English 203

Graduate Readings: Visual Autobiography

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Spring 2006 Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Wong, Hertha Sweet
TTh 11-12:30 300 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Tentative (and Partial) List of Required Texts and Art:


Norma Elia Cant�. Can�cula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995.

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Dictee, 1982. Berkeley: Third Woman Press, 1995

N. Scott Momaday. The Way to Rainy Mountain, 1969. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1976. Leslie Marmon Silko. Sacred Waters: Narratives and Pictures. Tucson: Flood Plain Press, 1981.

Art Speigelman. Maus: A Survivor's Tale. Part I: My Father Bleeds History; Part II: ... And Here My Troubles Began. New York: Pantheon, 1986, 1991.

Carrie Mae Weems. Photo-biography.

Faith Ringgold. Story Quilts.

Artists' books by various authors/artists.

Suggested Secondary:

Marianne Hirsch. Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Nicholas Mirzoeff. The Visual Culture Reader, 2nd ed. 1998. New York: Routledge, 2001.

W.J.T. Mitchell. Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Reader with essays on autobiography theory and visual culture theory. "


"Visual culture is not just about pictures, but the (post) ""modern tendency to picture or visualize existence,? what W.J.T. Mitchell refers to as ""the pictorial turn."" While visual and literary studies have been seen as historically separate disciplines, we will use theories from each to study those forms of self-representation that defy disciplinary boundaries, what I am calling ""visual autobiography."" Visual autobiography encompasses a wide range of self-representations and self-narrations: conventional books in which images are integral to the whole, rather than mere supplementation or illustration; pictographic (picture-writing) ledgerbooks; photo-biographies; artists' books (individually handmade textual art objects); co-mix (comics); narrative quilts; electronic personal narratives; autobiographical performance art; digital storytelling; auto-topographies; and other visual forms, ranging from ?textual pictures? to ?pictorial texts.?"

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