Current literary research frequently stresses research on biographical forms. The term “life writing,” especially in Anglo-American scholarship, has obtained wide acceptance and includes all biographical forms and formats. While more recent research has more intensively focused on contemporary life descriptions, and occasionally discussed 19th century collective biographies, a systematic inquiry into the diverse forms of biography in Early American periodicals, one of the central loci of biographical communications, is lacking, despite its relevance for, among other things, the nationalism debates of the Early Republic. The project at Mainz University focuses on this research field. In combination with periodical research, a topic of growing interest to current scholarship, the project intends to give added weight to the central role of the biographical discourse in the Early Republic periodicals than has hitherto happened.
Tim Lanzendörfer and Oliver Scheiding, eds. American Lives: Biographies in Early Magazines. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2015. Further informationE-text project: American Lives
Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding