- Editors’ Note
After looking in detail last year at the numbers of books, articles, and dissertations in the “Annual Bibliography of Works about Life Writing (2011–2012),” our Editors’ Note remarked that “writing about life writing continues to increase, and this year quite markedly.” The total number of pieces had grown from 1,400 to 1,497; this year marks a similar increase, to 1,588, but almost exclusively in one area of publishing, which if nothing else should suggest where potential contributors should look for publication opportunities.
The number of single-author books has dropped for the second consecutive year—from 171 to 158. Dissertations have remained roughly the same—from 85 to 82—and so have articles in regular issues of journals—from 427 to 438. In a trend we have been noting for several years, however, the number of articles appearing in special issues of journals or in edited collections has greatly increased once more. Last year listed 814 articles in 70 different collections, a jump of over 6 percent from the previous year, even though the actual number of collections dropped from 75. The average therefore was over eleven articles for each publication, although edited collections tended to have more contributions than special issues.
This year the number of volumes and the number of articles went up: 79 volumes, with 910 articles—a jump of over ten percent in both categories. To summarize bluntly: 57 percent of the entries in this year’s entire bibliography are housed in edited collections, and twice as many articles published in the field appear in such collections than in regular journal issues.
Some other random but perhaps interesting facts. Certain presses tend to be heavily represented in the single volume and edited collection categories. One of the leaders for books is Ashgate, with nine titles—a trend we’ve noted for some time. But Oxford University Press actually has ten, and University of Nebraska Press has eight, University of California Press seven, and Bloomsbury, Bloomington, and University of Minnesota Presses five or six. As for the edited collections, Palgrave Macmillan leads the way with seven, followed by Ashgate with five. Special notice should also be paid to Universitätsverlag Winter in Heidelberg, which not only published six of this year’s books, but three of the edited collections. These volumes tend to be very substantial, placing this German press in the forefront of life writing publishing.
It’s also clear that the various journals devoted specifically to life writing are producing a very substantial amount of the scholarship. Biography published a special issue, a cluster, and three other articles, for a total of nineteen [End Page iii] pieces. A/B: Auto/Biography Studies published one special issue, and twenty-one additional articles, for a total of thirty. Life Writing had one special issue, and seventeen separate articles, for a total of twenty-nine, and Auto/Biography Yearbook published nine essays. Two very recent journals have produced substantial amounts of work. The European Journal of Lifewriting had a special cluster and nine more essays, for a total of fifteen, and the new Journal of Life-writing Studies from China published nineteen essays. In short, nearly 125 of the articles published in the field last year—somewhere in the neighborhood of eight percent—appeared in life writing journals.
A substantial number of abstracts for work in French, German, Spanish, and Chinese appear in this bibliography, although these numbers are still disproportionately small, given the amount of life writing work being done in these and other languages. We hope some day to move this bibliography from the status of the symptomatic toward something closer to comprehensive, although we wonder whether there will be room for anything else in our Fall issue. [End Page iv]