Compelling Confessions: The Politics of Personal Disclosure is a collection of essays whose shared purpose is to offer an accessible interdisciplinary exploration of the social dynamics behind confessional discourse. As various contributors to this collection demonstrate, confession is ubiquitous in contemporary culture, not only within psychological or therapeutic frameworks or literary analysis, but also in internet discussion groups, in the criminal justice system, in political rhetoric, in so-called "reality" and interview-style television programming, in writing pedagogy and, increasingly, in the testimonial strain observable in contemporary scholarship.
Yet, "telling one's story" raises questions, not only about authorial intent or authenticity, but also about the pressures disclosure can impose upon its audiences. Far less ubiquitous than confessions themselves, as these contributors suggest, are the critical tools that general audiences might employ in order to better evaluate the rhetoric of personal disclosure. It is, in fact, the shortage of such tools – responses and procedures that could be stated plainly and implemented by any reader or viewer – that Compelling Confessions sets out to address.
|Publisher:||Fairleigh Dickinson University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Suzanne Diamond is associate professor of English at Youngstown State University.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Confession as an Uncontrolled Substance: An Introduction Deborah H. Holdstein 11
Scripted Subjectivity: The Politics of Personal Disclosure Suzanne Diamond 23
Personal Disclosure and Public Disclosure in Creative Nonfiction Lisa A. Baird 56
Escaping the Panopticon: Vision and Visibility in the Memoirs of Elizabeth Wurtzel Kathy Farquharson 68
Confessional Poetry and National Identity: John Berryman's Self as Nation Glenn Freeman 76
Oprah on the Couch: Franzen, Frey, Foucault, and the Book Club Confessions Adrian Jones 94
Understanding the False-Confession Phenomenon G. Daniel Lassiter Matthew J. Lindberg Shannon K. Pinegar Lezlee J. Ware 110
Rhetoric's Inescapable Grasp: Strategic Disclosure and the Moment of Truth Richard E. Miller 130
Waiting Tables, Writing Lives: The "Truth" of Personal Experience in Students' Academic Writing Christy Rieger 145
From Confession to Testimony: Refiguring Trauma in the Classroom Dawn Skorczewski 162
Sister Confessor: The Selection and Shaping of Testimonies in Sistren's Bellywoman Bangarang and Lionheart Gal Karina Smith 180
The Vagina Posse: Confessional Community in Online Infertility Journals Chandra Wells 202
Notes on Contributors 222