IABA world 2024

Fragmented Lives

Conference in Reykjavík 12th-15th of June 2024

IABA (International Auto/Biography Association) World Conference 2024 in collaboration with the Centre for Studies in Memory and Literature, University of Iceland

The IABA World Conference 2024 will be held at the University of Iceland in collaboration with the Centre for Studies in Memory and Literature 12-15 June 2024. The theme of the conference is ‘Fragmented Lives.’ We invite proposals for individual papers or panels of 3-4 papers as well as round-table suggestions on that theme.

Registration for IABA World 2024 is now open on our registration page.

Keynote Speakers

Emilie Pine is Professor of Modern Drama in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin. She has published widely as an academic and critic, including The Politics of Irish Memory: Performing Remembrance in Contemporary Irish Culture (Palgrave, 2011), and most recently The Memory Marketplace: Witnessing Pain in Contemporary Theatre (Indiana University Press, 2020). From 2015-19 Emilie was PI of Industrial Memories, an Irish Research Council-funded project to witness Ireland’s historic institutional abuse (https://industrialmemories.ucd.ie), out of which she runs the ongoing oral-history project Survivors Stories with the National Folklore Collection. As a theatre-maker, Emilie collaborated with ANU Productions on the Ulysses 2.2 project in 2023, creating All Hardest of Woman at the National Maternity Hospital; her first play, Good Sex, was a collaboration with Dead Centre Theatre Company, and was shortlisted for Best New Play and Best Production at the 2023 Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. She is the author of the bestselling essay collection, Notes to Self, winner of the 2018 Irish Book of the Year award, which has been translated into 15 languages. Her debut novel Ruth & Pen (2022) won the 2023 Kate O’Brien First Novel Award. She is currently working on a second non-fiction essay collection.

Anna Poletti is associate professor of English at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. They research life writing in contemporary Anglophone media and culture, and specialize in archival research, queer and feminist theory, and cultural studies methodologies. Anna’s research explores two primary themes: 1) the variety of roles life writing plays in contemporary societies, politics and cultures, and 2) the way people use media technologies and material culture to attach meaning to lived experience. Exploring these themes, Anna has published on topics such as Andy Warhol’s use of the cardboard box, digital storytelling, zines, selfies, graphic medicine, and youth-led climate activism. Their books include: Stories of the Self: Life Writing After the Book (New York University Press, 2020), Intimate Ephemera: Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture (Melbourne University Press, 2008), and Life Narratives and Youth Culture: Representation, Agency and Participation (with Kate Douglas, Palgrave 2016). Anna co-edited the Eisner Award-nominated collection Graphic Medicine (with Erin La Cour, University of Hawai’i
Press, 2021), and Identity Technologies: Constructing the Self Online (with Julie Rak, University of Wisconsin Press, 2014). Their first novel (hello, world?) explores online identity, sexuality and gender, and will be published by Semiotext(e) in 2024. With Kate Douglas and John Zuern, Anna is a Series Editor of the book series New Directions in Life Narrative for Bloomsbury.

Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir is a Professor of Women’s and Gender History at the University of Iceland. She has published works on women’s and gender history, biography, correspondence, and (women’s) historiography. Among her works in Icelandic is the monograph Nútímans konur (Women of Modernity, 2011) in which she relies heavily on correspondence when exploring women’s education and the construction of gender in late 19th century Iceland. In 2020 she co-authored the award-winning book Konur sem kjósa. Aldarsaga (A Centenary of Women Voters, 2020) in which the authors study women’s citizenship and agency in 20th-century Iceland. Among her works in English are articles in Life Writing (2010, 2015) and Women’s History Review (2018). She co-edited Biography, Gender, and History: Nordic Perspectives (2016) and wrote a chapter in The Palgrave Handbook of Auto/Biography (2020). Erla Hulda is now working on two projects related to correspondence and life writing. First, it is the publication (2023) of 50 love letters written by an Icelandic student in Copenhagen to his fiancé in Iceland, 1825-1832 – before and after he betrayed her. Second, for publication in 2024, the biography of Sigríður Pálsdóttir (1809-1871) who wrote 250 letters to her brother for half a century but did otherwise nothing that, until recently, made her worthy of a biography. For both these cases only one side of the correspondence has survived.