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.

Our annual conference: 
Locating women in 'The Folk'
Perspectives on women’s contributions to folk song, folklore, and cultural traditions.
  9 June 2018, University of Sussex 

An interdisciplinary conference, co-presented by Sussex Traditions and The English Folk Dance & Song Society. Supported by The Centre for Memories, Narratives and Histories (Brighton University), and Sussex University’s Music Department.

Full programme here.

Women in the Folk conference 9 June 2018, photo by Tunde_Alabi-Hundeyin

Women have always been central to the study and practice of folklore, arts and cultural traditions – as tradition bearers, performers, authors, collectors, storytellers and scholars. However, their contribution hasn’t always received the recognition it deserves; this symposium aimed to redress the balance.

Women in the Folk conference 9 June 2018, Shirley Collins, photo by Tunde_Alabi-HundeyinShirley Collins

 

 

We are pleased to be collaborating with The Keep to support this exciting course, running from May 2018:

Beyond The Family Tree: Writing, Curating and Presenting Your Family’s Past.

Please note: This course is now FULLY BOOKED.

A practical creative writing course is designed to help individuals work imaginatively with their family archives, which might include letters, journals, documents, photographs, artworks and objects. For more information click HERE.

 

Beyond the Family Tree poster

This practical creative writing course is designed to help individuals work imaginatively with their family archives, which might include letters, journals, documents, photographs, artworks and objects. Led by author and life historian Shivaun Woolfson, the sessions will enable you to develop a narrative approach and explore ways of telling your story, while Keep staff will offer advice on finding, interpreting and caring for family archives. There will be an opportunity to take part in a guided tour of The Keep and, in the final session, to share your work with family and friends.

 

 

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If you would like to join the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research mailing list and receive regular updates about events, conferences and publication opportunities in the field of life history, life writing and oral history, please email: M.Jolly@sussex.ac.uk

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