Autofiction and the Question of the “Real”

  • Date: –16:30
  • Location: Universitetshuset, sal VIII
  • Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf and Dr. Alexandra Effe, Assoc Prof. Sofia Ahlberg, Prof. Dag Blanck, Prof. Paula Henrikson
  • Website
  • Organiser: Democracy and Higher Education
  • Contact person: Emma Clery
  • Seminarium

This event will feature talks by two leading specialists in the field of autofictional writing, Prof. Dr. Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf and Dr. Alexandra Effe. Welcome!

Serge Doubrovsky, who coined the term “autofiction” in 1977, once suggested that while autobiography was a mode for celebrities, this alternative, hybrid form of life-writing that combines fact and fiction could be a truly democratic genre. Critique - resistance to rigid systems and easy classifications - is integral to autofiction, and releases the potential for visions of change. But what of the wider political and ethical implications of autofictional texts that challenge the boundaries of “truth” and destabilize “reality”? Can they help us to navigate and understand the place of narrative, emotion, and fantasy in an age of “alternative facts”? What might a consideration of autofiction contribute to conversations around the politics of the “post-factual” within the university and beyond?

This event include a panel with respondents Sofia Ahlberg, Associate Professor at Department of English and Dag Blanck, Professor at Department of English.

Registration here.

Paula Henrikson, vice dean of the Faculty of Arts (opening remarks)

Prof. Dr. Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf, Germanistisches Institut, University of Münster, editor of Handbook of Autobiography/Autofiction (De Gruyter, 2019) 3 vols.

Dr. Alexandra Effe, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Oslo, contributing to the interdisciplinary research and teaching initiative ‘Literature, Cognition, and Emotions.’ As Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, she co-convened the project “Autofiction in Global Perspective.

Dr Effe has co-edited (with Hannie Lawlor) a new collection of essays, The Autofictional: Approaches, Affordances, Forms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), including an essay by Professor Wagner-Egelhaaf. Available through open access.

The event is organized by Professor Emma Clery, Department of English, Uppsala university in collaboration with the research program Democracy and Higher Education.