SCMLA– Women’s Memoirs

I took notes at this session and transferred them onto my blog. So I guess that means it is retroactively live blogged.

teacher of the Victorian era
Jill Jones
on Netta Styrett
19th c girls’ education in England

Miss Dorothy Abeal and Miss Frances Mary Buss
pioneered secondary ed in English
Netta Styrett went to Miss Buss’ school
career as a writer: 38 novels, 20 children’s books, and many others, including a memoir

Miss Buss was an advocate for pedagogical training.
“a very small goddess of vengeance” Miss Quaill says of Miss Buss in her novel
Netta writes of Miss Buss’ anger, wouldn’t listen to explanations– did not like Miss Buss
Netta’s sister got in trouble for coughing and died soon after of tuberculosis
Which would explain why she didn’t like Miss Buss

depressive, hated school
memoir is 57 years later
novel is 25 years later
experienced injustice in school
“the evil that she did… needless suffering”
She did not fit within the school.

Styrett has another novel about teacher education, God of Chance, that shows her experience at Cambridge

finds scholastic sisters exceptionally dowdy

Sheltering Tree is her memoir

chapters of God of Chance were devoted to her financial experience as a teacher
pay is wretched, you are alone and lonely
You’re out of the mainstream of life.
Never meet men.
successful teacher, but she offers harsh criticism.

Sharon Hileman
Languages and Literature Dept, Sul Ross

Borderland: La Frontera women’s memoirs
“crossroads”
“land in the middle”
transnational identities
singular –in-between world
worldviews and literary forms are unique

to be both at home and a stranger

hybrid narratives written in Spanish and English

images and thems of place
homeland or homes
figure literally and metaphorically
material culture embedded in the memoirs
another def. is women’s autobiography

genealogical chart, glossary of dichos
house–adobe with inner garden
autobiography v ethnography

recipes “family magicians with food”
how to they use food to glue the family together

folk wisdom of her great-grandmother sprinkled throughout the emioir

perform rituals House of House

Nov. 2 Day of the Dead
marigolds = flowers of the dead
conversations between living family and dead ancestors

How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves by Paul John Eakin

magical realism breeches the autobiography of truth
hybrid work -> new forms and experiences

Denise Chavez
Taco Testimony
Las Cruces, NM
appetizers -> desserts, concludes with lefovers
poems included, pictures
recipes ordered and presented – reproduction
Spanish glossary at the end
“I Yam What I Yam” recipes create familial space

affirms work of female predecessors – autobiography

culinary skills, exhausting labor, celebrates her mother
inscribes and acknowledges mouth-filling names
blends recipes with her own comments

ruminations of
alternate sides of the taco
grounded in relationships
functioning as auto-ethnographer

Dog Food Tacos- acquired from a Juarez newspaper
recipe is annotated and indeed

book was developed from a Tacos 101 class
cultural knowledge allows us to see the connectedness

These last two made me start reading in this genre, particularly Hispanic women’s memoirs.

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