Jaya Daronde, Relationship, oil on canvas. From Caste Life Narratives, Visual Representation, and Protected Ignorance in this issue. Copyright and reproduced courtesy of the artist.
Life narratives ranging from autobiographies and biographies to blogs and pictorial art have historically played a vital role in both the affirmation as well as interrogation of caste identities. However, serious study of life narratives in relationship to caste is still relatively underdeveloped. The scholarship on caste (or the varna-jati complex) is vast, as is the study of life narratives as a genre—it is the conjunction of the two that especially merits sustained scrutiny. The study of caste is animated by a Critical Caste Studies that takes its bearing from Dalit Studies, a lively area of scholarly endeavor in recent years, in order to explore diverse phenomena within the varna-jati complex. The scrutiny of life narratives in conjunction with caste promises to expand the scope of inquiry into life narratives by bringing new cultural contexts into the discussion and by enabling the formulation of new theoretical questions of genre. Such an investigation contributes to the study of caste by directing attention to fresh archives and by making available for analysis in powerful ways questions of identity. The critical work of studying caste in conjunction with life narratives is most pertinent with regard to India but includes the South Asian diaspora as well as other countries such as Japan.
This image of Stan Schab, managing editor of Biography from 1994—2016, accompanies the announcement for the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Service, which he received in 2007.
This quarter’s issue says farewell to retiring managing editor Stan Schab and welcomes new managing editor Anjoli Roy.
Read the special section for free online at Project MUSE:
With words from editors and contributors Craig Howes, Cynthia G. Franklin, John David Zuern, Leigh Gilmore, Sidonie Smith, Gillian Whitlock, Aiko Yamashiro, and Anjoli Roy
From Craig Howes, Cynthia G. Franklin, and John David Zuern
- Digression, Slavery, and Failing to Return in the Narrative of the Sufferings of Lewis Clarke
by Michael A. Chaney
- Making and Unmaking: Child-Soldier Memoirs and Human Rights Readers
by Maureen Moynagh
International year in review
…We hope that the feature debuting in this issue, the International Year in Review, will help begin a process that will lead to more books, articles, essays, and dissertations from an even wider variety of languages appearing in our critical bibliography. (From Editors’ Note)
- International Year in Review: Introduction
by John David Zuern
- Pictures at an Exhibition: The Year in Australia
by Gillian Whitlock
- Biography in Austria, a Selection: The Year in Austria
by Wilhelm Hemecker and David Osterle
- Public Lives as Personal Assets, the Trial of Biography: The Year in Brazil
by Sergio da Silva Barcellos
- Trust Reconciliation in Life Writing: The Year in Canada
by Alana Bell
- Nostalgia for Republican China: The Year in China
by Chen Shen
- Old Traditions and New Experiments: The Year in Finland
Plus more from the year in review and book reviews. Continue reading
Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly seeks papers for an upcoming special issue tentatively titled, Political Biographies in Literature and Cinema.
From the editors at the Center for Biographical Research:
To what extent do biographies promote or question the biographee’s political values? What are the limitations of prevailing assumptions (popular and/or academic) about biography’s relationship with history? What models of the political subject do biographies of political figures presuppose, and with what consequences? Articles of general relevance, as well as specific case studies of print or film biographies, are welcome in this special number of Biography, An Interdisciplinary Quarterly on political biographies in literature and cinema.
Abstracts of 250-500 words for projected manuscripts of 6,000-8,000 words may be submitted electronically by April 15, 2017. Click here for complete submission guidelines.
Subscribe to Biography through UH Press or browse full-text issues online via Project MUSE.
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From “Te Ao Hurihuri O Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho: The Evolving Worlds of Our Ancestral Treasures” in this issue. Drawings of Korokoro of Ngare Raumati by his brother Tuai (now in Birmingham University Special Collaborations CMS/ACC14 C2, and Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries GNZMMS 147).
This quarter’s special issue examines Indigenous Conversations about Biography with guest editors Alice Te Punga Somerville, Daniel Heath Justice, and Noelani Arista.
From “Kei Wareware”: Remembering Te Rauparaha in this issue. William Bambridge, Sketch of Te Rauparaha. Diary. Ref: QMS-0122-140A. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
This is a conversation about Indigenous lives, the ways we understand them, the ways we represent them, and the responsibilities that come from doing this work in a good way. And this is just a beginning. We are honored to welcome you to this special issue of Biography, and to the Indigenous scholars, artists, and visionaries who come together in community on the topic of Indigenous biography. Some of this diverse group of Indigenous thinkers came together in person in Mānoa Valley on the Hawaiian island of O‘ahu, traveling from the Indigenous territories claimed by New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States to take up the challenges, questions, concerns, and possibilities of representing Indigenous lives.
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.
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.
Biography vol. 39 no. 1 is a special issue dedicated to verse in life writing. The issue opens with guest editor Anna Jackson’s introduction:
Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura), by Artemisia Gentileschi. From Articulating Artemisia by Helen Rickerby in this issue.
While the verse novel is now established as a literary genre, the verse biography has not been similarly acknowledged, even though many of the formal tensions and strategies are similar. Recognizing that the work of “life writing” that such texts perform, and the relationship between historical fact and poetic representation that they negotiate, are distinct to the verse biography, this Special Issue opens up the genre as a field of study, within the context of biography and life writing studies more generally.
Martin Edmond, from the article “something else is going on, an interaction, an exchange”: Martin Edmond’s Lives.” © Copyright and used by permission of the photographer, Matt Bialostocki.
In this new issue, Ingrid Horrocks’ essay “something else is going on, an interaction, an exchange: Martin Edmond’s Lives,”
analyzes New Zealand-born essayist and biographer Martin Edmond’s evolving biographical practice, and argues that it is revealing because it both maintains the centrality of the first person singular so common to life writing, and works to stretch to its limits the very idea of what it is to be a person.
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Tagged Biography, david parker, human rights, ingrid horrocks, james olney, kate j. waites, kimberly katz, nuclear age, oppenheimer, phyllis e. wachter, tim dow adams