ENGLISH 335 - Autobiography
Section: 001 post-Civil Rights Autobiographies by U.S. Writers
Term: FA 2019
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this course, we will investigate roughly ten black American autobiographical texts published during the last fifty years. Beginning with Anne Moody’s classic 1968 civil rights work, Coming of Age in Mississippi, and ending with Kiese Laymon’s award-winning 2018 Heavy: An American Memoir, we will explore black and American selfhood at crucial pressure points during a half-century of long-deferred, still-tentative, and still-provisional freedom. In addition to assessing the varied, sometimes-competing examinations of black American freedom constructed in the shadow of the black American freedom movements, we will test, among other notions, the applicability of the notion of intersectionality – which The Oxford Dictionary defines as “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage” (and, I would add, incrimination or advantage) – to analyses of texts that foreground the creation and performance of black American selfhood. Twice a week, students will record and share their reactions to the course material – the autobiographies themselves and writings, videos, and other materials that will help to illuminate them. Also, they will write two essays (5 and 10 pages in length), participate in two brief group reports, and strive to be active contributors to class discussions.

ENGLISH 335 - Autobiography
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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