Leading and Making Lives: One Man’s Story-University Lecture Series - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Leading and Making Lives: One Man’s Story

Sponsored by the Department of English, the Fellowship and Scholarship Office, and the Undergraduate Research Office

Thursday, November 8, 2012     |     4:30 pm, Porter Hall 100 (Gregg Hall)

"Who do we say we are? And how do we know what we say? One key way: through self-narration and life writing. An expansive view of autobiography supports this claim. Autobiography is not only a literary text but much more: a daily identity practice, and even an expression of the rhythms of consciousness. Experience writing memoir discovers three primary motives for our endless self-narration: we are trained to do it as children; we use it to explore our deepest existential questions; and it just may confer an adaptive value for the organisms that we are."

John Eakin has been studying autobiographical narrative since the 1970s. His principal books include: Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of Self-Invention (1985); Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography (1992); How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves (1999); and Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative (2008). Eakin is Ruth N. Halls Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University.