Konferenzen, Tagungen

Biofiction as world literature, KU Leuven

Deadline Anmeldung

Day 1 (15 September): Genre and gender

Day 2 (16 September): Genealogies and precursors

Day 3 (17 September): Truth and representation

Day 4 (18 September): Politics, oppression, negotiation


12:15 – 12:30

Welcome words (Laura Cernat and Ortwin de Graef)

12:30 – 13:30

Keynote 1 – Lucia Boldrini (Goldsmiths, University of London): Lives, Places, Worlds

Session chair: Hedwig Schwall, KU Leuven

13:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:30

Plenary Panel 1: Gendering Biofiction as World Literature

Panel convener: Julia Lajta-Novak, University of Vienna

  • Silvia Salino (University of Vienna): Anchee Min’s Signature: Gendered Diaspora in Becoming Madame Mao (2000) and The Last Empress (2007)
  • Ingibjörg Ágústsdóttir (University of Iceland): Re-Imagined ‘Hersagas’: The Portrayal of Auður the Deepminded and Guðríður the Far Traveller in Novels by Vilborg Davíðsdóttir and Margaret Elphinstone
  • Kim-Nicola Hofschröer (University of Bremen): Narrating White Masculinity in David Leavitt’s The Indian Clerk (2007)

15:30 – 16:00


16:00 – 17:30

Plenary Panel 2: Biofictions, entre frontières génériques et genrées

Session chair: Beatrijs Vanacker, KU Leuven

  • Hélène Barthelmebs-Raguin (University of Luxembourg): Écriture de vie(s) : pour une approche des biofictions féminines postcoloniales
  • Laurence Perron (Université du Québec à Montréal): Performer la biofiction d’enquête : lecture croisée de Schaeffer et Butler
  • Charline Pluvinet (Université Rennes 2): L’intimité apocryphe des autrices dans le roman contemporain

17:30 – 18:00


18:00 – 19:30

Plenary Panel 3: Virginia Woolf in Contemporary Biofiction – Transnational Perspectives

Session chair: Todd Avery, University of Massachusets Lowell

  • Monica Latham (Université de Lorraine): Virginia Woolf in the French Imagination
  • Elisabetta Varalda (Sapienza University of Rome): I Possess My Soul: Virginia Woolf in Italy
  • Nicole Xuan Chen (University of Endinburgh): “The Insane View of Life Has Much to Be Said for It”: Biofictional Illness Narratives Featuring “the Mad Genius” Virginia Woolf



12:00 – 13:30

Plenary Panel 4: Modernist Echoes and Connections

Session chair: Elke D’hoker, KU Leuven

  • Elles Rees (University of Oslo): Embodying Ibsen: Biofiction on Stage
  • Ronan Crowley (Aarhus University): Gonne Girl: Representing Maud in the 1930s roman á clef
  • Alexandre Bies (Independent Scholar): Le motif biographique dans l’oeuvre de Walter Pater

13:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:00

Keynote 2 – Alexandre Gefen (Université Paris 3 - Sorbonne nouvelle): La biofiction occidentale : une généalogie

Session chair: Nidesh Lawtoo, KU Leuven

15:00 - 15:30


15:30 - 17:00

Plenary Panel 5: Authorizing Early Modern European Women

Panel convener: James Fitzmaurice, Northern Arizona University

  • Sheila Cavanagh (Emory University): Taking Back Her Time: Artemisia Gentileschi on Stage and Page
  • Naomi J. Miller (Smith College): Imagining Shakespeare’s Sisters: Fictionalizing Mary Sidney and Mary Wroth
  • Sara Read (Loughborough University): Drawing on Jane Sharp and Sarah Stone to Create The Gossips’ Choice

17:00 - 17:30


17:30 - 19:00

Plenary Panel 6: The World of the Visual Artist in Biofiction

Panel convener: Julia Dabbs, University of Minnesota, Morris

  • Catherine Padmore (La Trobe University): Rendering the Stranger: Biofictional Representations of Border-Crossing Artists in Tudor England 
  • Sofie Behluli (University of Bern): Framing a Life as a Painting: Sackville’s Painter to the King (2018) and Cumming’s The Vanishing Man (2016) 
  • Kiera Lindsey (University of Technology Sydney): Ancient and Coterminous: Fact, Fiction and Wildflowers: The Lost Paintings and Forgotten Mediumship of Adelaide Ironside



12:00 – 13:00

Keynote 3 – Ann Jefferson (University of Oxford): Fiction’s Biographers

Session chair: Anneleen Masschelein, KU Leuven

13:00 – 13:30


13:30 – 15:00

Parallel sessions (Panels 7 and 8)

Panel 7: The Question of Limits: Biofiction Between Hagiography and Self-mythologization

Session chair: Pieter Vermeulen, KU Leuven

  • Karen Ferreira-Meyers (University of Eswatini): Biofictions of Jesus-Christ
  • Hicham Adiouani (Université Paris VIII): J.M. Coetzee from Biofiction to Autobiofiction
  • Jan Ceuppens (KU Leuven): Identity Theft. Appropriation, expropriation, and restitution in W.G. Sebald

Panel 8: Thinking Alternatively: Biofiction as History’s Witness

Session chair: Brecht de Groote, Ghent University

  • Laura Cernat (KU Leuven): Biofiction’s Melancholic Agency: Deep Time and the Return of History in the Works of Amin Maalouf and Colum McCann 
  • Rana Elbowety (KU Leuven and Cairo University): Alternate Lives and Reconfiguring History: Lessing’s Alfred and Emily
  • Tom Kellner (MLU Halle-Wittenberg): Yoram Kaniuk’s 1948: An Israeli Auto-Biofiction as world literature?

15:00 –15:30


15:30 –16:30

Keynote 4 – Robert Dion (Université du Québec à Montréal): Le biographique, la littérature et la présence au monde

Session chair: Ella Mingazova, KU Leuven & Liège University

16:30 –17:00


17:00 –18:30

Plenary Panel 9: Who Killed Truth, and Can Biofiction Do Anything To Resuscitate It?

Panel Convener: Virginia Rademacher, Babson College

  • Virginia Rademacher (Babson College): Biofiction’s Antidotes to Post-Truth Contagions
  • Alison Gibbons (Sheffield Hallam University): Fictionality and Perceptions of Subjective Truth at the Intersections of Autofiction and Biofiction
  • Todd Avery (University of Massachussets Lowell): Between the “strident streets of science” and the “open fields of fiction”: Lytton Strachey, Harold Nicolson, and the Art of the Case

18:30 –19:00


19:00 –20:00

Keynote 5 – Michael Lackey (University of Minnesota, Morris): Postmodern Truth and the Rise of Biofiction

Session chair: Tom Toremans, KU Leuven



12:00 – 13:00

Parallel sessions (Panels 10 and 11)

Panel 10: Reclaiming Censored Histories

Session chair: Pieter Boulogne, KU Leuven

  • Ksenia Shmydkaya (Tallinn University): Biofiction as Soviet literature? On The Crazy Ship and its passengers
  • Andrada Fătu-Tutoveanu (Babeș-Bolyai University): Becoming Carol I. Discovering Biofiction in Romanian Contemporary Literature

Panel 11: Biofiction as Collective Reflection

Session chair: Beatrijs Vanacker, KU Leuven

  • Ligia Tudurachi (Institut « Sextil Puscariu » de l’Académie Roumaine): Les vies des écrivains comme objet contemporain d’une biofiction en formule improvisée 
  • Gleya Maatallah (Université de Manouba): Annie Ernaux et l’auto-socio-biographie

13:00 – 13:30


13:30 – 15:00

Parallel sessions (Panels 12 and 13)

Panel 12: Weighing the Colonial Shadow: Introducing Nuance in Postcolonial Biofiction

Session chair: Núria Codina, KU Leuven

  • Daria Tunca (University of Liège): Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Modernist” Biofiction: Postcolonial or World Literature?
  • Rebecca Romdhani (University of Liège): Anticolonial Resistance Reverberating across Time and Space in Kei Miller’s Augustown
  • Elaine Hudson (Independent Scholar): Storytelling Borders in Stevenson Under the Palm Trees

Panel 13: Resilient Fictions: Remembering Europe at the Crossroads

Session chair: Carole Guesse, KU Leuven

  • Marleen Rensen (University of Amsterdam): Messages for Europe and the world: Re-imagining the legacies of George Orwell and Stefan Zweig 
  • Marjolein Corjanus (Independent Scholar): Entre témoignage et fiction: récits biofictionnels et le passage de témoin de l'Holocauste dans les romans de Tournier, Binet, Haenel et Guez
  • Camélia Paquette (Université de Sherbrooke): Le personnage historique nazi sous la plume contemporaine française

15:00 –15:30


15:30 –17:00

Plenary Panel 14: Unsettling the Colonial Frontier of Knowledge

Panel convener: Vilashini Cooppan, University of California at Santa Cruz

  • Vilashini Cooppan (University of California at Santa Cruz): Biofiction’s Biofabulative Edges
  • Marie-Christine Leps & Lesley Higgins (York University): Those “flash existences, those poem-lives”: the biofictions of Foucault and Ondaatje
  • Kelly Gardiner & Catherine Padmore (La Trobe University): The voyage out: Exploring wives in Australian biographical fictions

17:00 –17:30


17:30 –18:30

Closing keynote event with Colum McCann

Session chair: Ortwin de Graef, KU Leuven

18:30 –19:00

Final remarks


Registration is now open. Please click on this link to access the form: https://icts.kuleuven.be/apps/onebutton/registrations/9894

Please note that, unless you are a KU Leuven member, you will need to make a payment to complete your registration.

Registration fee: € 60.

Reduced rate for junior researchers: € 30.

Rate for non-presenters: € 15.

Registration will stay open until August 15th, 23:30 CEST. Please register at your earliest convenience.


  • Laura Cernat (KU Leuven)
  • Núria Codina (KU Leuven)
  • Ronan Crowley (University of Antwerp)
  • Ortwin de Graef (KU Leuven)
  • Brecht de Groote (University of Ghent)
  • Ilaria de Seta (KU Leuven)
  • Elke D’hoker (KU Leuven, MDRN)
  • David Martens (KU Leuven, MDRN)
  • Anneleen Masschelein (KU Leuven)
  • Ella Mingazova (KU Leuven)
  • Beatrijs Vanacker (KU Leuven)


  • Gert Buelens (University of Ghent)
  • Laura Cernat (KU Leuven)
  • Núria Codina Solà (KU Leuven)
  • Ronan Crowley (University of Antwerp)
  • Ortwin de Graef (KU Leuven)
  • Brecht de Groote (University of Ghent)
  • Elke D’hoker (KU Leuven, MDRN)
  • David Martens (KU Leuven, MDRN)
  • Anneleen Masschelein (KU Leuven)
  • Beatrijs Vanacker (KU Leuven)
  • Dirk van Hulle (University of Antwerp)
Quelle der Beschreibung: Information des Anbieters


Literaturgeschichtsschreibung (Geschichte; Theorie), Literaturtheorie, Poststrukturalismus, Gender Studies/Queer Studies, Postkoloniale Literaturtheorie, World Literature/Weltliteratur, Gattungspoetik, Autobiographie




Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) / University of Leuven
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) / University of Leuven
English Literature Research Group


Datum der Veröffentlichung: 02.08.2021
Letzte Änderung: 02.08.2021