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The Eclipse of Biography in Life Writing

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Chapter Summary

Institutional and theoretical developments have led to the gradual disappearance of biography as a subject of research for the academic field in which Life Writing texts are studied. First, the various definitions of the terms Life Writing and biography in recent academic writing help to explain their shifts in meaning. In addition, the case of the scholarly journal Biography, based in the United States, shows that the domains of biography and Life Writing differ fundamentally, despite sharing common ground. One of the main causes for the eclipse of biography in Life Writing is a general difference in background and practice by scholars in Life Writing and scholars in Biography Studies. Biography illustrates the transformation from research, which is oriented towards biography, to the emergence of Life Writing research, which ultimately eclipsed biography.

Keywords: academic writing; Biography; Life Writing; United States



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