Release of Biography 41.4

We’re thrilled to announce the publication of the latest special issue of Biography, vol. 41, no. 4, M4BL and the Critical Matter of Black Lives, edited by Brittney Cooper and Treva B. Lindsey

The full issue is available on Project Muse:

Table of Contents

Introduction to M4BL and the Critical Matter of Black Lives
Brittney Cooper and Treva B. Lindsey

Movement for Black Love: The Building of Critical Communities through the Relational Geography of Movement Spaces
Tabitha Jamie Mary Chester

Choreographies of the Ongoing: Episodes of Black Life, Events of Black Lives
Rhaisa Kameela Williams

Black Lives as Snuff: The Silent Complicity in Viewing Black Death
Rasul A. Mowatt

R.I.P. Shirts or Shirts of the Movement: Reading the Death Paraphernalia of Black Lives
Robin Brooks

Black Lives Abroad: Encounters of Diasporic Solidarity in Brazil
Gillian Maris Jones

Visible Black Motherhood Is a Revolution
Danielle Fuentes Morgan

Mama’s Gon’ Buy You a Mocking Bird: Why #BlackMothersStillMatter
A Short Genealogy of Black Mothers’ Maternal Activism and Politicized Care
Kaila Adia Story

Restoring Optimal Black Mental Health and Reversing Intergenerational Trauma in an Era of Black Lives Matter
Jameta Nicole Barlow

#BlackHealingMatters in the Time of #BlackLivesMatter
Kai M. Green, Je Naé Taylor, Pascale Ifé Williams, and Christopher Roberts

From Ferguson to Palestine: Reimagining Transnational Solidarity Through Difference
Marc Lamont Hill

Ferguson: An Identity Politics Liberation Manifesto
Tef Poe

Brown Bag Biography Spring 2019 Schedule


Every semester, this series feels groundbreaking in the diversity of life writing projects and approaches it showcases. Save the dates, bring your lunch, and join us!

All are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact the Center for Biographical Research at 956-3774 or


Jan 24: “At the Edges of Empathy: Journalistic Ethics and Reporting from Conflict Zones in Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde and Sarah Glidden’s Rolling Blackouts
Eva Karpinski, York University, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Biographical Research
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

Jan 31: “Gaucho Legacies: El Sosneado, My Home of Yesteryear (Antonio Entre Ríos)”
Lissi Entre Ríos, Former Dean and Professor of Dance, Instituto Superior de Artes, and Joy Logan, Dept. of Spanish and Latin American and Iberian Studies at UH Mānoa

Feb 7: “Hawaiʻi Stories of Change: Kōkua Hawaiʻi Oral History Project”
Gary Kubota, freelance journalist/playwright/poet
Cosponsored by the Center for Oral History at UH Mānoa
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

Feb 14:How I Protested the Vietnam War as a Soldier in the Army”
David Cortright, Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame

Feb 21: “Writing after Murder: Literary Reportage from Metro Manila”
Laurel Flores Fantauzzo, Dept. of English at UH Mānoa
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

Feb 28: The Carceral Continuum: Apparitions of World War II at the Wai’anae Boat Harbor”
Laurel Mei-Singh, Dept. of Ethnic Studies at UH Mānoa
Mar 7:The Body Speaks: Chief Spence’s Hunger Strike, Treaty Dialogue, and Mixed Media Storytelling”
Sarah Wiebe, Dept. of Political Science at UH Mānoa

Mar 14: Documenting Extinction: The Making of A Paradise Lost
Laurie Sumiye, Hawaiʻi-based artist and documentary filmmaker
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

Mar 28: “Biography on the Body: Decoding Soviet Prison Tattoos”
Helena Goscilo, Chair of the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at The Ohio State University
Cosponsored by Russian Studies, Dept. of LLL at UH Mānoa

Apr 4: “The Art of Disappearing: Exploring the Filmmaker’s Process and Presence in Documentary Storytelling”
Ciara Lacy, director and producer of Out of State
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

Apr 11: “Biography of a Merchant”
Derrick Higginbotham, Dept. of English at UH Mānoa
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

Apr 18: “Being Boricua”
Sashily Kling, creative writer with an MA from the Dept. of English at UH Mānoa

Apr 25: “My Daughter Alice: Stalking Behavior and Victims’ Legal Protections”
Clive Ruggles, Professor Emeritus of Archaeoastronomy, University of Leicester

Release of Biography 41.3

We are delighted to announce the publication of the latest issue of Biography, vol. 41, no. 3, which includes two clusters–Asian American Hip-Hop Musical Auto/Biographies (edited by Roderick N. Labrador and Brian Su-Jen Chung) and Political Biography in Literature and Cinema (edited by Joanny Moulin and Delphine Letort).

The full issue is available on Project Muse:

Table of Contents

Editor’s Note

“Freaky” Asian Americans, Hip-Hop, and Musical Autobiography: An Introduction
Roderick N. Labrador

“Bad Gal” and the “Bad” Refugee: Refugee Narratives, Neoliberal Violence, and Musical Autobiography in Honey Cocaine’s Cambodian Canadian Hip-Hop
Kenneth Chan

Redefined What is Meant to Be Divine: Prayer and Protest in Blue Scholars
Mark Redondo Villegas

The Posse Cut as Autobiographical Utterance of Place in the Night Marchers’ Three Dots
Ruben Enrique Campos III

(Re)Writing Contemporary Cantonese Heritage Language and Identity: Examining MC Jin’s ABC Album
Melissa Chen and Genevieve Leung

Narrating Failure: MC Jin’s Return to Rap in the United States
Brian Su-Jen Chung

Beats, Rhymes, and Life in the Ocean of Sound: An Object-Oriented Methodology for Encountering Rap Music
David A. M. Goldberg

Introduction to Political Biography in Literature and Cinema
Delphine Letort and Joanny Moulin

French Television and Political Biography
Rémi Fontanel

Recasting the Iron Lady into Flesh and Blood: Gender Performance and Politics in Three Thatcher Biopics
Nicole Cloarec

Writing the Life of Ronald Reagan: An Impossible Mission?
Françoise Coste

From Political Biography to Political Event: The Daens Myth in Literature in Cinema
Gertjan Willems

Political Life Writing in the Pacific: Reflections on Practice ed. by Jack Corbett and Brij V. Lal (review)
Alexander Mawyer

Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their by Leigh Gilmore (review)
Sarah Brophy

Picture Bride Stories by Barbara F. Kawakami (review)
Kelli Y. Nakamura

How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses? Women and Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs by Tahneer Oksman (review)
Roberta Mock

Gendered Testimonies of the Holocaust Writing Life by Petra M. Schweitzer (review)
Batsheva Ben-Amos

Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age Survivors’ Stories and New Media Practices by Jeffrey Shandler (review)
Sarah Jefferies

Back to the Blanket: Recovered Rhetorics and Literacies in American Indian Studies by Kimberly G. Wieser (review)
Lisa King


Nadine Gordimer and the Vices of Biography: A Reply to Hedley Twidle
Ronald Suresh Roberts

Release of Biography 41.2 on Interviewing as Creative Practice

Biography’s latest special issue, Interviewing as Creative Practice, guest-edited by Anneleen Masschelein and Rebecca Roach, is now available for download on Project Muse!

Please help us spread the word!

Table of Contents

Putting Things Together: Introduction to Interviewing as Creative Practice
Anneleen Masschelein, Rebecca Roach

The Interview as Criticism: David Sylvester’s Artist Interviews
James Finch

Confessions of a Ventriloquist
Sylvère Lotringer, Anneleen Masschelein, Catherine Combes

Criticism Live: The History and Practice of the Critical Interview
Jeffrey J. Williams

Emergent Conversations: Bronwyn Davies on the Transformation of Interview Practices in the Social Sciences
Anneleen Masschelein, Rebecca Roach

“Three words you must never say”: Hermione Lee on Interviewing
Rebecca Roach

The Interviewer Speaks Back: Turning the Tables of the Literary Interview in Contemporary French Novels
Galia Yanoshevsky

“To Unreel a Whole Story”: Julia Kerninon on Writers’ Interviews
Rebecca Roach

“Making Friends”: The Geopolitics of the Interview on the BBC’S Eastern Services
Julie Cyzewski

Ways of Seeing/Ways of Talking: Conversation and Collage in the Films of Mike Dibb
Anneleen Masschelein

Morituri Te Salutant: The Mediatization of the Literary Last Interview at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century
Anneleen Masschelein

Theoretical Perspectives on Historians’ Autobiographies: From Documentation to Intervention by Jaume Aurell (review)
Barbara Caine

Documentary Across Disciplines eds. by Erika Balsom and Hila Peleg (review)
S. Topiary Landberg

Women Writing Cloth: Migratory Fictions in the American Imaginary by Mary Jo Bona (review)
Christine D. Beaule

Beyond the Archive: Memory, Narrative, and the Autobiographical Process—Explorations in Narrative Psychology by Jens Brockmeier (review)
Maarit Leskelä-Kärki

Reading Lessons in Seeing: Mirrors, Masks, and Mazes in the Autobiographical Graphic Novel by Michael A. Chaney (review)
Anna Poletti

PInay: Culture Bearers of the Filipino Diaspora eds. by Virgie Chattergy and Pepi Nieva (review)
Kim Compoc

Life Narratives and Youth Culture: Representation, Agency and Participation by Kate Douglas and Anna Poletti (review)
Victoria Ford Smith

Click and Kin: Transnational Identity and Quick Media eds. by May Friedman and Silvia Schultermandl (review)
Oline Eaton

Representations of Forgetting in Life Writing and Fiction by Gunnthorunn Gudmundsdottir (review)
Ellen G. Friedman

Biography, Gender and History: Nordic Perspectives ed. by Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir et al. (review)
Hannah Yoken

Mourning and Mysticism in First World War Literature and Beyond: Grappling with Ghosts by George M. Johnson (review)
Kathy J. Phillips

Working Memory: Women and Work in World War II eds. by Marlene Kadar and Jeanne Perreault (review)
Penny Summerfield

Girls’ Feminist Blogging in a Postfeminist Age by Jessalynn Keller (review)
Akane Kanai

Autobiographical Comics by Andrew J. Kunka (review)
Candida Rifkind

Reading African American Autobiography: Twenty-First-Century Contexts and Criticism ed. by Eric D. Lamore (review)
Roland Leander Williams Jr.

Joseph: Portraits through the Ages by Alan T. Levenson (review)
Kapali Lyon

Memoir Ethics: Good Lives and the Virtues by Mike W. Martin (review)
Raymond Angelo Belliotti

Korean and Korean American Life Writing in Hawai’i: From the Land of the Morning Calm to Hawai’i Nei by Heui-Yung Park (review)
Joseph Han

Understanding Biographies: On Biographies in History and Stories in Biography by Birgitte Possing (review)
Jeremy D. Popkin

Rebuilding Shattered Worlds: Creating Community by Voicing the Past by Andrea L. Smith and Anna Eisenstein (review)
Michael Silverstein

Life Writing in the Long Run by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson (review)
Thomas R. Smith

Emblem of Faith Untouched: A Short Life of Thomas Cranmer by Leslie Williams (review)
Fredrica Harris Thompsett

The Antiquary: John Aubrey’s Historical Scholarship by Kelsey Jackson Williams (review)
Andrea Walkden

Fall 2018 Brown Bag Biography

Every semester, this series feels groundbreaking in the diversity of life writing projects and approaches it showcases. Save the dates, bring your lunch, and join us!

All are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact the Center for Biographical Research at 956-3774 or


Sept 27: “Writing About Other People’s Memories.”
Ellen G. Friedman, English Dept., The College of New Jersey
Cosponsored by U H Fund for the Promotion of Jewish Life and Studies and the UHM Dept of English
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

Oct 4: “Techniques for Conveying Unusual Personal Experience (Such as Growing Up with Psychics): Readings from Two Short Sections of River Stone Running.”
Kathy Phillips, Dept. of English, UH Mānoa
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

Oct. 11: “Hawaiʻi Okinawan-Owned Restaurant Project: Oral History and Community Archives.”
Gene Kaneshiro and Howard Takara, Project Leaders
Cosponsored by the Center for Oral History

Oct. 18: “Kihawahine: Shapeshifting Life and Afterlife of Maui’s Famous Akua Mo’o.”
Māhealani Ahia, Dept. of English, UH Mānoa

Oct 25: “Return to Kahiki: Native Hawaiians in Oceania.”
Kealani Cook, Dept. of Humanities, UH West-O‘ahu

Nov. 1: “Jewish Childhood Recollections in Post-Soviet Autobiographical Discourse.”
Marina Balina, Russian Studies, Illinois Wesleyan University
Cosponsored by Russian Studies, Dept of LLL at UH Mānoa

Brown Bag Biography Cosponsored Event on Nov 1st: 3:00 to 4:30 pm, Lecture in KUY 410: Ramzy Baroud, “Give the Palestinian People the Right to Tell Their Own Stories.” Response from Gaza by Yousef AlJamal (via Skype).
Cosponsored by UH-Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine and the UHM Departments of English and Political Science

Nov 8: “‘Aumua Mata’itusi Simanu: The Lifestory of a Ninety-Seven-Year-Old Samoan Orator and Educator in Diaspora.”
Fata Simanu-Klutz, Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, UH Mānoa

TUESDAY Nov 13: “The ‘intimate sphere of poetry’ of Ștefan Baciu, Jean Charlot, and Larry Kauanoe Kimura in the literary magazine MELE: International poetry letter from Hawaiʻi.”
Yoshiro Sakamoto, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Visiting Researcher at the Center for Biographical Research UH-Mānoa

Nov 29: “Art for Life.”
Don Ed Hardy, Tattoo Artist, Author, and Curator

TUESDAY Dec 4: “Nā Wāhine Koa: Hawaiian Women for Sovereignty and Demilitarization.”
Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua, Indigenous Politics, UH Mānoa
*this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410

We’re hiring!

Aloha Friends,

The Center for Biographical Research seeks a managing editor to join our team of editors, and we are hoping you can help spread the word about this exciting opportunity!

The job description for this full-time, permanent position can be found below. 

This position is designed for those who are invested in life writing and editing, and the position comes with travel opportunities and benefits.

The ad for the Editor position (#80851) is posted here.

**The closing date is 06/29/2018 at 11:59 PM.**

Please note that all applicants will have to apply on this site.


The CBR Team

Congratulations to Hawaiʻi History Day youth participants

Hoʻomaikaʻi to all the youth who participated in this year’s Hawai’i History Day State Fair. It is so important for young people to help us analyze, remember, and tell histories.

Some prizes were given by various organizations for projects that use biographical research, oral history, that focus on specific communities and themes. Here is our Craig Howes presenting the Center for Biographical Research prizes. For more information about this annual event, see:

Release of Biography Special Issue 41.1, on Prince

We are pleased to announce that our latest issue of Biography, including a special cluster of essays on Prince(!), guest edited by Andreana Clay, is officially out in the world! You can access the complete issue via your ProjectMuse subscription right here:

(You might also note that we deviated from our template color for this cover and chose a highly saturated deep purple in honor of the Purple One!)

The full TOC, with abstracts, is below:

__On Prince: A Labor of Love, Loss, and Freedom__

Andreana Clay
With the death of Prince Rogers Nelson on April 21, 2016, many people’s lives were changed forever. In efforts both big and small, those of us left have tried to recall, feel deeply, and write down what his life and death meant to us individually and in community. This special feature explores the feelings of four writers—Andreana Clay, Greg Tate, Steven W. Thrasher, and Scott Poulson-�Bryant—who have written about music, race, and Blackness and turn that gaze to Prince and his impact. Each paper was part of the American Studies Association special panel on Prince titled “Prince in Revue.” Here, as we did there, we draw upon a personal and political relationship to Prince in an effort to understand his impact on music, identity, and community.

Greg Tate
Prince and the Erotics of Democracy

Steven Thrasher
Obituarizing Black Maleness, Obituarizing Prince

Scott Poulson-Bryant
Prince, Queerness, and the Both/And of “Or”

Andreana Clay
Keywords: Light Skin-ded Free Black Sex, Girlfriend

__Open-Forum Articles__
Stefano Calzati and Roberto Simanowski
Self-Narratives on Social Networks: Trans-Platform Stories and Facebook’s Metamorphosis into a Postmodern Semiautomated Repository
This article focuses on self-narratives and identity construction in the context of social networking sites (SNSs) by discussing the findings of a research project that had at its core the practice-based module “Facebook and Autobiography: How We Narrate Ourselves on Social Networks,” which we designed and taught at a major Hong Kong university. With students as participants, we explored how the infrastructure of Facebook affects the processes of self-narration and what differences and similarities can be detected between such digitally mediated processes and those emerging in more traditional written forms, such as diaries.

Norma Clarke
“More National (to Ireland) than Personal”: James Prior’s Life of Oliver Goldsmith (1837)
No full biography of Oliver Goldsmith (1728–1774) appeared until 1837. It was written by a fellow Irishman, James Prior, who had already published a well-received biography of Edmund Burke. Prior explicitly claimed Goldsmith for Ireland, situating him in a tradition of writers whose lives were not well known and paying attention to other Irish writers in his London circle. Prior’s book was praised for its research but criticized for the accumulation of detail, especially about minor figures. John Forster in 1848 and Washington Irving in 1849 each used Prior’s research to issue biographies of Goldsmith aimed at a wider public. Prior was furious. A controversy ensued in which Prior claimed that the information he had gathered belonged to him. Forster struck back. Public and critics alike responded favorably to Forster, whose version of Goldsmith was judged “real biography” and whose argument that biographers do not have possession of facts seemed common sense. Posterity sided with Forster. But this essay argues that Prior’s anger can be understood differently if we take Irish history into account.

Alan Filewod
“The Experience Being My Own”: Identifying Life Writing in Plays by Canadian Veterans of the Great War
This article explores the problem of theatrical playtexts that disguise the operations of life writing in conventionalized dramatic genres by identifying life writing in three plays written by returned soldiers in Canada in the years following the First World War. The essay asks how we might identify life writing in theater if auto/biography is neither overtly claimed nor foregrounded in content or performance and identifies a historical moment when the autobiographical compulsion was hidden behind the scrim of genre convention prior to the legitimization of autobiographical drama in the modern theater.

Hedley Twidle
“A Very Strange Relationship”: Life Writing, Overwriting, and the Scandal of Biography in the Gordimer-Roberts Affair
This article considers a controversial biography of Nadine Gordimer, as yet the only life of the South African novelist and Nobel laureate. No Cold Kitchen (2005) by Ronald Suresh Roberts was the subject of much media attention when Gordimer revoked her authorization of the project and was accused of “censorship” by her biographer. Beyond the immediate scandal, the Gordimer-Roberts affair reveals latent, unresolved elements within the South African transition. Caught up in the vexed question of critical authority—who can plausibly write about whom in a literary system so warped by colonial and apartheid aftermaths?—it becomes an excessive, overdetermined, and even chaotic life writing project, but one that can still be read against the grain for its wealth of source materials, correspondence, and primary research.

Jamie Wood
“Here I Am”: Eliot, “Gerontion,” and the Great War
This essay considers “Gerontion,” contra Eliot and scholarship, as an essentially autobiographical poem. Detailed analysis of the poem’s composition reveals it to be firmly rooted in the summer of 1919. The poem is part of Eliot’s wider critical attempt to reconcile experience with art in the aftermath of the Great War.

The Private Jefferson: Perspectives from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, by Henry Adams, Peter S. Onuf, and Andrea Wulf
Reviewed by Susan Kern

Musical Biographies: The Music of Memory in Post-1945 German Literature, by Michal Ben-Horin
Reviewed by Simon Trevor Walsh

Narrative Matters in Medical Contexts across Disciplines, edited by Franziska Gygax and Miriam A. Locher
Reviewed by Lars-Christer Hydén

The Lives of Frederick Douglass, by Robert S. Levine
Reviewed by Jeannine Marie DeLombard

Making Marie Curie: Intellectual Property and Celebrity Culture in an Age of Information, by Eva Hemmings Wirtén
Reviewed by Mott T. Greene

Spring 2018 Brown Bag Biography Series

We are happy to announce our Spring 2018 Brown Bag lineup. All are welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact the Center for Biographical Research at 956-3774 or


Feb 1 “Themes in the Narratives by Escapees from the Holocaust in WWII Italy.”
Luciano Minerbi, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, UH-Mānoa

Feb 8 “Constructing Post-Soviet Stardom: Auteur and the state in the case of Renata Litvinova.”
Olga Mukhortova, Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas, UH Mānoa

Feb 15 “Writing With Not About: Constellating Stories in Auto-ethnography.”
John Gagnon, Dept. of English, UH-Mānoa

Feb 22 “Masters of the Currents: Theater, Community, and Social Change.”
Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng, TeAda Productions

Mar 1 “Island Soldiers: Living with Militarization in Micronesia.”
Pacific Island Student Panel
Co-organized by the Marianas Club, for Mes Chamoru and Nuclear Remembrance Day
Moderated by Craig Santos Perez
*This session will be held in Kuykendall 410*

Mar 8 “Hulahula and Learn Something: Expressing Culture and Science.”
Kiana Frank, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, UH-Mānoa

Mar 15 “Selling It Like It Is: The Value of Narrative in Business and Policy.”
Amanda Rothschild, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, UH-Mānoa

Mar 22 “An Introduction to the Jon Van Dyke Archive at the UHM Law Library.”
Ellen-Rae Cachola, William S. Richardson School of Law, UH-Mānoa

Apr 5 “Losing Don Belton: Meditations on Friendship, Murder, and Race, and the Ethics of Life Writing.”
Mara Miller, Visiting Scholar with the Center for Biographical Research and Dept. of English, UH-Mānoa

Apr 12 “Al Harrington: Reflections on Genealogy, Acting, and a Polynesian Revue.”
Al Harrington, Educator, Actor, and Entertainer

Apr 19 “Filling the Void: Creating Playing Space for Today’s Pacific Islander.”
Kiki Rivera, Dept. of Theatre and Dance, UH-Mānoa

Apr 26 “Exploring the Vā in the Oral Sharing of Poetry.”
Grace Teuila Taylor, Visiting Writer in Residence, Dept. of English, UH-Mānoa
*this session will be held in Kuykendall 410*

Release of Biography issue 40.3

We are pleased to announce the release of issue 40.3. Here is what you can find in the issue:

Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, vol. 40, no. 3 • Summer 2017:

Editor’s Note


Andrew Jewell
Why Obscure the Record?: The Psychological Context of Willa Cather’s Ban on Letter Publication

This essay provides an explanation for American author Willa Cather’s confounding decision to ban the publication of her letters, arguing that one must understand the specific personal and psychological contexts of the execution of her final will in 1943. Since the ban on publication has now been lifted by Cather’s executors, the essay uses ample direct evidence from the letters themselves to analyze the concerns that led to Cather’s choice. I argue that Cather’s ban emerged from a time of grief, physical pain, and growing hopelessness about the future while the world was at war.

Jayne Lewis
“Strange Imagination”: Valentine Greatrakes’s Healing Aura and the
Autobiographical Impulse

The controversial Irish Protestant healer Valentine Greatrakes’s 1666 autobiography is an under-appreciated text in the history of anglophone life writing, one that invites us to rethink the early history of a genre that has long been linked to a spatialized, specular, and mimetic model of the self. In contrast to the post-Lockean texts that posit that model, A Brief Account of Mr Valentine Greatrak’s and Divers of the Strange Cures by Him Lately Performed incorporates Greatrakes’s unorthodox method of healing by touch over time into the process of literary self-representation. As it plays between poles of distance and proximity, objectivity and contingency, shadow and substance the resulting textual “perform[ance]” may be historicized in terms of late-seventeenth-century conceptions of what Greatrakes’s implied reader, the pneumatic chemist Robert Boyle, called the “little atmospheres” that surround human bodies—“atmospheres” that anticipate Walter Benjamin’s modern notion of the aura but treat aura as a uniquely communicative aspect of the person. Greatrakes’s shamanistic practice binds his readers to his patients, thereby developing a therapeutic form of transpersonal, transhistorical, transgeneric personal identity uniquely realized in the literary text.

Anna Poletti
Putting Lives on the Record: The Book as Material and Symbol in
Life Writing

This article develops an understanding of the role of life writing in putting marginalized voices on the record by examining the material and symbolic history of the book and its relationship with life writing. Taking two key points in the history of the book as its focus, the article argues that “the record” is a material and symbolic performative site that authorizes a life writer’s claims to knowledge and experience. Through a reading of Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1963 autobiography Les Mots (The Words) the article demonstrates the importance of the book to how life writers and scholars of life writing conceptualize the cultural, political, and social importance of telling stories from life.

Linda Zygutis
On the Lecture Circuit with Gertrude Stein’s Portraits

This essay intervenes in recent scholarship on modernism and celebrity that treats fame as a unidirectional performance by emphasizing the extent to which Gertrude Stein’s celebrity is the product of external artifice: particularly, the invocation of preexisting social types drawn from mass culture and circulated by publishers and promoters eager to market Stein to an audience expecting a very specific model of (feminine) success. Having become a best seller in no small part due to its “gossipy” look into the glamorous world of the Parisian art movement, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas transformed Stein into a bona fide star. But while Stein had actively courted commercial success, her first taste of celebrity came with a discomfiting loss of control. With so many people eager to “know” her, Stein felt her own sense of self slipping away. By pairing critical analysis of Stein’s own thoughts on celebrity with her often-overlooked Lectures in America, I argue that Stein’s lectures, presented as they were to audiences expecting the same “gossipy” depictions they received in the autobiography, are not only a subversion of the expectations associated with fame but a frank depiction of its failures, a self-conscious demonstration of the artifice of celebrity.


Nostalgia and Auto/Biography: Considering the Past in the Present,
by Hilary Dickinson and Michael Erben
Reviewed by Janelle L. Wilson

In Haste with Aloha: Letters and Diaries of Queen Emma 1881–1885,
selected and edited by David W. Forbes
Reviewed by Riánna M. Williams

Self as Nation: Contemporary Hebrew Autobiography, by Tamar S. Hess
Reviewed by Michael Keren

Diaries, by Eva Hesse
Reviewed by Charles Reeve

Love Among the Archives: Writing the Lives of Sir George Scharf,
Victorian Bachelor, by Helena Michie and Robyn Warhol
Reviewed by Amanda Kotch

Postcolonial Life Narratives: Testimonial Transactions,
by Gillian Whitlock
Reviewed by Philip Holden