Biography Workshop

The Biography Workshop was established by the National Centre of Biography in response to requests by practitioners, students and readers of biography for a forum to discuss a range of methodological issues relating to biography. The group considers recent and long-standing questions about biography.

As Ray Monk and others have pointed out, there is an expanding body of academic literature on biography which asks some of the same questions that Dr Samuel Johnson addressed in his two famous essays on biography Rambler (1750) and Idler (1759):

Is biography fiction?

Who deserves to have a biography written of them?
What details are appropriate to be included in a biography? 

Is it possible to know with certainty the inner life of another?
What are the moral or ethical responsibilities of biographers towards subjects, social sensitivities and the truth?

The Biography Workshop meets at noon to 1.30 pm at the ANU and offers the opportunity for informal and relaxed discussion with some of Australia's best biographers in a stimulating environment.

If you are interested in attending any of the sessions, please contact us at

Program for 2017

23 February Sue Taffe: 'A White Hot Flame': A Life of Mary Montgomerie Bennett

30 March Libby Connors: Warrior: A Legendary Leader's Dramatic Life and Violent Death on the Colonial Frontier

11 April Gideon Haigh: on Victor Trumper

27 April John Murphy: Evatt: A Life

25 May Garry Sturgess: Biography as a documentary film: The producer in conversation with his subject, Barry Jones

29 June Nick Brodie: Kin and 1787

27 July Peter Monteath: Red Professor: The Cold War Life of Frederick Rose

31 August Peter Rees TBA

28 September Katherine Aigner Lorraine Mafi-Williams: An Aboriginal activist and filmmaker from northern New South Wales.

26 October Karen Fox TBA

Updated:  15 February 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications