abstracts to with a copy to


Deadline for Submissions May 15, 2021

Call for Papers: FRAME 34.2, “Writing the Mind”

  FRAME. Journal of Literary Studies   contact email:

In Ellen Forney’s autobiographical comic Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (2012), the author narrates her journey following her bipolar disorder diagnosis, a journey that sets off an exploration into how her art is connected to that of the “crazy artists” of the past. Just like Vincent van Gogh and Sylvia Plath, whose work has been connected to their mental health status, Forney explores how her condition possibly influenced her art. Through her struggle with identity, medication, and periods of mania and depression, Marbles depicts how Forney arrives at the conclusion that her art is not dependent on her “bipolar brain”: “I’d say my ‘creative thought process’ is there whether I’m manic or stable… It’s just how my brain works” (217).¹ The ways our brains work inform the way we see, understand, and narrate the world we live in, as well as ourselves and others. 

The next issue of FRAME will focus on the topic of “Writing the Mind”. We invite scholars of literature and related fields to consider the connections between mental health, writing, and literary studies. How does mental health shape our understandings of literary practices? How does literature shape our understandings of mental health in different contexts? How has this artistic discipline informed the imagery about the way the mind works? And what can literature and literary studies offer to this field of medicine? Themes and topics related to these questions might include (but are not limited to):

  • Literary (mis)representations of mental illness and the usage of stereotypes
  • Literature and mental health stigma
  • The history of gender and sexuality as mental illness
  • The relation between the mental and physical 
  • (Life) writing as therapy
  • Disability studies perspectives on the mind
  • The role of literature in the training of medical professionals of the mind
  • Current approaches to mental health in the (medical) humanities
  • Intersections between mental health and other identity categories (e.g. gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion, etc.)

The questions and concerns presented are only a few of the many themes that could be included in the upcoming issue. If you are interested in writing for FRAME, please submit a brief proposal of 250 words max. before May 21. The deadline for the submission of the full article is August 17. An article for the journal has a word limit of 5400 words, including bibliography and footnotes. For our Masterclass section, graduate students and Ph.D. students are invited to write up to a maximum of 3500 words. Please feel free to contact us at, should you have any questions. More info can be found on our website:

Check our submissions guidelines here.

Please subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated with more news.

¹Forney, Ellen. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me. Gotham Books (2012). 


Deadline for Submissions May 15, 2021

Call for Chapters: Exploring Student Lives Through Photography, Oral History and Context-based Art


Lorenzo J. Torres Hortelano, Rey Juan Carlos University (URJC, Madrid), Spain.
Maida Gruden, Students’ City Cultural Center (SCCC, Belgrade), Serbia.

Andrija Stojanović, Students’ City Cultural Center (SCCC, Belgrade), Serbia.

Proposals Submission Deadline: May 15th, 2021
Full Chapters Submission Due: September 15th, 2021

Submission guidelines [link]

Submit your proposal (400-800 words) to and


This will be an open access book to be published by an international reference indexed publishing company (which will be announced later in 2021). It is aimed to analyze the most relevant aspects of the Creative Europe Project ‘They: Live’Student lives revealed through context-based art practices (2020-2023), through three distinct parts that correspond to its different milestones.

 This call is limited to the first part of the book which seeks to involve reflections from various disciplines (history, sociology, anthropology, visual anthropology, political sciences, cultural and curatorial studies, oral history studies, history of photography, aesthetics of digital art and databases….) on the lives of students (University level) from Second World War to the present day. Within the project, photographs from private albums, archives, and oral history testimonies by current and former students will be collected, documented, and showed on Topothek open online platform.

Researchers are welcomed to use it, where other works as photographs, audio, texts databases and research are hosted.

 They: Live project focuses on the following topics: the everyday student life, campus-related life, cultural habits and free time, interpersonal relations, gender relations, socio-political engagement of students, from the end of the Second World War until contemporary days on the European level. The field of research can be expanded beyond assigned topics of the project and from different angles and disciplines on student’s lives.

 The second part of the book will encompass case studies about Artist in Residences programs on students’ campuses with essay contributions by selected artists and curators involved in the project. And the third part, written by members of the project consortium, will be a step-by-step manual with recommendations for implementation of the organizational methodology of this type of residential stay in student campuses and exhibits.

 So, it will be an edited book, a mix of essay, case study and methodology book emerging from the research results of the European project They Live.


The objective of this book is to address a relevant issue that involves a multidisciplinary approach, that is, the relationships between students’ lives in the campuses, documentary vernacular photography, oral history, contemporary art, and students’ intangible heritage. It is aimed to offer a valuable contribution regarding the challenges and possibilities faced by contemporary art practices and the archiving of the everyday memory of student communities.

Student lives and their activities represent a live reservoir of innovative ideas and relationships, a source through which an evolutionary development of intellectual heritage can be followed, and a completely new view of the European culture and its future development can be established.

This is a relevant and current topic that makes the book suitable for scholars and professionals working in the areas of social sciences (history, sociology, anthropology, visual anthropology, political sciences, cultural and curatorial studies, oral history studies, history of photography, aesthetics of digital art, digital humanities etc). One of the strongest features of the book is the multi-national, trans-generational as well as multidisciplinary approach to the topic.

Therefore, papers need to address both the scientific and practical implications of the research.

 Recommended Topics (but not limited)

Cultural studies on student lives – History of student culture, – Student lives from the perspective of sociology: everyday life in campuses, interpersonal and gender relationships –  Political engagement of students – Gender studies related to students’ life – Anthropology of students’ life- Students lives through photography  – Oral history related to students live – Genres of photography coming from students live – Art context-based practices and student lives – Digital archives related to student live photos – Art inspired by student lives – Aesthetics of the archive – Art from archives – Multimedia Art – Comparative view on students’ lives in different countries from the end of WWII until now

 This is a list of related papers and books: [link]


We are in discussions with international European academic high indexed publishers. This publication is anticipated to be released in Q1 2023.


Lorenzo J. Torres Hortelano

Senior Lecturer professor (tenure)

Rey Juan Carlos University and

Thanks and Best regards,

Lorenzo J. Torres Hortelano 

Vicedecano de Extensión Universitaria y Relaciones Internacionales

Vice-Dean of University Extension and International Relations

Profesor Titular/Professor

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Facultad de Ciencias de la Comunicación 

Departamento de Ciencias de la Comunicación y Sociología  

Edificio de Gestión – Decanato

Camino del Molino s/n, 28943 Fuenlabrada 

+34 91 488 73 11

Lorenzo Torres

IP proyecto Europa Creativa Contact Info: 

Lorenzo J. Torres Hortelano 

Vicedecano de Extensión Universitaria y Relaciones Internacionales

Vice-Dean of University Extension and International Relations

Profesor Titular/Professor

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Facultad de Ciencias de la Comunicación 

Departamento de Ciencias de la Comunicación y Sociología  

Edificio de Gestión – Decanato

Camino del Molino s/n, 28943 Fuenlabrada 

+34 91 488 73 11

Lorenzo Torres

IP proyecto Europa Creativa Contact Email: URL:

Deadline for Submissions May 15, 2021

The Multiple Lives of Memories: Materializing Experiences of Soviet Terror (5/15/2021)
Edited by Samira Saramo (Migration Institute of Finland) & Ulla Savolainen (University of Helsinki) 
Keywords: memory; life stories; experiences; materiality; emotion; mobility; violence; repression; Soviet Union  
This peer-reviewed international collection of articles focuses on the expansive reach of Soviet Terror through an analysis of the materialization of memories from multi-sited perspectives. The book examines the concrete mobility of life stories, letters, memoirs, objects, and bodies reflecting Soviet repression and violence across borders of geographical locations, historical periods, political regimes, and generations, while simultaneously paying attention to more abstract processes of textual circulation and (re)mediation. The collection asks: what happens to life stories, testimonies, and experiences when they travel in time and space and are (re)interpreted and (re)formulated through these transfers? What types of spaces for remembering, telling, and feeling are created, negotiated, and contested in these contexts? What are the boundaries and intersections of intimate, familial, and community memories?  
The book explores these travels as processes of becoming, which reflect productive entanglements of the material, social, and discursive qualities in people’s experiences and memories with Soviet repression and violence. By engaging with current discussions on mediation (e.g. Erll & Rigney 2009; De Cesari & Rigney 2014), reception (e.g. Sindbæk Andersen & Törnquist-Plewa 2017; Etkind 2013), life writing and life storying (Gilmore 2001; Adler 2002; Merridale 2000; Šukys 2017), and materiality (Hirsch 2012; Miller 2011) in (cultural) memory studies and beyond, the collection of articles aims to open new perspectives on the multiple lives of memories, and who and what gets to remember and be remembered. Through this focus, this collection contributes fresh methodological perspectives to the study of Soviet Terror.  
We invite article proposals (approx. 500 words) addressing the theme of the book to be sent to the editors ( by May 15th, 2021. The proposals should describe the case study, research materials, and methodological framework of the planned article, along with a short biographical statement.Prospective contributors will be informed of decisions by June 1st, 2021. The deadline for the first version of article manuscripts is December 1st, 2021.  
The book proposal will be sent with abstracts to an international academic publisher in September 2021 and the collection of articles will be sent for peer review in Spring 2022. 
Adler, N. 2004. The Gulag Survivor: Beyond the Soviet System. London: Routledge. 
De Cesari, C. and A. Rigney, eds. 2014. Transnational Memory: Circulation, Articulation, Scales. Berlin: De Gruyter. 
Erll, A. and A. Rigney, eds. 2009. Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory. Berlin: De Gruyter. 
Etkind, A. 2013. Warped Mourning: Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 
Gilmore, L. 2001. The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 
Hirsch, M. 2012. The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust. New York: Columbia University Press. 
Merridale, C. 2000. Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Russia. London, Granta. 
Miller, N.K. 2012. What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past.  
Sindbæk Andersen, T. and B. Törnquist-Plewa, eds. 2017. The Twentieth Century in European Memory: Transcultural Mediation and Reception. Leiden: Brill. 
Šukys, J. 2018. Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter’s Reckoning. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.


Deadline for Submissions June 1, 2021

CFP for SAMLA 93, taking place on November 4-6, 2021, in Atlanta, GA.    LIFE WRITING

The production of identities and subjectivities across narrative spheres and histories‚ from genres like captivity narratives, slave narratives, autobiographies, biographies, and commonplace books, to contemporary iterations in memoir, blogs, social media, and reality television‚ challenge expectations for how lives can be documented and shared. Life writing crucially expands the bounds of what lives and literatures can look like, demanding that readers attend to histories, lives, languages, and experiences that are often unfamiliar or different from their own. This panel welcomes presentations on any aspect of life writing, and those projects that are related to the conference theme, “Social Networks, Social Distances,” are especially welcome. By June 1, please submit an abstract of 250 words, along with presenter’s academic affiliation, contact information, and A/V requirements, to Nicole Stamant, Agnes Scott College, at


Seminar on June 3, 2021

Lives: Biography and Autobiography in New Writing on American Art

6/3/2021, 4:00-8:15pm. CEST

The John F. Kennedy Institute of American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, and the Terra Foundation for American Art are pleased to invite you to this year’s Berlin Terra symposium, Lives: Biography and Autobiography in New Writing on American Art which will be delivered online via Webex on June 3, 2021, 4.00 pm – 8.15 pm (Central European Summer Time). (USA start times: 7:00 am PDT/8:00 am MDT/9:00 am CDT/10:00 am EDT.)

The origins of art history privileged the artist’s biography in the explanation and interpretation of artworks, but such narratives came to be rejected for their heroic and exclusionary narratives of the exceptionalism and isolated genius. In their place, questions of historical, social, and intellectual context took precedence, and the writing of an artist’s life came to seem conservative and unconnected to larger social, political, and aesthetic concerns. However, recent art historical scholarship has found a renewed interest in the details of the lives of artists as embedded in their social and artistic worlds, and these new approaches aim to create a more equitable and diverse narrative of art’s many histories. Biography and autobiography have come to be newly relevant as art history struggles with its legacies of exclusion based on race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability. This symposium will showcase some new biographical and autobiographical approaches to writing American art’s histories, with a view toward the ways in which the life experiences of artists and writers afford opportunities for counternarratives and new ways of understanding the diverse histories of American art. Lives: Biography and Autobiography in New Writing on American Art brings together scholars and curators who discuss the intertwinement and intersectionality of artists’ life experiences with the work they produced from them. 

Speakers include C. Ondine Chavoya, Joan Kee, Cyle Metzger, and Helen Molesworth. It is convened by David J. Getsy, 2020-2021 Terra Foundation Professor of American Art.

Please visit the event website for a detailed schedule and log-in details:

The symposium is free and open to the public. No registration required. Event language is English.  Contact Info: 

Amalie Boye

Terra Student Assistant, John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
  Contact Email: URL:


Seminar held on June, 11, 2021

Stories of Home, the Road, and the Host Country: Women Narrating Migration in Morocco

Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW)


School of Advanced Study • University of London

Stories of Home, the Road, and the Host Country: Women Narrating Migration in Morocco

11 June 2021

10.00am – 4.00pm BST

Online Symposium

Organiser: Keltouma Guerch(Mohamed I University, Oujda Morocco)

Judging by the late 20th and early 21st centuries movement realities, migration is no longer a choice nor is it an option among other options. It’s rather an economic, social, and political necessity. For millions of individuals and families around the world, migration is the ultimate survival decision and action. As a matter of fact, movement through unknown lands involves stories of home and the road.

Stories are our daily bread to communicate with others, express joys and sorrows, and survive trials and tribulations. Migrants’ stories help them share their experiences of the terrible journey and how they “survive” in the transit and/or destination countries. The geographic location of Morocco imposed a specific identity on the country as both a transit and destination land, hence, its notoriety as a place where migration plans and human trafficking are massively negotiated. Given the dramatic conditions in which movement from the southern to the northern coasts of the Mediterranean are carried out, migration tales are obviously not romantic ones. In this symposium participants share their scholarly work and research in the field of migration, particularly gendered migration, from different perspectives.


Panel One, 10.00 – 12.00 BST   (Chair: Keltouma Guerch)

Abdellah El Boubekri (Mohamed I University, Oujda Morocco); “Unconsummated belonging in Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans (2019) and Conditional Citizens (2020).”
Wissam Bitari (Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh Morocco); “The Intersection of Diaspora and Postmodern realities in Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans.
Tayeb Ghourdou (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fes Morocco); “Identity Construction between Home and Exile: A Comparative Analysis of Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans and Murja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf.”
Brahim Elaouni (Mohamed I University, Oujda Morocco); “Space and Women Consciousness in the Writings of Lalami the Novelist and Lalami the Essayist.”  

Lunch Break: 12.00 – 14.00 BST

Panel Two, 14.00 – 16.00 BST   (Chair: Abdellah El Boubekri)

Mimoune Daoudi (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fes Morocco);  “Self-narration in Moroccan Women Diasporic Literature: Najat Elhachemi’s The Last Patriarch, as a case study.”
Zineb  Rabouj (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fes Morocco); “Escaping to/from America: Roots and Routes in Anissa Bouziane’s Dune Song.”
Keltouma Guerch (Mohamed I University, Oujda Morocco); “Mothers and Daughters: Home, the Road, and the Host Country in the Narratives of Sub-Saharan Women Migrants Living in North-East Morocco.”
Fatima-Zohra Alaoui Mehrez (Mohamed I University, Oujda Morocco); “Narrating Sub-Saharan African Female Migrants’ Stories in Morocco.”

All are welcome to attend this free event at 10.00am BST on 11 June. You will need to register in advance to receive the online event joining link. To register go to:

This symposium is organised as part of the CCWW Seminar Series 2021/22: ‘Precarious Homes – Narratives and Practices of Home-Making in Turbulent Times’ which takes its cue from the CCWW Conference  “‘Where are you from?’ to ‘Where shall we go together?’ Re-imagining Home and Belonging in 21st-Century Women’s Writing“, hosted at the IMLR in September 2020. Dedicated to further exploration of literary and theoretical conceptualisations of home-making, the series considers women’s writing in context, using various formats –  reading groups, a symposium, and an author/translator conversation. Contact Info:

Cathy Collins

Institute of Modern Languages Research

School of Advanced Study | University of London
Room 239 | Senate House | Malet Street | London WC1E 7HU | UK Contact Email: URL:

Deadline for Submissions June 20, 2021

“Narrating Lives”: International Conference on Storytelling, (Auto)Biography and (Auto)Ethnography

August 28, 2021 to August 29, 2021

Location:  United Kingdom

Life-history approach occupies the central place in conducting and producing  (auto)biographical and (auto)ethnographic studies through the understanding of self, other, and culture. We construct and develop conceptions and practices by engaging with memory through narrative, in order to negotiate ambivalences and uncertainties of the world and to represent (often traumatic) experiences.

The “Narrating Lives” conference will focus on reading and interpreting (auto)biographical texts and methods across the humanities, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. It will analyse theoretical and practical approaches to life writing and the components of (auto)biographical acts, including memory, experience, identity, embodiment, space, and agency. We will attempt to identify key concerns and considerations that led to the development of the methods and to outline the purposes and ethics of (auto)biographical and (auto)ethnographic research.

We aim to explore a variety of techniques for gathering data on the self-from diaries to interviews to social media and to promote understanding of multicultural others, qualitative inquiry, and narrative writing.

Conference panels will be related, but not limited, to:

  • Life Narrative in Historical Perspective
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Oral History, Memory and Written Tradition
  • Journalism and Literary Studies
  • Creative Writing and Performing Arts
  • (Auto)Biographical Element in Film Studies, Media and Communication
  • Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
  • Storytelling in Education
  • Ethics and Politics of Research

Submissions may be proposed in various formats, including:

  • Individually submitted papers (organised into panels by the committee)
  • Panels (3-4 individual papers)
  • Posters

Proposals should be sent by 20 June 2021 to: Please download Paper proposal form.

Registration fee – 90 GBP     Contact Info: 

London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research Contact Email: URL:


Deadline for Submissions: June 30, 2021

The Transformative Experience of the Journey via Recollection and Reflection

deadline for submissions:  June 30, 2021   Pacific Modern and Ancient Language Association
Nov. 11-14, 2021
Las Vegas, USA   contact email:

The travel memoir offers an opportunity to examine a number of issues in terms of creative non-fiction. Travel stories focus on individuals who become strangers to themselves when they exile themselves from the environmental and cultural factors that have defined them thus far in service of self-discovery. They link up with the grand Odysseus-like impulse of traditional and modern literature that can profoundly alter identity when they travel and write about their experiences. Topics to consider include the issue of fact vs. fiction in creative non-fiction texts, the idea of the diary as an essential aspect of the transformative experience, and the collaborative relationship between readers and writers in this highly popular genre in terms of identity development.


Submission deadline: 15th July, 2021

Call for Contributions: 

Autobiography, Ethics, and Relations

Editor: Orly Lael Netzer (PhD), University of Alberta

Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press 

The first two decades of the twenty-first century have seen a growing interest in personal stories across media and markets, from photo-journalism, to letters, social media posts, memoirs, documentaries, and performance or installation art. True accounts of experience have been used to protest sexual violence, institutional racism, and neo-colonial practices of occupation; personal stories have been situated as transformative acts of resiliency, healing, survivance, and resurgence; and autobiographical acts have been mobilized to call for humanitarian response to crises of forced displacement and migration. While these interventions are not unprecedented, they highlight two key aspects of auto/biographical acts and their use in contemporary cultures across the globe — namely, the pivotal roles of relationality and ethics.

Contending with auto/biographical ethics means interrogating the relationships and power dynamics that shape individuals’ and communities’ experiences, alongside the relationships embedded in the representation, mediation, and reception of these experiences. In other words, it means accounting for the intrinsic relations between ethics and politics, exploring what truths autobiographical texts speak to while also asking whose lives are represented, how, by whom, for whom, and for whose profit.

Autobiography, Ethics, and Relations — a peer-reviewed edited collection under advance contract with Wilfrid Laurier University Press — will interrogate the ethical challenges, risks, responsibilities, and potentialities embedded in local and global practices of auto/biography. To explore these issues, I invite contributions attuned to questions of agency, responsibility, and accountability to true stories and to the individuals and communities whose lives have been represented in auto/biographical works across mediums, periods, and locations. The collection as a whole will not offer firm conclusions, nor will it readily solve ethical challenges or dilemmas. Instead, I encourage contributions that speak to wider issues and relationalities (rather than offer an analysis of a single work), offering provocations while carefully situating them in specific cultural, historical and material contexts.

The collection will be organized around three interlinked categories —production, circulation, and reception — and potential discussion topics may address (but are not limited to) one or more of the following:


  • The ethics of telling, discovering, recording, or collaborating to represent lived experience 
  • The power dynamics and ethical concerns embedded in collaborative production of life stories 
  • Responsible practices of working with auto/biographical subjects, documents, and communities 
  • Producing life stories in/for community settings (e.g. community-based workshops or projects) 
  • Reproducing auto/biographical accounts in translation, restoration, or revised editions
  • Considerations of harm, exploitation, access, implication, consent, benefit, and agency of auto/biographical subjects and their communities


  • The ethics of archiving, curating, anthologizing, and promoting true stories 
  • The circulation and use of life stories for/ as social justice activism Life stories vis-à-vis human-rights discourse
  • Approaches to life stories in history, ethnography, sociology, archeology, etc.


  • The use of life stories in discourses of state/ international recognition and redress 
  • The ethics of remembrance, memorializing lives, or commemorating trauma 
  • Ethical approaches to reading life writing (privately and publicly) 
  • Auto/biographical ethics in discourses of testimony and witnessing 
  • Audiences’ responsibilities to true stories and the communities whose experiences are shared

I welcome contributions from emerging or established scholars, artists, writers, curators, or activists, as well as educators, librarians, editors, publishers, and journalists, or archivists. Please send a short abstract (~300 words) and a brief biography (100 words) to Dr. Orly Lael Netzer ( by July 15, 2021.

Those invited to submit full chapters will be notified by August 15, 2021. Please note the manuscript will undergo a full peer-review process. Complete chapter drafts should be approximately 7,500-9,000 words including endnotes and bibliography and will be due Jan. 30th, 2022. Citations will follow the Chicago 17th Manual of Style (Author/Date style).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email. I look forward to reading your submissions,

Orly — Dr. Orly Lael Netzer Contract Teaching Lecturer, Department of English and Film Studies Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Amiskwacîwâskahikan), Treaty 6/Métis Territory     Co-lead, Teaching Life Writing Project


Submission deadline: 15th July, 2021


Life Narratives: Prismatic World of the Author and Beyond, Special Issue of Language, Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies (7/15/2021) India

The interconnectedness between life and writing, explored in life narratives, subscribes to the axiom of endorsing a transparency regarding the nature of the self who is writing—not only to the readers, but to the author itself who may find a moment of oneness between life and writing. This generates multiple possibilities of interpretation embedded in the questions of truth, memory, and agency of the writing subject. While establishing the subject as the prism of narration, these narratives of subjectivity are punctuated with impulses to understand one’s own life, memorialize one’s experiences, record one’s encounters with the animate and the inanimate, or even a will to preserve the unity of one’s own identity. At the center of life narratives then are located the self-projections of the artist, either underscoring or playing with the apparent unity of author, narrator, and protagonist. But despite this focus on the artist-subject, life narratives keep engaging with epistemological enquiries that often go beyond what the author intends to promote—the act of personal recollection offering unintended consequences despite the concerns being focused upon individuality, subjectivity, interiority, or authenticity associated with the specular figure of the author.

Though overtly committed to personal memory, life narratives also uncover performativity inscribed in the very form, seen as the element of deliberate stylization, that draws attention to the limits of self-expression when structural and creative considerations come into play. Representation of subject, style of writing, or the pattern of self-disclosure gets reflected in plurality of forms that are both sedimented and fluid in structure. These innovative narrative structures are evolved to offer something which is an exception to the normative identification through overlapping of various genres: fiction, non-fiction, autofiction, poetry, memoir, autobiography, digital testimony, etc. Extending well beyond any coherent theoretical coordinates to streamline its disparate forms, life narratives are as much constructed by an individual artist-subject as they are the product of his intersecting textures of historical, social, political, economic, and cultural contexts.

Concerning the Issue 5.1 with the exploration of life narratives in different shapes and formats, LLIDS invites scholars to deliberate upon forms of articulation and presentation of life narratives by either focusing on the themes given below or branching beyond:

  • Forms of Expression and Configuring Autobiographical Subject
  • Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern Life Narratives
  • Narrativizing Memory in Life Narratives
  • Self-Portraits as Life Narratives
  • Life Narratives and Post Truth
  • Life Narratives as Metanarratives
  • Biomythographies
  • Thanatographies
  • Temporality in Life Narratives
  • Gendered Perspective in Self-Representation
  • Confession and Life Narratives
  • Figuring Reader in Life Narratives
  • Experiments with Language in Life Narratives
  • Formation of Identity through Life Narratives
  • Paratextual Elements in Life Narratives
  • Life Narratives in Translation


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 –

Please make all submissions via the form:

Submission deadline: 15th July, 2021

Website –

Facebook – Contact Email: URL:


Deadline for Submissions July 31, 2021


Do you engage in, produce, teach, or write about any of the following?

  • Ethnography or duoethnography
  • Autoethnography or autotheory
  • Biography or educational biography
  • Autobiography or memoir
  • Life history or life narrative
  • Oral history or family history
  • Testimonio
  • Collective biography or prosopography

If so, we warmly invite you to submit a proposal for the
37th Annual Conference of the International Society for Educational Biography (ISEB)
being held in partnership with
The Society of Philosophy and History of Education (SOPHE) Annual Conference
September 30 – October 2, 2021 at the Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri

We welcome all those who work with life writing—teachers, graduate students, academics, social workers, and independent scholars—to submit a proposal.  The Conference Program Committee invites presentations in the following formats:

  1. Paper or presentation (individual or co-authored) on completed or in-progress research or methodological approach.
  2. Panel consisting of at least three panel members with related papers or presentations.
  3. Roundtable discussion on an open pedagogical, methodological or research issue.
  4. Structured Posters

To be considered, please complete the Proposal Form and include an abstract of up to 300 words to describe your proposal. The Conference Program Committee will review your proposal and notify you promptly.  Those interested in previous conference information can find it at the ISEB Archive.

Conference Dates:  September 30-October 2, 2021
Location: Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, MO:
Booking a Room:  When you contact the hotel, please register in the SOPHE room block.
Deadline for Proposals:  July 31, 2021.  Proposals received after this date will only be evaluated if there is room in the program.
Presenter deadline for ISEB registration: September 15th, 2021, after which time you will not appear in the program.

While we recognize our members are extremely busy in these times, we remind you we welcome paper, panel, round table abstracts, and more.  We fully anticipate that the conference will take place as planned; at the same time, we are monitoring the plans and procedures recommended by the CDC for organizations staging large events and gatherings. The executive team is considering all possible options that will keep our membership safe, including the possibility of virtual sessions.

Advanced Registration: August 15, 2021.   
Registration Deadline: Only presenters who are current in ISEB membership dues and have paid the conference registration fee will be listed in the Conference Program.
Conference Registration: Members of both organizations will be responsible for paying separate conference registration and organizational membership fees.  Registration will include admission to both ISEB and SOPHE paper presentations, poster sessions, and workshops.
ISEB Membership: In addition to the conference registration fee, presenters must be members of ISEB.  Membership includes a one-year subscription to the ISEB journal Vitae Scholasticae.  Please note:  If a presenter wishes to present as part of/at both ISEB and SOPHE, they will need to pay one conference fee, but both membership fees.
Registration Costs:

RegistrationAdvanceLate/On Site
Conference Registration + Full ISEB Membership$245$280
Student Conference Registration + Student ISEB Membership (no journal)$50$50
Conference Registration + Full ISEB + SOPHE Membership$295$320
Student Conference Registration + Student ISEB + SOPHE Membership (no journal)$80$80

Registration link: To register for the conference, please CLICK HERE.

ISEB is an organization dedicated to the exploration of biography in writing, teaching, research, and other professional endeavors.

SOPHE is an organization dedicated to promote research and teaching in the historical, philosophical, ethical, and social foundations of education.

Please note:  When considering submitting your proposal, SOPHE and ISEB are small but historic organizations that maintain an important space for foundational and biographical scholarship. As the financial pressures and demands in higher education continue to shift, we are working to preserve these important spaces of community and scholarship. Acceptance to our conference means that we are reserving a space for you on the program and organizing the program accordingly. No-shows can have devastating effects for us and for other participants who might have attended in the space we have reserved for you. We ask for you to send early registration if possible and, if accepted, please prioritize your attendance to aid us in our mission of providing a venue for the important work of our members past, present, and future.

Participants have the opportunity to submit their papers for consideration for publication in our journal that we have been publishing for near 40 years, Vitae Scholasticae: The Journal of Educational Biography. We welcome all forms of work on life writing scholarship, teaching, and methodology.  

For questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Edward Janak, Program Committee Chair, at  Please reference “ISEB” in the subject line of your email.


Deadline for Submissions Sept. 3, 2021

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

Deadline Sept. 3, 2021

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.

Please make your submission to:

Deadline for Submissions, Sept. 3, 2021

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 Sept. 6, 2021

Finding Meaning: OralHistory, Power and Emotions

21-22 April 2022, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Pau – France

The history of emotions is one of the most notable progressions in the field of history in the last few decades, and in recent years an astonishing number of articles and books has focused specifically on emotions in history. With this “emotional turn” (Boddice, 2018: 72), historians have determined that emotions change over time, and are thus a subject deserving of historical inquiry. Perhaps more importantly, emotions are at the center of human experience and therefore at the center of our history: “human emotions are neither timeless nor universal, but rather shaped by historical and cultural circumstances” (Thomson, 2019: 1). Emotions are both the effect and active cause of historical events. In addition, as argued by Boddice, focusing on emotions enables “to rehabilitate the unsaid – the gestural, affective and experiential – of traditional historical narratives” (Boddice, 2019: 10). He even proposes to refer to various labels – such as “feelings” and “affective experiences” – so as to open possibilities for the expression and interpretation of emotions (14).

Feelings have also been the focus of oral historians for many decades before this historical turn towards emotions. The key findings of oral historians are not so much the events that narrators recall, but the “meanings and feelings” relating to those events, in line with Alessandro Portelli’s argument that it is the subjectivity of oral history interviews that constitutes an invaluable contribution to the field, as it allows the researcher to analyze how the interviewee gives meaning to personal experience; this, in turn, is indicative of the collective construction of meaning (Portelli, 1981: 96-107). Accordingly, the primary aim of this conference is to explore the relevance and possibilities of finding meaning in oral history interviews. The conference organizers wish to explore oral history’s potential to record, interpret and make sense of emotions in historical experiences in the Americas, the United Kingdom and Ireland, but also across global geographical and cultural areas. The narrative element becomes key to the understanding of these meanings, which cannot be revealed by any other type of source. The plot, the way narrators choose to organize their story, and shifts in the pace of the narration, as, for example, when only a few words are devoted to talking about experiences which lasted a long time, or the exact opposite, can unveil the subjectivity of human experience. Paying careful attention to language, particularly language used to express feelings and emotions can also help researchers to go beyond the constraints of internalized cultural boundaries, which shape memory (Anderson and Jack, 1991: 11-26). Feelings and emotions can give meaning to activities and events, as for example when certain emotions are silenced because they do not sit nicely with the prevailing collective narrative of a certain event.

The purpose of this conference is to re-center the role of oral history in the history of emotions on the one hand, as well as the role of emotions in history and oral history on the other. Indeed, oral history offers the unique possibility to study the way in which experiences are remembered as well as the relationship between individual and collective memory. “Individual remembering is affected by cultural narratives about the past” (Thomson, 2019: 2) and emotions are essential in this process because they are “impacted by social relations and cultural expectations” (Thomson, 2019: 2). Joanna Bourke focused on fear and anxiety in an article published in 2003 (Bourke, 2003: 111-133), in which she argued that humans narrate their emotions by conforming to certain narrative structures. Bourke shed light on the dialogical nature of the link between the personal emotion and the collective emotional environment of a society. This paves the way for further studies on the shifts in the way people narrate certain emotions and the subsequent ways in which these shifts may also alter their subjective experience.

The other facet of the study of emotions that the conference organizers wish to explore is its relationship with power which, despite its complexity, has yet to be fully problematized. Bourke writes: “emotions such as fear do not only belong to individuals or social groups: they mediate between the individual and the social. They are about power relations” (Bourke, 2003: 124). Fear – and emotions more generally – are the product of a society and of given “power relations”, but they may also contribute to reforming them, as shown by the history of the evolving status of women or minorities in society. More precisely, are emotions experienced differently because of one’s gender and/or one’s identity, as suggested by Boddice (2018: 100-122)?

It may also be argued that emotions can be empowering: in the context of war and conflict for example, oral testimonies indicate strong interrelations between affective experiences and agency. The organizers of the conference also wish to assess the extent to which oral history as a methodology is empowering when it gives agency to participants who have traditionally been excluded from more classic approaches to historical research. Paradoxically, emotions may also be indicative of situations of domination and subordination, and of a person’s powerlessness.

From a methodological perspective, how could historical analysis enhance the narratives which include expressions of feelings and emotions? Alistair Thomson offers some insight into this in his most recent work on emotions in oral history (Thomson, 2019: 1-11). The sound of personal testimony can further our understanding of the emotions and their historical and cultural meanings. Speakers can add emphasis by increasing volume, or adding well-timed pauses; excitement and emotion can be shown by a change in the speed of the speech, whereas slowing down might express difficult moments. Silences are widely studied by oral historians, as they often mean painful moments, a struggle with the narrator’s own memory, or even embarrassment or shame. Thomson writes: “the voice can suggest warmth and pleasure, anger and disappointment, sarcasm or disapproval” (4), and how would one interpret the meanings of laughter, sobs or tears?

Furthermore, the organizers propose to include both the interviewing process and analysis carried out by the same researcher as well as the so-called “secondary analysis”, or the analysis of pre-recorded interviews which have been (or are about to be) deposited in sound archives around the world by someone else. This practice of reusing past interviews is somewhat controversial and frowned upon on the basis that an oral history interview is not a “data-bank”, offering empirically neutral material that anyone at any moment in time can draw upon. This attitude has been referred to as the “naive realism” of the researcher, with the argument that interview data are “socially constructed”, and are not “simply facts that are free of theoretical presuppositions” (Bornat, 2010: 43-52). Yet, following Joanna Bornat’s argument in favor of the practice of revisiting past interviews, the organizers of the conference would also like to explore the possibilities for historical research offered by the exploitation of the many hundreds of hours of recorded interviews held in sound archives, some of which are even available on line. The underlying ambition will be to identify a scientific framework in which such a research method could become an interesting (re)source and could eventually open up new research prospects.

The themes to be investigated include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • The relations between emotions, history and oral history

Emotions as cultural, social, political and/or historical constructs

The role of emotions in the construction of memory; “memory composure”

The meanings and feelings of human experience

Emotions and historical experience

  • Historicizing emotions
  • Emotions and causation
  • Emotions, empowerment and activism; emotions and power relations (domination, subordination)
  • Emotions in the context of war and conflict
  • Emotions and gender
  • Emotions, racial and ethnic issues

Proposals seeking to explore methodological issues will be welcome, such as:

  • The advantages and drawbacks of reusing past interviews / interviews conducted by someone else; Methodological approaches to secondary analysis
  • Methods for finding and interpreting emotions; Interpreting silence / what is not said

The organizers will welcome proposals from specialists in History, Oral History, Geography, Civilisation Studies, Social Sciences, Political Sciences, Law and Transitional Justice. The geographical scope will include – but will not be limited to – the Americas, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and proposals taking a comparative and interdisciplinary approach will be particularly welcome. The proposals should preferably focus on the 20th and 21st centuries.

This international, cross-disciplinary conference will be held in English and French.

Please send a 300-word abstract in English or in French to Joana Etchart and Simona Tobia : and bSeptember 6th 2021

The acceptance or rejection of proposals will be announced in October 2021 Contact Info: 

Simona Tobia –

Joana Etchart – Contact Email: URL:…


Deadline for Submissions September15, 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 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.