AAS 358 - Topics in Black World Studies
Section: 004 American Autobiography and the Challenges of Writing the Self
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Credits:
3
Consent:
With permission of department.
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

"Autobiography begins with a sense of being alone. It is an orphan form." - John Berger

"A man's memory is bound to be a distortion of his past in accordance with his present interests, and the most faithful autobiography is likely to mirror less what a man was than what he has become." - Fawn M. Brodie

In the words of a prominent cultural historian, after the social movements of the 1960s, U.S. culture — whose preeminent expressions generally endorsed nationalist ideologies of equal, democratic opportunity — can best be described as "decentered and fragmented." This course will explore one of the most telling literary manifestations of that fragmentation: modes of self-description that foreground a variety of experiences that did not represent the primary subject matter of canonical American autobiography. We will investigate how these experiences — of sexual trauma, of gendered and/or racial marginalization, of depression and its myriad physical and psychological consequences, of physical deformity, of the limitations of gendered, racial, and class constructions, etc. — reflect and/or complicate prevailing notions of (to cite some popular examples) a "postethnic" or "fragmented" national identity.

Course Requirements:

Weekly responses; a short paper (4-6 pages); a longer research essay (10 pages); and active class participation.

Intended Audience:

AAS 358 - Topics in Black World Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
31476
Closed
0
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
003 (SEM)
P
26088
Open
4
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
004 (SEM)
P
31972
Open
3
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
005 (SEM)
P
24754
Open
16
 
-
F 11:00AM - 2:00PM
Note: This course will meet in Detroit. Transportation will be provided.
007 (SEM)
P
31971
Open
6
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
008 (SEM)
P
31778
Open
17
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
009 (SEM)
P
31780
Open
9
3LSA Jr>
-
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
010 (SEM)
P
32716
Open
12
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
011 (SEM)
P
36173
Open
12
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


ISBN: 1501171585
The glass castle : a memoir, Author: Walls, Jeannette,
Required
ISBN: 9781597140201
Perfume dreams : reflections on the Vietnamese diaspora, Author: Lam, Andrew., Publisher: Heyday Books op.
Required
ISBN: 9780671021481
The prisoner's wife : a memoir, Author: Bandele, Asha., Publisher: Scribner 2004
Required
ISBN: 9780060976736
Autobiography of a face, Author: Grealy, Lucy., Publisher: HarperPerennial 1995
Required
ISBN: 9780142000069
Lying : a metaphorical memoir, Author: Slater, Lauren,
Required
ISBN: 9780143119623
Losing my cool : love, literature, and a black man's escape from the crowd, Author: Williams, Thomas Chatterton, 1981-, Publisher: Penguin 2011
Required
ISBN: 0375727752
Honky, Author: Conley, Dalton., Publisher: Vintage Books 2010
Required
ISBN: 140004314X
The year of magical thinking, Author: Didion, Joan,
Required
ISBN: 9780618509638
Brothers and keepers, Author: Wideman, John Edgar 1941-, Publisher: Houghton Mifflin 2005
Required
ISBN: 9780140096224
Days of obligation : an argument with my Mexican father., Author: Rodriguez, Richard., Publisher: Penguin 1995
Required
ISBN: 9781504002059
Muscle : confessions of an unlikely bodybuilder, Author: Fussell, Samuel Wilson,
Required
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