Call for Papers

Secret Lives: Hiding, Revealing, Belonging

The International Auto/Biography Association

Biennial World Conference: July 11-14, 2018

Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei, São João del-Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Co-conveners: Suely Quintana, Alberto Ferreira da Rocha, Junior, and Sergio da Silva Barcellos

The co-conveners of the 2018 International Auto/Biography Association global conference invite submissions for the biennial meeting on “Secret Lives: Hiding, Revealing, Belonging.” This conference will delve into questions of how lives become concealed by theorizing the ways in which we choose to keep secret and reveal our lives; how nonauthorial others shape life stories; imposed and sanctioned silencings; the passage of time as an erasure of lives; and the relationships between hiding, being hidden, revealing, and ideas of belonging. Papers may explore multiple lines of inquiry related to diverse genres, modes, or disciplines that place auto/biographical subjects in conversation with what is shown and what is hidden.

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

  • Lies, tricks, hoaxes
  • Visibility and erasure, voice and silencing
  • Passing, closeting, hiding, secreting, revealing
  • Prisoners, the missing, the disappeared, human rights
  • Citizenship, migrations, diasporas, refugees
  • Postcolonial, decolonial, decolonizing lives
  • Regulating or deregulating lives
  • Belonging in/as fundamentalism, radicalism
  • Public lives, ethics, media, mediation
  • Finding, remembering, memorializing lives
  • Memory, collective memory, testimony, testimonio
  • Collecting, translating, editing, anthologizing, curating lives
  • Families, archives, genealogy, genetics
  • Relationality, intersubjectivity, communal lives
  • Constructing, deconstructing gender
  • Embodied representations, traces of the body
  • Belonging in/as methodology, practice, genre, mode, discipline
  • Teaching secret lives

Please submit a 250 to 300 word abstract and a brief biographical statement by August 30, 2017. Abstracts must be submitted through the conference website: Please note that the conference language is English. Inquiries are welcome.

For more information, contact the conference co-conveners, Suely Quintana, Alberto Tibaji, and Sergio Barcellos at

Please be aware that space is limited.

The International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) is an interdisciplinary international group founded in 1999 to create a way for researchers and cultural producers in the field of biography, autobiography and life writing to share their work. Since 2000, members of IABA have held an international conference every two years in locations that have included China, Canada, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Cyprus. IABA has several chapters that work in concert with the biannual IABA World conference and hold their own events: IABA Europe, IABA Americas, and IABA Asia-Pacific. IABA’s Student and New Scholar (SNS) Network provides opportunities for graduate students and emerging scholars to discuss issues connected to the study of life writing.