Rev. of New Forms of Self-Narration: Young women, life writing and human rights

Maguire, Emma (2022) Rev. of New Forms of Self-Narration: Young women, life writing and human rights. a/b: Auto/Biography Studies. (In Press)

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Abstract

[Extract] Ana Belén Martínez García’s book New Forms of Self-Narration: Young Women, Life Writing and Human Rights brings together six highly influential contemporary human rights activists from the Global South. These activists are all women, and they all include narratives of girlhood or youth in the personal stories they tell with the aim of garnering global attention for their human rights causes. The activists and life narrators examined here have all contributed strikingly to human rights activism, and particularly in advancing global awareness and prioritization of gendered human rights violations. Through multi-textual rhetorical analysis, Martínez García illuminates the activists’ “mechanisms of self-presentation,” finding commonalities and differences between them that, when taken together, suggest a model for success.2 The key strategies that emerge from Martínez García’s analysis include the authors reliving pain and suffering in representing their experiences, slippage between the first-person singular and first-person plural to represent a collective “I,” and the complex juggling act of appealing to a broad audience using universalisms while also staking a claim as an Othered identity who speaks on behalf of Othered people. A core part of this model for success is multimodal and cross-platform self-presentation, which is used to create responsive public personas that are malleable enough to slide fluidly from one media context to another yet robust enough to cohere into a solid, representative self.

Item ID: 75169
Item Type: Article (Book Review)
ISSN: 2151-7290
Copyright Information: © 2022 Emma Maguire.
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2022 01:22
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470526 Other literatures in English @ 70%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4405 Gender studies > 440509 Women's studies (incl. girls' studies) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130203 Literature @ 100%
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