In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Lifelines

Call for Papers: "The Lives of Objects" Oxford Centre for Life-Writing Wolfson College, Oxford 20-22 September 2013

The application of life-writing to objects lies at the heart of many recently published biographies, memoirs and histories, including Neil MacGregor's A History of the World in 100 Objects (2010), Edmund De Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (2010), Steven Connor's Paraphernalia: The Curious Lives of Magical Things (2011), Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History (2003) and Lorraine Daston's Biographies of Scientific Objects (2000). Biographies of objects raise important methodological issues pertinent to life-writing, regarding narrative, structure and chronology; the representation of change and improvement; and the influence of objects in human lives, communities and material history. The study of "object biographies" continues to generate fruitful areas of academic research, including Bill Brown's work on "thing theory" (2001); Chris Gosden and Yvonne Marshall's 1999 study of "the cultural biography of objects" (in relation to archaeology); and explorations of value and the exchange of objects in cultural and material history, such as the essays included in Arjun Appadurai's edited volume The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (1986).

The "Lives of Objects" conference will be an interdisciplinary, international event, comprising four plenary lectures and panels of 20-minute papers from a wide range of backgrounds. Papers may offer biographical accounts of particular objects (including, but not limited to, portraits, sculpture, scientific instruments, archaeological finds, domestic artefacts, and items of clothing); reflect on the methodology of object biographies; outline existent projects concerned with objects' lives; consider the influence of life-writing on material history and/or archaeology; explore the relationship between curating and auto/biography; address the history of the book or the history of museums; or any other facets of the conference theme. The organisers also invite submissions for an informal workshop, in which delegates will present and discuss the lives and meanings of individual objects.

ABSTRACTS: Please submit a 200-word abstract of your conference paper or poster session (making it clear which format your submission will take) by 31 January 2013 to OCLW's Research Fellow and Administrator, Dr. Rachel Hewitt ( You will be informed by email by Friday, 15 March 2013 whether your paper or submission has been accepted. Registration for the conference will open shortly afterwards. [End Page 446]

The Oral History Society & Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research Call for Papers: "Corporate Voices: Institutional and Organisational Oral Histories"

A Conference at the University of Sussex • Friday 5th-Saturday 6th July 2013

What is the business of oral history? What is the relationship between oral history and business? Why have institutions and businesses wanted to record their histories? And how have they used their oral history?

This conference opens up our traditional focus on community and domestic lives to explore the hidden histories of private companies and business, public institutions, hospitals, universities, museums, public utilities, local and national governmental, campaigning bodies and charities. We would like to hear about what interviews with those who work in institutions and organisations tell us about organisational history and memory, the institutional or educational community, and more.

This conference will bring into dialogue historians of business, education, and health with oral historians who have been commissioned to work with and within institutions to create and document their oral history. We would like to hear from those, too, who work in public history, scholars of business memoir or biography, and ideally, institutional commissioners or archivists, and interviewees themselves. We also invite honest and practical sharing of experiences of negotiating with private sector funders or large institutions, and of working with those with high public profiles, and we encourage discussion of how these experiences relate to working with the media and the general public, which are often part of the package of an institutionally-framed oral history. We invite proposals for papers, panels, presentations, workshops, posters, and displays on the following topics:

  • Personal Voices—the face of a business: managing directors, exemplary employees, disgruntled employees, minorities, majorities; customer or service user perspectives; interviewee perspectives; living with or growing up with...