[Marti Friedlander: Rita Angus (1970)]
The Uses of Life Writing
Panel of Researchers:
- Bronwyn Lloyd
I'm a freelance writer and PhD student living in Mairangi Bay in Auckland, New Zealand. By day I write about New Zealand art but my spare time is devoted to making limited edition books for Pania Press, a bijoux publishing company that I co-founded in 2006. You can find the link to our website here.
I'll be talking today about the subject of my Doctoral research, Rita Angus, and particularly the archive of letters she wrote to Douglas Lilburn, which the latter bequeathed to the Turnbull Library at his death. How ethically justified are we in making use of such intensely private materials? More to the point, how valuable are they in interpreting the work of a painter? You can find a link to a presentation I gave on the subject at a Te Papa symposium in 2008 here.
- Paul Fenton
Paul started university life as a mature student following work as a Control Systems Technician for a petrochemical company. He completed his BA as a Massey Scholar in Psychology with courses including English, Sociology, and, not surprisingly, psychology. He went to the University of Auckland as a postgraduate psychology student before coming back to lead the Student Learning Centre team at Massey Albany. After spending some time as Retention Manager at a university in Melbourne, he came back to the University of Auckland to complete his honours degree in clinical psychology and neuropsychology, being awarded a UoA Doctoral Student and Top Achievers Scholarship, and starting his PhD while tutoring part-time. Following the birth of his son Dominic, he took on a project management role at Te Wananga o Aotearoa before being enticed back to Massey Albany managing the enrolments, international, retention and scholarships centres while continuing his PhD in psychology (part-time) on the topic of the male experience of miscarriage. He is married to Stephanie, and his son Dominic is 4.
The session today will begin with each of our speakers talking briefly – for 10 to 15 minutes – about a research project they’ve undertaken which involves using either biographical or autobiographical materials (or both). They'll discuss some of the possible pitfalls of this area of study, but will also - I hope - share with us some of the pragmatic strategies they've evolved as a result.
After that we’ll go into a q-&-a session where you can quiz them on the details of the case studies, but also ask their advice on your own research projects.