Category Archives: Publications

María Teresa del Olmo Ibáñez: Teoría de la Biografía

Published by Dykinson (2015) –https://www.dykinson.com/libros/teoria-de-la-biografia/9788490855768/
JSTORhttps://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1k2336f

Author’s presentation:

The goal of this work consists in reaching a complete understanding of Biography as a literary genre. Among the relevant difficulties of this research, is the insufficient number of previous theoretical studies focusing on the poetological questions of Biography. Its limits have not been established, whether it concerns its poetic starting points or the doctrinal knowledge relating to its genre, making this study necessary. Perhaps, one of the possible causes of the ambiguity surrounding the technical knowledge of the biographical genre might be its own essayistic nature. This fact results in a wide range of sub-categories, which go from rigid historical, scientific or clinical types to taking huge freedom in dealing with documental information.

The main aim of the book is to define Biography as a literary genre. This would concretize in locating it inside the General Literary Genres System, in assessing the state of the art, and in proposing a new poetic and rhetoric perspective. Four main points are developed in the book: determining Biography’s place inside the General Genres System, theoretically synthesizing the category of character and its evolution, the origin and evolution of Biography, and a taxonomic proposal for biographical sub-genres. Furthermore, four more issues related to Biography and its history have been taken into account: Saint-Beuve’s biographical method; biography, hagiography and exemplary lives as pedagogical writings; biography and exemplary lives as pedagogical tools; and, the role played by biography in its relationship with Historiography and Education.

Also, the book tries to describe a modern stage for biography, including a selection of the most relevant American and European biographers; and a section of Spanish ones, who have not yet been recognized as such, though these authors have developed their own biographical paradigms as well as a biographical theory in both explicit or implicit ways. In terms of method, this work adopts a literary perspective: a poetological and doctrinal analysis, and the critical analysis of the books by these selected authors. Chronologically, the research covers biography from its origins to the mid XXth century. Biographical and autobiographical digital creations are also mentioned.

In terms of content, the book presents two main sections. The first part focuses on critical, taxonomic and general poetical issues in biography. It includes an overall view of the state of the arts, a definition of the essayistic nature of Biography, its relationship with Historiography and Education, and with literary genres (autobiography, confessions, novel); it tries to describe the evolution of the genre since its origins, following continuity lines up to the XXth century. This is one of the criteria that has been applied in order to propose a taxonomy as complete as possible, including Biography of nations, with special consideration given to the Bible considered as Jewish biography.

In an alternative to common forms of classification, a thematic basis has been chosen to analyze modern biography, concluding in a paradigmatic definition for each one of the biographers in question. XXth century authors André Maurois, Lewis Mumford, Emil Ludwig and Stefan Zweig appear as the main international representatives for that period, special focus is given to their theoretical reflection about Biography. Four other Spanish writers are separately
considered since their biographical contributions have not received the attention they deserve:  Eugenio d’Ors, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Gregorio Marañón and María Zambrano. Their work as biographers has scarcely been studied and their important thoughts about biography have been ignored although the value of their works is widely acknowledged in other literary fields. The book also contains considerations about Saint-Beuve, biography of cities, fictional biography, Biobibliography and, briefly, XXI digital biographies.

Literature on Biography has been analysed from different points of view: philosophical
perspectives, disciplinary location, theories according to biographical subjects, poetological and methodological theories, and character theories related to biography. The second part establishes a constructive proposal for Biography as a literary genre, according to classical poetic and rhetoric criteria. Following Aristotle’s procedure in defining Tragedy, and rhetorical resources, biography components and methods are established in contrast with Aristotelic conclusions for dramatic elements and characters. That way, differences between fictional characters and real people, their actions and rhetorical resources become evident and allow conclusions concerning Biography from a literary theory perspective. At the end of the book there are two schema proposals, which intend to reflect how character is created in biography according to its components and features; and, on the other hand, biography sub-genres and category taxonomy, also indicating the lines of continuity between them up to the XXth century.

 

 

Great Biographers/Grands Biographes

We are very happy to announce the publication of part one of “Great Biographers” in the e-journal Les Grandes Figures historiques dans la littérature et les arts (N°6 2017)

The publication of part two (N°6 bis 2017) is scheduled for October 2017.

 

Greats Biographers/ Grands biographes

 

Editors: Joanny Moulin & Hans Renders

Joanny Moulin (Aix Marseille univ, LERMA, Aix-en-Provence, Biography Society)

Hans Renders (Groningen University,Faculty of Arts, Biography Institute, History Department)

Content:

Introduction

Tobias Heinrich (New College, University of Oxford), “Friedrich Schlichtegroll’s Nekrolog. Enlightenment Biography”

Nikol Dziub (Université de Haute-Alsace), “Washington Irving biographe, ou la fabrique des mythes américains”

Damien Fortin (Université de Lorraine), “Eloge et élégie. La critique biographique de Sainte Beuve

Christopher Griffin (Institut Catholique de Rennes), “‘I should like to see our young officers read all your volumes’: Theodore Ayrault Dodge and American Military Biography”

Joanny Moulin (Aix Marseille univ, LERMA, Aix-en-Provence), “André Maurois, or the Aesthetic Advantage of Biography over the Novel”

Journal website: Les Grandes Figures historiques dans les lettres et les arts (Université Lille 3)

Biography, gender and history: Nordic perspectives

Biography, gender and history:
Nordic perspectives


Eds. Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir, Tiina Kinnunen, Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, Birgitte Possing

New publication on biography and history by the book series Cultural history – Kulttuurihistoria at the University of Turku
http://www.utu.fi/fi/yksikot/hum/yksikot/kulttuurihistoria/tutkimus/culturalhistory/Sivut/home.aspx

How to construct a life of a nineteenth-century Icelandic ordinary woman? What perspectives does surveillance material open up when exploring an individual? How to use portraits as biographical clues? What do group biographies or pair biographies add to the genre of historical biography?

This book, with contributions by scholars from various Nordic countries, reflects the biographical turn that has influenced Nordic historical research during the past few decades. It is a contribution to the growing international interest in, and theorisation of, biography and biographical research as a method of doing history. The individual chapters focus on challenges of gender, context, and relationality in biographical research, and develop the methodologies of biographical research further.

This is an excellent volume covering a significant gap in the interdisciplinary field of historical and biographical writing not only in the Nordic milieu but more widely; it does so from a rich range of perspectives, theoretical and methodological approaches, as well as biographical case studies. It is indeed a rare contribution in the life-writing literature.’
– Professor Maria Tamboukou (University of East London)

Contact person:
Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, Maarit.leskela@utu.fi
Book orders: https://utushop.utu.fi/p/1900-biography-gender-and-history-nordic-perspectives/

Biography, gender and history: Nordic perspectives
Eds. Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir, Tiina Kinnunen, Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, Birgitte Possing

Contents of the book

Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir, Tiina Kinnunen, Maarit Leskelä-Kärki
Doing biography

I GENRE

Birgitte Possing
How does one relate a complex life? Reflections on a polyphonic portrait of the minister and intellectual Bodil Koch (1903–1973)

Christina Carlsson Wetterberg
Biography as a way of challenging gender stereotypes: Reflections on writing about the Swedish author and feminist Frida Stéenhoff (1865–1945)

II GENDER

Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir
A biography of her own: The historical narrative and Sigríður Pálsdóttir (1809–1871)

Antti Harmainen
Group biography as an approach to studying manhood and religion in late nineteenth-century Finland

Kristine Kjærsgaard
Love and emotions in the diplomatic world: the relationship between Bodil Begtrup’s public and private lives, 1937–1956

III  CONTEXT

Tiina Kinnunen
‘Fighting sisters’: A comparative biography of Ellen Key (1849–1926) and Alexandra Gripenberg (1857–1913) in the contested field of European feminisms

Irene Andersson
Telling stories of gendered space and place: the political agency of the Swedish communist Valborg Svensson (1903–1983)

IV RELATIONS

Maarit Leskelä-Kärki
Remembering mother: Relations and memory in the biographical project on Minna Krohn (1841–1917)

Heini Hakosalo
Coming together: early Finnish medical women and the multiple levels of historical biography

Kaisa Vehkalahti
Bad girl biographies: Child welfare documents as gendered biographies

Tiina Kinnunen, Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir, Birgitte Possing
Afterword: Future challenges

“Based upon a Life”: The Biopic Genre in Question

See original image

vol. XIV-n°2 | 2016

“Based upon a Life”: The Biopic Genre in Question

« Inspiré d’une vie » : le genre biopic en question

Edited by Delphine Letort and Taïna Tuhkunen.

 

While George F. Custen defines a biopic (biographical film) as a depiction of “the life of a historical person, past or present” (Bio/Pics, How Hollywood Constructed Public History, 1992, 5), he also considers the impact of celebrities and stars as “key historical figures” whose public persona may interfere with the genre’s historical discourse. More recently, Ellen Cheshire has asked if this “maligned and misunderstood genre” is, in reality, a genre of its own (Bio-Pics: A Life in Pictures, 2015, 3). Biopics have indeed sparked off a number of on-going debates, not merely due to their claims of veracity, but through their practice of gender politics, intertextuality, reflexivity, and their hagiographic roots capable of impacting the narrative modes, visual and discursive strategies perpetuated by contemporary “life stories” on screen. This issue of Revue LISA/LISA e-journal explores the various mechanisms, conventions and patterns underlying the construction of “exceptional destinies” on screen (cinema/television).

Contents:
  • Delphine Letort and Taïna Tuhkunen
    « Inspiré d’une vie » : le genre biopic en question
    “Based upon a Life”: The Biopic Genre in Question
  • Joanny Moulin
    Biophoty: The Biofilm in Biography Theory
    La biophotie : le biofilm dans la théorie de la biographie
  • Rémi Fontanel
    Le biopic du sportif américain
    American Sports Biopics
  • Delphine Letort
    Flirting with Controversy: Making Biopics about Truman Capote
    Flirter avec la controverse : les biopics sur Truman Capote
  • Jules Sandeau
    Katharine Hepburn en reine de cœur : Mary of Scotland (John Ford, 1936)
    Katharine Hepburn as Queen of Hearts: Mary of Scotland (John Ford, 1936)
  • Claire Demoulin
    Les biopics d’hommes politiques : des « films de discours » ? Croisements esthétiques, rhétoriques et politiques autour du film Le Discours d’un roi
    Political Biopics as Films of Speeches: aesthetic, rhetorical and political discussions around The King’s Speech
  • Hélène Charlery
    HBO’s Black Women Artist Biopics: The Josephine Baker Story and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
    Les biopics de HBO sur les artistes noires américaines : The Josephine Baker Story et Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
  • Nicole Cloarec
    The Secret Life of Secret Agents: Alan Bennett and John Schlesinger’s An Englishman Abroad (1983) and A Question of Attribution (1991)
    La vie secrète des agents doubles : An Englishman Abroad (1983) et A Question of Attribution (1991) d’Alan Bennett et John Schlesinger
    Varia:
    • Olivier Richomme
      La fin de la diversité ? Démantèlement jurisprudentiel du Voting Rights Act aux États-Unis
      The End of Diversity? Jurisprudential Deconstruction of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in the US
Revue LISA / LISA e-journal is a bilingual peer-reviewed international on-line publication. LISA welcomes researchers from France and abroad ‎who are interested in pluri-, trans- or inter- disciplinary studies in fields including cultural ‎studies, literature, philosophy or the history of ideas, the visual arts, music, media studies, ‎sociology, history and anthropology within the English-speaking world although comparative ‎studies with other geographical areas will also be considered.

The Biographical Turn: Lives in History – H.Renders, B. de Haan, J. Harmsma.

Edited by Hans Renders, Binne de Haan, Jonne Harmsma
222 pages
© 2017 – Routledge

Paperback: 9781138939714
pub: 2016-09-28
Hardback: 9781138939707
pub: 2016-09-26

 

The Biographical Turn showcases the latest research through which the field of biography is being explored. Fifteen leading scholars in the field present the biographical perspective as a scholarly research methodology, investigating the consequences of this bottom-up approach and illuminating its value for different disciplines.

While biography has been on the rise in academia since the 1980s, this volume highlights the theoretical implications of the biographical turn that is changing the humanities. Chapters cover subjects such as gender, religion, race, new media and microhistory, presenting biography as a research methodology suited not only for historians but also for explorations in areas including literature studies, sociology, economics and politics. By emphasizing agency, the use of primary sources and the critical analysis of context and historiography, this book demonstrates how biography can function as a scholarly methodology for a wide range of topics and fields of research.

International in scope, The Biographical Turn emphasizes that the individual can have a lasting impact on the past and that lives that are now forgotten can be as important for the historical narrative as the biographies of kings and presidents. It is a valuable resource for all students of biography, history and historical theory.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

List of contributors

Introduction

1 The Biographical Turn: Biography as Critical Method in the Humanities and in Society

Hans Renders, Binne de Haan and Jonne Harmsma

 

Section 1: The Biographical Turn in the Humanities

2 Biography as Corrective

Nigel Hamilton

3 The Plurality of the Past: Historical Time and the Rediscovery of Biography

Sabina Loriga

4 The Life Is Never Over: Biography as a Microhistorical Approach

Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon

5 Personalized History: Biofiction, Source Criticism and the Topicality of Biography

Binne de Haan

6 The Life Effect: Literature Studies and the Biographical Perspective

Joanny Moulin

7 Biography as a Concept of Thought: On the Premises of Biographical Research and Narrative

Christian Klein

 

Section 2: The Biographical Turn in Fields of Knowledge

8 Biographies as Multipliers: The First World War as Turning Point in the Lives of Modernist Artists

Hans Renders and Sjoerd van Faassen

9 ‘Honest Politics’: A Biographical Perspective on Economic Expertise as a Political Style

Jonne Harmsma

10 Rediscovering Agency in the Atlantic: A Biographical Approach Linking Entrepreneurial Spirit and Overseas Companies

Kaarle Wirta

11 Building Bridges to Past Centuries: Religion and Empathy in Early Modern Biography

Enny de Bruijn

12 Palatable and Unpalatable Leaders: Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Afrikaner Biography

Lindie Koorts

 

Section 3: The Biographical Turn in Academia and Society

13 Biography Is Not A Selfie: Authorization as the Creeping Transition from Autobiography to Biography

Hans Renders

14 What Are We Turning From? Research and Ideology in Biography and Life Writing

Craig Howes

15 Liberation From Low Dark Space: Biography Beside and Beyond the Academy

Carl Rollyson

16 From Academic Historian to Popular Biographer: Musings on the Practical Poetics of Biography

Debby Applegate

 

Bibliography

Index