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 last free event:

Remembering Feminists and Brilliant Friends: Sisterhood and After.

With Nancy K Miller and Margaretta Jolly

Wednesday, 12 February 2020
4-6 pm
University of Sussex
Room: Fulton G15
Free, all welcome, no need to book. Drinks and nibbles included. Disabled access

 Remembering Feminists and Brilliant Friends 12 Feb 2020 poster

What can we learn from the history of women’s friendship in and outside women's movements and how should we listen to the intimate voices of feminist activists? This was reading and debate with Margaretta Jolly, drawing on her new book Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the UK Women’s Liberation Movement, 1968-presentin conversation with Nancy K. Miller, author of My Brilliant Friends: Our Lives in Feminismthe story of three friendships with women that changed her life, beginning in the 1970s: Carolyn Heilbrun, Diane Middlebrook, and Naomi Schor. 


New research project:

Squaring the colour circle:

Women in colour history

Led by art historian Alexandra Loske, this project will examine the lives and work of women in colour history from ca. 1760 onward.

 Angelica Kauffmann colouring 18th century

Examples of women writing and publishing on colour before the twentieth century are extremely rare. While women were frequently depicted as personifications of colour or as artists, such as in the 1787 engraving above, fewer than 20 publications by women on the subject of colour dating to before 1900 are known. 

This project seeks to gather information about the lives and work of women who wrote about, engaged with, and taught colour from the eighteenth century onward. The aim is to create a hub for data, information and image material that will help us understand how women in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries managed to engage in a field largely dominated by men.

The webpage will also list related events, exhibitions, lectures, and publication. 

Please follow this link for details.



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