Seminar Series

Auto/Biography and History

A series of seminar sessions led by Professor Barbara Caine.

Network participants

Danielle Celemajer, Tony Aspromorgous, Shane White, Jennifer Milam, Andrew Fitzmaurice

Limited Availability. Please contact for further information.


Past Seminars

Visual Manipulation and Auto/Biography

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Tuesday 25 February 2014
3-5 pm

Kevin Lee Room
Level 6, Lobby H
Quadrangle Building
the University of Sydney


This seminar will combine the work of two art historians researching the visual self-representation of royal woman at the French court during the seventeenth century.

Dr Gaehtgens (an independent scholar based at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles) explores how Anne of Austria used multiplied images as visual propaganda to change her image from a widowed queen to a self-assured regent. In turn, Dr De Vitis (National Art School) considers the theatrical performances of Elizabeth Charlotte as substantive acts of socio-political critique, calculated and incisive.

Discussion will focus on how the visual - in prints and performance - can be conceived as a form of writing biography.


Recovering untold stories

14 November 2013, 4-6pm
CANESSA Boardroom, Level 4, Madsen Building

This seminar will combine the work being done by Shane White on the little known Jeremiah G. Hamilton, 'the only Black millionaire in New York', with that being done by Laura Auricchio, from the New School in New York, seeking to re-interpret Lafayette and to re-insert him into his own time and place as a fallible human being.

Shane White, '"No Photograph, Howcum?": Writing a book about someone so obscure they didn’t even have a Wikipedia entry'

Laura Auricchio, 'Lafayette: Portrait of the American Hero as a French Man'


Putting yourself in the story

17 October 2013, 4-6pm
CANESSA Boardroom, Level 4, Madsen Building

The 'autobiographical turn' in humanities scholarship and the tendency of many contemporary scholars to link their own lives to their research has been the subject of much recent discussion. In this roundtable discussion, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Dany Celermajer and Barbara Caine will discuss their own work on autobiography within this framework. One of the questions on which they will reflect is how scholars make choices about positioning themselves as subjects in, in relation to, or outside their own research.