Meet Our Conference Organizers

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Julie Rak

Julie Rak holds the Henry Marshall Tory Chair in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She is the author of the forthcoming False Summit: Gender in Mountaineering Nonfiction (2021),  Boom! Manufacturing Memoir for the Popular Market (2013) and Negotiated Memory: Doukhobor Autobiographical Discourse (2004). She is the editor of the “Identities” volume of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory (2020) and the collection Autobiography in Canada (2005). She has co-edited with Anna Poletti Identity Technologies: Constructing the Self Online (2014) in addition to special issues, articles and book chapters about nonfiction, theory and criticism. With Keavy Martin she edited the award-winning reissue of Inuk author Mini Aodla Freeman’s landmark memoir, Life Among the Qallunaat (2014). With Jeremy Popkin, she edited a collection of Philippe Lejeune’s essays translated into English, On Diary (2009) and she co-edited Mountain Masculinity: the Writings of Nello “Tex” Vernon-Wood, 1911-1938 (2008). Her latest collection, edited with Hannah McGregor and Erin Wunker, is the activist anthology Refuse: CanLit in Ruins (2018)With Bill Mullen, she edited a cluster of essays for Biography on the idea of academic freedom (2020). She is the Principal Investigator of a team with a SSHRC-funded research project, “Government Agents, Literary Agents: Inuit Books and Government Intervention, 1968-1985.” She is the Executive Board member for Canada for the International AutoBiography Association.

Orly Lael Netzer

Dr. Orly Lael Netzer is the Research Facilitator for the HM Tory Chair program for Life Writing at the University of Alberta, Canada. Her research focuses on life writing and ethics, practices of reading as bearing witness to creative forms of testimony, the politics of empathy as ethical recognition, and the colonial legacies and trajectories of testimony. She has co-edited special issues of Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly and a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, and her work has been published in Canadian Literature, and Postcolonial Studies. Orly has also served as an editorial assistant for a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, and is a co-founding and organizing member of IABA’s Graduate Student and New Scholar Network (SNS).

Amanda Spallacci

Dr. Amanda Spallacci is a Killam Laureate and lecturer who researches a variety of discourses and narratives about sexual assault. She engages with numerous fields such as: autobiography theory, Black feminist theory, psychoanalysis, memory studies, and narrative/rhetorical studies. Her research and publications concern contemporary Hollywood cinema, television, print culture, feminist histories, and life writing through the lenses of memory studies, trauma, affect, and critical race theory. She has published on sexual assault in A/B Autobiography Studies (2017), Studies in Testimony (2019), Arts (2019), and various edited collections.