English N180A

Autobiography


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Summer 2013 Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
MTuTh 10-12 Note new room: 140 Barrows

Book List

Cantu, Norma Elia: Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera; Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung: Dictee; Hoffman, Eva: Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language; Momaday, N. Scott: The Way to Rainy Mountain; Spiegelman, Art: Maus, Vols. I and II

Other Readings and Media

Reader (available from Copy Central, 2560 Bancroft Way).

Description

In 1909 William Dean Howells called autobiography, “the most democratic province in the republic of letters.” Acknowledging autobiography as a “characteristically American mode of storytelling,” contemporary scholars tend to celebrate the liberatory possibilities of self-narration or condemn its patriarchal, colonizing tendencies. In addition to reading a select number of contemporary autobiographies with this in mind, we will read selectively in autobiography theory--examining notions of subjectivity, individual identity, community, representation, memory and literacy and the historical-cultural contexts in which they are formulated. We will focus not only on written forms of self-narration, but on those that experiment formally (especially those that incorporate multimedia into their written texts or those that rethink the relationship between image and text) as well as challenge conventional definitions of life writing.

This course will be taught in Session D, from July 8 to August 15.


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