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Suspended Conversations: The Afterlife of Memory in Photographic Albums (review)

Suspended Conversations: The Afterlife of Memory in Photographic Albums (review) 09-reviews 3/12/03 9:25 AM Page 143 Reviews 143 condemn and counter essentialist, objectivist and hegemonic truth claims” (158). Still, having said all this and a good deal more about the ambiguity and relativity of knowledge, she argues that she is producing valuable knowl- edge about Egyptian feminists, about the link between “historical experi- ences [and] formative experiences” (158). Like other authors, she goes on to give interesting information about these individuals’ lives. Overall then, this volume contains a wealth of interesting lives as well as information about specific sources such as biographical dictionaries and awqaf documents. To the extent that methodological questions are raised. they are useful in cautioning the uninitiated reader about the pitfalls of uncritical use of autobiographical and biographical sources. However, the volume does not represent nor claim to represent a systematic study of either autobiographies or biographies. In the last half-century, western scholars alone have produced an enormous literature on both genres, a literature that is only hinted at here. Nor do any of the authors examine the broader ques- tions of historical knowledge. The issues of authorial bias, for example, are not peculiar to the writing of autobiography or biography, but infect or plague http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Suspended Conversations: The Afterlife of Memory in Photographic Albums (review)

Biography , Volume 26 (1) – May 15, 2003

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

09-reviews 3/12/03 9:25 AM Page 143 Reviews 143 condemn and counter essentialist, objectivist and hegemonic truth claims” (158). Still, having said all this and a good deal more about the ambiguity and relativity of knowledge, she argues that she is producing valuable knowl- edge about Egyptian feminists, about the link between “historical experi- ences [and] formative experiences” (158). Like other authors, she goes on to give interesting information about these individuals’ lives. Overall then, this volume contains a wealth of interesting lives as well as information about specific sources such as biographical dictionaries and awqaf documents. To the extent that methodological questions are raised. they are useful in cautioning the uninitiated reader about the pitfalls of uncritical use of autobiographical and biographical sources. However, the volume does not represent nor claim to represent a systematic study of either autobiographies or biographies. In the last half-century, western scholars alone have produced an enormous literature on both genres, a literature that is only hinted at here. Nor do any of the authors examine the broader ques- tions of historical knowledge. The issues of authorial bias, for example, are not peculiar to the writing of autobiography or biography, but infect or plague

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: May 15, 2003

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