The Textualities of Auto/Biography: or, the Auto/biogrAfrical

19 – 20 October 2017

A Colloquium Hosted by the English Department, Stellenbosch University
at The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study

In recognition of its expertise in the broad field of life studies, the English Department of Stellenbosch University has been mandated by the International Auto/Biography Association to found the official Africa Chapter. To celebrate, on 19 – 20 October 2017 the department will host a regional colloquium, at which the “Plenary Address on Textual Lives” will be given by Ricia Chansky (University of Puerto Rico), co-editor of the journal a/b Auto/Biography Studies.

We are inviting selected participants to present at the event, in two categories:

1. 20 minute conference papers in the familiar format on the textualities of a/b in relation to Africa and the world. Possible topics include: creative lives, queering a/b, lives in crisis, self-inscription, (re)viewing cinematic selves, lives revealed/concealed, the art of/art as ‘life writing’, migrants’ and refugees’ stories, citizenship and identity, life (writing) in question, genders and genres, public lives, marginal/liminal lives, autographics, virtual/digital/online identities (selfies, vlogs, blogs, avatars, chats), a/b as ethic/aesthetic, memory, remembering, archives, a/b: foundations, transformations, futures.

2. 7 minute ‘a/b re-mXd’ lightning round sessions which riff on a concept or phrase so as to place Africanness and auto/biography in conversation. For example: ‘self’, ‘inventive’, ‘documentary’, ‘re-telling’, ‘celebrity’, ‘anonymity’, ‘selfie’, ‘queer’, ‘medium’, ‘memory’, ‘this body/politic’, ‘first person plural’, ‘otherwise’, ‘trans’…. You could also offer a creative performance – visual, sonic, kinetic.

We hope that you will join us to mark the inauguration of the Africa Chapter of the IABA, and to discuss future collaborative opportunities.

Please RSVP to both Tilla Slabbert and Sally Ann Murray by 15 June 2017.

Send a 200-word abstract for consideration if you wish to give a paper, or an abstract of about 50 words if you’re keen on contributing to a re-mXd session. All respondents should also provide a 50-word biography.

The cost of registration, teas and luncheons is covered for all participants.