| Dr. Anna Poletti
Dr. Anna Poletti

The Role of Media in Making Lives Matter

Abendvortrag | 8. Februar 2021 | 20:00 Uhr (s.t.)
Plakat des Abendvortrags

Der Abendvortrag wird in englischer Sprache abgehalten.

The study of life writing as a narrative practice has largely focussed on the autobiography as a written genre that takes the form of either published works (autobiographies and memoirs) or private written forms (letters and diaries). Philosophical and literary critical accounts of autobiography focus on narrative as a linguistic practice. But with the rise of high quality consumer electronics and digital technologies of distribution, autobiographers now work in and across multiple media, combining images, sound, music, or objects with linguistic content to tell a story about lived experience. In this lecture, Anna Poletti will outline the key ideas of her recently published book, Stories of the Self: Life Writing After the Book—that autobiography is no longer a practice specific to the literature as an artform, and that we must pay more attention to the role of media materialities in the practice of life writing. Literary theories of life writing have established that autobiography is a primary means of assigning value and meaning to lived experience and sharing that with others, but our understanding of this process and its social and political importance remains partial if we do not attend to the role of media affordances and aesthetics in acts of life writing. These issues span both analogue and digital media, and Dr. Poletti will outline some of the case studies she discusses in the book that have helped her develop a new theory of autobiography as self-life-inscription.

Dr. Anna Poletti is Associate Professor of English Language and Culture at Utrecht University. Drawing on feminist and queer theory traditions, Dr. Poletti's published work examines how the materiality of media forms - from handmade postcards, to the selfie - inform the presentation of stories from lived experience. They have expertise in research methods that engage with ephemeral materials, queer and feminist theory, and comparative media studies, and have conducted archival work on zines, Andy Warhol's extensive autobiographical artwork, Time Capsules (1974-1987) , and letters in the 1990s underground feminist movement riot grrrl at the Fales Library Riot Grrrl Collection (at New York University).

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