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Title: Conditions and limits : contemporary female biographers and the biographical paradigm : an original contribution to knowledge
Author: Cook, N. M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3561 7754
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis aims to interrogate the notion that biography is a 'traditional, old-fashioned' genre immune to change through an investigation of the work of contemporary female biographers. Whilst biography is constrained by what could be defined as an historicist definition of fact, evidence that is immutable and cannot be altered to make a psychological or artistic point, the genre has been transformed because women's life writing has taught us that conventional biography is inadequate for telling the narratives of women's lives. Women writing biography have made experiments. Whilst some have failed, female biographers have demonstrated that the form can be adapted to incorporate a post-modern understanding of the self and the role of the author, and act as a valuable medium for telling the stories of the lives of women who have been hidden or ignored by history. The first two chapters provide a theoretical and historical framework for the writing of individual female biographers. Today a feminist epistemology has emerged- a more sophisticated post-modern form that is concerned with the theories or grounds of Knowledge rather than with the politics of feminism that dominated the biographies of the seventies. Chapters Three to Seven are devoted to contemporary female biographers who have made a significant contribution to the genre and thus helped to redefine the form. The final chapter is a synthesis of the conversations undertaken with women biographers for this thesis in order to provide a conceptual framework for my conclusions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biography; Feminist