Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

Teaching Life Writing

Thursday 28th October 2021 | 11:00-12:30 | Online (zoom)

Hope Wolf, Margaretta Jolly and Tessa McWatt
Moderated by Hannah Davita Ludikhuijze

In this session Hope Wolf, Margaretta Jolly and Tessa McWatt discuss their experience of teaching and leading projects concerned with life writing, the multidisciplinary nature of life writing projects and wide variety of creative applications life writing con-tributes to.

A CHASE initiative, supported by the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research.

Life history and life writing research uses life story - whether in the form of oral his-tory, 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.

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Hope Wolf is a senior lecturer at the University of Sussex, and her research special-isms are in modern and contemporary literature, life writing (especially creative and critical forms of autobiography and biography) and the visual arts. She is co-Director of the Centre for Modernist Studies and Associate Director of the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research. In Spring 2021 she was awarded a Mid-Career Fellow-ship from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. She is interested in art writing and word-image relations, and often works with galleries, museums and archives. Exhibitions she has curated include: Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion (Two Temple Place, 2017) and A Tale of Mother’s Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism (De La Warr Pavilion, Camden Arts Centre, Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange, 2018-2020).

Margaretta Jolly is a Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex, with a specialism in Life Writing, Oral History and Audio/Visual Life Story-telling. She holds special interests in the particular application of these methods in women's history and gender studies, directing the Sisterhood and After: Women's Liberation Oral History Project with the British Library. She currently leads on cultural industry stud-ies in the University, with a focus on social, heritage and ethical enterprise, and directs the University's Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research.

Tessa McWatt is a UEA professor of Creative Writing, and the author of six novels and two books for young people. Her fiction has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the City of Toronto Book Awards, and the OCM Bocas Prize. She is one of the winners of the Eccles British Library Award 2018, for her memoir: Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging. She is also a librettist, and works on interdisciplinary projects and community-based life writing through CityLife: Stories Against Loneliness.

Hannah Davita Ludikhuijze is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Sussex. Her research engages with volunteer tourism in rural Malawi, in which storytelling, life writing and oral history methods play a key role. This is framed by her own experience as both a previous volunteer and researcher in Malawi, on which she reflects using auto-ethnography. In her thesis ‘The Literary Voluntourist: Revisiting NGO Reading Practices in Rural Malawi’ she hopes to find ways to not only criticise, but also improve volunteer tourism in observing how reading literature can inform the encounter between voluntourists and Malawian youth. She teaches in both English and Anthropology, supports the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research (CLHLWR) and has previously studied English at Durham University. Hannah is originally from the Netherlands.