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5th International Auto/Biography Conference in Mainz (July 27-31, 2006)

Auto/Biography and Mediation

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All forms of life-writing represent specific processes of mediation, thematically between the self and the world, technically between the author and the chosen medium of self-representation. Thematically, an auto-biography may mediate between individual positions and choices taken in life, in the sense of the critical concept of relational selves, or it may mediate between self and place as in imaginary geographies and eco-biographies. As such, auto-biographies are involved in literary, cultural, psychological, legal or political processes of mediation in which the auto-biographer becomes a mediator in intercultural, interethnic, and interracial affairs. An auto-biography can also mediate between different disciplines of the humanities, the social and natural sciences, neuro-science and medicine. Auto-biographical memory functions as a medium for time and reality. Technically, auto-biographers can choose from a wide range of media in which to present their lives: print media, performance, film and video, radio and tapes, or the internet. Many auto-biographers combine different media for intermedial effects, such as the inclusion of photography in texts, voice and music on the radio or tapes, sound and images in filmic auto-biography, music and dance in self-performances. Auto-biographical multi-media installations dissolve boundaries between genres and technologies of signification. The overall goal of auto-biography as mediation is to find some kind of resolution between different positions and the choice of media for the representation of life.

The fifth biennial IABA conference will explore such issues of "Auto/Biography and Mediation."

Where? Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
When? July 27-31, 2006

We invite proposals for individual papers and workshops within the range of these areas. We would like to encourage auto-biography scholars, especially from Africa and Latin America, to participate and to focus also on auto-biographical material outside of the Anglo-American canon.

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Contact: Prof. Alfred Hornung / Kerstin Vogel, M.A., Email:
5th International Auto/Biography Conference in Mainz (July 27-31, 2006), 21.03.2006
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