Memoir, as a genre, asserts the significance of memory and personal experience. Derived from the French word mémoire, the closest English meaning translates to “memory.” The genre bears a relationship with autobiography yet does not imply the totalized history of a singular lifetime, as in the case of autobiography. Instead, memoir creates possibilities for an excerpted, nonlinear timeline and experience for the author. Graphic memoir, in particular, can represent life experience in fragments, thus disrupting normative temporality: panels suspended in time, infusing the reading moment with urgency or a sense of belatedness. Encircled by “memory,” “history,” and “autobiography,” the genre yields a unique approach incorporating elements from these categories (Yagoda 2009). Further, memoir prioritizes affect and feeling, ranging from the author’s relationship to occasions of historical significance to the quiet details of personal experience, concerns the genre shares with queer theory. Indeed, queer theorists have observed such everyday moments as yielding “the understanding that utopia exists in the quotidian” (Muñoz 2009); as seeking “low theory in popular places, in the small, the inconsequential, the antimonumental, the micro, the irrelevant” (Halberstam 2011); and as offering an “archive of familiarity and incongruity, of things and situations that are utterly mundane, mainstream, predictable…...

This essay may be found on page 155 of the printed volume.

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