Intimate Archives: Photography and Life-Writing, University of Oxford, 29 November 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Lee-Von Kim and Christine Fouirnaies, University of Oxford

Intimate Archives is a one-day interdisciplinary conference that seeks to explore the intersection of photography and life-writing. Photography has come to play an increasingly self-conscious role in life narratives, raising questions about truth, fictionality, authenticity and the limits of referentiality. What role does photography have in the construction of life narratives? How are intimate and affective relations negotiated and represented in photographic life narratives? Furthermore, what is at stake when intimate records of familial and private lives are published or exhibited? This conference seeks to engage with these issues.

We welcome papers that interrogate life-writing in the broadest terms, across a wide range of forms, media and genres: books, letters, diaries, blogs, portraiture, installations, film, performance.

The organisers invite 20-minute papers that address the conference theme of 'intimate archives' across a range of topics, including (but not limited to):

- narratives of self-disclosure and confession
- testimonies and eyewitness accounts
- visual (anti)narratives
- the role of photography in transnational and crosscultural life-writing
- life narratives that turn around lost, withheld or forgotten photographs
- the evidentiary and documentary uses of photography in life-writing
- the role of photography in 'fictionalised' or 'fabricated' life narratives
- photo albums as life narratives
- the role of photography in collective and collaborative life narratives
- constructing life narratives from visual archives
- digital archives and life narratives
- autobiographical photo-essays and imagetexts
- the tension between visual and verbal self-representation.

Please submit a 200-word abstract and a brief bio, including contact details and institutional affiliation (if any), before Monday 9 September 2013 to the organisers at:
General enquiries are also welcome.

The conference will be held on Friday 29 November 2013 at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. Dr. Akane Kawakami (Birkbeck) will deliver the conference keynote address on photobiography, postmodern selves and urban spaces in Francophone writing.

Organisers: Dr. Lee-Von Kim (Oxford) and Christine Fouirnaies (Oxford)