IABA Europe 2011: Trajectories of Be(longing): Europe in Life Writing

Tallinn University, Estonian Literary Museum
Closing date for submissions: 
20 November, 2010
Event dates: 
18.05.2011 - 20.05.2011
Assoc. Prof. Leena Kurvet-Käosaar, University of Tallinn, Estonian Literary Museum
E-mail contact: 

The International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) was founded in 1999 as a multidisciplinary network that aims to broaden the world vision of auto/biographers, scholars and readers, to deepen the cross-cultural understanding of self, identity and experience, and to carry on global dialogues on life writing. So far the IABA has held seven biennial conferences in Asia, North America, Australia and Europe.

Seeking to establish a network of European life writing scholars and to support European participation in international debates on life writing, a European chapter of IABA was founded in October 2009 at a conference at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This initiative is continued through a second IABA Europe conference in Tallinn. In May 18-20, 2011 Tallinn University and Estonian Literary Museum are pleased to host IABA Europe 2011, “Trajectories of (Be)longing: Europe in Life Writing”.

The conference seeks to explore the ways in which Europe has been envisioned in life writing within Europe itself and beyond, along diverse lines of affiliation and contestation, looking at questions of Europe in historical and contemporary, national and transnational perspectives across a wide variety of life writing modes and practices. Capitalizing on interdisciplinarity, the conference welcomes contributions from different fields of humanities and social sciences.

Possible questions to explore include, but are not limited to:

Would it be possible and/or productive to talk about specifically European modes and practices of life writing? What are the temporal dynamics of these modes and practices, in particular with respect to major historical ruptures and transformations of Europe as a concept and as a geographical, political, social and cultural entity?

How are, one the one hand, different modes of auto/biographical self-inquiry structured around a sense of belonging to or longing for Europe and, on the other, around contestation, rejection and transgression of such modes of identification? What is the interrelationship of Europeanness and post- and trans-nationalism and cosmopolitanism?

How does Europe gain a (in)visibility in life writing in relation to issues of migration, displacement, diaspora and travel? What are the intersections with coloniality, and postcoloniality?

What are the spatial mappings and “sites of story-telling” of Europe in life writing and how does such “life-mapping” construct, confirm, contradict, and erase borders within and in relation to Europe? How does digital space engage with and re-negotiate surpass other kinds of spatial configurations in/of Europe?

Please submit your abstracts (max 300 words) and short CV online using the abstract submission form:

Deadline for abstracts and panel proposals: November 20, 2010 Notification of acceptance: December 20, 2010 Conference homepage http://iabaeurope2011.edicypages.com/en

In case of inquiries please contact Leena Kurvet-Käosaar, .