Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

Spring term 2009/10

Unless specified, all seminars for the Spring Term 2010 are at the University of Sussex, Tuesdays 12.30-1.50pm, in the Russell Building, Room 32. (Wheelchair accessible.)

The lives of objects

Date: 9 March 2010
Speaker: Amy Clark, Frankie White, Frances Cornford
Top graduates from the MA in Life History Research will talk about their oral historical approaches to understanding the life histories of objects, including Mickey Mouse memorabilia; political badges from the Miners' Strike and the strange world of Book Art.

Curator' lives: Identity, narrative and oral history

Date: 23 February 2010
Speaker: Linda Sandino
The talk will draw on interviews conducted with curators at the V&A which explore the transformation of curatorial practice over the last 30 years at the Museum.  It will explore how Ricoeur's concept of 'narrative identity' illuminates what it means to be a curator in a historic institution embedded in a shifting ideology of public service.

Identity as a game: the Sims Life Stories and Sims 3 as life narratives

Date: 9 February 2010
Speaker: Professor Julie Rak  CANCELLED
The PC games Sims Life Stories and Sims 3 are the latest versions of one of the best-selling computer game concepts in the world, games which were designed for girls instead of boys. In this talk I explore the concept of the Sims as a celebration of ordinariness, extraordinary sexuality and an ambivalent critique of capitalism's role in building a life story.

Fiction about Family History

Date: 2 February 2010
Speaker: Eleanor Thom (see www.eleanorthom.com)
Venue and time: The Meeting House, 6pm
The Tin-Kin (Duckworth, 2009) is a fiction based on photos, artefacts and memories of Eleanor Thom's Travelling ancestors.  A chapter of The Tin-Kin won the 2006 New Writing Ventures Award for fiction, and in 2009 went on to become The Saltire Society's Scottish First Book of the Year. 

The poetic re-representation of life stories

Date: 26 January 2010
Speaker: Dr Jane Speedy
Jane Speedy will discuss the work of the Centre for Narrative and Transformative Learning at Bristol University, and using poetry to capture research participants' personal narratives in therapeutic contexts. She will also debate the ethics that arise when therapists and client groups a) become conjoint inquirers and b) begin to publish their work, with reference to her work with young men who have considered suicide.