Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader / Edition 1

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Overview

    Women, Autobiography, Theory is the first comprehensive guide to the burgeoning field of women’s autobiography, drawing into one volume the most significant theoretical discussions on women’s life writing of the last two decades. 
    The authoritative introduction by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson surveys writing about women’s lives from the women’s movement of the late 1960s to the present. It also relates theoretical positions in women’s autobiography studies to postmodern, poststructuralist, postcolonial, and feminist analyses.
    The essays from thirty-nine prominent critics and writers include many considered classics in this field. They explore narratives across the centuries and from around the globe, including testimonios, diaries, memoirs, letters, trauma accounts, prison narratives, coming-out stories, coming-of-age stories, and spiritual autobiographies. A list of more than two hundred women’s autobiographies and a comprehensive bibliography of critical scholarship in women’s autobiography provide invaluable information for scholars, teachers, and readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“There is no other reader like this one on theories of women’s autobiography, despite the now wide-ranging approaches to this field. . . . It has the merit of combining within the genre of autobiography criticism many of the critical issues that have been paramount during the past two decades, incorporating and going beyond what both feminism and cultural studies have attempted. Important and timely.”—Françoise Lionnet, Northwestern University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sidonie Smith is director of the Women’s Studies Program and professor of English at the University of Michigan. Julia Watson is director of the Comparative Literature Program and associate professor of comparative studies at the Ohio State University. They previously coedited De/Colonizing the Subject: The Politics of Gender in Women’s Autobiography and Getting a Life: Everyday Uses of Autobiography.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Situating Subjectivity in Women's Autobiographical Practices 3
Pt. I Experience and Agency
1 Experience (1993) 57
2 Women's Autobiographical Selves: Theory and Practice (1988) 72
3 On Confession (1989) 83
4 The Narrative Self: Race, Politics, and Culture in Black American Women's Autobiography (1995) 96
5 Performativity, Autobiographical Practice, Resistance (1995) 108
6 Woman Skin Deep: Feminism and the Postcolonial Condition (1992) 116
Pt. II Subjectivities
7 Autogynography: Is the Subject Different? (1984) 131
8 Authorizing the Autobiographical (1988) 145
9 Mothers, Displacement, and Language (1988) 156
10 The Politics of Subjectivity and The Ideology of Genre (1989) 160
11 First-Person Plural: Subjectivity and Community in Native American Women's Autobiography (1996) 168
Pt. III Modes and Genres
12 Autobiographics (1994) 183
13 Autography/Transformation/Asymmetry (1995) 190
14 Sacred Secrets: A Strategy for Survival (1995) 197
15 Resisting Autobiography: Out-Law Genres and Transnational Feminist Subjects (1992) 208
16 Introduction to A Day at a Time: Diary Literature of American Women, from 1764 to 1985 (1985) 217
17 A Feminist Revision of New Historicism to Give Fuller Readings of Women's Private Writing (1996) 222
18 Female Rhetorics (1988) 232
Pt. IV Histories
19 Stories (1986) 243
20 Literary Domesticity and Women Writers' Subjectivities (1992) 255
21 The Literary Standard, Working-Class Autobiography, and Gender (1990) 264
22 The Construction of the Self in U.S. Latina Autobiographies (1991) 276
23 Autobiography, Ethnography, and History: A Model for Reading (1995) 288
24 Immigrant Autobiography: Some Questions of Definition and Approach (1991) 299
Pt. V Voice and Memory
25 The Other Voice: Autobiographies of Women Writers (1980) 321
26 The Politics and Aesthetics of Metissage (1989) 325
27 Forbidden Gaze, Severed Sound (1980) 337
28 Speaking in Tongues: Dialogics, Dialectics, and the Black Woman Writer's Literary Tradition (1989) 343
29 The Recovery of Memory, Fantasy, and Desire in Women's Trauma Stories: Feminist Approaches to Sexual Abuse and Psychotherapy (1996) 352
Pt. VI Bodies and Sexualities
30 Introduction to Bodies That Matter (1993) 367
31 Lesbian Identity and Autobiographical Difference(s) (1988) 380
32 Unspeakable Differences: The Politics of Gender in Lesbian and Heterosexual Women's Autobiographies (1992) 393
33 Mystical Bodies and the Dialogics of Vision (1993) 403
34 Autobiography, Bodies, Manhood (1991) 415
Pt. VIII Politics and Pedagogy
35 writing autobiography (1989) 429
36 Autobiographical Manifestos (1993) 433
37 Semiotics, Experience, and the Material Self: An Inquiry into the Subject of the Contemporary Asian Woman Writer (1988) 441
38 From the Women's Prison: Third World Women's Narratives of Prison (1986) 453
39 Teaching Autobiography (1991) 461
40 The Way In (1989) 471
A Selected List of Women's Autobiographies 477
Contributors 485
Sources 491
Index 495
Titles in Wisconsin Studies in American Autobiography 525
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