Scholarly work in the field of auto/biography studies over the past thirty years or so has acknowledged how individual identities are constructed and performed through auto/biographical practice.  For example, in the early 1990s, prominent life writing scholar Paul John Eakin noted the shift ‘from a documentary view of autobiography as a record of referential fact to aperformative view of autobiography centered on the act of composition.’[1]

So, while the notion of performance in life narrative is not new, in an era when authenticity is a valued commodity, it is now more important than ever to scrutinise how authors, artists, and producers perform identities in life narrative texts.  What is at stake in such performances?  Therefore, this special edition of LiNQ, entitled ‘Performing Lives’, will focus on continuing and furthering this investigation.

We call for scholarly articles, creative fiction and non-fiction, essays, poems and book reviews that explore this theme of ‘Performing Lives’.  We invite work that engages with the idea of performance both in a literal, embodied sense – for example in the theatre, in performance art, in reality TV, and on film – but also in a more metaphorical, literary sense such as in memoir, autobiography, biography, and multimodal forms such as online and graphic lives.

- How does the recent proliferation of life narrative into a range of media raise new questions about how identities are performed?

- How do issues such as embodiment, agency, audience, authority, authenticity, reality, and public/private spheres intersect with the performance of identities in life narrative texts?

- How are performances in life narrative texts mobilised for ideological, political and/or commercial purposes?

For creative writing submissions, we particularly welcome polished pieces that address these questions in forms including creative non-fiction, prose fiction and poetry (for further guidelines, refer to ‘What we’re looking for’ at the Creative Nonfiction journal website: http://www.creativenonfiction.org/thejournal/submittocnf.htm).

Submissions and enquiries can be directed to melanie.hocking@flinders.edu.au.  Alternatively, direct your submission through the portal in the LiNQ website www.linq.org.au.

Articles must be no longer than 6000 words.  Include a brief abstract of the article or creative submission (no more than 75 words) and a 50-word biographical note.  Reviews are also welcome.   Follow MLA citation style and format.  All contributions should be submitted as a Microsoft Word file, double-spaced in 12 point font.  All images must be used by permission only.

SUBMISSIONS CLOSE: 31 August 2012 for Issue 39 December 2012.

A PDF flyer is available here.

[1] Paul John Eakin. Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.  p.143