- Editor's Note
The format of this issue represents something of a departure for Biography. For many years we have published what we call "clusters" of essays focused on a particular theme alongside our individual open-forum articles. While our editorial staff typically determines the topics and invites the guest editors for our annual special issues, the cluster model gives us the opportunity to consider unsolicited proposals from colleagues who would like to present an edited collection of related essays to Biography's readership. In the past two years, we have received a number of compelling pitches, and for the first time we are running two clusters in the same issue. These projects have emerged within different geopolitical and cultural contexts, but both address the question of how life stories are crafted and disseminated in media other than print.
The six essays in "Asian American Hip-Hop Musical Auto/Biographies," edited by Roderick N. Labrador and Brian Su-Jen Chung, draw on a range of methodologies to explore how Asian American hip-hop artists have integrated their life stories into their lyrics and performances, positioned their work in relation to hip-hop's African American legacies, and negotiated their reception by various audiences. Although anchored in the United States, this cluster reveals the global reach of Asian American hip-hop, tracing musical and cultural roots that connect up with Cambodia, Canada, Hawai'i, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.
In "Political Biography in Literature and Cinema," Joanny Moulin and Delphine Letort bring together four scholars who take different perspectives on biographies in the media of film, television, and print in Belgium, France, and the UK. In this cluster, Rémi Fontanel gives a historical overview of political biopics on French television, Nicole Cloarec focuses a detailed gender analysis on three biopics of Margaret Thatcher, Gertjan Willems describes the cultural impact of a recently restored biopic of the Flemish politician Adolf Daens, and Françoise Coste gives us a lively account of the challenges she faced when writing an academic biography of Ronald Reagan for a French audience.
We are grateful to both teams of guest editors for their efforts to make these clusters speak as well as they do to the interests of Biography's readers and to uphold the journal's commitment to interdisciplinarity and an international scope. [End Page vii]
I also want to take this opportunity to signal some significant transitions at Biography and the Center for Biographical Research. First the good news: Anna Poletti, who has made many significant contributions to the field of life writing studies, will be coming on board as one of Biography's coeditors. Until now, all the members of our editorial staff have been based at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, and we are excited by this opportunity to collaborate with an established scholar with footholds both in Europe, in her current position at Utrecht University, and in Australia, where she did her training and much of her earlier research.
Now for the not-so-good news: Anjoli Roy, who has served brilliantly as our Managing Editor since 2016, is moving on to new endeavors. With her impeccable editorial and event-planning skills, her patience, and her good humor, Anjoli has kept the many moving parts of our operation in excellent working order. All of us at Biography are deeply grateful for her contributions to the success of the journal and the Center, and we wish her the very best.
Finally, with this issue I am wrapping up my stint as Director of the Center for Biographical Research. It has been a privilege to work in this capacity for the past year and a half, and I want to thank Craig Howes, who will return to the position in August 2018, for entrusting me with the role and for the advice and support he has given me throughout this time. [End Page viii]