Auto|biography across the americas, the inaugural meeting

Life writing scholars Gillian Whitlock, Cynthia Huff, Donna Hope, Kari Winters, and Leigh Gilmore take questions after a panel at AAA.

“Auto/Biography across the Americas: Reading beyond Geographic and Cultural Divides” was the scholarly summit that started it all.

The Autobiography Society and its academic journal, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies convened this conference in 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

We hosted thirty autobiography studies scholars from all over the Americas—Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America—who spent four days discussing themes, genres, and methodologies from their diverse geographic and cultural perspectives and forged international, cross-disciplinary research collaborations.

This meeting produced huge rewards: a special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, an edited scholarly book (forthcoming from Routledge), and  the International Auto/Biography Studies Association—Chapter of the Americas, which met for the second time in June 2015 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, USA (hosted by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson).

2014 IABA Support

The Autobiography Society sponsored a reading by Sharron Proulx-Turner, at the 2014 International AutoΙBiography Association conference in Banff, Alberta, CA, “AutoΙBiography in Transit.” Proulx-Turner, a poet and memoirist, read from her memoir, Where the Rivers Join, and from her many volumes of poetry, including: she is reading her blanket with her hands and she walks for days inside a thousand eyes: a two-spirit story. She contributed an essay to a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 30.2, “Ice Tsunami: A Process of Writing Where the Rivers Join.” This is a special issue, “Broken Dialogues,” which grows from the 2014 IABA Conference.


Ed. Ricia Chansky, Sharron Proulx-Turner, and Ed. Emily Hipchen at IABA in Banff, Alberta, CA in 2014.
Ed. Ricia Chansky, Sharron Proulx-Turner, and Ed. Emily Hipchen at IABA 2014.