Southern Lives Meeting

Southern Lives at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing

The Southern Lives Network at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing is convened by Professor Elleke Boehmer and rises out of her British Academy funded Southern Imagining and Tracing Southern Latitudes projects. The Network brings together writers and scholars in the oceanic humanities, postcolonial and Global South studies and polar studies, to explore how the high southern latitudes are imagined through life-writing. We will be meeting online for the first time in December 2020 and will convene in person in December 2021 at OCLW. We are interested in how southern worlds (the southern extremities of the large continents, including Australia, and the southern oceans and islands) are often seen as interconnected or in relation to each other, including in biography, memoir and auto-fiction. This reciprocity forms an important part of the imaginative mapping that life-writing stimulates. 

Our research questions include:

  • What does it mean to view the world from a southern hemisphere perspective?
  • What perspectives do global southern writing and story-telling offer to northern imaginative norms, including that of the ‘Global South’?
  • How might the postcolonial and world literature fields be approached from a consciously antipodean or about-face viewpoint?
  • How do we build comparative and lateral links across southern spaces and lives, and what is the epistemological and environmental traction of doing so?

The inaugural meeting of the network will take place on Zoom, 8th December, 11:00 – 12:45:

11:00   Introduction

11:05   Professor Dan Hicks (Pitt Rivers Museum) with a "lightning" short talk about an object or two from the collection.

11:10   Six-minute quick showcase talks by network members introducing their work and, if they wish, linking to the network’s aims and questions.

12:30   General discussion, points in common, looking ahead to next year.








Call for Participants

We are open to potential participants from any discipline, including creative practice, and any geographical location.  

If you would like to join the meeting, please send a short summary (up to 400 words) of your research and how it engages with the Southern Lives Network to Dr Katherine Collins ( 16 October 2020.

If you wish, attach a photo also, whether of yourself or a southern subject, or both. The meeting will be conducted in English.