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 next free event: 
Colour and cruelty - 

Honoring artist and colour theorist Carry van Biema

24 April 2018, 4pm, University of Sussex 

This free event is co-organised with the Department of Art History and the Centre for German Jewish Studies at Sussex..

Carry van BiemaCarry van Biema at 15  

Carry van Biema was born in Hannover, Germany, into a prosperous, intellectual Jewish family. She taught art and art history, mingled with German avant-garde groups, while also displaying a sincere duty to old masters and classic texts, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s writings on colour. In 1930 she published Farben und Formen als lebendige Kräfte (literally: Colours and forms as living forces), an intensely personal and intellectual work on colour in art. 

In this seminar art historian Dr Alexandra Loske (Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museums/University of Sussex) will talk about how, on first hearing about Carry van Biema, she became interested in finding out more about van Biema's life story and only published work. It soon became clear that researching van Biema would go far beyond analysing her work and placing her in the canon of colour literature. This research 'work-in-progress' raises questions about how to combine art history with life writing and how to commemorate victims of the holocaust, in a personal and public context.



New collaborative project:

Hastings Heritage and Art Trail

Launching September 2018 

Hastings Heritage and Art Trail - Maxine Beuret

The brainchild of artist and photographer Maxine Beuret, the trail will be multidimensional walking tour taking in ten central locations that have not largely changed for over 25 years. Each place has been chosen for its amazing atmosphere and fascinating design history.

Maxine Beuret will photograph each location.

These images will be displayed at each of the stops on the trail alongside historical information and some relevant artefacts from Hastings Museum collection.

Inspired by the trail, users are encourage to create their own videos and photographs, which will also be displayed along the trail and on the website.

For more information on the project and related events follow this link:





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