ABSTRACT

When read comparatively, auto/biographical narratives of the Americas yield multiple points of interconnectivity. This introduction argues that lives and life narratives in this contested region are interrelated by their underlying threads of historic or contemporary movements-forced or chosen-and a subsequent emphasized need to understand belonging under these circumstances. Rather than suggest that there is a universal self of the Americas, however, this work contends that there are innumerable allied individual, national, and transnational selves. This introduction, which proposes a model for future auto/biography studies projects built upon the border crossings of transnational American studies, places the twelve chapters in this collection in cross-disciplinary conversation with one another. These chapters draw upon scholarship on diasporic, transnational American, and Inter-American studies; colonial, postcolonial, and decolonial studies; Afro-diasporic and African American studies; Indigenous studies; gender studies; disability studies; translation theory; art history and performance studies; and textual studies to build a multifaceted discussion on lives narrated across the Americas. Ultimately, this project maintains that reading across borders reveals a more complex and nuanced understanding of identity constructions in the Americas.