Introduction: GENDER AND POLITICS IN AUTO/BIOGRAPHIES
Politicians all over Europe used to write about their lives, and keep doing so. Like other well-known persons they are “unusual biographical subjects”, because the biographical activity concerning their lives often starts while they are still alive. (Frank 1999). On the one hand, classical autobiographies written by politicians themselves (and their co-authors or ghost-writers) are published widely and are not only an important part of the memory politics and the construction of national history, but also a contribution to the stabilization of gender conceptions.(Depkat 2014, p .247-265; Ulbrich, Jancke and Bosch 2013, p. 5). Often the (auto)biographers intend to contribute to political and historical analyses. On the other hand, life writing has changed and diversified rapidly during the 20th century. The widespread desire for authenticity and truth seems to be enormous, so we can see a process of democratization, including a change of the concepts of private and public spheres. Nowadays everybody is entitled to present his or her life in public.(Ulbrich, Jancke and Bosch 2013, p.5). Life writing took place not only in hard copy, but in many different media, like radio, film, tv, blogs, facebook and other new social media. So it seems a good moment to look at the (auto)biographies and memoirs in the political area during the 20th and the beginning of the 21th century.
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Copyright (c) 2016 anneke ribberink, Tiina Kinnunen, Kirsti Niskanen, Angelika Schaser
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European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by the VU University Library.