DIANE P. FREEDMAN
AND OLIVIA FREY
Self/Discipline:
An Introduction
The ‘‘I’’ implicated here is very precise, yet more than half unspeakable. Its descriptors
are not mere political trading chips.They are vectors, interlocked with energy, joy, im-
balance,determination,depression—themselvesnotfree-floatingemotions,butsituated
and socially formed.
—Rachel Blau DuPlessis, ‘‘Reader, I Married Me: A Polygynous Memoir’’
In atomic physics,we can never speak about naturewithout, at the same time, speaking
about ourselves.
—Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics
WHY THIS BOOK?
Inthewakeofourbook The Intimate Critique: Autobiographical Literary Criti-
cism (Duke,1993), we continued to wonder about the place and impact of
autobiography and subjectivity in the work of scholars across the disci-
plines. What are the relations between life stories and the subjects, ap-
proaches, arguments, results, and writing styles of these researchers and
scholars? How do personal experience and disciplinary choices intersect?
What are some of the bases for the writing conventions in various disci-
plines and, if these practices have changed,what forces within and among
disciplines are precipitating change?
In Autobiographical Writing across the Disciplines: A Reader,weexplorethese
questions through writings from the humanities and arts, social sciences,
sciences, and the spaces in between. The twenty-six essays and excerpts
frombooksspecificallyexploretherelationsbetweenthesearchforknowl-
edge—in disciplines such as literary studies, theater, ethnic studies, reli-
Previous Page Next Page