English 172

Literature and Psychology

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2020 Zeavin, Hannah
TTh 9:30-11


In this course, we will survey literatures of the self and their history from antiquity to the present. We will attend to the writing of the self in its many genres and forms: the diary, the autobiography, the poem, the novel, the memoir, the case study, the graphic novel, and digital self-representation. Auto-writings negotiate a paradox: a subjective engagement with subjective fact that often aspires to a nearly scientific objectivity; sometimes they task themselves with the opposite: undoing or revising a scientific or political consensus. We will think about these literatures as means of self-preservation, self-knowing, self-tracking, diagnosis, an accounting for a self, as a site of counter-history, and as a tool for (re)enfranchisement.

Authors include Kempe, Pepys, Rousseau, Whitman, Douglass, Freud, Stein, Woolf, Hejinian, Anzaldúa, Bechdel, Rankine, and Nelson. Students will be asked to secure Alison Bechdel's Fun Home; otherwise, all readings will be provided via bCourses.

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