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Transcultural Autobiography and the Staging of (Mis)Recognition in Edward Said’s ‘Out of Place’ and Gerald Vizenor’s ‘Interior Landscapes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors’

Katja Sarkowsky


Pages 627 - 642

open-access



While the importance of ‘recognition’ for individual self-constitution is uncontested in theoretical debates, discussions—particularly in the 1990s—have increasingly sought to apply the concept also to social groups. This contribution looks at autobiographies by two cultural theorists, Edward Said and Gerald Vizenor, that draw on a variety of cultural contexts and codes and address experiences of marginalization and dislocation. Asking how ‘recognition’ and ‘misrecognition’ are negotiated in the texts, I argue that both autobiographies connect—although in very different ways—the narration of individual self-constitution to claims of collective recognition.

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