The editors of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies are pleased to present the annual Timothy Dow Adams Awards in conjunction with the 2016 International Auto/Biography Association conference at the University of Cyprus.
The 2016 Timothy Dow Adams Award winner is keynote speaker Fethiye Çetin, author of My Grandmother: An Armenian-Turkish Memoir. Çetin is a human rights lawyer in Turkey. The prize includes support for travel and lodging as well as an invitation to submit an essay to the special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies that will be developed on the conference theme.
Two graduate students were also selected to receive Timothy Dow Adams Awards this year: Nick Mdika Tembo and Orly Lael Netzer are the recipients. Tembo, a doctoral candidate at Stellenbosch University, will present “Writing the Self, Writing Human Rights Violations in Two Post-genocide Rwandan Testimonios” and, Lael Netzer, a doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta, will present “Conversational Poetics and Dionne Brand’s A Map to the Door of No Return.” The graduate student award includes a travel grant and an essay mentorship with the editors of a/b.
All winners were nominated for this award by the IABA conference co-convener, Amy-Katerini Prodromou, and selected by the editors of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.
This award is made in honor of Timothy Dow Adams, one of the founding editors of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies and a longtime friend and supporter of the journal. His outstanding scholarship—including the two books, Telling Lies in Modern American Autobiography and Light Writing and Life Writing: Photography in Autobiography—have impacted greatly the study of life narratives.
“When Fethiye Çetin was growing up in the small Turkish town of Maden, she knew her grandmother as a happy and universally respected Muslim housewife. It would be decades before her grandmother told her the truth: that she was by birth a Christian and an Armenian, that her name was not Seher but Heranush, that most of the men in her village had been slaughtered in 1915, that she, along with most of the women and children, had been sent on a death march. She had been saved (and torn from her mother’s arms) by the Turkish gendarme captain who went on to adopt her. But she knew she still had family in America. Could Fethiye help her find her lost relations before she died? There are an estimated two million Turks whose grandparents could tell them similar stories. But in a country that maintains the Armenian genocide never happened, such talk can be dangerous. In her heartwrenching memoir, Fethiye Cetin breaks the silence.”