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

Autobiography II

Session Chair: 
Michael Thomas, Susquehanna University
Session 4: Saturday 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Miller Hall 38
Topic Area: 


  1. Rebecca Chenoweth, University of California Santa Barbara
    Virginia Woolf’s “unfinished” autobiography, “A Sketch of the Past,” is rarely studied as an account of war.  This project argues that the uneven nature of Woolf’s project demonstrates subtle effects of global war on civilians’ memory and identity.  As she includes more narrative details than visual ones, and draws more parallels between her family and British culture, her writing resonates with theories from cognitive psychology about memory’s imperfection and feminist theory’s critique of gendered expectations of the genre. 
  2. Mary Buchinger Bodwell, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University
    One’s dreamlife can be considered a corollary life—a life beside, beneath, and within the waking life. Autobiographical memory, one’s sense of self, is an active and fluid constructive process that depends on a consolidation of or a reckoning with experiences, knowledge, desire, dreams. 
  3. Meghan Swavely, University of San Diego
    This paper examines the autobiographical manuscript of Dionys Fitzherbert (c. 1580-1641) as a socially interactive text. Recognizing that the spiritual imperative for individual Protestant believers to bear witness to the experience of faith was complicated by a deep mistrust of human profession, I explore Fitzherbert’s efforts to demonstrate her authenticity to others, arguing that her text validates her identity through the experience—across the text—of shared interpretation and community.
Session Cancelled: