The biography is suspended between the poles of objective knowledge and subjective perception, a position that has both positive and negative implications. Reflective biographies can help to bridge these poles and create reciprocal understanding, as well to productively close the gap between theory and living practice or everyday perceptions. Yet a considerable amount of biographies tend to promote an uncritical (and compliant) subjective reading experience – a common reason for criticism of the genre. This brings us to where claims of a ‘biographical turn’ are undoubtedly true: concerning the reputation of the biography in academic discourse. For a long time, the biography was not deemed a worthy object of study in academic circles, especially in the German-language context. There are a number of reasons for this.