ENGLISH 235 - Introduction to Autobiography
Fall 2022, Section 001 - One Year in Autobiography
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


In this literature and creative writing course, we’ll read The Best American Essays 2021, an anthology of essays that serve as “a powerful time capsule of 2020” (according to the publisher). The essays we will read make their own attempts at understanding, giving shape to, challenging, and relating to, the events of March 2020 through that year’s end.

As we read this anthology — one without the word “autobiography” in its title but with plenty of autobiography within its pages — we’ll keep an eye on how writing a story of oneself also necessarily involves writing the story of a moment, a country, a history, and a society; how writing autobiographically is bolstered by being present to and for our surrounds. 

We’ll read, discuss, imitate, and take our own leave from essays by Elizabeth Alexander, Hilton Als, Tony Hoagland, Patricia Lockwood, Barry Lopez, Dawn Lundy Martin, Claire Messud, Wesley Morris, Jesmyn Ward, and more. 

This class is ideal for creative writers who are eager to write their way into their own true-to-life experiences while reading and analyzing the craft of published essays. In both our reading and our writing, we will stay curious about this term — “autobiography” — as it manifests in 21st century creative nonfiction (lyric essay, memoir, personal narrative, and more). This course will be equal parts literature study and experiment in autobiographical writing, with written assignments falling on both sides of this line, and occasionally blurring it. Expect to write analytically, descriptively, personally, and curiously.


ENGLISH 235 - Introduction to Autobiography
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

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