Autotheory: Thinking Through Self, Body & Practice

Autotheory: Thinking Through Self, Body & Practice

26—28 October 2022

University of Glasgow and Tramway; In Person and Online

Guest Speakers: Dr Jane Gallop and Dr Lauren Fournier

Autotheory: Thinking Through Self, Body & Practice is a three-day digital and in-person exploration of the possibilities and potential of working, thinking and creating autotheoretically. The conference is organised by PhD students from the College of Arts and will be held across the University of Glasgow and Tramway and brings together artists, writers, performers, activists, theorists and the curious-minded from across disciplines, locations and backgrounds, aiming to build connection, understanding and excitement for an emerging way of ‘doing theory’.

In 2015, the term ‘autotheory’ rose to prominence with the publication of Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, eliciting a flurry of critical and academic attention. Yet the practice of blending self-representation with philosophical and theoretical engagements has a long history and rhizomatic roots, notably in the work of  Women of Colour and LGBTQ+ feminist writers and thinkers, for example Audre Lord, bell hooks, Cherríe Moraga, Christina Sharpe, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Comparable practices have arisen across time and place, across traditions of memoir and autobiographic writing, personal essay, creative nonfiction, criticism, autoethnography, activism, philosophy and critical theory, as well as in performance, visual art and film.

The conference includes papers, performances and workshops and a special collaboration with the Glasgow Women’s Library, as well as keynote and plenary addresses from Dr Lauren Fournier and Dr Jane Gallop. Dr Fournier is a writer and researcher working at the intersection of the arts, sciences and humanities whose 2019 Autotheory as Feminist Practice in Art, Writing, and Criticism (MIT Press) is the first monograph on autotheory as a genre. Dr Jane Gallop is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin and has written extensively on ‘anecdotal theory’, a practice that shares much with contemporary autotheory. She has published ten books and over a hundred articles and has been teaching feminist, literary and queer theory for almost fifty years.

Find out more, see the programme and register at

This event is supported by the University of Glasgow and the panel ‘Feminist Redux’ is sponsored by the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association (CWWA).

First published: 5 October 2022