Panel: New Terrains of Truth
Copanelists: Meg Jensen and Katherine Lindsay
How do the fields of life history and life writing relate? Is institutional and intellectual translation needed to help them speak to each other? What ways has the historiography of oral history been conceived, or the oral history of autobiography, if at all? Speaking from the perspective of managing the University of Sussex’s Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research, I will trace the relationship between the literary-based scene of life writing and the historically-framed world of oral and life history research. I will also test these two sometime rivals’ methodologies against each other, and ask how their interdisciplinary ideals hold up against the realities of institutional and professional pressures and pleasures. In addition, the international scope of the IABA conference in Hawai‘i will provide an occasion to reflect upon their relationship cross-culturally; for example, the oft-cited connection between oral history and rural cultures versus the metropolitan traditions of literary autobiography, biography, and textualised sociability in urban parts of the world. Finally, we might explore whether the terms “life story” or “narrative” summarise what the two fields share; what about “life” itself?
Tuesday, June 24 • 12:30–1:45 • Keoni Auditorium
Keynote Panel: Life Writing and Translations—Cross Cultures, Cross Purposes?
Copanelists: Noelani Arista, Sidonie Smith, and Zhao Baisheng
Margaretta Jolly is a cultural critic with a particular interest in life writing and life history. She is author of In Love and Struggle: Letters in Contemporary Feminism (Columbia, 2008) and editor of The Encyclopedia of Life Writing (Routledge, 2001) and Dear Laughing Motorbyke: Letters from Women Welders of the Second World War (Scarlet, 1997). She is joint Director of the University of Sussex’s Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research.