Contemporary Austrian Studies Vol. 21
Writing biographies for a long time had been a male hegemonic project. Ever since Plutarch and Sueton composed their vitae of the greats of classical antiquity, to the medieval obsession with the hagiographies of holy men (and a few women) and saints, Vasari’s lives of great Renaissance artists, down to the French encyclopedists, Dr. Johnson and Lytton Strachey, as well as Ranke and Droysen the genre of biographical writing has become increasingly more refined. In the twentieth century male predominance has become contested and the (collective) lives of women, minorities and ordinary people are now the focus of biographical writing.