ENGLISH 313 - Topics in Literary Studies
Section: 004 Mental Memoirs
Term: FA 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

In the early twentieth century, Clifford W. Beers wrote A Mind that Found Itself as a memoir of his time institutionalized as a “mental patient.” He experienced considerable abuse in these settings, and his book exposes the failures of the institutional model. His book immediately became a best seller and enabled him to begin a movement that would significantly improve the care of the mentally ill. His is a journey of survival, resilience, self-discovery, and advocacy. We shall use his text to begin an exploration of “mental memoirs” written between his time and our own: works in which people narrate their own experiences of mental illness, conduct their own research, and advocate for changes in the care and treatment of people like them. We will, for example, read Johann Hari’s Lost Connections, in which he overturns existing medical models for treating depression and opens a new way to understand and address the causes of depression. These and other memoirs function as powerful disruptions of contemporary medical models and as opportunities for new forms of self-knowledge. This is perhaps the most exciting life-writing of the past hundred plus years.

Course Requirements:

Requirements include short responses to the literature, at least one essay, creative quizzes, and active participation in discussions.

ENGLISH 313 - Topics in Literary Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
002 (LAB)
Th 6:00PM - 9:00PM
003 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
004 (LEC)
TuTh 5:30PM - 7:00PM
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