CFP: Life Writing & Translations (Honolulu) (11/15/07; 6/
From: Craig Howes <>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 21:44:41 -0400 (EDT)

Call for Papers
The Sixth Biennial International Auto/Biography Association Conference
Honolulu, Hawai'i
June 23-26, 2008
Abstract Deadline: EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 15, 2007

Conference Topic: Life Writing and Translations

The Center for Biographical Research and the International Auto/Biography
Association invite scholars from around the world to attend the sixth
IABA conference, which will be held at the East-West Center, next to the
campus of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, in Honolulu.

Translation is central to all forms of representation; the theme for this
conference is Life Writing and Translations, in the widest sense of the
term. We welcome papers dealing with the following kinds of translation,
and others as well:

-Accounts of language acquisition, and their relation to senses
of identity, of relations with others, of community, of separateness.
Immigrant life writing narratives. Indigenous peoples and life writing.
Poly-lingual texts. Polyphonic and heteroglossic texts. And of course,
the translation of life writing texts from one language to another.

-Life writing texts often move from one literary, artistic,
disciplinary, technological, or rhetorical form to another. Papers can
deal with representing peoples' lives in any medium--film, graphic text,
writing, image, performance. They can examine the adaptation of one
representational form to another
-from book to film, from film to musical,
from orature to literature, from page to stage to page, from popular
confession to auto-ethnography, from case study to gossip. Or they can
look at multi-generic works
-online life writing incorporating visual,
aural, and textual dimensions, or performance works combining presence
and representation in several media.

-Cultural translation involves the vexed but necessary efforts to
communicate central ideas, histories, concerns, desires, needs, politics,
identities from one cultural position or community to another.
Translation is the act that takes place in Mary Louise Pratt's contact
zone, or on Greg Dening's beach, or at a Truth and Reconciliation
Committee hearing. Translation is often the negotiating of issues of
gender, race, class, and disability (transnational, transgender,
transcultural). Translation, as movement between states or spaces
transits, transitions
-also shapes travel narratives. Translation, as a
mediation between past and present, takes into account historical
specificity. And translation participates in the political and cultural
dynamics between nations, and national groups.

For the conference, we're having four keynote speakers, each of whom will
speak for 30 to 35 minutes. Philippe Lejeune has agreed to come, and will
be giving his keynote in French. To represent the Pacific, this
conference's region, I have asked Noenoe Silva, a Hawaiian political
scientist and language scholar who recently published a book with Duke
University Press on language and resistance to colonialism in Hawai'i.
Her current work centers on writing the biographies and identifying the
anonymous writing of the Hawaiian editors and writers for the newspapers
in the 19th century. Barbara Harlow, who works on resistance literature
and life writing in such trouble spots as the Middle East, South Africa,
and Northern Ireland, will talk about the politics of translation and
life writing. And Alicia Partnoy, a survivor of the secret detention
camps where about 30,000 Argentineans "disappeared," is the author of The
Little School. Tales of Disappearance and Survival, and of the poetry
collections Little Low Flying/Volando bajito, and Revenge of the
Apple/Venganza de la manzana. She also edited You Can't Drown the Fire:
Latin American Women Writing in Exile.

Each day we will be holding general keynote panels, attended by everyone,
with three or four scholars speaking on a particular topic of strong
interest to people in life writing. Some of the people who have already
agreed to participate are Julia Watson, John Eakin, Sidonie Smith, Leigh
Gilmore, G. Thomas Couser, Margaretta Jolly, Zhao Baisheng, Susanna Egan,
and Bella Brodzki.

Because our primary concern will be striking up and sustaining
conversations between conference participants, papers should be limited
to fifteen minutes in length, to insure time in all sessions for
questions and full discussion. Panels on a single topic and submitted
together are welcome. (Panels and sessions will have three presenters.)
Given the theme of the conference, panels and individual papers may be
conducted or delivered in the language of the participant's choice
various arrangements will be made well before the conference to allow
other conference attendees to participate. All participants should also
inform the organizers about media requirements for presentations
live internet, visual projection, audio, and so on.

Abstracts for papers should be @300 words long. There should be an
abstract for each paper in a panel presentation. The deadline for
abstracts HAS BEEN EXTENDED to November 15, 2007. Though e-mail is
preferred, abstracts can be submitted by mail or fax to the following
numbers and addresses.

* * *
IABA Conference Call for Papers
c/o The Center for Biographical Research
Department of English
1733 Donaghho Road
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822
Fax number: 1-808-956-3774

We would be happy to answer questions. Contact the CBR at the same
numbers and addresses. And please forward this notice to other lists and

Craig Howes
Director, Center for Biographical Research
Co-Editor, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly
Professor of English
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