Presencing Connection: Life Writing and Personal Development

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


Even before the corona crisis, scholars in the social sciences as well as the humanities asserted that in spite of global interconnectedness, contemporary societies are in a crisis of connection (Way 2018, Drichel 2019). They argue that western modernity with its emphasis on the human being as an individual, autonomous subject has caused a loss of the primacy of relations, resulting in empathy fatigue and a rise in loneliness and depression, and they call for a paradigm shift in our perception of social relations.
As life writers attempt to construct a meaningful continuity of personal and collective histories, texts and contexts, life writing teaches lessons in how to make connections -- between people, events and different environments, but also between the past and a more connected, relational future.
In my presentation, I stage an encounter between the self-reflexive genre of life writing (exemplified by Kae Tempest and Clare Hastings) on the one hand, and recent theories of personal development and leadership (exemplified by Robert Kegan and Otto Scharmer) in order to show how life writing may contribute to promoting relational co-creation and possible ways out of the impasse of disconnection.
Gehouden opUniversita di Pisa
Mate van erkenningInternational