Callie Ingram (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Autofiction and autotheory continue to grow in popularity as forms of contemporary life writing. Despite their differences, these two genres share a concern in representations of selfhood and subjective experience that explicitly engage and are shaped by other literary and philosophical texts. Moreover, by emphasizing the intertextuality of lived experience, they both challenge (1) the perceived conventionality of more established life writing genres, such as memoir, and (2) everyday assumptions of unmediated, individual self-expression.
This panel will analyze autofiction and autotheory as contemporary literary genres still on the rise, with particular interest in putting the two in conversation with each other. Papers may engage autofiction or autotheory, or the relationship between the two, as genres, market categories, or artistic practices; look closely at specific works of autofiction and/or autotheory; or explore other forms of what we might call “autoliterature.”
As the session title suggests, papers that historicize the emergence and development of autofiction and/or autotheory or that broadly analyze their ideological functions and features in a particular national or cultural context are especially welcome.