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233 Notes Introduction 1. The enduring interest in self-­ representation has only ramped up with the latest technology. Opportunities for circulating instantaneous self-­ expression in text and image are endless: in the blogosphere, on Facebook, and via Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media. This book, however, is not about digital autobiographical forms. 2. Other metaphors for U.S. society include a mixed salad or a mosaic. Acknowledgment and inclusion of diverse American identities and experiences began to be demanded in literature and art. Curated by the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, “The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980s” (1990) was one such foundational attempt to address a history of exclusion. 3. Visual studies is distinct from art history in that its focus is not on high art but on the primacy of the visual in everyday life. A segment of it is also devoted to analysis of the power relations embedded in visual regimes and the act of looking. 4. There is a long history of picture narratives, followed by image-­ text codices, but after the printing press was invented, print became more standardized and less inclusive of images unless they were used to illustrate a point. Even so, books with both images and text have always existed. The Book of Kells (c. 800), for example, is an elaborately illustrated codex made by monks. It includes “four Gospels in Latin based on a Vulgate text, written in vellum (prepared calfskin), in a bold and expert version of the script known as ‘insular majuscule.’” See Trinity College Dublin website for more information: /book-­of-­kells/. 5. Some of those I discuss identify themselves primarily as writers, others as artists, and several as both. Because all produce texts and images, I use the terms “writer” and “artist” interchangeably throughout. 6. The constricting nature of conventional autobiography has been discussed widely. Some feminist scholars, for example, denounce the conventions of Western life writing as so embedded in patriarchy as to make it an impossibility for a woman to write autobiography. See, e.g., Benstock, Private Self; Miller, Getting Personal; Brodzki and Schenck, Life/Lines; Smith, Poetics of Women’s Autobiography; Stanton, Female Autograph; and Gilmore, Autobiographics. See also Smith and Watson, Women, Autobiography, Theory, and their comprehensive overview, Reading Autobiography. Similarly, some scholars of Native American literatures conclude that the Western conceptions of self, life, and writing assumed by traditional autobiography studies must be completely redefined to tell an indigenous life story. See Brumble, American Indian Autobiography; Krupat, For Those Who Come After; and my own Sending My Heart Back across the Years. Likewise, many ethnic American, LGBT, and disabled writers, artists, and scholars feel the need to retell American history from marginalized perspectives to create a space in which to be heard. Variously marginalized people search for forms through which to convey their individual and collective experiences, attempting to intervene in the network of power relations necessary to formulate their self-­ understandings in their own languages, words, and images. 7. For considerations of life narratives focusing on trauma, see Henke, Shattered Subjects; Egan, Mirror Talk; Fuchs, Text Is Myself; Whitlock, Postcolonial Life Narratives; and Chute, Disaster Drawn. 8. This visual-­ verbal re-­ presentation and re-­ narration resembles what cultural studies theorist Stuart Hall defines as “articulation”—a process by which certain classes or groups appropriate cultural forms and practices for their own purposes as part of a struggle for recognition and coalition building. In Hall, Morley, and 234 Notes to Pages 6–8 13–45; Mirzoeff, Right to Look; Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”; and Sturken and Cartwright, Practices of Looking. For a consideration of how the nineteenth-­ century American photographic archive shaped possibilities for racialized subjects, see Smith, American Archives, and her special guest-­ edited issue of MELUS, “Visual Culture and Race.” 12. Rugg, Picturing Ourselves, and Adams, Light Writing and Life Writing, both address photography and autobiography. Rugg argues that photography resulted in “new ways of thinking about and representing selfhood and life histories”; and she distinguishes the literary autobiographical person, the “I,” from the photographic autobiographical persona, “a trace of a person’s physical presence in space and time” (Picturing Ourselves 7). Emphasizing the referential “instability” of both autobiography and photography, Adams explores how “photography may stimulate, inspire, or seem to document autobiography; it may also confound verbal narrative. Conversely, autobiography may meditate on, stimulate, or even...


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