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auto/biography

This tag is associated with 11 posts

My Selfie Practice: Self-Knowledge Production and Agency

Over the course of this term, we have debunked the popularized myth that selfies are shallow cultural artifacts. Domestic photography, snapshots, and #selfies of all genres have dynamic semiotic functions and play a major role in “backyard ethnographies” and (re)claiming agency. Borrowing methodology from Smith and Watson’s Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives … Continue reading

Let me take a #groupselfie: A Reflection on my #selfie practices

We’ve talked a lot about #selfies and the generalized genres we see in them, such as haircut selfies, weight loss selfies, or mirror selfies.  I came at this from a very confused standpoint. This was, of course, not because I don’t take selfies, but instead, I don’t participate in genres with a single selfie subject. … Continue reading

Communicative Photographic Objects and the Archive of the Self

Martin Lister’s fascinating article, “Overlooking, Rarely Looking, and Not Looking” problematizes the sheer mass of digital photography stored online and on hard drives of cell phones, cameras, and computers. Lister argues that we are “drowning” (15) in snapshot images that are boring, mediocre and generally never even looked at (5). These sprawling masses of .jpgs … Continue reading

Smith and Watson: Everyday Uses of Autobiography

In the introduction to Getting a Life: Everyday Uses of Autobiography, Smith and Watson offer an approach to studying autobiographical narrative in a way that includes the everyday story. They state, “…we move in and out of autobiographical subjectivity, sometimes by our own desire and purposes, sometimes through the exertions and coercions of others” (Smith … Continue reading

Mourning Your Past Self

Awkward Years Project is a website on which people post photographs of their younger selves looking certain ways which at some point in their lives embarrassed them. Posting on this site, I argue, is not just for the entertainment benefit of others (as on, say, Awkward Family Photos), but also functions as a means of re-writing … Continue reading

Summary of “Virtually Me”

In “Virtually Me”, Smith and Watson build upon concepts from their book to provide a toolbox that attends to the way users create themselves online. The authors define the self as a marker of reflexivity, both online and offline. The self is constructed by the user, and represents the user – but it is not … Continue reading

Interacting with Otsuka’s autobiographical photos

Photographer Chino Otsuka whose series titled Imagine Finding Me, photo-shops her present-day self into photos from her childhood. I believe some of Smith and Watson’s ways of interacting with life-writing texts can be applied to these photos in a fresh light. Agency As opposed to letting her parents taking the photo, Otsuka gains agency in … Continue reading

Re-membering Ourselves Through Photography

In the introduction to her book, Picturing Ourselves: Photography and Autobiography, Linda Rugg outlines the complexities of textual and visual signification within the autobiographical genre. Both photographic and textual autobiographical artifacts complicate the position of the author, and disrupt the subject/object binary. Photographic and textual autobiography transforms the author from subject into both subject and … Continue reading

Response: Smith and Watson and #selfie in South Korea

Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson’s characteristics of the “autobiographical subject” can be applied to the use of selfies in photo sharing apps such as Instagram to construct a narrative bound in cultural beauty standards. Recent news has stated that 70.14% or 35,000,000 people of the South Korean population owns a smartphone. The country, prideful of … Continue reading

24 ways to interact with life-writing texts: A summary of Smith and Watson

Agency How does an author “writing back” to hegemonic institutions/dominant narratives allow her to gain agency? Audience/Addressee Who does the text address; are there multiple audiences? What kind of reader does the text ask you to be? Authority/Authenticity Is the narrator authoritative? Does the narrator defer to an established authority figure to give clout to … Continue reading

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