Cynthia G. Franklin
Cynthia G. Franklin is an important[why?] contemporary American literary and cultural critic educated at Stanford University and University of California (Berkeley). She is a parthbreaking feminist commentator on developments in cultural theory and, indeed, on academic culture in general. In two books and a series of insightful articles, Franklin has paid special attention to life-writing, directing attention to overlooked sub-genres such as the academic memoir and "collective" life-writing. As co-editor of the journal Biography, she plays a key role in shaping global scholarship on life-writing. Two special issues--Personal Effects and Translating Lives—she co-curated for Biography indicate this role. Through these special issues she has driven scholarly recognition of life-writing as a political as well as global genre.
Franklin's book-length latest work is Academic Lives: Memoir, Cultural Theory and the University Today (U of Georgia Press, 2009). This book is a trenchant and wide-ranging critique of strands of contemporary cultural theory—feminist, post-colonial, disability studies and critical race studies. amongst others. By scrutinizing memoirs written by such influential fellow critics as Edward Said and Jane Tompkins, Franklin throws startling light on ignored aspects of academic culture. Franklin's previous book Writing Women's Communities: The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Multi-Genre Anthologies (University of Wisconsin Press, 1997)shows how feminist writers of the 70s and 80s pioneered the anthology as a unique form of narrating women's lives.
Franklin got her Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and her MA and Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley. She teaches at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, where she is the recipient of teaching awards, including the Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest award for teaching bestowed by the university.