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CALL FOR PAPERS: THE FOURTH IABA: ASIA PACIFIC CONFERENCE. Life Writing: Transnationalism, Translingualism, Transculturalism

5th May 2021

We are pleased to share the call for papers for the fourth IABA: Asia-Pacific Conference, which will explore life writing in transnational, translingual, and transcultural contexts. The conference, of which SFPS members Prof Natalie Edwards and Dr Christopher Hogarth are on the Organising Committee, will be held at the University of Adelaide on November 20-23, 2021, and will incorporate both face-to-face and online contributions to accommodate colleagues based outside Australia.

See below for further information on this exciting conference, including abstract submission details. Please consider contributing!

If you’re an SFPS member and have a recent publication or upcoming event that you’d like us to promote, please contact our publicity officers, Fraser McQueen ( and Orane Onyekpe-Touzet (


Life Writing: Transnationalism, Translingualism, Transculturalism

 November 20-23, 2021

 Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Ricia Chansky, University of Puerto Rico

Prof. Anne Pender, University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide,

in collaboration with the University of South Australia

and Flinders University

 Transnationalism is an increasingly popular phenomenon, reflecting and responding to the heightened interconnectivity between people and the receding economic and social significance of boundaries among nation states. The current global pandemic has brought issues of interconnectivity sharply into question. In this context, this conference will explore life narratives across a broad variety of contexts.

 By discussing life narratives, including in a variety of languages, this conference aims to expand the boundaries of literary studies and its relationships with other media and nations.

 Papers may consider themes such as:

  •  Narrating and imagining the migrant experience
  • Refugee and asylum seeker narratives 
  • Life writing in languages other than English
  • Life writing and translation
  • Translingual and multilingual narratives
  • Coming of Age narratives (especially across nations and media)
  • Childhood life writing
  • Ethics of storytelling
  • Activist narratives
  • Cultural memory across nations, languages and media.
  • Autobiographies, letters and diaries
  • Life narratives in popular culture (music, film, theatre, games)
  • Visual life narratives (photography, graphics, social and digital media, visual arts etc.)
  • The histories and futures of life writing studies across disciplinary boundaries
  • Methods, genres, and definitions in life-writing/autobiographical/life story/ego-document research


The conference will be held in two modes, incorporating face to face and zoom sessions. We invite both 20 minute individual presentations and 90 minute full panel, roundtable, or workshop sessions. We encourage interdisciplinary submissions that foster dialogues across theory, methodology, genre, place, and time. We invite not only traditional conference papers and panels, but also innovative presentation formats and creative sessions.

Please submit a max. 300-word abstract and a 150-word bio to Dr. Christopher Hogarth at by 1 July.

 Organising Committee: Professor Natalie Edwards, Dr. Christopher Hogarth, Dr. Kylie Cardell, Professor Kate Douglas

 IABA Asia-Pacific emerges from the central disciplinary association for auto/biography scholars—The International Auto/Biography Association (IABA). IABA was founded in 1999 as a multidisciplinary network that aims to deepen the cross-cultural understanding of self, identity and experience, and to carry on global dialogues about life writing/narrative. IABA Asia-Pacific aims to foster new region-specific conversations and to encourage regional participation in the global IABA conference. Our goal is to develop scholarly networks between life narrative scholars and practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region that support the circulation and publication of high-quality life narrative theory, practice, and pedagogy.

 This conference forms part of an Australian Research Council funded Discovery Project on Transnational Narratives of Migration to Australia (Natalie Edwards and Christopher Hogarth, DP190102863).

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