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Selling Authenticity addresses women's autobiography and memoir from states considered part of the "third world", a troubled collective.
Given that women continue to suffer gender-based violence and discrimination around the world, their own texts and voices are highly valuable to any cause that prioritises women's equal rights.
However, particularly where gender intersects with ethnicity, there is room for these texts to be themselves exploited as entertainment, or as confirmation of preestablished prejudices.
The moulding and marketing such life-writing receives in centres of privilege can counteract its awareness-raising potential, leaving it blunted and easily overlooked.
Using elements of critical theory and a range of different source texts, this dissertation aims to draw out a sense of "genre", to identify its markers, and to determine the limits and the possibilities of these texts.
Ruth Browne holds a BA Honours degree in English studies from the University of Cape Town.
Her interest in politics of the third world and women's rights led to an analysis of autobiographies and their marketing.
Currently, Ruth is taking her masters in human rights law.
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