Menu Close

CFP: Identity and the Self: Personal Identity, Autonomy and Belonging (10 May 2017; 22-23 June 2017)

Identity and the Self: Personal Identity, Autonomy and Belonging

The panel is part of the 6th Euroacademia International Conference ‘Identities and Identifications: Politicized Uses of Collective Identities’22 – 23 June 2017, Florence, Italy

Deadline: 10th of May 2017

Panel Description:

Personal identity is the focal point of any reflective process. The existence of subjectivity implies the demand for making sense of the self that projects meaning to the world. The subjectivity is a hybrid construct – a byproduct of the self-instantiation as autonomy and agency and a result of interactive social belonging that further structures or de-structures the self. Individual autonomy makes possible a positioning of the self through unlimited questioning of imaginary social significations (C. Castoriadis). The subject can escape the status of pure social function as reproducer and proliferator of pre-existent social meanings and orders and autonomously assert social creation and change though reflective processes that configure the self in a relative independence. Personal identity is shaped in the complex process of multiple positioning of the self as autonomous creator of social meaning and heteronomous inhabitant of social environments with pre-asserted social norms and significations. ‘Who am I?’ remains the simple but most complex question and even provisional answers are part of the core self-making project.

The self as a unitary monadic construct was unmasked by multiple contemporary theories as a chimera propagated through the intellectual agenda of the Enlightenment. In overcoming contradictions in modern theories of the self, we are left with multiple selves, dynamic, fluid, hybrid, and multi-layered, conflictual and determined by hidden mechanisms that limit our power to self-mastering. In such a theoretic environment, the topics of human agency and identity are open to a vast, plural and complex multi-disciplinary theoretic scrutiny. As personal identity depends of a reflexively perceived self, its comprehension relies on understandings and makings of the self. A dynamic and fluid self indicates similar attributes for the personal identity. Its ‘liquid’ nature amplifies the difficulty in formation of substantive personal identities and generates volatility in the understanding and making of the ‘other(s)’ that contribute to the heteronomous making of the self.

This panel aims to bring into dialogue and scrutiny various conceptions of the self, autonomy and personal identity together with applied topics that are implicit to such reflections. The panel welcomes contributions from the widest diversity of disciplines that can address the fluidity of identities in manners that can complement each other in a plural and multi-disciplinary universe of discourse and dialogue. Theoretic endeavors and puzzles from the philosophic universe of reflection on identity are welcomed together with contributions from psychology, psychoanalysis, anthropology, political theory, cultural studies, genetics, mnemonic studies, post-colonial, race and gender studies. It is the aim of the panel to dialogically recreate the complex mosaic of details involved in researching personal identities.

Some indicative topics to be non-exclusively considered are:

  • Personal Identity: Addressing Complex Theoretic Puzzles
  • Philosophy of the Self: Theoretic Impact Assessments of Understandings of Identity
  • The Identity and Conceptions of the Self
  • Autonomy, Heteronomy and Identity
  • Identity and Individual Agency
  • Individualism and Identity
  • Unintended Consequences of Identitarian Constructs
  • The Self and the Other in Identity Making
  • Self-Judgement, Self Esteem and Self-Accomplishment
  • Memory and the Making of Identities
  • Performative Selves
  • Psychological Dimension of Identity Making Processes
  • Psychoanalytical Contributions to Understanding Identities
  • Genealogies of the Self and Identity
  • Impact of Genetics on Understanding Identity
  • Personal Identity and Systems of Social Beliefs
  • Processes of Self-Colonization
  • ‘The Human Gallery’: Identity, Diversity and Difference
  • The Self as Another: Deconstructing Personal Identity
  • From Marxism to Post-Structuralism: Suspecting Identities
  • Personal Identity and Cultural Psychology
  • The Return of Foundationalism in a Post-Foundationalism Era
  • Post-Subjectivity and Post-Identity
  • The e-Selves, Internet and Virtual Identities
  • Persisting Metaphysics of the Self: Religion and Identity


If interested in participating, please read the complete event details on the conference website and apply on-line. Alternatively you can send a maximum 300 words abstract together with the details of your affiliation until 10th of May 2017 by e-mail at


For full details of the conference and on-line application please see:

CFP: Victim Narratives in Transnational Contexts (30 June 2017; 27-28 Jan. 2018)

Call for Papers

International Conference

Victim Narratives in Transnational Contexts

25–27 January 2018 at the University of Innsbruck, Austria

The figure of the victim seems to be virtually unparalleled in its power to polarise contemporary societies. The discursively produced and judicially fixed victim status is highly desirable for individuals and groups because it accords moral superiority and guarantees legal rights and claims. Victims are considered to be essentially ‘good’; they stand on the right side of history and must receive special treatment. This desire for a victim status both at the collective and at the individual level has been cri­ti­cised by, among others, Esther Benbassa, Jean-Michel Chaumont, Peter Novick, and, most recently, Daniele Giglioli. They argue that the current ‘victim cult’ defends victims against any form of criticism and makes them virtually unassailable: Victims are perceived as objects and relieved of any commitment to individual responsibility. They are forever reduced to events in the past, which rules out any perspec­tive on viable future and renders it prac­ti­cally unnecessary. Lastly, and importantly, victims, in particular victims of war and violence in the 20th and 21st centuries, are always associated with the perpetrators and rarely seen as autonomous subjects.

The figure of the victim both constructs and destabilises national and regional historical narratives. These complex processes inspire international as well as transnational competition among victims and induce a revision of national cultures of memory. The reorganisation of Europe after 1989, the increasing globa­li­sa­tion of the world, and the emergence of new media technologies that facilitate the rapid gene­ration of images of victims and perpetrators alike, call for a transnational perspective on victim narra­tives.

The objective of this conference is to identify and analyse conceptualisations of ‘victimhood,’ in par­ti­cular with regard to cultural studies and memory research. It also aims at a critical discussion of vic­tim­hood/victim status in fictional texts (prose, poetry, theatre) as well as in other media (film, photography, etc.). The con­ference invites participants to discuss recent texts (post-1989) that challenge entrenched victim narratives and attempt to transcend the logic of retaliation and atonement without negating or relativising the victims’ suffering. The conference welcomes submissions from a broad range of discip­lines such as film, literary, and cultural studies, and is particularly interested in transnational and trans­cultural aspects.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • New conceptualisations of victim narratives: What could replace victim narratives?
  • Victim narratives in national memory discourses and their transformation through transnational and transcultural perspectives
  • A critique of self-victimisation and the subversive potential of self-victimisation
  • Competition but also solidarity among victim groups and ensuing consequences
  • Victim narratives and generational narratives
  • Victim narratives and gender
  • Victim narratives in postcolonial contexts
  • Victim narratives in the context of mémoires croisées, entangled history, etc.
  • The commercialisation of memory culture

The conference languages will be German and English. Please send abstracts in English or German (300–500 words) to along with a short biographical note and a list of publications by May 30th, 2017. Presenters will be notified whether or not their abstracts have been accepted by June 30th, 2017. Where possible, we will provide funding for travel and accommodation.

CFP: Re/Visioning Depression: Creative Approaches to “Feeling Bad” (1 May 2017)

CFP — Re/Visioning Depression: Creative Approaches to “Feeling Bad”

Edited by Robin Alex McDonald
Proposals due May 1, 2017

What is depression? … An “imagined sun, bright and black at the same time?” … A “noonday demon?” … A dead fish? In literature, comics, art, and film, we witness new conceptualizations of depression come into being. Unburdened by diagnostic criteria and pharmaceutical concerns, these media employ imagery, narrative, symbolism, and metaphor to forge imaginative, exploratory, and innovative representations of a range of experiences that might get called “depression.” Texts such as Julia Kristeva’s Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia (1989), Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon (2000), Allie Brosh’s cartoons, “Adventures in Depression” (2011) and “Depression Part Two” (2013), and Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia (2011) each offer portraits of depression that deviate from, or altogether reject, the dominant language of depression that has been articulated by and within psychiatry. Most recently, Ann Cvetkovich’s Depression: A Public Feeling (2012) has answered the author’s own call for a multiplication of discourses on depression by positing crafting as one possible method of working through depression-as-“impasse.”

Inspired by Cvetkovich’s efforts to re-shape and re-imagine both the depressive experience itself and the critical ways in which we communicate this experience to others, this anthology seeks scholarly and creative essays that rescue depression from totalizing psychiatric or psychological frameworks in order to produce new languages of and ways of thinking about depression. While psychiatric and psychological discourses on depression may offer valuable insights into depression’s management or treatment, they cannot be the only discourses at our disposal — and though Cvetkovich’s considerations of craft, memoir, acedia, and feminist consciousness-raising practices provide several useful alternative approaches to thinking through depression, there are surely many more that warrant exploration.

Contributions may choose to explore such lines of inquiry or themes as:

-engagements with or analyses of comics, sequential art, works on paper, installations, performances, theatre, architecture, video art, films, television shows, novels, short stories, or poems about depression
-creative and artistic approaches to inhabiting or working through depression
-approaches to depression within radical/anti-oppression politics
-depression as a “structure of feeling” (depression as a physical/affective experience of neoliberal capitalism, white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and other forms of oppression)
-how identity shapes the experience of living with depression (i.e. the resources one can or cannot access)
-depression as radical passivity
-depression as inherited trauma
-depression as a non-normative experience of embodiment
-depression and the social imperative toward “happiness”

Prospective contributors should send a 300-500 word abstract and C.V. to Robin Alex McDonald ( by May 1, 2017. Accepted proposals will receive a response by June 1, 2017. Completed manuscripts will be due by November 1, 2017.

Robin Alex McDonald is a Toronto-based writer, independent curator and PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies program at Queen’s University. Their research and artistic interests span feminist, queer, and trans theories; theories of relationality and collectivity; activist art and art-as-activism; and comics, illustration, and drawing. They were recently awarded The Writing in Bed Prize for Art Writing, which they dedicate to their lifelong on-again-off-again relationship with clinical depression.

CFP: Transnational Perspectives on the Writing of Artists’ Lives, 19th-21st centuries (1 June 2017; 25-26 Jan. 2018)

Transnational Perspectives on the Writing of Artists’ Lives, 19th-21st centuries.

An Interdisciplinary Workshop

25-26 January 2018, University of  Amsterdam

Some writers are so fascinated by other artists that they study their biographies and tell their life stories, in fictional or non-fictional form. Whereas artist’s lives have been written throughout the ages, they have become increasingly popular since the romantic period, with the rise of the artist-hero in the Künstlerroman. Many romantic and post-romantic writers portrayed an artist from their home country as iconic of the nation, thus establishing or consolidating a national cultural tradition. However, there are numerous examples of authors who wrote the life stories of writers, painters or musicians from countries other than their own:          

Alexander Pushkin tells about the rivalry between two famous composers in his theatre play Mozart and Salieri(1830) ; André Maurois narrates the life story of Shelley in Ariel ou la vie de Shelley (1923);  The Moon and Sixpence  (1919) is a fictional biography of Paul Gauguin written by Somerset Maugham and Symphonie Pathétique  (1935) is Klaus Mann’s biographical novel of Tchaikovsky. More recent examples are the literary biography of Jane Austen written by the Canadian novelist Carol Shields in 2001;  Caryl Phillips’ Radio Play A Kind of Home: James Baldwin in Paris (2004) and Julian Barnes’s novel The Noise of Time (2016) in which he examines the biography of Shostakovich.  

All these examples show literary writers who, in many different ways, construct their subject’s life stories in order to reflect on life and art and to define their own aesthetic position. Whether they criticize their ‘hero’ or identify with him/her as a formative model and make it their own, they establish a trans-national relation with this particular artist.

We will further investigate the dynamics of such transnational relations and appropriations in a two-day international workshop on artists’ biographies in the 19th-21st centuries. We will focus on the lives of artists, written by artists, such as literary biographies, biographical novels and operas or theatre plays that clearly rely on biographical elements.

We aim to examine four central issues:

  1. the various forms and usages of artist’s biographies. How and why do writers engage with the lives of other artists? Which elements are foregrounded and which elements are ignored in the life narrative they construct?
  2. the truth and fiction about an artists’ life. To what effect do writers fictionalize certain biographical elements? What kind of ‘truth’ do they convey through literary writing?
  3. the historical development of the artist-hero in modern literature, literary biography and portraiture. Should we consider the romantic period as ‘tipping point’; a period in which artists begin to write about artists? Are there similar tipping or turning points in the twentieth century in the writing of artists’ lives?
  4. the transnational dynamics of identity formation. What is the importance of studying ‘foreign’ artist’s lives in the formation of artistic identities? To what extent does this contribute to the sense of belonging to a (trans)national, European or cosmopolitan artistic community? How do politics come into play here?  


Proposals, no longer than 200 words, should be sent before 1 June 2017 to Kasper van Kooten ( and Marleen Rensen (

CFP: Heroism and the Heroic in American History (1 June 2017; 9-11 Feb. 2018)


Heroism and the Heroic in American History

Annual Conference of the Historians in the German Association of American Studies

February 9-11, 2018

Tutzing, Germany

This conference, which is organized by Michael Butter (University of Tübingen) and Simon Wendt (University of Frankfurt), aims to critically reconsider the history of heroism in the United States from the American Revolution to the present.

Heroes do not simply exist; they are created through practices of representation, and especially narration. Without a story, there is no hero. Nevertheless, the effects of heroism are real and palpable. As a social and cultural construct, it serves important functions in human societies. Heroes and heroines embody the norms, values, and beliefs of social groups—making them key components in the formation of collective identities—and serve as role models whose behavior people seek to emulate. As symbols of dominant norms and identities, they become sources of authority and are frequently used to legitimize social, cultural, and racial hierarchies. Heroism thus tends to be a stabilizing force in society, but it is constantly debated, reevaluated, and revised. Consequently, it is also historically contingent. The significance attributed to heroism and the qualities that people deem heroic change according to time and place. Similarly important, the heroic is related to, but also needs to be differentiated from other forms of perceived exceptionalism—including celebrity, sainthood, and the divine. Finally, heroism presupposes notions of the un-heroic or non-heroic for its exceptionalism to be recognized.

While U.S. historians have devoted thousands of pages to heroism, only few studies do justice to the topic’s complexities. Too often, scholars still imply that heroism is “real,” ignoring the fact that heroes are the product of intricate heroization processes that elevate real or imagined people to heroic status through reoccurring iterations about what is believed to be heroic at a certain point in time. Since this communication process is primarily a media discourse, studying heroism requires a thorough analysis of heroic narratives and representations of heroism in various forms of media. However, historians also need to take into account the multitude of actors that are involved in this process, as well as their motivations to construct some people as heroic while ignoring others.

The conference organizers invite proposals that focus on the ways in which heroism has been constructed and that examine its social, cultural, and political functions in U.S. history. Specifically, we are interested in papers that critically reexamine the historiography of American heroism and shed fresh light on how, in which contexts, and for which groups processes of heroization legitimized or delegitimized social, cultural, and political norms and values; how they created, affirmed, or challenged social hierarchies and collective identities; and on how they differed from or were similar to other forms of perceived extraordinariness.

Topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:

– Heroism and Race (e.g. African American heroism versus white heroism; the memory of heroes of color in black communities)

– Heroism and Gender (e.g. female heroism in the U.S. military, superheroines, heroism and changing notions of masculinity)

– Heroism and Class (e.g. American class conflict and the democratization of heroism; heroic workers in the labor movement)

– Heroism and War (e.g. changing notions of martial heroism in the “post-heroic” era)

– Heroism and Politics (e.g. changing interpretations of heroic leadership and the political uses of heroism)

– Heroism and the Nation (e.g. the uses of heroism in governmental and non-governmental efforts to strengthen citizens’ national loyalty)

– Heroism and Celebrity (e.g. intellectuals’ critique of celebrity and their lamentations over the “end of American heroism”)

– Heroism and Religion (e.g. similarities and differences between notions of the heroic, the saintly, and the divine)

– Heroism and the Un-Heroic (e.g. heroic attributes and their supposed opposites; “heroic” criminals and society)

Please send a short CV and a 500-word proposal that provides information on the paper’s content, methodology, and historiographical contribution to the conference organizers Michael Butter ( and Simon Wendt ( by June 1, 2017.

Contact Info:

Simon Wendt, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor

Goethe University of Frankfurt

Institute of English and American Studies

Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1

60323 Frankfurt am Main


Contact Email:

CFP: CRIP WORLD (15 Apr. 2017 [abstracts]; 30 June 2017 [papers])

Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies Vol. 44 No. 1 | March 2018

Call for Papers CRIP WORLD

Deadline for Abstract Submissions: April 15, 2017

Deadline for Submissions: June 30, 2017

Disability studies, examining the meaning, nature, and consequences of disability as a social construct, has grown rapidly as a field since the first edition of the Disabilities Studies Reader was published in 1997. By 2005, when the Modern Language Association established disability studies as a “division of study,” Robert McRuer noted in a PMLA essay that disability studies had become “one of the most popular topics in the academic publishing world.” But disability research (as a focus in the humanities, in particular) has been slower in making its way to Asia, despite a UN report that the Asian-Pacific region has by far the largest number of people with disabilities in the world. The UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific has also stated that people with disabilities in the area are often “excluded from access to education, employment, social protection services and legal support systems, and are subject to disproportionately high rates of poverty.” Local social taboos on disability, combined with a dearth of reliable and comparable data on disability, make it more difficult for governments to serve this population. Focus on disability research is a social and political necessity; at the same time, this field is also productive as an area of literary and cultural study. As Lennard J Davis has noted: “Disability studies demands a shift from the ideology of normalcy, from the rule and hegemony of normates, to a vision of the body as changeable, unperfectable, unruly and untidy […] “The survival of literary studies may well not belong to the fittest, but to the lame, the halt, and the blind, who themselves may turn out to be the fittest of all.” Disability studies researchers have found allies across a range of disciplines, in particular those concerned with how bodies and identities are represented as normal or abject. The use of CRIP, a reworking of the derogatory word “cripple,” has emerged in disability movements as an inclusive term that pushes back against “able-bodied heteronormativity,” as McRuer puts it in Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability (2006), one of the first texts to analyze the intersections of disability studies and queer theory.

For Concentric’s March 2018 special topic on CRIP WORLD, we invite submissions that address disability as a “potential site for collective reimagining” (Alison Kafer, Feminist, Queer, Crip) and that represent a range of perspectives, methodologies, and communities, ideally promoting coalitions among humanities scholars, medical professionals, social and political activists and artists, architects and urban planners. Among possible approaches:

• Disability as a social/political or literary construct, particularly in essays that examine texts, etc, that reach beyond Northern/Western narratives.

• Disability and the Normate.

• Personal narrative /Crip experience in the academy and beyond.

• Disabled sport (e.g. the DEAFLYMPCIS were held in Taiwan in 2009).

• New readings of forms of culture including film, visual and plastic arts, architecture, music, graphic narratives.

• Disability and imperialism/colonialism.

• Temporarily Able-Bodiedness, a perspective recognizing that at some point many people will become disabled.

• Intersections of disability with race, ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, and gender.

• Disability and bioethics, eugenics, and genetics. • Disability and speculative fiction.

• Disability and utopia.

• Disability and new media.

• Disability and new pedagogies.

• Disability and design: Assistive devices, public planning, architecture.

Please send abstracts to by April 15, 2017. Final essays of 6,000-10,000 words, 5-8 keywords, and a brief bio will be due on June 30, 2017. Manuscripts should follow the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Except for footnotes, which should be single-spaced, manuscripts must be doublespaced in 12-point Times New Roman. Please consult our style guide at

***** Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, indexed in Arts and Humanities Citation Index, is a peer-reviewed journal published two times per year by the Department of English, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan. Concentric offers innovative perspectives on literary and cultural issues in a transcultural exchange of ideas. While committed to bringing Asian-based scholarship to the world academic community, Concentric welcomes original contributions from diverse national and cultural perspectives. For submissions or general inquiries, please contact us at:

CFP: Trauma Narratives and the Ethics of Reading (1 May 2017; 26 July-2 Aug. 2017)

Trauma Narratives and the Ethics of Reading

Trauma Narratives and the Ethics of Reading Saulkrasti, Latvia, 26 July–2 August, 2017

The research circle Narrative and Memory: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics is pleased to announce the call for its 2017 summer symposium, following its inaugural symposium in Tallinn (Estonia) in March 2017. The summer symposium will discuss the specific ethical and aesthetic issues raised by trauma narratives. Trauma narratives attempt to communicate suffering which is sometimes at the edge of representability and barely comprehensible to those who have not lived through it. We shall examine the aesthetic means which have been adopted to confront this problem and the ethical challenge which trauma narratives pose, as they radically bring into question our responsibility as readers, scholars, subjects, and citizens.

The symposium explores the current state of the field of trauma studies and its intersections with memory studies and narrative studies. We invite reflections on the ethical and political questions related to the narration and reception of trauma in all artistic and memorial media. How is the story of trauma to be told and understood? Who has the right or the responsibility to narrate the horrors of war, violence, displacement and re-location? What is the responsibility of those who are not primary victims, but who witness or receive the stories of atrocity? What are the gains and risks of attending to the trauma of others? What are the benefits and limits of the concept of trauma in addressing legacies of violence in the contemporary world? How should we rethink the notion of trauma in the light of recent discussions about the inadequacy of the perpetrator–victim binary in dealing with these legacies?

We have no pre-established view of the answers to these and related questions. The aim of the symposium is rather to promote debate in the expectation that beneficial effects are more likely to follow from open, informed discussion than public silence. We welcome both theoretical interventions and studies of particular instances of trauma, its narration and reception. ‘Reading’ should be understood in the broad sense as including all forms of reception and interaction, such as spectatorship, interviewing, conversation and secondary witnessing. We encourage participants to craft their presentations in the format that they find most suitable. However, please note that the maximum duration of each presentation, including time for follow-up discussion, will be 40 minutes, and we expect most presentations to be max. 20 minutes.

Those who wish to attend the symposium without giving a presentation are welcome to apply, but we encourage everyone to contribute actively to the group by reading participant papers and taking part in collective discussions. Priority is given to applicants who will present their work. Please send a proposal (max. 300 words) and a short biographical statement to Prof. Hanna Meretoja ( and Prof. Colin Davis ( If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting your work, please send us a biographical statement and briefly explain your interest in participating. The deadline for submission is 1 May, 2017. The preliminary program will be announced in mid-May at

There you will also find more information about NSU and may sign up for the newsletter.  Narrative and Memory: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics is a three-year international research initiative funded by the Nordic Summer University with the aim of investigating how different storytelling practices of literature, audiovisual arts, social media and oral testimonies address the legacies of twentieth-century European conflicts and how they travel across national borders. It is an interdisciplinary network that brings together scholars of narrative and memory from the Nordic and Baltic countries and Great Britain. The research circle aims to contribute to public debate on issues of memory, war, displacement and the future of Europe in the current political context of the refugee crisis. The Nordic Summer University (NSU, [] is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies. NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop‐seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, Nordic Summer University has organised forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, politicians, artists and intellectuals from this region and beyond. The backbone of the activities in NSU consists of its thematic study circles (, in which researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three‐year period. Please find the full CFP with practical information at the network’s webpage:

CFP: Cultural Representations of Transnational Childhoods (1 Apr. 2017; 13 May 2017)

Cultural Representations of Transnational Childhoods

Day Seminar 13 May 2017, University of Wroclaw


The Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture

The Center for Postcolonial Studies

Institute of English Studies, the University of Wroclaw


in collaboration with the Centre for European Studies, the Australian National University


It is assumed in Western culture that children have a natural need for a stable and safe domestic and familial environment (Holloway and Valentine 2000). Yet research reveals that the number of children whose everyday lives have been marked by mobility and risks it entails is increasing substantially (Ní Laoire et al. 2010). Child-centered studies of migration in particular show that children often become actors in the immigration process as they negotiate their identifications with places and cultures. Acknowledging and understanding both children’s agency and their active participation in the mobility of their families, for example as language and cultural brokers, requires a transnational literacy (Spivak 1992, Brydon 2003, Lee 2011) and relying on child-centered critical and pedagogical methodologies aimed at examining the influence of transnationalism on children’s lives (Spivak 1992, Brydon 2003, Lee 2011). Therefore, while substantial attention has been given to these phenomena in sociological studies of childhood, children’s movement across geopolitical borders also needs to be analyzed from a cultural perspective. We invite papers exploring past and contemporary representations of transnational childhoods in literature, film and other media that foreground the mobile nature of children’s lives and thus encourage a reflection on children’s experiences of mobility as an essential factor in their cognitive and emotional development.


Possible areas of interest include

motifs of home and belonging, children’s creation of belonging

negotiations of belonging between/across cultures

intersections between children’s mobility, gender, class and race

children in diasporas

inter/intragenerational relationships

international and internal migrations

(digital) media and identity formation

emigration from “new” Europe to “old” Europe

ethnic/minority children in communism

longing for mobility in situations of restricted access to border-crossing


We welcome abstracts of 300 words before 1st April, 2017.

To submit an abstract or for any questions, please email dr. Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak at

The participation in the seminar is free of charge. We offer refreshments and lunch.

CFP: “Biographical and Intellectual History of Science, Technology and Innovation” (30 Apr. 2017; 23-24 Nov. 2017)

International Conference “Biographical and Intellectual History of Science, Technology and Innovation: Philosophical perspectives and political visions”

 Organisation: Institute of Contemporary History – CEHFCi – University of Évora
Venue: University of Évora | Espírito-Santo Palace
Dates: 23 and 24 November 2017
Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2017


Following other initiatives within the context of the history of science in Portugal, the IHC (Institute of Contemporary History) and its research group ‘Ciência’ / ‘Science’ – CEHFCi (Ciência – Estudos de História e Filosofia de Cultura Científica [Science – Studies of History and Philosophy of Scientific Culture], the old Centro de Estudos de História e Filosofia da Ciência [Centre for Studies in History and Philosophy of Science] from the University of Évora), at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon (FCSH/NOVA), previously and already consolidated in the HetSci – Group of Studies in History and Science, are promoting a post-graduation international conference entitled “Biographical and Intellectual History of Science, Technology and Innovation: Philosophical Perspectives and Political Visions”, to be held next November 2017.

This is an International Conference of advanced training and postgraduate education and research in the History of Science field, although following an interdisciplinary and collaborative perspective, open to a specialized public as well as other interested and general public. Our main purpose is to value the biographical methodology approach in academic training and scholarly research, not just for the historiographic practice, where it is of increasing interest the conjunction between History of Science and Intellectual History, but also with regard to broader contexts of production and incorporation of knowledge both by the concerned communities and by a socially and publicly responsible society.

In this International Conference, we are encouraging fellow colleagues and post-graduation students to submit presentation proposals either of biographical accounts that are engaged in describing scientific practices as well as dissecting those intellectual rationales from the past, either of philosophical or political substance. In sum, the opportunity of this International Conference lies not merely in the large number of important individuals whose lives remain to be described, but more significantly in the contribution that biographical and imminently intellectual approaches could give to the study of Science, Technology and Innovation in history.


Call for papers

It is open until 30 April 2017, a call for the submission of individual communication proposals to take place within the international conference entitled “Biographical and Intellectual History of Science, Technology and Innovation: Philosophical Perspectives and Views of Politics”, to be held in Portugal.

The event will take place in Portuguese city of Évora, on the 23 and 24 November 2017, counting with the participation of two invited speakers, a public discussion round-table and having in mind the possibility of publishing the best works within a peer review publication.

The selection of proposals by the Scientific Committee presupposes compliance with the following parameters: a summary of up to 300 words, 5 Keywords and a maximum of 4-5 bibliographical references, to be submitted through the web platform


Thematic axis:

1 – University «Gurus and Mandarins» and power structures in S&T
2 – Academics and scientists in the organization of science
3 – Engineers and industrialists: the heralds of the Technique
4 – Technocrats and bureaucrats: from scientific policy to technological policy

*The communications sent as free themes will be evaluated according to their intrinsic quality and arranged in related sessions.

The submission of communication proposals should be made via Instructions: a summary of up to 300 words, 5 Keywords and a maximum of 4-5 bibliographical references, together with the normal credentials (name, institutional affiliation, etc.). Registration after proposal acceptance should be made via


You may download the call (PDF) HERE.


Contacts: or


Organizing Committee

Augusto José Fitas (University of Évora / IHC-CEHFCI-UÉ)
Maria de Fátima Nunes (University of Évora / IHC-CEHFCI-UÉ)
Tiago Brandão (IHC-FCSH/NOVA)


Conference’s official webpage

Contact Email:

New Book: Life Writing in the Long Run (Sidonie Smith & Julia Watson)

Life Writing in the Long Run: A Smith & Watson Autobiography Studies Reader

Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson

This book gathers twenty-one essays by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson (TOC below) written in collaboration or solo and published over the last quarter-century.

It includes the introductions to their five edited collections; essays focused on such autobiographical genres as autoethnography, Bildungsroman, diary, digital life writing, genealogy, graphic memoir,human rights witnessing, manifesto; and essays engaging the key concepts of authenticity, performativity, postcoloniality, relationality, and visuality.

This collection captures decades of exciting developments in the field, making it indispensable reading for courses on modes and media of self-presentation in cultural, gender, and literary studies and feminist theory.

You can order this book through Amazon or in your local bookstore. To read it for free online, visit:

978-1-60785-409-8 (Paperback, $39.99) 978-1-60785-410-4 (eBook, $19.99) page1image21904 page1image22496 page1image22920


Michigan Publishing Services


Both as remarkable individuals, and as the most high- powered and influential team in life writing, Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson have been defining and moving the field forward for decades. If their landmark volume Reading Autobiography is the owner’s manual for autobiography studies, Life Writing in the Long Run serves the same function for their remarkable achievements as theorists, critics, and editors. An absolutely indispensable collection for present and future scholars, and a monument to the most consistently productive, innovative, and generous scholars I know.

—Craig Howes, Director, Center for Biographical Research; Co-Editor, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

Many of these essays have entered the lexicon of criticism in the field of life narrative: the rumpled bed of autobiography, the metrics of authenticity. Smith and Watson are an assemblage, a generative force that has always been slightly ahead of the curve: setting the pace, with a practical bent for toolkits and maps, a prescient sense of getting a life and de/colonizing the subject and, in the long run, an enduring passion for the pleasures of life narrative.

—Gillian Whitlock, Professor, University of Queensland


Acknowledgments and Permissions xi A Personal Introduction to Life Writing in the Long Run xvii

Part I: Theoretical Frameworks

  1. Introduction: Situating Subjectivity in Woen’s Autobiographical Practices, from Women,
    Autobiography, Theory: A Reader (1998) 3
  2. The Rumpled Bed of Autobiography: Extravagant
    Lives, Extravagant Questions (2001) 89
  3. Witness or False Witness? Metrics of Authenticity, I-Formations, and the Ethic of Verification
    in Testimony (2012) 111

Part II: Everyday Lives and Autobiographical Storytelling

  1. Introduction to Getting a Life:
    Everyday Uses of Autobiography (1996) 165
  2. Ordering the Family: Genealogy as
    Autobiographical Pedigree (Watson 1996) 191
  3. Virtually Me: A Toolkit about Online
    Self-Presentation (2014) 225

Part III: Enabling Concepts

  1. Performativity, Autobiographical
    Practice, Resistance (Smith 1995) 261
  2. The Spaces of Autobiographical
    Narrative (Watson 2007) 283
  3. The Autobiographical Manifesto: Identities,
    Temporalities, Politics (Smith 1991) Print and e-book only 305

Part IV: Visualized Lives

  1. Introduction: Mapping Women’s Self-Representation
    at Visual/Textual Interfaces, from Interfaces: Women, Autobiography, Image, Performance (2002) 345
  2. Autographic Disclosures and Genealogies of Desire
    in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home (Watson 2008) 393
  3. Re-citing, Re-siting, and Re-sighting Likeness:
    Reading the Family Archive in Drucilla Modjeska’s
    Poppy and Sally Morgan’s My Place (Smith 1994) 435
  4. Human Rights and Comics: Autobiographical
    Avatars, Crisis Witnessing, and Transnational
    Rescue Networks (Smith 2011) 467

Part V: Women’s Life Writing in the United States

  1. Introduction: Living in Public, from Before They Could Vote: American Women’s Autobiographical Writing, 1819–1919 (2006) 485
  2. Cheesecake, Nymphs, and ‘We the People’: About

    1900 in America (Smith 1994) Print and e-book only 517

  3. Strategic Autoethnography and American Ethnicity Debates: The Metrics of Authenticity in When I Was Puerto Rican (Watson 2013) Print and e-book only 545
  4. ‘America’s Exhibit A’: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Living History and the Genres of Political Authenticity (Smith 2012) 577

Part VI: Global Circuits, Political Formations

  1. “Introduction: De/Colonization and the Politics of
    Discourse in Women’s Autobiographical Practices,”
    from De/Colonizing the Subject: The Politics of Gender
    in Women’s Autobiography (1992) 605
  2. Memory, Narrative, and the Discourses of Identity
    in Abeng and No Telephone to Heaven (Smith 1999) 629
  1. Narratives and Rights: Zlata’s Diary
    and the Circulation of Stories of Suffering
    Ethnicity (Smith 2006) 657
  2. Parsua Bashi’s Nylon Road: The Visual Dialogics
    of Witnessing in Iranian Women’s Graphic
    Memoir (Watson 2016) 681
Older Posts
%d bloggers like this: