Prof. Dr. Juliasih Kusharyanto, SU, was inaugurated as a Professor at the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada, on Tuesday (19/7). The lady who was born in Sukabumi, West Java, 66 years ago, was confirmed as a Professor at the Senate Hall after delivering a speech entitled Autobiography: Performativity of Intellectual Woman.
In her inaugural speech, Juliasih who has done plenty of research about the work of American women writers said that autobiography is a very interesting field for women writers since it offers a very wide space to express ideas that are associated with a wide range of women’s studies, including feminist approach. In contrast, feminist approach enriches the autobiographical study and expands its genre and the development of the texts in which it absorb much scope of life, particularly women.
In an autobiography, Juliasih said, how women writers exploit their imagination in creating and building themselves can be traced. They realize that selfhood is always changing and dynamic. Therefore, autobiography is not only a way to develop self-confidence, but also an intellectual performativity. “Because in the autobiography, women writers argue and reflect their perception of life but also offer some alternative forms of another thought through imaginative actions related to rhetorical acts,” she said.
The authors of autobiography, according to Juliasih, have the ability to make a statement, the ability to justify and express, the ability to convince and the ability to question. Intellectual capabilities demonstrated through the work of the autobiography are an intellectual performativity that emphasizes the distinctiveness of the identity of independence and freedom. “All of this is an act of intellectual thinking,” she explained.
But how is the development of autobiography to this date? According to Juliasih, in the last twenty years, the integration of the writer’s life narrative of 19th century literary to American canon literature has begun. However, in the 20th century it became the dominant form of life narrative. She pointed out that in today’s transnational society, global identity is often associated with job mobility obtained from the autobiography in the form of personal diaries, sketches, or travel notes.
However, autobiography is neither fictitious or non- fictitious, not even a mixture of both. But many contemporary practitioners tried to combine them into a hybrid by offering a narrative form of life. Thus, the autobiography is not only a way of defining oneself but a way to transform oneself into someone,” she concluded. (Adelily)