Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

Life History and Life Writing Research: Critical and Creative Approaches - 16 June 2017, 9.45-5.30

University of Sussex
Jubilee Building Room 144
Registration: 9.15-9.45 Jubilee Room 155
You can find us at:

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). 

 All welcome to attend this free event, with refreshments and lunch provided.

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

Life history and life writing have opened the door to creativity in universities across disciplines – politically, poetically, philosophically, playfully.

Questioning impersonal and dislocated theory by radical scholars of gender, sexuality, race and class has created a space for academics to bring their own histories into their work, or even become life writers. Simultaneously creative life writers are increasingly speaking to academic concerns with representation and the self. This conference aims to reflect and respond to this convergence. Selected contributions will be published in a forthcoming CLHLWR / REFRAME collaboration: ‘Life Writing Projects’.


Clare Best and Professor Lyn Thomas, ‘Life-writing, photography and the resilient body: Clare Best’s Self-portrait without Breasts and Annie Ernaux’s L’Usage de la Photo

Dr Deborah Madden, ‘Sacred Geographies and Empire-Building: Perspectives on Gender, Temporality and Religion in the Life Writings of Elizabeth Bowen Thompson (1812-1869)’

Pictures taken at Critical and Creative Approaches conference, 16 June 2017


NEWSFLASH: Delegates are welcome to attend our sister conference: Voicing Experience: The 4th British Conference of Autoethnography on Thursday 15 June at a reduced rate. The conferences will be sharing a plenary session on 16 June.


9:00 – 9:20

Registration: coffee in foyer

Jubilee JUB144 (PINK ROOM)

9:20 – 9:30

Welcome address:

Lucy Noakes and Margaretta Jolly


Jubilee JUB144 (PINK ROOM)

9:30 – 10:00


Dr Deborah Madden, ‘Sacred Geographies and Empire-Building: Perspectives on Gender, Temporality and Religion in the Life Writings of Elizabeth Bowen Thompson (1812-1869)’

Chair: Lucy Noakes

Jubilee JUB144 (PINK ROOM)

10:00 – 11:10

Session 1

 Jubilee JUB144 (PINK ROOM):

Creative approaches to women's lives (Chair Margaretta Jolly)

Jenni Cresswell: Transforming dresses and revealing narratives.

Katherine Collins: The fiction in truth: creating an autobiographical character  

Marguerite Styles: Old Wives' Tales 

Jubilee JUB-155 PEARLY ROOM:

Critical analysis of life writing in context (Chair: Lyn Thomas)

Diego Oliveira: Life writing in Japan: A brief story of three life writing movements in Japan

Yana Pavlovna Sholokhova: Self-Narrative as an Act of Communication: Life-writing in the Soviet State

Abigail Mynett: Life Writing and Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ 

Jubilee JUB144 (PINK ROOM)


Jubilee JUB155 (PEARLY ROOM)

11:10 – 11:30

Coffee in foyer 

Jubilee Foyer


Session Two

Jubilee JUB-144 PINK ROOM

Narratives of education and experience (Chair: Lucy Noakes)

Marlon L. Moncrieffe: ‘Made in Britain’: uncovering the life-histories of Black-British Champions of Cycling

• Aisling Sharkey: Performing lives: a researcher’s ambition to stage the lived experiences of women in leadership roles in HE in Ireland

Derbhile de Paor: Stories from School. A narrative inquiry exploring the experiences of teachers supporting school based teacher education

César Correa-Arias: Life stories and configuration of Action in Paul Ricoeur and Gaston Pineau. As my father used to say…


Life Writing inside and outside the academy (Chair: Katherine Collins)

Teresa Brus: Academically and Personally Speaking 

Ken Pratt: Take Me to Neuville: tracking the literary alter-ego from traumatic source to journalistic and academic specialism

Sally Bruce-Lockhart: Biography and Artistic Practise: talking about 'Life and Art'  

Debbie Parker Kinch: Writing a biography of a female ‘Man of Eminence’:  issues arising from research into the life and writings of Bessie Rayner Parkes Belloc (1829-1925)

Jubilee JUB144 (PINK ROOM)


Jubilee JUB155 (PEARLY ROOM)

1:00 – 2:00

Lunch in Foyer

Jubilee Foyer


Session Three

Jubilee JUB-144 PINK ROOM

Performing lives, listening to lives (Chair: Lucy Noakes)

Alison Child: Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney: Our love is a Thing Apart

Tom Ottway: ‪Life listening, Sonic Home and Homelands

Simon Lovat: Whose life is it anyway? Practiced-based research into performed fictional-autobiography

Carina Westling: Giddy Brighton. Situated oral histories


Therapeutic approaches to life writing (Chair: Margaretta Jolly)

Sarah Hesketh: The Hard Word Box: Being a Poet in Residence in Dementia Care

Karoliina Sjö: Narrated self. The diary story of Kirsti Teräsvuori (1899–1988) creative approaches

Dave Simpson: Is this how I learn to write my disease? Questions for a writer who uses counselling and writing poetry to establish a relationship with life-limiting, bone marrow cancer

Jubilee JUB144 (PINK ROOM)


Jubilee JUB155 (PEARLY ROOM)


Tea with shared delegates

Jubilee Foyer


Plenary: Voicing Experience

Lyn Thomas and Clare Best: The Uses of Photography and Self-Portrait without Breasts

Chair Margaretta Jolly, with Jamie Barnes

 Jubilee JUB-144 PINK ROOM

 Drinks in IDS bar  IDS Bar, University of Sussex