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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshops Semester 1, 2022
24 February 2022 - Rhys Williams: E.P. Thompson and the Writing of Biography
31 March 2022 - Barbara Minchinton: The Women of Little Lon: biographies of the unknown (Zoom only event)
28 April 2022 - Cathy Perkins: Writing the Shelf Life of Zora Cross
26 May 2022 - Gary Werskey: Falling Short: Learning from My Shortcomings as a Biographer
30 June 2022 - Glenn Mitchell: The Man Billy Hughes Hunted Down: The Curious Case of Francis Hugh Snow, the alleged enemy trader
28 July 2022 - Katie Pickles: Beyond Women’s Suffrage: Writing a New Biography of Kate Sheppard
25 August 2022 - Dean Kotlowski: The Private Lives of Public Figures: The Wendell Willkie-Irita Van Doren Affair and the Responsibilities of a Biographer
29 September 2022 - Eleanor Hogan: Into the Loneliness: The Unholy Alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates
27 October 2022 - Jim Davidson: Emperors in Lilliput: Clem Christesen of Meanjin and Stephen Murray-Smith of Overland
24 November 2022 - Filip Slaveski: Defying Stalin/ism in Death – the unlikely case of Oleksandr Shumskyi