Teaching Life Writing: a Virtual Conference was always meant to be born-digital. One of the goals of the conference is to build and enrich the life writing scholarly community, a large group of researchers from around the world who meet at conferences, work on projects together and read each other’s work. The pandemic has meant that many opportunities for scholars to meet have been curtailed, and so Teaching Life Writing aims to be a way for scholars in life writing, or scholars who are new to the field, can connect online
Life writing is an interdisciplinary and dynamic field of research, and so to nurture the connections needed in order for the field to thrive, the Teaching Life Writing conference was designed for an Around the World format so that scholars in different time zones and many different locations can share their work with each other.
To make the format conducive to sharing, the conference is designed to allow for as much interaction as possible in a digital format, so that participants and observers can interact with each other and discuss issues of interest to life writing and pedagogy. There are no webinars. Only the keynote presentations are pre-recorded so that you can watch or listen to them at your convenience, and the keynotes will be in a live panel to answer questions and speak more with each other and all of you. All other panels and roundtables are live on Zoom, in real time. There are breaks so that you can rest, and breaks with themed breakout rooms that you sign up to enter, so that you can talk with colleagues and speak more about the conference (or your pets, or just catch up). Our book publishing sharing event and our concluding celebration are more ways to allow the participants and observers meet as a community.
If you want to be able to follow all the conference events, including those not in your time zone, you are welcome to read and post to the blog or tweet about the conference using #teachinglifewriting2020 . This way, we hope that conversations about conference issues can build in a number of ways, despite the challenges different locations and time zones can cause.
Teaching Life Writing: a Virtual Conference is designed to bring us together at a time when so many of us must be apart. We invite you to join us in what will be a rich and generative set of conversations about life writing and teaching.