116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Autobiography I

Session Chair: 
Michaela Hulstyn, Reed College
Session 3: Saturday 8:15 am – 9:45 am
Miller Hall 38
Topic Area: 


  1. Özlem Berk Albachten, Bogazici University
    One of the main aims of this paper is to explore the struggle between creativity and motherhood using Elif Shafak’s autobiographical novel Black Milk: on Motherhood, Writing and the Harem Within. It also aims to demonstrate how the same bodily experiences, such as pregnancy and birth, travel from one socio-cultural context to another, focusing on the role of translation and the various manipulations at work in interlingual and intercultural transfer processes.
  2. Michael Thomas, Susquehanna University
    This paper draws on the concepts of “witnessing” and the “sense of reality” in Baldwin’s writing to ground a notion of racial sensibility as a starting point for evading idealist accounts of race, sexuality, and other positionalities. It argues that Baldwin’s autobiographical essays perform perspectival moves that model a form of sensual perspective taking for the reader. 
  3. Ryan Lambert, The Community College of Denver
    This paper focuses on the useful nature of ugliness in memoirs by Grealy and Gay. I posit that both writers find pleasure in ugliness that allows them to explore alternative means of selfhood that subvert capitalist, masculine heteronormativity.
  4. Renata Lucena Dalmaso, Universidade Federal do Sul e Sudeste do Pará (Brazil)
    This article discusses the genre of autobiographical comics and the possibilities of representation of disability, something I refer to as “graphic body memoirs”. The idiosyncrasies of comics justify the need for a more specific theoretical framework in terms of graphic memoirs and disability. To illustrate the possibilities of such concept, I bring the work Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness, by the brothers Clem e Olivier Martini, published in 2010.
Session Cancelled: