Life history and life writing research uses life story - whether in the form of oral history, personal narrative, autobiography or biography - as a primary source for the study of history and culture.

Life history and life writing research uses life story - whether in the form of oral history, personal narrative, autobiography or biography - as a primary source for the study of history and culture. Life stories capture the relation between the individual and society, the local and the national, the past and present and the public and private experience. Research involves grappling with theories of memory, relationship and self representation, and with debates about literacy and orality. Many disciplines contribute to the field, including history, sociology, anthropology, literary philosophy, cultural studies and psychology. Life history and life writing researchers present their work in many forms. As well as academic publications, we contribute to radio and television documentaries, auto/biographical drama, reminiscence work, digital and video presentations and exhibitions. Life history and life writing research is, of necessity, concerned with ethics and power relationships, and with the potential for advocacy and empowerment.

Life History and Life Writing Research:
Critical and Creative Approaches

16 June 2017, University of Sussex

Keynote speakers:

Clare Best, Prof Lyn Thomas and Dr Deborah Madden

The 9th annual Brighton-Sussex postgraduate conference is co-organised by the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research (CLHLWR, University of Sussex) and the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories (CRMNH, University of Brighton). 

Untitled Project: Robert Smithson Library & Book Club [A Room of One's Own]

University of Sussex
Jubilee Building Room 144
Registration: 9.15-9.45 Jubilee Room 155

This is a free event, refreshments and lunch provided by CRMNH and CLHLWR. 

For details follow this link: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/clhlwr/research/conferences/pgconference2017

Free seminar (past event):

The Public Life of the Private Diary: Alexander Masters and Sally Bayley

22 February 2017
5pm
Room: Jubilee G22
University of Sussex 

Sally Bayley book cover Alexander Mastes A Life Discarded cover

Sally Bayley and Alexander Masters will reflect on two very different diary-related projects.

In The Private Life of the Diary: From Pepys to Tweets  (Unbound, 2016), Bayley tells her own coming of age story through diary writing, and mixes memoir with reflections on the diaries of famous literary figures such as Woolf, Plath and Orwell. She also discusses political diarists: Pepys himself, John Adams and the more recent musings of Alan Clark and Tony Benn. 

In A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in a Skip (Harper Collins, 2016), Alexander Masters is seduced by the unique project of writing the biography of a person he encounters only through reading a random selection of her diaries, found by a close friend, in a skip. With some reluctance he eventually uncovers the identity of the diary-writer - but what are the ethics of playing detective with a real person's life and writing?

 

 

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