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AIAS Symposium: To tell a life

To tell a life: Symposium on life story psychology in honor of Tilmann Habermas

29-30 Sep 2022


This symposium will celebrate Tilmann Habermas and the strong impact of his work on the research field of life story psychology. The symposium will bring together some of Habermas’ long-term collaborators, former students and other established and junior researchers who investigate life stories, drawing on Habermas’ concepts and ideas. It will provide a unique chance to take stock and to discuss new perspectives for the field. The symposium is an opportunity to learn more about Tilmann Habermas’ contributions to life story psychology, and to experience how his ideas have inspired and will continue to inspire researchers in this field. 


Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University, Buildings 1630-1632, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. See location on a map.


  • Mélissa AlléDepartment of Psychology, Université de Lille 
  • Dorthe Berntsen, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus University 
  • Susan BluckDepartment of Psychology, University of Florida
  • Annette Bohn, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus University 
  • Christin Camia, Department of Psychology, Zayed University 
  • Robyn Fivush, Department of Psychology, Institute for the Liberal Arts
  • David PillemerDepartment of Psychology, University of New Hampshire 
  • Anne Scharling Rasmussen, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus University 
  • David C. Rubin, Department of Psychology, Duke University
  • Ali Tekcan, Department of Psychology, Boğaziçi University
  • Dorthe ThomsenDepartment of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus University 
  • Tabea Wolf, Department of Development Psychology, University of Ulm

Preliminary Programme


Thursday, 29 Sep 2022

13.30-14.00: Arrival/mingling

14.00-14.10: Welcome by Annette Bohn

14.10-14.50: Robyn Fivush: Conceptualizing coherence in personal narratives: How and why it matters for well-being

14.50-15.10: Susan Bluck: Getting a life: Twenty years later

15.10-15.40: BREAK

15.40-16.00: David Rubin: Tilmann knows best how to interpret lives told

16.00-16.40: Christin Camia: Themes of agency and communion when remembering parents in middle adulthood

16.40-17.00: Anne Scharling Rasmussen: The life story that is not being told: The memories that people would erase from their life story


Friday, 30 Sep 2022

8.00-8.30: Arrival/Morning coffee

8.30-9.10: Mélissa Allé: Life narratives and psychopathology: What life stories tell us about people experiencing mental disorders

9.10-9.30: Dorthe Berntsen: The mnemonic function of objects: How everyday objects can trigger life story memories

9.30-9.45: Short BREAK

9.45-10.25: David Pillemer & Dorthe Thomsen: Vicarious memories and life stories promote successful adaptation and well being 

10.25-10.45: Tabea Wolf: Biographies in the name of God: Exploring important autobiographical memories of members of christian orders 

10.45-11.05: BREAK

11.05-11.25: Ali Tekcan: Cultural life scripts and life stories of LGBTIQ+ and heterosexual individuals

11.25-12.05: Annette Bohn: Cultural coherence and life story development

12.05-12.15: Concluding discussion

12.15-13.00: LUNCH


The symposium is free of charge (including coffee/ tea during the breaks and lunch on Friday) and open for all – researchers, students and others interested in the topic. Please register below. Registration is mandatory to participate.

Click here for registration