Auto/Biography in the Americas: Relational Lives brings together scholars from disparate geographic regions, cultural perspectives, linguistic frameworks, and disciplinary backgrounds to explore what connects narrated lives in the Americas. By interweaving scholarship on Afro-diasporic subjectivities, gendered narratives, lives in translation, celebrity auto/biographies, and pedagogical approaches to teaching auto/biographical narratives, this volume argues that connections between the contrasting locations of the Americas may be found in a shared history of diasporic movement that causes a heightened awareness of the need to belong and to thereby define the self in relation to others.
Read together, the essays in this collection suggest that identities across the Americas are constructed with an emphasis on intersubjectivity and relationality. This transnational approach to reading life writing beyond the borders of the Americas—pertinent to comparative American studies and hemispheric studies as well as life writing and auto/biography studies—also demonstrates an interdisciplinary, international, and multilingual model for collaborative research in the humanities and social sciences. The scholars included in this volume work in the fields of anthropology, sociology, history, literature, and education, and furthermore, this book marks the first time that many of these scholars have had their work translated into and published in English. This book was originally published as a special issue of a|b: Auto|Biography Studies.
Foreword: 30 Years (and Counting) Ricia Chansky and Emily Hipchen
Introduction: Moving beyond Boundaries Ricia Anne Chansky
1. The Process: Finding Enslaved Children’s Place, Voice, and Agency within the Narrative Colleen A. Vasconcellos
2. On Racial Silence and Salience: Narrating "African Things" in Puerto Rican Oral History Jocelyn A. Géliga Vargas
3. Roots and Routes: The Biographical Meshwork of Saint Josephine Bakhita Maria Suely Kofes
4. Tactical Lines in Three Black Women’s Visual Portraits, 1773-1849 Jocelyn K. Moody
5. (Un)Translatability and the Autobiographical Subject in Maryse Condé’s La vie sans fards Bella Brodzki
6. Exploring Narratives of Contested Gender Identities in Jamaican Dancehall Donna P. Hope
7. Patti Smith Kicks In the Walls of Memoir: Relational Lives and "the Right Voice" in Just Kids Julia Watson
8. Public Memory and Public Mourning in Contemporary Colombia Gabriel Jaime Murillo Arango
9. (Auto)Biography in Pre-Service Teacher Training: Rural Education in Bahia, Brazil Elizeu Clementino de Souza