AUTOBIOGRAPHY BEYOND THE BOOK - Coggle Diagram
AUTOBIOGRAPHY BEYOND THE BOOK
What kinds of media do we use to record, edit and document our lives?
: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook
: Postcards, Journals, Newspapers, Books, Letters
What is autobiography?
It's a form of self-expression
A concept from philosophy that helps explain the nature of personal identity. The self is one's private interior life, as opposed to the public exterior of the body. Since the 16th century, one of the fundamental assumptions of Western, capitalist liberal culture has been that everything that is fundamentally authentic about what it means to be a person is contained within the self.
Autobiographies are not only accounts of how lives have been lived but more fundamental accounts of what it means to be a self in the world
): A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smart phone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
"Selfies make plain the ongoing process of identity construction"
-- Nathan Jurgenson,
The Social Photo: On Photography and Social Media
late Middle English (in the sense ‘indivisible’): from medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus, from in- ‘not’ + dividuus ‘divisible’ (from dividere ‘to divide’)
The term individual comes from the Latin for what cannot be divided or split up into any further component parts. Autobiographies tend to tell the story of the life of a singular individual
Since the 17th century, the normative political philosophy of the United States and bourgeoise Europe
In the liberal framework: rights are held by individuals, not by communities or groups; everyone has rights by birth; the basic unit of experience is the individual.
Arguably, the modern notion of race comes from the need to justify slavery in the context of liberal individualism. See, for example, Paul Gilroy,
Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line (2002)
: an autobiographical account written by a formerly enslaved African person, e.g. Equiano's narrative
and Frederick Douglass's narrative
It's a way of telling a story
It's a way of making sense of what happened
It's a way of controlling your own narrative
It's a way of immortalising yourself
It comes from your subjective perspective
What is the importance of childhood in the autobiographical text?
Virginia Woolf, "A Sketch of the Past" (1939)
Hélène Cixous's notion of "feminine writing"
How is autobiography a window onto the workings of consciousness?
What is the relationship between truth and fiction in autobiography?
How does time function in autobiography?
Gertrude Stein's idea of the "continuous present" (1926)
Henri Bergson's distinction between clock time and "duration"
What does it mean to have a life?