“Experimental Life-Writing”



22 April 2022 (Friday)

8.30-9.15        Registration (Institute of English Studies – IES, hall, ground floor)

9.15-9.25        Opening (main university building, first floor, Aula Leopoldina – AL)*

9.25-10.25      Plenary lecture 1 (AL)* [Chair: Vanessa Guignery]

Irene Kacandes (Dartmouth College, USA), “Paramemoir Revisited”

10.30-11.00    Coffee break (IES - room 215)

11.00-12.30    Parallel sessions 1 & 2 

Parallel session 1 (IES – room 207) [Chair: Vanessa Guignery]

Maria Antonietta Struzziero (Independent Scholar, Italy): “Writing the Self Between Hunting Ghosts and Hurting Bodies in Hilary Mantel’s Giving up the Ghost and Maggie O’Farrell’s I Am, I Am, I Am

Kateřina Valentová (University of Lleida, Spain): “Metaphor & Embodiment in Graphic Illness Narratives: Catalogue Baby (2021) by Myriam Steinberg and Hairless (2020) by Tereza Drahoňovská”

Paweł Wojtas (University of Warsaw, Poland): “Disability Life-Writing and Autotextuality in J.M. Coetzee’s Jesus Trilogy”

Parallel session 2 (IES – room 208)* [Chair: Dominika Ferens]

Hannah Van Hove (writer and researcher, Brussels, Belgium): “An Incidental Inventory of Breakdowns: on Experimental Women’s Writing, Archives and Labour”

Tomasz Basiuk (University of Warsaw, Poland): “Plunder. Menachem Kaiser’s Quest for Family Heirloom”

Dagmara Drewniak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland): “Expressing the Self Through Silence – Connie T. Braun’s Silentium and Other Reflections on Memory, Sorrow, Place and the Sacred

12.30-13.30    Lunch (IES - room 215)

13.30-15.00    Parallel sessions 3 & 4 

Parallel session 3 (IES – room 207) [Chair: Lech Zdunkiewicz]

Dominika Ferens (University of Wrocław, Poland): “Incorporated Cities: Formal and Social Fragmentation in D. J. Waldie’s Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir 

Martina Horakova (Masaryk University, Czech Republic): “Between Life Writing and Nature Writing: Australian Landscape and Eco-Memoir”

Martha Swift (University of Oxford, United Kingdom): “‘Hold your story lightly’: Reading the Relations Between Reader, Writer, and Character in Ruth Ozeki’s Autofictions” 

Parallel session 4 (IES – room 208)* [Chair: Jarosław Hetman]

Grzegorz Maziarczyk (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland): “In Things We Trust: Auction Catalogue as Life Writing”

Zuzana Fonioková (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic): “The Present and the Past Self in Innovative Life Writing: Second-Person Narration in Mary Karr’s Cherry

Wojciech Drąg (University of Wrocław, Poland): “The Self, the Database and Digital Biography: David Clark’s 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein

15.15-16.15    Plenary lecture 2 (IES – room 208)* [Chair: Wojciech Drąg]

David Clark (NSCAD University in Halifax, Canada): “Biography from the Outside: 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein and The End (Death in Seven Colors)

16.15-16.45    Coffee break (IES - room 215)

16.45-18.15    Session 5 (IES – room 208)* [Chair: Paweł Wojtas]

Helen Bain (King’s College London, United Kingdom): “Sylvia Plath and the Missing Foie Gras: How Subject, Author and Reader Collide to Create ‘Realness’ in Biofiction”

Elżbieta Klimek-Dominiak (University of Wrocław, Poland): “Queering Auto/biographical Comics: Experimental Representations of Sexual Trauma in Maria Stoian’s Take It as a Compliment

Kim Schoof (Open University in the Netherlands): “The Renegotiation of Narrative Optimism: Throwing New Light on the Literary Experimentation in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me with Berlant and Moten”

19.00-21.00    Dinner (main university building, ground floor, Klub Uniwersytecki KU)


23 April 2022 (Saturday)

10.00-11.00    Plenary lecture 3 (IES, room 208)* [Chair: Wojciech Drąg]

Teresa Bruś (University of Wrocław, Poland), “Cells of Energy: The Book, the Camera, and the Concept of Dust in Experimental Life Writing by Patti Smith”

11.15-13.15    Session 6 (IES, room 208)* [Chair: Vanessa Guignery]

Héloïse Lecomte (École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France): “The Stamp of Loss: Impressions of Grief in Karen Green’s Bough Down (2013)

Cédric Courtois (University of Lille, France): “: Staging Chaotic Coming of Age in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir"

Jarosław Hetman (Nicolaus Copernicus University of Toruń, Poland): “Life as a Form of Art in Paul Auster’s Works”

Joseph Darlington (Futureworks Media School, Manchester, United Kingdom): “From the Ashes: Life Writing in the Aftermath of House Fires in Daniela Cascella’s Singed (2017) and Steve Hanson and Richard Barrett’s The Acts (2018)”

13.15-14.15    Lunch (IES, room 215)

14.15-16.15    Online session 1 (IES, room 208)* [Chair: Wojciech Drąg]

Laura De La Parra Fernández (University of Salamanca, Spain): “The Lyric Essay as Life Writing: Negotiating Neoliberal Femininity”

Urszula Gołębiowska (University of Zielona Góra, Poland): “Episodic, Emotional, Associative – a Life Narrative in Mavis Gallant’s Linnet Muir Cycle

Lola Serraf (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona/École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Spain/France): “On the Use of Social Media in Holocaust Life-Writing: ‘emotional pedagogy’ in Eva.Stories (2019)” 

Ángela Rivera-Izquierdo (University of Granada, Spain): “Experimental Life-Writing in Caleb Klaces’s Fatherhood: Towards a Patricentric Écriture Masculine

Krystian Piotrowski (Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland), “The Many Lives of Anna Kavan: An Exercise in ‘Affectography’”

16.15-16.45    Coffee break (IES, room 215)

16.45-18.30    Online session 2 (IES, room 208)* [Chair: Vanessa Guignery]

Maïté Snauwaert (University of Alberta, Canada): “Mourning Memoirs as Experimental Life-Writing: Joan Wickersham’s The Suicide Index and Anne Carson’s Nox”

Hiba Moussa (Lebanese University, Lebanon): “The Auto/biographical Tact in Constructing the Dead Mother’s Voice”

Honorata Sroka (University of Warsaw, Poland): “Experimental Biography of Franciszka and Stefan Themerson”

Eva C. Karpinski (York University, Canada) and Elżbieta Klimek-Dominiak (University of Wrocław, Poland): “Malleable Embodiment: Experimental Body-Writing in Alison Bechdel’s The Secret to Superhuman Strength and Wanda Hagedorn’s Twarz, Brzuch, Głowa [Face, Belly, Head]”


18.30-18.45      Closing remarks (IES, room 208)

19.00+              An informal pub outing

24 April 2022 (Sunday)

10.00-12.30      A guided tour of Wrocław (meeting at IES)

* – event to be broadcast via Zoom - to receive the zoom link, please fill the form: https://forms.gle/CK4zYrpy8vLWnXUDA


IES – Institute of English Studies (Kuznicza 21-22)

AL – Aula Leopoldina (Plac Uniwersytecki 1)

KU – Klub Uniwersytecki (Plac Uniwersytecki 1)

All the conference venues are within 250 metres from one another.