Biography Workshop

School/Centre

National Centre of Biography

Contacts

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 11 am to about 12.30 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 ncb@anu.edu.au


Workshops 2019

28 February 2019 - Hans Renders: Old Lives, New Questions

26 March 2019 - Rhys Williams: From Carlyle to Plekhanov: The Role of the Individual in History

11 April 2019 - Peter FitzSimons: TBA (public lecture at 6 pm, China in the World Lecture Theatre, ANU)

30 May 2019 - Gwenda Tavan: Arthur Calwell, Ageing and the Defence of White Australia: A Psycho-Social Analysis

27 June 2019 - Ashley Barnwell: Family Secrets, National Silences: Intergenerational Memory in Settler Colonial Australia


 

Upcoming events

Hans Renders: Old Lives, New Questions

11am 28 Feb 2019

This workshop is about traditions and current questions in the world of biography. An assessment of the art of Life Writing in England and the United States,...

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Past events

Sophie Jensen: Azaria Chamberlain. 68 days. 591 objects

25 Oct 2018

Azaria Chamberlain lived only 68 days. However short her life, it was her death on 17 August 1980 that left an indelible mark on Australian culture and society...

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Peter Jones: Australia's Argonauts

27 Sep 2018

Peter will discuss the research and writing of Australia’s Argonauts, a narrative history of the 28 members of the first class to enter the Royal Australian...

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Christine Milne: Reflecting on ‘An Activist Life’

30 Aug 2018

Over the years I have written hundreds of press releases and speeches, yet writing a political autobiography was a challenging task. How does a private person...

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Christine Milne: Reflecting on ‘An Activist Life’

30 Aug 2018

Over the years I have written hundreds of press releases and speeches, yet writing a political autobiography was a challenging task. How does a private person...

» read more

Kim Mahood - The Writer as Cartographer

26 Jul 2018

‘I am someone who returns again and again to geography, as the writers of another generation returned repeatedly to Freud and psychoanalysis.’ This quote...

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Gareth Evans - Different Strokes for Different Folks

28 Jun 2018

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC has published both a political diary, Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary (2014), and a comprehensive...

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Joanna Gilmour & Kate Fullagar - Indigenous Lives Through Portraiture

31 May 2018

The talk focusses on the forthcoming Founding Pairs exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. It is the first production of an ARC Linkage grant on...

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Gabrielle Carey - Falling Out of Love with Ivan Southall

26 Apr 2018

This talk will explore the phenomenon of Ivan Southall and his influence on a generation of young readers and emerging writers, including his influence on nine...

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Ian Hancock: On Writing About Ainslie Gotto

29 Mar 2018

Ian Hancock will discuss the different lives and careers of Ainslie Gotto - as Prime Minister John Gorton's chief of staff, a company director with Drake...

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Fighting Words

20 Feb 2018

Can a book change the world? If books were integral to the creation of the imperial global order, what role have they played in resisting that order throughout...

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Updated:  13 February 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications