Life Writing and Film Biography in the Trans-Cultural Context

full name / name of organization: 
Center for Life Writing, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
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International Conference

Life Writing and Film Biography in the Trans-Cultural Context

Oct. 29-30, 2016, Shanghai, China

We are living in an age of frequent cultural exchanges. By breaking through the confinement of isolation and monotony, nations and peoples enrich their own cultures increasingly. In such a diversified multi-cultural context, new technologies and new media grow rapidly while traditional forms are revitalizing. Life writing, film, television, and theater are booming. The adaptation of life writing to other media has become an important phenomenon. To enable scholars of life writing and film studies across the world to discuss issues of their common concern, the Center for Life Writing at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and the Center for Biographical Research at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA jointly have decided to convene an international conference on "Life Writing and Film Biography in the Cross-Cultural Context." SJTU Center for Life Writing will host the conference, where four keynote speakers will address the following topics:

I. Life writing in the trans-cultural context

Multi-cultural and cross-cultural contexts are having far-reaching effects upon the contents and forms of life writing, the material selected by life writers, the understanding of values and aesthetics, and the felt concerns of readers. Since the foregrounding of practitioners' cross-cultural or trans-national identities has become a common phenomenon, new meanings accordingly are emerging for national character in life writing. All these developments are calling for urgent attention.

II. Film biography in the trans-cultural context

New media for life writing is an inevitable trend, and over the past century, many nations have produced film biographies highly acclaimed by large audiences. New film production techniques, representational forms, and communication methods have greatly enriched life writing. Both life writing and cinema/television/theatre circles therefore need to explore and identify the merits and demerits of film biography.

III. The interaction and cross-reference between life writing and film biography

Through film biography, text life writing re-emerges through incessant moving pictures and sounds. Is the conventional understanding of biography, i.e. recording the facts and maintaining authenticity and truth, still applicable? Are there different norms for historical narratives in film biography? How do life-writers respond to film's involvement in the genre of life writing?

Anyone who intends to attend this conference, please send a 300 word abstract to the address below. If your submission is accepted, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by September 30, 2016. Conference registration fee is ¥800 or $120 for waged participants and ¥400 or $60 for postgraduates.

Conference schedule:

By Mar. 15 submission of application form

By Apr. 30 submission of abstracts

By May 30 formal invitation

By Sep. 30 submission of papers

Oct. 28 registration

Oct. 31 departure

The conference working languages are Chinese and English. Application forms, abstracts and papers can be submitted in either Chinese or English. We will provide translation services for all papers. Papers will be selected for publication in the Journal of Modern Life Writing Studies, produced by the Center for Life Writing, SJTU, China.

Contact: Dr.Chiong



Shanghai Jiao Tong University Center for Life Writing,

Room 209, Building of Arts and Humanities,

800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, 200240, P.R.China.