University of Bamberg | April 29-30, 2022 | Via Zoom

Deadline: February 28, 2022

“Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” Vanessa Redgrave speaks these lines on stage, in the monologue play The Year of Magical Thinking , impersonating Joan Didion and quoting from her 2005 memoir on which the play is based .

Joan Didion died shortly before Christmas 2021, nearly 18 years after her husband John Gregory Dunne. No American writer has described the American condition through and because of her very own personal and idiosyncratic condition the way Didion has.

We therefore invite Didion fans and scholars to join us for a plurivocal, dialogic exploration of her broad oeuvre from a variety of perspectives and angles.

Let’s look back at a life and career, let’s investigate the plethora of themes and topics she has written about in diverse genres for some six decades, telling “stories in order to live.”

Let’s get together on Zoom for a 2-day symposium to gather approaches and ideas, and proceed with a first publication of collected essays, to be followed by more specialized, themed conferences (in person!) and publications over the coming years – years, we hope, of magical thinking, indeed.

Please send short suggestions (max 150 words) for 20-minute presentations (max) and a short bio note to by February 28, 2022.

Notification of acceptance by March 8, 2022.