Biography within the Indonesian Context: An Introduction to Four Papers
Hill, D.T. (2007) Biography within the Indonesian Context: An Introduction to Four Papers. Life Writing, 4 (2). pp. 159-163.
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Most writing about biography, at least in English, has related to Europe, North America, and the broader Anglophone world and its diaspora. Attention to even the major states of Asia*/China, India, Japan*/has been relatively rare. To a large degree this has been due to the linguistic constraints of Anglophone scholars of biography. It has been common for European scholars to have the language skills to work on European lives, but less likely that they would have the fluency in non-European languages required to probe lives in other terrains.
Even within the field of area studies broadly defined, and Asian studies more specifically, discussions of biographical writing have only sporadically moved beyond scholars working exclusively on the countries concerned. Amongst Indonesianists, for example, in recent decades there has been mounting scholarly attention to the writing of biography and (though much less commonly) to the theoretical approaches taken in the writing of biography. Yet it remains uncommon for such discussion to spill beyond the confines of the Indonesianist community of scholars and into forums or journals principally focussed on life writing per se.
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