Autofictional Practices: Self-fashioning in Diana Thorneycroft's Self-portraits

Danielle Cynthia Chassin de Kergommeaux
Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University
January, 2005
 

Abstract

The thesis explores autobiographical practices and their relationship to autofiction, by focusing on practices of identity construction and artistic performance, as well as identity construction through performance. Emphasis is given to the ways gender and sexuality enter into, and shape, these practices by examining, in particular, the way they are expressed in Diana Thorneycroft's photographic performances. Chapter 1 discusses the history and key debates in autobiography theory, the ways gender has been introduced into the analysis of autobiography, and non-literary forms of autobiography. Chapter 1 also briefly discusses the (Western) history of art by women. Chapter 2 examines Thorneycroft's oeuvre and selected responses to it. Chapter 3 presents an analysis of autofictional practices through an examination of Thorneycroft's photographic self-portraits, thereby questioning the distinctions between autobiography and autofiction and suggesting that there is considerable overlap in their definition. The Conclusion briefly discusses agency in relation to autofictional (self-making) practices.
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