Writing Lives Together: Romantic and Victorian Biography

A Conference at the University of Leicester, 18th September 2015

Life writing conference


Thank you to all who attended this very successful conference. We were delighted by the number of attendees, the high standard of papers, and lively discussion. Look out for the special issue of Life-Writing coming soon.

Keynote speakers:

Prof. David Amigoni (Keele),  'Writing Lives Together in the Darwin family, 1804-1876: gender, heredity and authority'

Dr. Daisy Hay (Exeter), ‘Adventures of an Unromantic Biographer’

Recent biographical criticism and biographies of the Romantics and Victorians have moved away from a focus on the single life to encompass different creative relationships: the friendship circle; the literary family; the local or religious community. In so doing they are returning to the practices of Romantic and Victorian biographers who often ‘wrote Lives together’, both in the sense of focusing on multiple subjects and in adopting collaborative modes of authorship. Our conference will reflect on these and other kinds of ‘writing together’, in Romantic and Victorian life-writing – for instance how life-writing might bring together Romantic and Victorian subjects/authors; or different disciplines, materials or media. Panels will include ‘Women Writing Together’, ‘Religious Interactions’, ‘Intellectual Families’, ‘Literary Communities’, ‘Creative and Digital Projects’, ‘Collaborative Suppressions and Experiments’, and individual authors including Dickens and the Brontë sisters.

For a full programme click here

We are delighted to announce that we will be including a selection of papers from the conference in a special issue of the journal Life Writing to appear in 2017.

Papers will be of 20 minutes duration. Although the CFP has now closed, there is still time to submit a poster for consideration. Posters will be displayed in the foyer and there will be an opportunity for you to present your research informally with reference to your poster, and to make it available online after the event. (There is more information on creating a postgraduate research poster here.)  You will find two examples by Leicester PhD candidates, Katie Heathman and Kristan Tetens, here. If you send your powerpoint slide to us via email we will print and display your poster and cover the cost.

The registration fee will be £35 (including lunch), with £20 as the concessionary rate: click here to register. Registration will close on 10 September 2015.

Due to the generous support of the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) and the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS), we have been able to offer six conference fee waivers for postgraduate students or postdoctoral/unwaged researchers who have had proposals/posters accepted and who undertake to promote the conference on social media. The successful applicants were: Emily Bowles, Kimberley Braxton, Emma Butcher, Lucy Johnson, Lucy Ella Rose and Andrea Selleri: they will be tweeting using #WritingLivesTogether.

Please send any enquiries to Dr. Julian North and Dr. Felicity James.


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