Arising from a period of intense social upheaval and technological innovation, late 20th-century writers and artists challenge inherited notions of subjectivity and experiment with new hybrid forms of autobiographies composed of both image and text. The introduction provides an overview of how disciplinary boundaries have become more porous, leading to a variety of transdisciplinary visual-verbal self-narrations. The chapter reviews key concerns from Autobiography Studies and Visual Studies and how they redefine image-text relations as a matrix or a network with many surfaces and axes of interaction. The introduction also explains the organization of the book: the work of eight writers-artists–Peter Najarian, Leslie Marmon Silko, Art Spiegelman, Julie Chen, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Carrie Mae Weems, Faith Ringgold, and Edgar Heap of Birds, moving from the most literature-based to the most art-based. In dialogue with historical trauma and its consequences, each author asks crucial questions about American identity.
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