English Studies Research Seminar (HC):
Thursday, 3 April, 10h30-12h00 (MTB, First Floor, E138).
Prof. G. Thomas Couser (Hofstra University, USA) will present the paper “Why Memoir Matters.”
Though often confused with fiction (so-called graphic novels are often actually memoirs), memoir is a distinct genre, at least in theory. As a result, we probably have different expectations of it. Memoir matters, in part, because it does different “work” than fiction does. My talk will explore the implications of this difference in the context of the history and present situation of memoir in the USA. In particular, I will explore the significance of memoir as a threshold genre, accessible to many, and rooted in practices of daily life.
Emeritus Professor G. Thomas Couser retired in 2011 from Hofstra University, where he was a professor of English and founding director of the Disability Studies Program. His books include Recovering Bodies: Illness, Disability, and Life Writing (U of Wisconsin P, 1997), Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life Writing (Cornell UP, 2004), and Signifying Bodies: Disability in Contemporary Life Writing (U of Michigan P, 2009). His most recent book is Memoir: An Introduction (Oxford UP, 2012). He has completed a memoir of his father.