Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

2015/16 Seminar Series

For more information, email a.loske@sussex.ac.uk or m.jolly@sussex.ac.uk.
Centre for Life History & Life Writing Research, 01273-873585
All seminars are free and wheelchair accessible.

15 October 2015  Alison Light poster

Alison Light
Writer, professor, public historian

Fulton Building Room 113, 5-6.30pm

Writing Common People: Between history and fiction 

Respondent: Professor Ben Highmore

Alison Light will talk about her recent book, Common People: the History of an English Family which used her own family history to follow the lives of the migrant, working poor.  A mix of memoir, social history and reflection, the book raises questions about the limits and possibilities of family history as a form of multiple biography; how we write the lives of the unknown, especially in these days of 'poverty porn'; and the boundaries between history, fiction and personal memory. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Modernist Studies.



20 October 2015       

True Tales from the Old Hill coverCover art and design by Eva Bodinet


Jeremy Page, Rachel Cole, with Sally Willow and Katie Leacock  
Arts A 5.30-6.30pm 

True Tales from the Old Hill: Life writing in question

Come celebrate the art of life writing with readings from Frogmore Press’ new collection of outstanding stories written by people who live in or around Lewes. Enjoy tales that reveal the mysterious and unknowable forces at work in our lives, in our family histories, in our minds and bodies, in our souls, framed by discussion and debate about the aesthetics and ethics of telling true tales.

Wine served from 5.00

This event is co-sponsored by the Sussex Centre for Language Studies



28 October 2015    

Jubilee 117, 
4-6pm Lyn Thomas, Adam Whitehall, Margaretta Jolly, with REFRAME  REFRAME Slider New Pathways

New Pathways: Psychogeographies of a town near you

Psychogeography as a form of surrealist walking and drifting creates new pathways and emotional ‘mappenings’. Come and discuss its methods and possibilities through new writings, films, photographs, colours and sounds inspired by Lewes and its unique history and geography. This event also features their multimedia publication through REFRAME.

This launch event is co-sponsored by the MFM Research seminar series.



 1 December 2015    

Peter Messer's studio, Lewes

The Elephant and Castle Pub function room, Lewes
 7-8.30 pm

Lewes Through a Glass Darkly: An evening stranger than fiction and truly psychogeographical

Come celebrate two new publications inspired by Lewes and its unique history and geography.

True Tales from the Old Hill published by Frogmore Press is a new collection of autobiographical stories written by people who live in or around Lewes.  New Pathways: A Psychogeography of Lewes is a multimedia publication through REFRAME. It brings together writers and film-makers from Lewes and elsewhere to create new and playful visions and maps of the town.

This is a free event but please rsvp to a.loske@sussex.ac.uk for catering purposes.

 Buffet nibbles on the house!


2 December 2015

Laura Maynard, Andrew Crisell,  Professor Magnus Marsden and Maurizio Marinelli  Mao’s Lost Children

Arts C175, 1-2.30pm  

Mao’s Lost Children: Stories Of The Rusticated Youth Of China's Cultural Revolution  

Join us for discussion and nibbles at the launch of a fascinating new collection of memoirs written by more than fifty Chinese who as young people during the rule of Mao Zedong were rusticated to Hainan Island to clear the jungle for rubber plantations. Their unique, first-hand insights into this turbulent period of China’s recent history are also a moving testimony to the indomitable nature of the human spirit.

This event is co-sponsored by the Sussex Asia Centre.