Title

The weave of youth writing: Refiguring authorship and self-representation in Michaela DePrince’s collaborative archive of life narrative texts

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Prose Studies

Publisher

Routledge

School

School of Arts and Humanities

Comments

Adji, A. N. (2020). The weave of youth writing: Refiguring authorship and self-representation in Michaela DePrince’s collaborative archive of life narrative texts. Prose Studies, 41(1), 47 - 65. https://doi.org/10.1080/01440357.2020.1732040

Abstract

Young people have to struggle in navigating the complex cultural and socio-political frameworks of production if they would like to reclaim agency and legitimacy to voice their aspirations. This article focuses on questions of authorship and self-representation in both the traditional and digital life writing texts created by and produced for Sierra-Leonean-American ballet dancer Michaela DePrince, which turns out to be highly mediated by her Jewish Caucasian adoptive mother Elaine DePrince. I argue that the manners of Michaela’s collaborative archive of life narrative projects–which bring about issues of authorship–have conformed her self-representation to particular identity frames in terms of race, power, and access to the tools of representation. Correspondingly, through her traditional and digital advocacy, Michaela has performed as a narrator who depicts white privilege and colourblindness in order to appeal to the white middlebrow audience, while at the same time reinforcing the market value of black trauma. © 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

DOI

10.1080/01440357.2020.1732040

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