First-Person Writing, Four-Way Reading

A three-day interdisciplinary research conference on literature, history, medical humanities & ethnography

1-3 December 2011
Birkbeck, University of London, UK


Scientific Background

This Research Conference is part of the 2011 programme of Strategic Activities of the Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation. It is an exercise in interdisciplinarity in relation to the fields of history, literature, medical humanities and ethnography with a common interest in a certain kind of textual material.

The term ‘writing’ is meant literally: the first-person material on which the project focuses is textual rather than oral, whether published or unpublished. The time-period covered is from the early modern period to the present day. Though the language of the conference will be English, material in any language may be referred to (using originals, translations and/or parallel texts).

The term ‘reading’ is meant primarily in a metaphorical sense: how do scholars from these four fields investigate, interpret or, more broadly, ‘use’ first-person texts; what differences can be found in their methods and applications; and how can they debate these commonalities and differences in fruitful ways? It is hoped that, after the conference, further international and interdisciplinary research collaboration will be developed.

Summaries presenting the topic from the viewpoint of the four fields in turn can be found here.

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For further information about the conference, you may contact:

Local Contact
Professor Naomi Segal

ESF Contact

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