CFP “Life-Writing and Celebrity”

Posted on Jan 23, 2016

“Life-Writing and Celebrity: Exploring Intersections”

Proposals are invited for the “Life-Writing and Celebrity” panel at the Conference of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE)

22-26 Aug 2016, Galway, Ireland

Co-convenors: Sandra Mayer, University of Vienna, Austria, Julia Lajta-Novak, King’s College London, UK,

In recent years, life-writing and celebrity studies have separately evolved into vibrant and innovative areas of Humanities research, but the connections between these fields have, so far, been insufficiently addressed. This seminar invites papers that focus on the intersections of life-writing and celebrity in a historical as well as a contemporary English-language literary and cultural context, exploring, among others, ideas of image, persona, self-fashioning, myth, mediatisation and commodification. We will address the influence of these concepts on the writing and reading of lives. Highlighting possibilities of theoretical and methodological cross-fertilisation, the seminar will promote new interdisciplinary research.

We invite proposals of 250 words by 14 February 2016.

Potential themes addressed may include but are not limited to:

  • Celebrity lives in the fields of literature, politics, entertainment and public life
  • Lives of celebrities in earlier historical periods
  • The politics of writing celebrity lives
  • Celebrity fan culture and life writing
  • The celebrity as life writer (i.e. celebrity memoirs etc)
  • Celebrity lives in historical/biographical fiction
  • Celebrity lives and cultural/national/gender identity
  • Media images of celebrities as life-writing
  • Writing celebrity lives ‘from below’

The conference organisers invite abstracts for individual 15-minute presentations.

We plan to publish selected papers from the conference.

Delegates will be informed whether their paper has been included in the programme by 31 March 2016.

Programme, travel and registration information will be published at


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