Lynn Abrams on Narrating the Female Self in the Feminist Age

The 2017 Kathleen Fitzpatrick History Lecture, delivered by Professor Lynn Abrams (University of Glasgow).

Life story telling has become a central plank of our confessional age as well as a key methodology of modern histories whether via the written autobiography, the oral history, or the self telling made possible by new forms of media. In the last 20 years there has been a sea-change in the willingness of people to tell their stories and a related shift in women’s ability and facility to tell narratives with authenticity at their core. In oral histories in particular we are able to hear women owning their voices and the stories those voices tell. This lecture introduces and explores the concept of feminography — the modern phenomenon of feminist narration of a life which is self validating as well as creating a genre of life story telling that authorises others to do the same.