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Life Writings; Recalled

Categories: Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2019-09-30 Abstract Due: 2019-06-30

Call for Articles for an Edited Volume

Life Writings; Recalled


Life writing, as a term, was first used by Virginia Woolf in 1939 in “A sketch of the past.” It includes “not only memoir, autobiography, biography, diaries … but also letters, writs, wills, written anecdotes, depositions, court proceeding (as a legal term), lyric poems, scientific and historical writings, and digital forms (including blogs, tweets, Facebook entries.”[1]1 So this interdisciplinary study is affected by contemporary digital literacy and the socio historical circumstances of its practitioners and theorists. Furthermore, life writing “has been a fertile ground for experimental writing … and can capture and address many contemporary concerns, for example the status of the subject, the relations and representations of ethnicity and gender, and perhaps most importantly questions the individual's relationship with the past.”[2]Life writing then explores the interrelations and representations of genres and sub-genres as well as the status of the self, now and in the past. Therefore, life writing is related to studies on memory, testimony, history, gender and language, which makes research on this issue timely and interdisciplinary.

Life writing is a site of struggle between life narratives and narratives of life. While life narratives — such as autobiography, biography, fiction, diaries, letters, etc. — narrate life events, narratives of life refer to texts that resonate with testimonies, resistance narratives, traumatic experiences such as slave narratives, scriptotherapy, etc. Life writing is both a writing of life and about life. In addition, life writing questions the self as both writer and reader on the one hand, and the self as reader and critic on the other hand. The self is at the core of all types of life writings, it is “shifting and multiple.”[3]Derrida describes it as a “living principle” that disrupts the status of the written text, transgresses genres as autobiography, biography, fiction and history,” [4]so “hybrid selves are translated into hybrid writing.”[5] The resurgence of life writing then shifts its focus to hybrid texts and forms that mix fact and fiction, poetry and prose, memoir and history as well as linear and fragmented narratives.

This project entitled “Life writings; Recalled” intends to recall, that is both to remember and re-conceptualize, by scrutinizing and contextualizing life writing, its corpus and foundations. It aims to raise and answer questions related to the surge of a large body of research on life writing in concomitance with other studies, namely memory, trauma, culture and resistance. We welcome proposals focusing on, but not restricted to, the following topics:

Language and linguistics:

-Corpus analysis in life writing

-Approaches to teaching life writing

-Research and life writing

-Objectivity/Subjectivity of primary sources in life writing

-Critical discourse analysis and life writing

Culture and media studies:

-History in life Writing

-Soldiers’/Immigrants’ correspondence and history writing

-Life writing as primary sources in teaching history

-Authenticity of life writing and historiography

Literary studies:

-Memory in/and life writing

-Intertextuality in/and life writing

-Travel literature and life writing

-Life writing and generic hybridity

-Story telling or life telling

-Critical/literary theories and life writing

-Digitizing life writing

Important Dates:

-Abstract submission: June 30, 2019

-Notification of Acceptance: July 3, 2019

Articles should be submitted by September 30, 2019 to the following address: lifewriting2018@gmail.com

The following information should be specified in the abstract: Title of the article- Name and affiliation of the author- email address - keywords.

[1]Leader, Zachary. On Life Writing p.1, 2015.
[2]Gudmundsdóttir, Gunnthórunn. Borderlines : Autobiography and Fiction in Postmodern Life Writing p.1,2003.
[3]Green, Susan. “Genre: Life Writing” p.50, 2008.
[4]Anderson, Linda. Autobiography p.89, 2001.


Souhir Zekri