Biography Vol. 39 No. 2 (2016)

Figure 6. From page 48 of Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability, by Srividya Natarajan and S. Anand; Art by Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam. © Copyright 2011 and reproduced by permission of the authors.

From Radical Graphics: Martin Luther King, Jr., B. R. Ambedkar, and Comics Auto/Biography in this issue. Figure 6. From page 48 of Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability, by Srividya Natarajan and S. Anand; Art by Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam. © Copyright 2011 and reproduced by permission of the authors.

This quarter’s Biography contains the following interdisciplinary scholarly works including Pramod K. Nayar’s article on ‘radical’ graphic novels:

From Radical Graphics: Martin Luther King, Jr., B. R. Ambedkar, and Comics Auto/Biography in this issue. Figure 2. From page 58 of King: A Comics Biography, by Ho Che Anderson. © Copyright 2010, and reproduced by courtesy of Fantagraphics.

In the midst of the memoir boom of the late twentieth century, a sub-genre
in a wholly new medium made its presence felt: the graphic memoir and auto/biography. Using Ho Che Anderson’s King (1993–2002, published in a single edition in 2010) about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and S. Anand and Srividya Natarajan’s Bhimayana (2011, with art by Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam), about the Indian social reformer, maker of the Indian Constitution, and leader of the so-called “untouchables” (“lower-castes” in the Hindu social order, now called “Dalits”), Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, I will argue that graphic auto/biography offers a new mode in which to talk about social issues like racism and caste-based oppression.

Featured articles include:

  • Self-Sacrifice in the Autobiographical Narration of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King by Stephen Taylor Marsh
  • Jonathan Coe’s Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson —A Dialogue with Biography by Vanessa Guignery
  • Radical Graphics: Martin Luther King, Jr., B.R. Ambedkar, and Comics Auto/Biography by Pramod K. Nayar
  • An Interpretive Auto/Biographical Reading of Studio-Posed Photographs: Telling My Mother’s Life in Colonial and Post-Colonial India by Suchitra Samanta
  • The Enslaved Narrative: White Overseers and the Ambiguity of Story-Told Self in Easrly African-American Autobiography by Shelia J. Nayar
  • Plus book reviews

Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE


About the Journal

For over thirty years, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly has explored the theoretical, generic, historical, and cultural dimensions of life-writing.

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