IABA world 2024

Call for papers

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

Reykjavik, 12-15 June 2024

Fragmented Lives

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.

The world is fragmented in different ways in our times, due to wealth disparity, migration, and the continuing climate catastrophe. The digital revolution means that lives are now lived online as well as off – where fragmented identities and selves are played out. The recent pandemic can also be said to have fragmented our sense of time. This in turn shapes life writing and self-expression. As Eva Karpinski has argued ‘the autobiographical fragment is uniquely suited to address the discontinuities and ruptures of history, experience, and memory’ (Karpinski 2013), and that is why we turn to this theme to gain new insights into auto/biographical writing.

One of the key issues at stake in auto/biographical narration is memory, and memory is usually incomplete, fragmented. Narrative is at times used to reflect this fragmentation, or it is used to paper over the cracks, to create a cohesive narrative out of a fragmented past. The biographer is also faced with fragmentary knowledge of the past when writing on another’s life, a past which is then pieced together.

We are looking for papers on how lives and life writing can be addressed and examined in light of fragmentation. Themes and issues include, but are not limited to

  • fragmented narrative
  • fragmented identity
  • fragmented ecologies
  • fragments of a life
  • fragmented genres
  • digital fragmentation
  • fragmented pasts

Graduate students and early career researchers are especially encouraged to apply individually and with panels. A workshop for this group is also planned and reduced conference fees will be available.

Please send abstracts (300 words) or panel/round-table suggestions, and short bio (150 words) to IABAWorld2024@gmail.com by 1 October 2023.