This article uses narrative and genre theory to argue that both direct and indirect contact with published autobiography has an influence on autobiographical narrative, memory, and self formation. Exposure to the durable and pervasive modes of life-writing, transmitted culturally, provides frameworks for meaning-making that normalise certain narrative structures and shape the content and organisation of autobiographical memory. This paper traces the transfer of conventions found in life-writing genres in recently reported autobiographical memory studies, to argue that further consideration should be given to the impact of cultural and educational factors on memory.
Copyright 2009 by the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, ASCS09 : Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.