In Nordic and Baltic countries, life writing studies is not a separate field of degree
study nor is it offered on the level of minor. At the same time, it is a well-established
and internationally relevant field of research with high Nordic and Baltic visibility.
In participating institutions, life writing studies and memory studies are included in
the curriculum to a limited degree (University of Tartu, Turku University, Uppsala
University) or not included at all (University of Latvia, Liepaja University, University
of Vilnius). Partner institutions include both university departments with some
previous teaching experience in the field (life writing studies at University of Tartu
and University of Turku, creative and poetic ethnography at Uppsala University),
institutions with interest in the field but no previous teaching experience (University
of Vilnius, Liepaja University) and research institutes with outstanding competencies
in the field (Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art, University of Latvia and The
Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore) that have not as yet been integrated
The planned course offers a possibility to present life writing studies as a vibrant
and diverse field of study in the Nordic and Baltic countries. It introduces a variety of
disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and engagement with a high number
of different sources and materials. Building on previous contacts and cooperation,
based on current research in the field and taught by a team of internationally
renowned Nordic and Baltic scholars in the field, the course provides insights into
current and most topical research foci, data and source collection methods and
systematization and methodological developments in the field of life writing studies
and memory studies.
Pooling the competencies of the project partners makes possible to offer a course
that a) supports gaining familiarity with Nordic and Baltic life writing and life writing
research and collection that would be difficult to achieve by any course offered
by partner institutions or elsewhere in Nordic and Baltic countries b) introduces a
wide range of current methods and approaches to life writing, employed in different
disciplinary contexts and demonstrates the ways in which they come together to
form the interdisciplinary field of life writing studies and c) offers the possibility to
apply different methods and approaches through a variety of practical tasks, among
them novel digital methods (digital archiving and date processing) and different
creative approaches (poetic ethnography, creative life writing) that the participants
can practice during the course.
The network brings together a representative range of Nordic and Baltic institutions
with varied disciplinary affiliations and competencies in life writing and memory
studies. Participating institutions have been chosen according to the following criteria
a) previous experience of teaching life writing and memory studies related courses,
also in interdisciplinary settings b) strong research competencies that have high
application potential in teaching life writing and memory studies but have not as yet
been put into practice c) teaching and research competencies concerning novel
approaches and teaching methods that have great potential in diversifying and
enriching teaching in the field and in the humanities in general. Partner institutions
include university departments with some previous teaching experience in the
field (University of Tartu, University of Uppsala, University of Turku), those with
interest in but no previous inclusion of the field (University of Liepaja, University
of Vilnius, Kaunas Faculty) and research institutes (Institute of Literature, Folklore
and Art, University of Latvia; The Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore) with
outstanding competencies that have not as yet been integrated into teaching. The
network includes scholars, educators and archivists from the disciplines of history
and cultural history, ethnology, literary studies, folklore studies, and creative writing.
Their engagements with the field extend beyond disciplinary scope, exemplifying the
trans- and interdisciplinary nature of the field in a variety of ways (e.g., teaming up
to teach interdisciplinary courses, developing and putting into practice new research
and collection methods and applying new technologies).
The purpose of the network is advancing the teaching of interdisciplinary life writing
studies between partner institutions and in Nordic and Baltic higher education.
Network activities are targeted toward 1) sharing teaching experience and best
practices from varied disciplinary settings as well as on interdisciplinary level 2)
supporting the integration of current research in the field into teaching 3) supporting
the application of novel research and teaching methods into teaching (e.g., digital
archiving and analysis of life writing materials and biographical data and creative
teaching methods such as creative life story writing and poetic ethnography).
The purpose of the network is advancing the teaching of inreative life writing) that the participants
can practice during the course.