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Autobiography

Traditionally defined as a narrative of one person's life writtenby that person, autobiography is also the record of that person'sachievement of individuality. In this course, you willparticipate in an in-depth study of the literary form and historyof autobiography from its origins in confessional narratives ofspiritual redemption and moral regeneration; through itseighteenth- and nineteenth-century evolution into rags-to-richesand slavery-to-freedom narratives of self-making; and, finally,into more recent autobiographies of disability, indenture, labormigration, gender transition, self-realization, and self-help. Byperforming close readings and theoretical investigations into theliterary history of autobiography, you will identify how thegenre came to be associated with definitions of the self,individualism, and self-reliance that often have, as theirfoundation, the accumulation of property, capital, and legalrights. You will also encounter examples of autobiography fromaround the world that problematize these associations. Throughformal and informal writing assignments, collaborative in-classpresentations, and independent research that will requireliterary studies methods of synthesis and interpretation, youwill apply what you learn in the course to understanding andevaluating issues of individualism in literary, social, andpolitical history.

Section: ENG-315-01
Credits: 4
Faculty: Sean A Gordon
Days: TR
Times: 2:00PM‑3:45PM (TR)
Start/End Date: 08/24/20 - 12/05/20
Instruction Method: Remote-Blended
Comments: Traditionally defined as a narrative of one person's life writtenby that person, autobiography is also the record of that person'sachievement of individuality. In this course, you willparticipate in an in-depth study of the literary form and historyof autobiography from its origins in confessional narratives ofspiritual redemption and moral regeneration; through itseighteenth- and nineteenth-century evolution into rags-to-richesand slavery-to-freedom narratives of self-making; and, finally,into more recent autobiographies of disability, indenture, labormigration, gender transition, self-realization, and self-help. Byperforming close readings and theoretical investigations into theliterary history of autobiography, you will identify how thegenre came to be associated with definitions of the self,individualism, and self-reliance that often have, as theirfoundation, the accumulation of property, capital, and legalrights. You will also encounter examples of autobiography fromaround the world that problematize these associations. Throughformal and informal writing assignments, collaborative in-classpresentations, and independent research that will requireliterary studies methods of synthesis and interpretation, youwill apply what you learn in the course to understanding andevaluating issues of individualism in literary, social, andpolitical history.

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