Border Crossings: Essays in Identity and Belonging (Hardback) book cover

Border Crossings

Essays in Identity and Belonging

Edited by Paul Longley Arthur, Leena Kurvet-Kaosaar

© 2018 – Routledge

144 pages

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Hardback: 9781138671096
pub: 2018-04-09
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Description

The border between intimate memory and historical revelation is explored in this wide-ranging collection, which features original contributions from leading figures in the life writing field from Australia, Canada, Europe, UK, and the USA.

The transmission and preservation of personal knowledge and stories from generation to generation frequently requires crossing into the private, contested spaces of memory. The most secret accounts or guarded remnants of information can sometimes lead to the most profound insights. In this context, there is a delicate balance between life writing’s role in revealing lives and the desire to be respectful towards them. As the essays in this book attest, exposing secrets, even if humiliating, can be a way of honouring lives. Throughout runs the framing theme of memory as the source of all intergenerational transmission of culture and history—whether relating to family, community, nation, ancestry, or political allegiance—and the importance of the intimate and personal in that process of handing on. This book was originally published as a special issue of Life Writing.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Thresholds of the Private Paul Longley Arthur and Leena Kurvet-Käosaar

1. Family Memoir and Self-Discovery Jeremy D. Popkin

2. Voices in Movement: Feminist Family Stories in Oral History and Sound Art Margaretta Jolly

3. The Epistolary Dynamics of Sisterhood Across the Iron Curtain Leena Kurvet-Käosaar

4. The Odyssey Quilts: Narrative Artworks of Childhood, War and Migration Nonja Peters

5. Is Autobiographical Writing a Historical Document?: The Impact of Self-Censorship on Life Narratives Magda Stroińska and Vikki Cecchetto

6. Material Memory and the Digital Paul Longley Arthur

7. Because it’s Your Country: Death and its Meanings in West Arnhem Land Martin Thomas

8. ‘from Organic Arts’: Tsamorita, Rosaries, and the Poem of My Grandma’s Life Craig Santos Perez

About the Editors

Paul Longley Arthur is Professor in Digital Humanities at Western Sydney University, Australia. He was previously Deputy Director of the National Centre of Biography and the Centre for European Studies at the Australian National University, and Deputy General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. He has published widely in cultural and communication studies, history, literature, and media.

Leena Kurvet-Käosaar is Associate Professor of Literary Theory, and Programme Director of Literature and Cultural Research, at the University of Tartu, Estonia, as well as a Senior Researcher at the Estonian Literary Museum. She has published widely in life writing studies, specializing in particular on Post-Soviet life writing, personal narratives of Soviet deportations and the Gulag, and trauma studies.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General