Writing Lives in Europe 1500-1700

deadline for submissions: 
March 16, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Danielle Clarke/University College Dublin
contact email: 

WRITING LIVES IN EUROPE, 1500-1700University College Dublin, 6-8 September 2018 Call for Papers  This conference on life writing/self writing will address questions related to life writing across Europe between1500-1700, in particular the influence of different religious, social, cultural and national perspectives on theemergence of various forms of self-writing. We are particularly interested in relationships, connections, textualtraffic and circulation across Europe through networks such as intellectual circles/coteries, religious orders, andthe experience of exiled communities. Life writing has long historical roots, but such writings are arguably thefirst examples of demotic, vernacular writing in the period. 'Life writing' describes narratives that allow us tointerrogate how far ideas of self were fashioned by and through various forms of written representation, and toexamine the stylistic, generic and social parameters to the formation of identities. Life writings comprise new,hybrid and emerging forms over the period 1500-1700, developing from relatively 'static' modes such as saintslives, eulogies, encomia, into more dynamic forms like biography, autobiography, chronicle histories, prisonwriting, prophecy, sermons, diaries, elegies, monumental verse, and letters. The conference aims to provide amore nuanced account of the emergence, creation and reception of narratives of the self, focussing not just oncontent, but on narrative, generic and material frameworks that inflect the representation of the "self" accordingto variables such as gender, class, region, language and religion. The key questions that we hope thatcontributors will address include1. How do we define "life writing" and what kinds of narratives, texts and artifacts might it include?2. What are the critical differences between biographically based criticism and the investigation of self writing/narrativization of selves?3. What are the specific conditions (historical, cultural, local, religious/confessional, familial) that enable theemergence of life writing over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Why then?4. How useful is standard periodisation for thinking about the emergence of these hybrid, complex forms from(mostly) domestic spaces?5. How significant is it that women writers and subjects are so strongly represented in life writing, and what is atstake in these representations?6. How might texts which are generically distinct from life writing be read through this framework, e.g. poems,romances, polemic etc?7. What role does editing, transmission and circulation play in the construction and reception of life writing?8. What light might comparative perspectives from other languages and cultures offer?We welcome contributions from established and early career researchers, and encourage papers that addressnon-Anglophone writings, although papers will be delivered in English.Papers (20 minutes) on the following topics are particularly welcome:- memorialization- exemplarity- forms/modes/genres/language choices- materiality/transmission- privacy/publication- historical contextualisation(s)- authorship/collaboration- community- spirituality/religion/proselytising- non Anglophone texts and traditions Proposals from early career researchers are particuarly welcome.   Proposals (comprising a title, 200 word abstract, up to 5 keywords and 100 word bio)should be sent to:lifewriting@ucd.ie by Friday March 16, 2018.danielle.clarke@ucd.iejohn.mccafferty@ucd.ie