Life Narratives in Troubled Times: IABA Asia-Pacific 2017


Friday 23 June 2017


Central Queensland University, Noosa Campus

90 Goodchap Street, Noosaville


Keynote speaker: Associate Professor Kate Douglas (Flinders University)


IABA Asia-Pacific emerges from the central disciplinary association for auto/biography scholars—The International Auto/Biography Association (IABA).  IABA was founded in 1999 as a multidisciplinary network that aims to deepen the cross-cultural understanding of self, identity and experience, and to carry on global dialogues about life writing/narrative. IABA Asia-Pacific aims to foster new region-specific conversations and to encourage regional participation in the global IABA conference. Our goal is to develop scholarly networks between life narrative scholars and practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region that support the circulation and publication of high-quality life narrative theory, practice, and pedagogy.


Our conference theme for 2017 is “Life Narratives in Troubled Times”. This theme, broadly envisaged, seeks to explore the ways in which life narrative authors and texts explore, mediate, and respond to personally, culturally and politically difficult events and contexts, or ‘troubled times’. What role can life writing play at these moments? How does/can life narrative represent troubled times? What is the role of writer, genre, media, publisher, marketing in how ‘troubled’ life narratives are distributed and received? What ‘trouble’ might this create for writers and readers? We welcome scholarly or creative presentations on life narrative texts or issues across various media and genres.


Possible topics for papers include (but are not limited to):

  • The role of life narratives in troubled times
  • Political life narratives
  • Celebrity lives
  • Gothic life writing
  • Life narrative and the quest for authenticity/ ‘the real’
  • Life narrative across changing media; new ways for sharing lives and reportage
  • Life writing about socio-cultural or political change, trauma or displacement
  • Grief narratives, death narratives
  • The life narratives of asylum seekers and/or refugees
  • Social justice narratives
  • Troubling family narratives; generational narratives; community stories
  • Representing conflict
  • Narrative difference
  • Narrative of health, well-being and illness narratives
  • Curating the self in troubled times
  • The misery and trauma memoir
  • Life narrative, therapy and the confessional
  • Life narratives of fear
  • The act of ‘troubling’ life narrative; troubling knowledge
  • Troubled times in social media
  • Life narrative and compassion fatigue
  • Reading /engaging with life narrative
  • Publishing and marketing life narratives
  • Troubling ideas of identity: ghost writing life narratives
  • Life writing hoaxes and scandals

    Abstracts should be 300 words or less and should be accompanied by a 50-word author’s bio. Panel proposals are also welcome. The deadline for abstracts is 1 March 2017.

    * please put ‘2017 IABA Asia-Pacific’ in email subject line
    More information on the conference, including website updates, social media presence, travel, accommodation, social events, and information about and possible postgraduate and early career bursaries, will be available soon:

    Abstracts should be directed to Zoe Allen

    Conference organiser/queries  
    Professor Donna Lee Brien
    CQUniversity, Noosa campus