Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life Writing

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9780801488634: Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life Writing

"My primary concern is with the ethics of representing vulnerable subjects―persons who are liable to exposure by someone with whom they are involved in an intimate or trust-based relationship, unable to represent themselves in writing, or unable to offer meaningful consent to their representation by someone else. . . . Of primary importance is intimate life writing―that done within families or couples, close relationships, or quasi-professional relationships that involve trust―rather than conventional biography, which can be written by a stranger. The closer the relationship between writer and subject, the greater the vulnerability or dependency of the subject, the higher the ethical stakes, and the more urgent the need for ethical scrutiny."―from the PrefaceVulnerable Subjects explores a range of life-writing scenarios-from the "celebrity" to the "ethnographic"―and a number of life-writing genres from parental memoir to literary case studies by Oliver Sacks. G. Thomas Couser addresses complex contemporary issues; he investigates the role of disability in narratives of euthanasia and explores the implications of the Human Genome Project for life-writing practices in any age when many regard DNA as a code that "scripts" lives and shapes identity. Throughout, his book is concerned with the ethical implications of the political and economic, as well as the mimetic, aspects of life writing.

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From the Inside Flap:

"What are our responsibilities to others when we write about their lives? And how should lives be valued? Searching for answers to these hard questions, G. Thomas Couser grapples with a wide range of sensitive problem cases. His conclusions are judicious and never prescriptive. There is no better guide than Couser to life writing today. Vulnerable Subjects is an absorbing and important book."—Paul John Eakin, author of How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves

"In Vulnerable Subjects, G. Thomas Couser brings his customary care and intelligence to a remarkably wide range of literature, from celebrity ‘as-told-to’ autobiographies to problematic ‘as-told-about’ disability memoirs. This is not only an important contribution to the scholarship on lifewriting and to the advancement of disability studies in the humanities, it’s also, quite simply, a fascinating, engrossing book."—Michael Bérubé, Paterno Family Professor in Literature, Penn State University

"Well conceived, well focused, and well written, Vulnerable Subjects shows G. Thomas Couser to be particularly gifted at clarifying the philosophical problems of life writing. Couser’s concern that life writing generate discovery and possibility rather than control is evident throughout, yet he is very careful to avoid a judgemental stance, preferring to map the issues. He goes to the heart of problems that are both urgent and very difficult for individuals, for communities, and for the interpretive activity that is auto / biography."—Susanna Egan, University of British Columbia

"G. Thomas Couser’s courageous scholarship and close readings of life writing bring text, body, intersubjectivity, and power into tension, narrativizing ethics and opening an urgently needed dialogue about the duties incurred by writing of another. This book is critical reading not only for students and practitioners of life writin but also for ethicists, clinicians, and all who recognize the peril, vulnerability, liberation, and necessity of writing and reading of lives."—Rita Charon, Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University

About the Author:

G. Thomas Couser is Professor of English at Hofstra University and the author of Recovering Bodies: Illness, Disability, and Life Writing; Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography; and American Autobiography: The Prophetic Mode.

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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. My primary concern is with the ethics of representing vulnerable subjects--persons who are liable to exposure by someone with whom they are involved in an intimate or trust-based relationship, unable to represent themselves in writing, or unable to offer meaningful consent to their representation by someone else. . . . Of primary importance is intimate life writing--that done within families or couples, close relationships, or quasi-professional relationships that involve trust--rather than conventional biography, which can be written by a stranger. The closer the relationship between writer and subject, the greater the vulnerability or dependency of the subject, the higher the ethical stakes, and the more urgent the need for ethical scrutiny. --from the PrefaceVulnerable Subjects explores a range of life-writing scenarios-from the celebrity to the ethnographic --and a number of life-writing genres from parental memoir to literary case studies by Oliver Sacks. G. Thomas Couser addresses complex contemporary issues; he investigates the role of disability in narratives of euthanasia and explores the implications of the Human Genome Project for life-writing practices in any age when many regard DNA as a code that scripts lives and shapes identity. Throughout, his book is concerned with the ethical implications of the political and economic, as well as the mimetic, aspects of life writing. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780801488634

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G. Thomas Couser
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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. My primary concern is with the ethics of representing vulnerable subjects--persons who are liable to exposure by someone with whom they are involved in an intimate or trust-based relationship, unable to represent themselves in writing, or unable to offer meaningful consent to their representation by someone else. . . . Of primary importance is intimate life writing--that done within families or couples, close relationships, or quasi-professional relationships that involve trust--rather than conventional biography, which can be written by a stranger. The closer the relationship between writer and subject, the greater the vulnerability or dependency of the subject, the higher the ethical stakes, and the more urgent the need for ethical scrutiny. --from the PrefaceVulnerable Subjects explores a range of life-writing scenarios-from the celebrity to the ethnographic --and a number of life-writing genres from parental memoir to literary case studies by Oliver Sacks. G. Thomas Couser addresses complex contemporary issues; he investigates the role of disability in narratives of euthanasia and explores the implications of the Human Genome Project for life-writing practices in any age when many regard DNA as a code that scripts lives and shapes identity. Throughout, his book is concerned with the ethical implications of the political and economic, as well as the mimetic, aspects of life writing. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780801488634

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