ENGLISH 407 - Topics in English Language and Literature
Winter 2023, Section 003 - Autofiction
Instruction Mode: Section 003 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (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.


At its simplest, we might think of autofiction as “fictionalized autobiography.” But the recent burst of autofictional novels is complicating our understanding of the form, and making some people ask what the point is, in the end, of blurring fact and fiction the way autofiction typically does. Writing on Vulture.com, Christian Lorentzen has this to say about it:

“Beyond an index of what’s ‘real’ and what isn’t, there are other, deeper things at stake in autofiction’s status as fiction…We expect essays to inform us about the world and to make arguments, and autofiction novels often do similar things in the form of essayistic digressions, but within the frame of fiction they have a different status if they are put in characters’ minds or mouths than if they’re made by a memoirist or an essayist, who we are meant to believe are as charming or as redeemed or as righteous as they appear to be on the page. Autofiction writers stand at a certain distance from the world — and the ethics and the politics — on display in their novels, as far or farther than authors of fictions that aren’t autobiographical at all.”

In this senior seminar, we’ll devote ourselves to reading and writing about texts in this (newish) genre, thinking about Lorentzen’s claims and others’ to explore the value and function of autofictional writing. You’ll also write some of your own autofiction–this section of English 407 will be a genre-focused class, where students’ formal, graded work is made up of both creative and analytical writing. Our class meetings will be largely based in discussion, sharing, in-class writing–and lots of thinking and writing experiments; come with an eagerness to make thoughts, to exchange them with others, to complicate and refine them, and to practice with the academic community that we’ll build together in class the work of intellectual exploration that can lead to deep reading and sophisticated critical writing. 

This course fulfills the following English major/minor requirements: American Literature


ENGLISH 407 - Topics in English Language and Literature
Schedule Listing
003 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
006 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 1:30PM - 3:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
007 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for ENGLISH 407.003

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 407 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)