The conference is rescheduled to 14-17 June 2022. Call of papers is closed.


If you already have an accepted abstract in the IABA conference, please follow these steps:

  1. sign in to your Oxford Abstracts account, open your submission and click on “Amend” on the top of the abstract window
  2. reply on the added question (choose if you wish to modify your abstract, leave it as it is or withdraw it). If you wish to modify your abstract, you can make the modifcations immediately or come back and modify later, until 30 November 2021
  3. click “submit” at the bottom of submission form to submit your reply.

Oxford Abstracts:


The conference team is aiming to have the conference as a live event in which participants attend the conference in person. The team is aware of the possible challenges of travel in June 2022 and is willing to discuss remote participation in cases where the travelling is hindered. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer the whole conference as an online event / in a hybrid format.

Call for papers (new submissions)

IABA World Turku 2022
Life-Writing: Imagining the Past, Present and Future
14-17 June 2022
Turku, Finland

SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory warmly welcomes proposals to the 12th IABA World Conference, which will be held at the University of Turku (Finland), June 14-17, 2022. Through the theme of Life-Writing: Imagining the Past, Present and Future, IABA World 2022 will explore the multiple temporalities shaping the dimensions of life storying and life writing research. Temporality impacts the writing and shaping of life narratives, as well as the ways in which we analyze life narrative documents. The temporal is at the core of how we understand the centuries-long histories of how the self is written about and the genealogy of life writing research. Temporality, however, does not mean only gazing to the past, but also understanding how the present moment and orientation to the future are visible in life writing and/or how history makes its presence known in different moments and spaces. The temporal approach also invites us to explore how the future is imagined in life narratives and to discuss our visions for the future of life writing studies.

This interdisciplinary conference encourages dialogues across boundaries of theory, methodology, genre, place, and time. The Conference invites not only traditional conference papers and panels, but also unconventional presentation formats, creative sessions, as well as artistic performances. We encourage cross-disciplinary and transnational contributions. Proposed works may consider life storying through themes including for example:

  • Narrating and imagining life courses (for example childhood, youth, and aging in life writing)
  • Ethics of storytelling
  • Cultural memory and societal change
  • Non-human life storying / Life writing in posthumanism
  • Autobiography, diary, letters, and life writing in historical research
  • The histories and futures of different genres of life writing
  • Digital history and the future of biographical and prosopographical research
  • Sensory and/or Emotive narratives
  • Life storying in popular culture (music, film, theatre, games)
  • Visual life narratives (photography, graphics, visual arts etc.)
  • Hidden/forgotten lives vs. Public/celebrated lives
  • Interrelations: Family and life writing
  • Life storying migrations, displacements, and belongings
  • Life writing illness and wellness / disability and ability
  • Imagining futures in life narratives
  • Life writing and artistic research
  • The histories and futures of life writing studies across disciplinary boundaries
  • Methods, genres, and definitions in life-writing/autobiographical/life story/ego-document research


We invite both 20 minute individual presentations and 90 minute full panel, roundtable, or workshop sessions. We encourage proposed full sessions to be interdisciplinary and international. Creative sessions and performances can also be proposed and if you are uncertain about how to submit these, please contact the organizers:

The conference language is English.

All presenters must submit a max. 300 word abstract and a 150 word bio.

Please note: when you propose a full session all the presenters must submit their own abstract to the system and mention that it is part of XXX session.

Abstract submission guidelines:

  • Register to Oxford Abstracts to submit
  • You may amend your submission until the final submission deadline. Please note that uncompleted abstracts will not be reviewed.
  • Remember to complete the abstract and answer all the required questions before the deadline.
  • If you have any questions regarding the submission process, please contact
  • Oxford Abstracts:

Practicalities and schedule:

Deadline for new proposals 30 November 2021
Notification of acceptance: by 22 December 2021

Deadline for confirming and modifying the submissions that are already in the OA system 30 Nov 2021

Registration (re)opens: 20 December 2021

Early bird fee until: 15 March 2022

Final registration by: 

30 April 2022 – abstract presenters
15 May 2022 – regular participants

The Conference Fees:

Participant type
Early bird fees
Late fees

270 EUR
320 EUR

Participant (reduced fee, dinner not included)
220 EUR
270 EUR

Student participant
220 EUR
270 EUR

Student participant (reduced fee, dinner not included)
170 EUR
220 EUR

Information about publication plans:

The conference team will publish a special issue of Biography in conjunction with the 2022 IABA Turku. More information on this during the conference.

Conference organizer: SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory, University of Turku

Conference co-organizers:  Åbo Akademi University, the City of Turku, International Institute for Popular Culture, and the Finnish Literature Society


Individual proposal + panel: traditional academic session with 3–4 participants, 20 min presentation + 10 minutes discussion. In full panel, we propose that the chair is one of the presenters.

Roundtable: 4–6 participants, with short presentations and then questions from the round-table organizers, dialogue between participants and then open discussion from the floor