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Annual Conference on Biography

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2014 Sixth Annual Conference on Biography

Biography in its Time
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Elebash Recital Hall 

1 p.m. - 2 p.m.  Telling Musical Lives
Gary Giddins (Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams, Celebrating Bird), moderator. Thomas Brothers (Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism), Paul de Barros (Shall We Play That One Together?: The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland), Robert Hilburn (Johnny Cash: The Life).

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Biography and Literary Theory
Elisabeth Sifton (No Ordinary Men), moderator. Evelyn Barish (The Double Life of Paul de Man), Caryl Emerson (Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics).

4 p.m. - 5 p.m.  American Writers: The Fragility of Fame
Jay Parini (One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner), moderator. Hans Bak (The Long Voyage: Selected Letters of Malcolm Cowley, 1915-1987), Susan Cheever (E.E. Cummings: A Poet's Life), Dorothy Gallagher (Lillian Hellman: An Imperious Life).

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Biographers and History
Simon Winchester (The Men Who United the States), moderator. David Nasaw (The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy), Amanda Vaill (Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War), Brenda Wineapple (Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877).


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2013 Fifth Annual Conference on Biography

Writing Writers' Lives

Monday, March 18, 2013
1 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
Elebash Recital Hall

The Leon Levy Center for Biography is proud to present its 5th Annual Conference, "Writing Writers' Lives," with Hermione Lee in conversation with Gary Giddins, and panel discussions featuring sixteen eminent biographers: Blake BaileyGreg BellowR.B. BernsteinJeffrey S. CramerEric FonerRuth FranklinAnnette Gordon-ReedAlice Kessler-HarrisRichard LingemanMegan MarshallJohn MattesonPeter S. OnufDavid S. ReynoldsJoshua Rubenstein, Carol Sklenicka, and Steven Weitzman. Discussions will range from Biblical poets to the founding fathers to 20th century literary giants.

See the complete schedule, videos, and biographies of speakers for the 2013 Annual Conference on Biography.

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2012 Fourth Annual Conference on Biography

Varieties of Biography

Thursday, March 29, 2012
11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Elebash Recital Hall

The Leon Levy Center for Biography is proud to present its 4th Annual Conference, "Varieties of Biography," featuring novelist E.L. Doctorow and 15 eminent biographers, including Sylvia Nasar, Debby Applegate, Brad Gooch, and John Matteson, as well as graphic artists such as underground comics innovator Kim Deitch. Lectures and panel discussions will cover topics ranging from writing ancient biography to the uses of biography in contemporary fiction.

The full roster of biographers includes Gary Giddins, Neil Baldwin, David Evanier, Margo Jefferson, James Kaplan, Nancy Milford, James Miller, James Romm, Amanda Vaill, Katharina Volk, and Geoffrey Wolff, and graphic artists Miriam Katin, Matt Madden, Lauren Redniss, and Ariel Schrag.

See the complete schedule and biographies of speakers for the 2012 Annual Conference on Biography.

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2011 Third Annual Conference on Biography

Compromising Positions: Biography & Ethics

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Noon - 6:30 p.m.
Elebash Recital Hall

From The Aspern Papers to twenty-first century privacy issues: this year's annual conference focuses on the ethical questions that every biographer confronts. Featured participants include award-winning Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman and, most recently, Atlantic: The Biography of an Ocean.

Other speakers and panelists: Rachel Cohen, Scott Donaldson, Martin Duberman, Dorothy Gallagher, Brad Gooch, Rochelle Gurstein, Phoebe Hoban, Frances Kiernan, Honor Moore, David Nasaw, Mark Oppenheimer, John Palattella, Daniel Sharfstein, Alex Star, and more.

See the complete schedule and list of speakers for the 2011 Annual Conference on Biography.  

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2010 Annual Conference on Biography

Keynote Speaker: Arnold Rampersad

Friday, March 19, 2010
10:30am - 6:30pm
Elebash Recital Hall

The Leon Levy Center for Biography is pleased to announce that its annual Conference on Biography will take place on Friday, March 19th, 2010, at Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center, CUNY, featuring acclaimed author and MacArthur Fellow, Arnold Rampersad, author of books on Ralph Ellison, Jackie Robinson, and a two-volume biography of Langston Hughes.

Other participants include Patricia Bosworth (Columbia, Becoming Jane Fonda), Catherine Clinton (Queens University Belfast, Mrs. Lincoln: A Life), Gary Giddins (CUNY, Jazz), Molly Haskell (film critic, Frankly, My Dear), Langdon Hammer (Yale, Hart Crane and Allen Tate), Richard Howard (Columbia, Pulitzer prize winning poet, translator, essayist), Caryn James (film critic, What Catherine Knew), D.T. Max (New Yorker, The Family that Couldn't Sleep), Jed Perl (art critic, The New Republic; Antoine’s Alphabet), Andrew Sarris (prize-winning film critic, The American Cinema), Eric Salzman (composer, The New Music Theater), Ileene Smith (editor-at-large, Yale University Press), Amanda Vaill (Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins), Steve Wasserman (literary agent, former editor of the LA Times Book Review), and Brenda Wineapple (Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson).

See the complete schedule and list of speakers for the 2010 Annual Conference on Biography.  

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2009 First Annual Conference on Biography

New Forms: Biography for the 21st Century

Thursday, March 26, 2009
1:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Elebash Recital Hall

The first annual conference on biography at The Leon Levy Center for Biography will explore biography in all of its many guises. The conference schedule begins with a film screening and features talks by biographers working in a variety of genre and disciplines, ranging from literary biography and jazz studies to curatorial science.

See the complete schedule and list of speakers for the 2009 Annual Conference on Biography.  

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