Special Issue "Indigenous Auto/Biographies: Musings in Histories, Contemporalities and Futurisms"

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778). This special issue belongs to the section "Biographies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2023 | Viewed by 2396

Special Issue Editors

School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
Interests: Indigenous peoples; geography; gender; sexualities; ageing; auto/biographies
School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
Interests: Indigenous storying; Indigenous literature; publishing; digital platforms; communities of praxis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Genealogy invites essays on the topic of “Indigenous Auto/Biographies: Musings in Histories, Contemporalities, and Futurisms”. Authors of Indigenous auto/biographies draw material and make sense of experiences from their personal, social, cultural, and political lives—this may be true too of those who write biographies of Indigenous peoples although they themselves are not Indigenous. We invite contributors to explore the social, cultural, political, ethical, and personal ramifications of these practices. We seek articles examining all forms of Indigenous representation in auto/biography from a variety of formats, including but not limited to memoirs, stage and screen plays, comic acts, poetry, film, and scholarship. Contributors may think about how auto/biography has been documented and/or published in historical and contemporary contexts and what the future might hold in this space. Are Indigenous stories limited by audiences? Do Indigenous lives expand forms of telling? How does the publishing or production of auto/biographies impact the stories told?  Are authors using Indigenous auto/biography as a platform of identity, representation, activism, culture, truth-telling? Do Indigenous narratives reinforce or challenge audiences/readers opinions on key matters? What is the value of Indigenous auto/biography? What innovations have been made in this field? Are there social/cultural criticisms and social/cultural meanings in works produced by non-Indigenous people?

We hope that this Special Issue provides an opportunity for scholars to explore past, present, and future uses of these genres, and the potential for expansion and extension of Indigenous auto/biography. With this issue, we aim to open new perspectives on the multiplicity and plurality of memories, and who and what gets to remember and be remembered, and how that is transacted, and translated.

This Special Issue is wide in focus and encourages Indigenous authorship from across the disciplines. Topics might include:

  • Identity and auto/biography;
  • Activism in auto/biography;
  • Alternative narratives;
  • Fact or fiction;
  • Life story as a telling of the past and its relationship to futures;
  • Controversial lives;
  • Teaching Indigenous auto/biography;
  • Indigenous auto/biography as data;
  • Indigenous auto/biography praxis;
  • Genealogy of Indigenous auto/biography.

Dr. Corrinne Sullivan
Dr. Sandra Phillips
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • indigenous
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • first nations
  • identity
  • representation
  • cultural currency
  • activism
  • storytelling
  • genealogy
  • kinship
  • community
  • futures

Published Papers (1 paper)

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“Who’d Have Thought?”: Unravelling Ancestors’ Hidden Histories and Their Impact on Dharug Ngurra Presences, Places and People
Genealogy 2023, 7(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy7020041 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1230
As a means of opening the lid on transgenerational silencing—which was a survival strategy for thousands of Indigenous families against intended cultural genocide—while balancing the place of auto/biography in that journey, this paper focuses on the impact of Ancestors’ hidden histories and how [...] Read more.
As a means of opening the lid on transgenerational silencing—which was a survival strategy for thousands of Indigenous families against intended cultural genocide—while balancing the place of auto/biography in that journey, this paper focuses on the impact of Ancestors’ hidden histories and how the discovery of those histories drives complex identifications when woven with Presences, places, and people on Dharug Ngurra/Country. Using my own family’s recently uncovered early colonial Ancestral storying, histories that involve Dharug traditional custodian, African slave, and Anglo characters, some as First Fleet arrivals, the paper considers the place of auto/biography as a form of agency that brings past into presence, and which, in turn, opens opportunities to heal, decolonise, and transform Dharug and, more broadly, Indigenous communities, their knowledges, practices, and ontologies. When this activation involves most of the metropolis known as Sydney, Australia, we recognise its transformative potential to change non-Indigenous people’s perspectives. When we recognise auto/biography as a form of ‘truth-telling’, it allows a space to re-story relationality, both human and other-than-human, and restores Indigenous presence into Ngurra for biodiverse justice in a climate-changing world. Addressing these matters through poetic multimedia allows a place of safety between the pain and the healing. Full article
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