Paul John Eakin
Ruth N. Halls Professor Emeritus of English
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1966
M.A., Harvard University, 1961
A.B., Magna cum laude in History and Literature, Harvard College, 1959; Phi Beta Kappa
Autobiography, biography, and life writing (concepts of self, subject, and person; relation between narrative and identity; auto-ethnography and narrative practices; ethics of life writing).
Selected Publications and Presentations (click images for more information)
Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography (Princeton University Press, 1992).
Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of Self-Invention (Princeton University Press, 1985).
The New England Girl: Cultural Ideals in Hawthorne, Stowe, Howells, and James (University of Georgia Press, 1977).
American Autobiography: Retrospect and Prospect. Ed., with Introduction. University of Wisconsin Press, 1991.
On Autobiography, by Philippe Lejeune. Ed., with Foreword. University of Minnesota Press, 1989.
Recent and Forthcoming Publications and Presentations:
"Leading and Making Lives: One Man's Story," invited lecture, Carnegie Mellon University, 8 November 2012.
"Telling Life Stories: The Good of It, and the Harm," invited lecture, the Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw University, 24 April 2012.
Master class on life writing and discussion of doctoral research projects, the International Auto/Biography Association (IABA-Europe) and the Netherlands Graduate School for Literary Studies (OSL), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1 April 2011
"Identity Equipment: Technology, Memory, Narrative," invited lecture, "Who's in Town" series, Amsterdam University College, Amsterdam, 1 April 2011.
"Building a Curriculum for Life Writing: One Critic's Story," invited lecture, "Research Day on Life Writing," University of Maastricht, Netherlands, 31 March 2011.
"Identity Equipment: Technology, Memory, Narrative," invited lecture, and colloquium on narrative theory, the Humanities Center, Carnegie Mellon University, 15-16 February 2011.
"Travelling with Narrative: From Text to Body." The Travelling Concepts of Narrative, ed. Mari Hatavara, Lars-Christer Hydén, and Matti Hyvärinen. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, forthcoming.
"Vivre dans l'histoire: autobiographie, memoir(s), mémoires." In Le sens du passé: pour une nouvelle approche théorique des Mémoires, de Commynes à nos jours, ed. Jean-Louis Jeannelle, Marc Hersant, and Damien Zanone. Paris: Editions de la Licorne, forthcoming.
"Identiteitsuitrustingen: technologie, herinnering, narratief" ["Identity Equipment: Technology, Memory, Narrative"], Tijdschrift voor Biografie [Utrecht, Netherlands]1 (2012), 7-16. This issue of Biografie includes three responses to my essay, and my reply, "Digitale identiteiten: Een reactie op het commentaar van JaapBos, Tanny Dobbelaar en Rudolph Glitz" ["Digital Identities: A Reply to Jaap Bos, Tanny Dobbelaar, and Rudolph Glitz"] (26-27). There is also an interview: "Interview met John Eakin" ["Interview with John Eakin"] by Monica Soeting (4-6).
"Dicter sa vie: L'autobiographhie de Mark Twain." La Faute à rousseau, no. 58 (October 2011): 57-58.
"Reading Comics: Art Spiegelman on CD-ROM." In Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels, ed. Michael Chaney. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011. 13-16.
"Eye and I: Negotiating Distance in Eyewitness Narrative," Partial Answers 7 (2009): 201-12.
"Talking about Ourselves: Autobiography, Narrative Identity, and Everyday Life," The Protean Forms of Life Writing: Auto/Biography in English, 1680-2000. Ed. Angelo Righetti. Naples: Liguori Editore, 2008. 9-26.
"Theory, David Bleich, and the Society for Critical Exchange," Works and Days 25 (2007):105-8.
"The Economy of Narrative Identity," (1) Economists' Lives: Biography and Autobiography in the History of Economics. Supplement to History of Political Economy 39 (2007). Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 117-33. (2) Controlling Time and Shaping the Self: Developments in Autobiographical Writing since the Sixteenth Century, ed. Arianne Baggerman, Rudolf Dekker, and Michael Mascuch. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2011. 231-45.
"Narrative Identity and Narrative Imperialism: A Response to Galen Strawson and James Phelan." Narrative 14 (2006): 180-87.
"Selfhood, Autobiography, and Interdisciplinary Inquiry: A Reply to George Butte," Narrative 13 (October 2005): 307-11.
"Living Autobiographically," Biography 28 (June 2005): 1-14.
“What Are We Reading When We Read Autobiography?” Narrative 12 (May 2004): 121-32.
Recent Activities since 2005:
Invited papers at the University of Hawai'i in June 2005 and at Yale University in October 2005. Invited papers and lectures at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (April 2006); Duke University (April 2006), Halich University, Istanbul (April 2006); Erasmus University, Rotterdam (June 2006); Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany (July 2006); Reed College (October 2006), and the University of Verona, Italy (October 2006). Invited lecture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (November 2007). Invited paper and panelist, IABA convention, and invited participant, IABA symposium, University of Hawai'i-Manoa, Honolulu (June 2008). Invited plenary lecture at King's College London (May 2009), and invited panelist at the Social Science History Association convention (November 2009). Invited papers at the Finnish Institute, London (November 2010) and at the Universities of Paris and Louvain (December 2010).
Interviewed for newspaper features on memoir:
Dan Carpenter, "It's true, and that's no fact," Indianapolis Star, 22 January 2006.
Sasha Issenberg, "In memoirs, a journey of discovery: early narratives shape Obama, McCain," Boston Globe, 16 March 2008.
Selected Honors and Awards
Fellowships: American Council of Learned Societies, 1987; Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1990.
Special session devoted to my work, "Autobiographical Worlds: In Celebration of Paul John Eakin," MLA Convention, San Diego, December 2003.
Festschrift issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 29 (Summer 2008) dedicated to James Olney and myself.