This course will approach the study of narrative from the perspective of a specific technique or theme; it might explore narrative genres such as autobiography, memoir, letters, epistolary fiction, and oral narrative traditions.
Winter 2014: Kacandes (10A)
Memoirs and the Work They Do (WGST51.7)
Memoir has been a popular genre in the United States, Latin America, Europe and elsewhere for at least the last twenty if not thirty years. In this course we will review the history of life writing forms to parse out misogyny and elitism. We will also learn how experts today understand life writing subgenres in print and other media, paying particular attention to experimentation and the fuzzy line between fiction and non-fiction. The focus of the course concerns how life writing is deployed in creating group identities, identities based on everything from addiction to victimhood, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality. Texts include Harriet Wilson, Our Nig, Coetzee's Boyhood, Spiegelman's Maus, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, Kacandes's Daddy's War, Modiano's Dora Bruder, Cho's I'm the One that I Want, and Wen Ho Lee's My Country Versus Me.
Last Updated: 9/9/13