Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

People and contacts

For more information and general enquiries about the Centre, please contact:

Dr Margaretta Jolly Director, Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

Room 130, Silverstone Building
University of SussexMargaretta Jolly
Falmer, Brighton
T +44 (0)1273 873585 

I am a cultural critic with a particular interest in life writing and life history. My work has focused on auto/biography and oral history, feminist theory and education. I see the life story as a node which focuses questions of agency, desire, art and history that are crucial to cultural studies, and especially intriguing in today's individualisms.

Dear Laughing Motorbyke: Letters from Women Welders of the Second World War (Scarlet Press, 1997), presents letters from the Mass-Observation Archive to explore war stories as well as arguments about women's roles. I designed my Encyclopedia of Life Writing (Routledge, 2001) to reflect the field's expansiveness, ranging from Scandinavian life-story competitions to American confessional television, African oral history to Arabic Medieval biographical dictionaries. I explored fictions of war and masculinity in my co-edited Critical Perspectives on Pat Barker (University of South Carolina Press, 2005). My most recent book is In Love and Struggle: Letters in Contemporary Feminism (Columbia University Press, 2008). This glimpse into intimate archives opens up feminist relationships as they have been expressed in letters and emails since the 1970s. It won the Feminist and Women's Studies Association UK Book Prize in 2009.

I am a core member of the International Association for Auto/Biography and on the editorial boards of Auto/biography; Life Writing, and Life Writing Annual.
I was Principal Investigator to Sisterhood and After: The Women's Liberation Oral History Project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and partnered with The British Library, from 2010-2013.  

CLHLWR's research associates Dr Angela Campos and Dr Alexandra Loske

Angela Campos

Alexandra in Robert Goff exhibition, 2012

Dr Angela Campos is an historian, oral historian and translator who has taught in Portugal and the UK for ten years. Her doctoral research – completed in 2014 at the University of Sussex – produced an oral history of veterans of the Portuguese colonial war (1961-1974). This will be published by Palgrave Macmillan as ‘An Oral History of the Portuguese Colonial War: Conscripted Generation.’ In 2015/16, she was Associate Researcher for Oral History for Public Culture, a CLHLWR-led doctoral training programme. She also contributed to ‘Memory, Subjectivities, and Representation: Approaches to Oral History in Latin America, Portugal and Spain’, recipient of the OHA 2016 Book Award. 

She is currently a Research Fellow at SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex), developing an oral history of the Unit towards its 50th anniversary in 2016. Angela’s main research interests are veteran war memory, war and trauma, life history, and the theory and practice of oral history.

Dr Alexandra Loske is an art historian, oral historian, editor and curator with a particular interest in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century European art and architecture. She has been working at the University of Sussex since 1999, where she now teaches in the department of Art History and has recenltly completed an AHRC-funded Ph.D.. Her research was based at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, where she has been investigating the use of colour in early nineteenth century interiors. She is particularly interested in the lives and work of Mary Gartside, George Field, Humphry Repton, Robert Goff, Angelica Kauffman and Mary Philadelphia Merrifield. She is currently working on an oral history project of the Art History Department of the University of Sussex.

Alexandra is also the Communications Manager of the CLHLWR.

Lyn Thomas

Professor Emerita of Cultural Studies

New autobiographical writing - Clothes Pegs: A Woman's Life in 30 Outfits - published at : http://www.clothespegs.net/


 I joined Sussex as part-time Professor of Cultural Studies in 2013, after 23 years teaching French and Media and Cultural Studies at London Metropolitan University. My interest in life writing and life histories is longstanding and underpins my two decades of work on French writer Annie Ernaux.

 In 2016 I published my own memoir – Clothes Pegs: A Woman’s Life in 30 Outfits at: http://www.clothespegs.net/. Other creative pieces have been published in the Frogmore Press collection – True Tales from the Old Hill, and in the CLHLWR/ Reframe collaboration New Pathways: A Psychogeography of Lewes (2015) http://reframe.sussex.ac.uk/newpathways/essays/nostalgic-drifting/

 Other academic publications have included work on the audiences of British radio soap opera The Archers, lifestyle television and ‘religious reality’ television, and on ‘suspect’ communities in Britain. I was a member of the Feminist Review Editorial Collective from 1998-2011.