ExploringWriting, Journalism, Media & Publishing

ENGL 228 – Life Writing: Writing About the Self and From Experience

This course will examine both the power and the complexities of writing that derives from personal experience. Topics to be addressed, in turn, are memory (and its reliability); experience (authoritative/reportorial vs. interpretative/symbolic); identity and voice of the narrator; and agency (the degree to which the narrator is in control, or not in control, of the narrative). Types of life writing that will be explored are coming-of-age narratives, illness and trauma narratives, confessional narratives, autobiographical poetry and song lyrics, and interviews/oral histories. Readings and materials include Shadd Maruna, William Styron, Mary Karr, Donna Tartt, James Joyce, and many others.

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