113th Annual Conference - Portland, Oregon
Friday, November 6 - Sunday, November 8, 2015

Autobiography III: Autobiographic Private Spaces

Session Chair: 
Edward Chamberlain, University of Washington Tacoma
Session 12: Sunday 12:10-1:40pm
Skyline III (PH-ET)
Topic Area: 


  1. Elizabeth Curry, University of Oregon
    To better understand both indigenous and imperially sanctioned domestic spaces in two turn-of-the-20th-century Native American autobiographies, this paper reads the coercive imposition of the imperial domestic standard in Zitkala-Ša’s American Indian Stories and Charles Alexander Eastman’s From the Deep Woods to Civilization. Both texts narrate the capitalist construction of ‘the family’ as both Zitkala-Ša and Eastman recount the individual and communal effects of transposition into 'permanent' housing.
  2. Jayita Sinha, The University of Texas at Austin
    I examine the Atmacharitra of Bahinabai (1628-1700) as one of the earliest examples of women’s autobiography in South Asia. I argue that Bahinabai underplays her literary achievements by aligning her narrative with modes of self-expression that were authorized for women. Finally, I speculate that Bahinabai’s pioneering autobiography can be traced to her subject position as a Brahmin woman; she intended her narrative as an apologia that would justify her deviance from Brahminical rules.
  3. Roger Porter, Reed College
    This paper examines how several food memoirs emphasize the role that family, ethnicity, and gastronomical traditions have played in the development of a self. I will look at how African-American, Jordanian-American, Chinese-American, and Caribbean writers have dramatized the role of food and its native traditions in their intellectual, social, and psychological lives.  
Session Cancelled: