Life Writing Outside the Lines : Gender and Genre in the Americas book cover
1st Edition

Life Writing Outside the Lines
Gender and Genre in the Americas

ISBN 9780367358303
Published February 13, 2020 by Routledge
282 Pages

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Book Description

Designed as a contribution to the field of transnational comparative American studies, this book focuses on gender in life writing that exceeds the boundaries of traditional genres.

The contributors engage with authors who bend genres to speak gender as it manifests in multiple shapes in different geographic locations across the Americas, and especially as it intersects with race and migration, war and colonialism, illness and ageing. In addition to supplying new insights into the established sites of auto/biographical production such as memoir, archive, and oral history, the book explores experimental mixed forms such as selfies, auto-theory, auto/bio comics, and autobiogeography. By combining this multi-genre and multi-media perspective with a multi-generational approach to life writing, the book showcases a spectrum of established and emerging critical voices, many of whom have been influenced by the work of Marlene Kadar, the Canadian life writing scholar whose interventions have expanded the feminist and interdisciplinary methods of life writing studies.

Tracing the intergenerational relay of ideas, this collection fosters dialogue across the western hemisphere, and will be useful to those studying life writing exchanges between North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This book was originally published as a special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.

Table of Contents

Preface – After Lives: A Reflection on the 2017 IABAA Conference

Ricia Anne Chansky and Eva C. Karpinski

Introduction – Finding Fragments: The Intersections of Gender and Genre in Life Narratives

Eva C. Karpinski and Ricia Anne Chansky


1. Cultivating Gullibility

Marlene Kadar

2. Marlene Kadar interview with Sidonie Smith – May 15, 2017

Sidonie Smith

Forum: The Work of Marlene Kadar

3. The Work of Marlene Kadar

Eva C. Karpinski

4. Mar and Me: Following the Traces

Linda Warley

5. Marlene Kadar’s Life Writing: Feminist Theory Outside the Lines

Julie Rak

6. Working (with) History: Marlene Kadar and Louise DeSalvo

Julia A. Galbus

7. Escape from the Colonial Asylum

Patrick Taylor

8. Inside the Cover, Outside the Archive: Reading the Dispersal of Jane Rule’s Library and Modes of Female Sociability

Linda M. Morra

9. Maternal Stars of the Silent Screen: Gender, Genre, and Photoplay Magazine

Elizabeth Podnieks

10. Unlikely Documents, Unexpected Places: The Limits of Archive

Mark Celinscak

11. Frayed Edges: Selfies, Auschwitz, and a Blushing Emoticon

Rachel E. Dubrofsky

12. Kim Thúy’s Ru and the Art of the Anecdote

Helen M. Buss

13. Drawing a Narrative Landscape with Women Refugees

Ozlem Ezer


14. Translanguaging and Autobiogeography as Decolonial Strategies for Writing Life Narratives within Displacement

Manoela dos Anjos Afonso Rodrigues

15. Sick Women, Sad Girls, and Selfie Theory: Autotheory as Contemporary Feminist Practice

Lauren Fournier

16. Remembering Forgetting: Graphic Lives at the End of the Line

Kathleen Venema

17. Childhood Exile: Memories and Returns

Leonor Arfuch

18. Women Making Freedom: Locating Gender in Intra-Caribbean Migration from a Curaçaoan Perspective

Rose Mary Allen

The Process

19. Rejecting Objectivity: Reflections of a Black Feminist Researcher Interviewing Black Women

Keila D. Taylor

How Would You Teach It?

20. The Work of Teaching Women’s Auto|Bio Comics

Candida Rifkind

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Eva C. Karpinski is an Associate Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Borrowed Tongues: Life Writing, Migration, and Translation (2012), and co-editor of Trans/Acting Culture, Writing, and Memory (2013). She is currently working on a book project on multilingual life writing.

Ricia Anne Chansky is Professor of Literature at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. She is co-editor of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, editor of the Routledge Auto/Biography Studies book series, and a Voice of Witness Fellow. She has recent and forthcoming publications on disaster studies, pedagogy, and contested identities.