Lauren Cooper

Research title: Autotheory from Memoir to Manifestos and Zines

Research Summary

Autotheory is an emergent term being used to describe works that merge theory with autobiography. The term was popularised by the 2015 publication of Maggie Nelson’s genre-bending memoir The Argonauts and is trending in scholarship.

My research project expands the definition of autotheory, by considering its relationship with other ‘auto’ modes of writing – such as autofiction, autoethnography and autohistoria-teoría - and by posing zines and manifestos as autotheory. In particular, I explore the feminist and socio-political interventions that autotheory makes.


Cooper, L. (2021) ‘Review: Autotheory as Feminist Practice in Art, Writing, and Criticism’, Contemporary Women's Writing,




‘Life After Rape: Refusing to Die and Reconceptualising Rape Survival through Autotheory’, Afterlives, University of Glasgow Postgraduate Arts Conference, University of Glasgow (online), 1-3 June 2020

‘Women's memoir as écriture féminine: reclaiming female sexuality’, CWWA 2018 Conference: Writing Wrongs, Northumbria University, 20-21Sept 2018


‘Writing Autotheory’, Postgraduate Writing Workshop, University of Glasgow (online), 14 July 2020


2020-2021 - English Literature, 1B The Novel and Narratology

Additional Information

Organisational Committees

Membership Secretary – Contemporary Women’s Writing Association