M4BL Gathering

Dear Contributors to our Special Issue on the Movement for Black Lives,
Dear Community Leaders, Community Healers,
Dear Listeners and Writers and Fighters and Gardeners,
and Parents and Friends and Lovers,

Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves with each other and with us.
Thank you for your courage to face death and life.
Thank you for making time for fire and dancing and singing and breathing.
Thank you for saying: “Healing is going for the things that scare us,” (Rhaisa Williams).
Thank you for the resolve with which you meet this gutwrenching moment.
Thank you for taking care of your own bodies.
Thank you for your unapologetic aliveness, in all the colors.
Thank you for traveling far and connecting back.
Thank you for saying hard things to the people you love.
Thank you for the brilliance you embody.
Thank you for the welcoming circles you hold for each other.
Thank you for the boundaries you hold for each other.
Thank you for writing lives and saving lives, and reminding us of that connection.
Thank you for pushing us into intensity, into rigor, into a better world.

It was a blessing to share August 2017 with you.
We can’t wait for all the hard work to be out in print.
–The Center for Biographical Research

–photo of our special issue contributors enjoying the Black August People’s Feast put together by The Pōpolo Project

Release of Biography Issue 40.2

Biography 40.2 is now available on Project Muse.
Here is what you can find in the issue:

Editor’s Note

In Remembrance: Barbara Harlow (1948–2017)
Laura E. Lyons, Barbara Harlow: A Remembrance via Conferences,
Readings, and Questions
S. Shankar, Remembering Barbara Harlow: Resistance and Life Writing

Articles

Sam Ferguson, Why Does Life Writing Talk about Science?: Foucault, Rousseau, and the Early Journal Intime
This article examines the reasons why life writing makes use of discourses from the natural sciences. It focuses on the emergence of autobiography and the journal intime in France at the moment of a fundamental shift toward the modern episteme (identified by Foucault), which is both historical and person-centered.

Kathryn Sederberg, Writing through Crisis: Time, History, Futurity in German Diaries of the Second World War
This article considers how diary writing mediates temporal consciousness, especially during periods of crisis. Through examples of German civilian diaries written at the end of the Second World War, I show how diaries reflect changing notions of history and futurity, producing radically presentist modes of self-representation.

Meliz Ergin, Derrida’s Otobiographies
This essay approaches autobiography studies through a philosophical perspective and explores Derrida’s notion of “otobiography” to elaborate on the twin problem of identity and writing. After examining the autobiographical thread in Derrida’s work and raising questions pertaining to genre and autonomy, the essay focuses on Monolingualism of the Other; or, the Prosthesis of Origin to show how Derrida’s theories of selfhood, language, and writing work themselves out in practice.

Reviews

The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an Ethiopian Woman, by Galawdewos, translated and edited by Wendy Laura Belcher and Michael Kleiner   Reviewed by Andrew Crislip

Speaking of the Self: Gender, Performance, and Autobiography in South Asia, edited by Anshu Malhotra and Siobhan Lambert-Hurley
Reviewed by Monika Browarczyk

Women Write Iran: Nostalgia and Human Rights from the Diaspora,
by Nima Naghibi
Reviewed by Sanaz Fotouhi

Navigating Loss in Women’s Contemporary Memoir,
by Amy-Katerini Prodromou
Reviewed by Marta Bladek

The Comics of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World, edited by Daniel Worden
Reviewed by Mihaela Precup

After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America, by Robert Zacharias
Reviewed by Jesse Hutchison

The Rise of the Memoir, by Alex Zwerdling
Reviewed by Marianne Hirsch