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
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
Open
8
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
003 (SEM)
P
26088
Open
9
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
004 (SEM)
P
31972
Open
3
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
005 (SEM)
P
24754
Open
8
 
-
F 11:00AM - 2:00PM
Note: This course will meet in Detroit. Transportation will be provided.
007 (SEM)
P
31971
Open
8
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
008 (SEM)
P
31778
Open
26
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
009 (SEM)
P
31780
Open
9
3LSA Jr>
-
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
010 (SEM)
P
32716
Open
19
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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