We are pleased to announce the publication of Biography 45.1, which includes open-forum articles and reviews. Find it on Project Muse: https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/49084

Biography 45.1, Table of Contents

Editor’s Note

Open-Forum Articles

Screening Clara Schumann: Biomythography, Gender, and the Relational Biopic

Julia Novak

This article examines four biopics about nineteenth-century musicians Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann as gendered manifestations of the “Schumann biomyth.” It traces the development of the figure of Clara in relation to the films’ historical and political contexts, changing genre conventions, and the demands of (inter)national film industries.

Textile Auto/biography: Protest, Testimony, and Solidarity in the Chilean Arpillerista Movement

Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle

Beginning in 1975, arpillera workshops allowed women to work collectively to document the acts of violence committed against their loved ones under Augusto Pinochet’s regime in Chile. Arpilleras, burlap embroidered with patchwork depictions of people and landscapes, are made from garments of the dead and disappeared. This essay focuses on the clandestine nature of this artwork and features images of arpilleras from one of the largest known collections.

Identity Work, Sexuality, and the Reception of Testimony:
On Identification with Anne Frank

Hannah Jakobsen

In a group of online personal essays, readers of Anne Frank’s Diary narrativize their identification with Frank as the turning point in a coming-out story. Pointing to one Diary passage in particular, these reader-essayists describe relating to a sexuality that they perceive in Frank. I first ask how identification functions in life writing, examining its role in the negotiation and articulation of sexual identity in these cases. I then ask how and why—particularly given their focus on sexuality—these reader-essayists identify with the author of a canonical testimony to atrocity.

Autobiographical Convergences: A Cultural Analysis of Books by Swedish Digital Media Influencers

Gabriella Nilsson

Through a close reading of autobiographical books written by Swedish digital media influencers, individuals who live and make a living from their daily online life narratives, this article analyzes how the life narratives are plotted and framed to fit the auto­biographical format. Two interwoven but contradictory narrative themes are found. One is the depiction of digital media as a positively charged, colorful sanctuary, a cyborg world appearing to the authors in a time of need. The other theme is the individual life histories of the authors, who strive to create chronologies and seek causal explanations for the various events and experiences of their lives. While the depiction of digital media appears to be a way to justify their current lifestyle, the life history stands out as a way to counter the fragmentation of digital media.


Research Methodologies for Auto/biography Studies, edited by Kate Douglas and Ashley Barnwell

Reviewed by Desirée Henderson

The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Volume 1, The Middle Ages, by Karen A. Winstead

Reviewed by Derrick Higginbotham

Romanticism and the Letter, edited by Madeleine Callaghan and Anthony Howe

Reviewed by Mary A. Waters

Prison Life Writing: Conversion and the Literary Roots of the U.S. Prison System, by Simon Rolston

Reviewed by D. Quentin Miller

The Territorialities of U.S. Imperialism(s): Conflicting Discourses of Sovereignty, Jurisdiction and Territory in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Legal Texts and Indigenous Life Writing, by Jens Temmen

Reviewed by Katrina Phillips

Americánas, Autocracy, and Autobiographical Innovation: Overwriting the Dictator, by Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle

Reviewed by Renata Lucena Dalmaso

Indian Travel Writing in the Age of Empire, 1830–1940,
by Pramod K. Nayar

Reviewed by Shaswat Panda

Sports Journalism and Women Athletes: Coverage of Coming Out Stories, by William P. Cassidy

Reviewed by Michael Tsai

Templates for Authorship: American Women’s Literary Autobiography of the 1930s, by Windy Counsell Petrie

Reviewed by Pamela L. Caughie

Contemporary Feminist Life-Writing: The New Audacity,
by Jennifer Cooke

Reviewed by Kate Drabinski

Charlotte Salomon and the Theatre of Memory, by Griselda Pollock

Reviewed by Julia Watson