• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Gender Studies
  • Areas of interest Gender Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Rosanne Kennedy
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course is intended to introduce students to a series of twentieth century life narratives in the context of contemporary Auto/biography theory and practice. Students will explore concepts of memory and self-fashioning in life writing, together with issues of gender, colonialism, race, cross-cultural encounter and displacement as represented in autobiographical texts. Special attention may be paid to life narratives dealing with traumatic personal and historical events. The course will provide the opportunity to investigate and reflect on obstacles that writers confront in narrating their lives, the strategies they adopt and the gaps and silences that characterize autobiographical writing.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Students will:

1.    learn to identify the features of different genres of life-writing

2.    develop a critical vocabulary for analyzing autobiography

3.    become familiar with debates in the field of life writing studies

4.    develop advanced skills in reading

5.    enhance their skills in literary analysis and response

6.    hone their skills of critical thinking and writing


Indicative Assessment

Short response on each text (40%) (8 assessments x 300 words each) [Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6]

Final essay (50%) (1750 words) [Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6]

Tutorial participation (10%). [Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6]


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1.5 hours of lectures and 1 hr tutorial per week and associated working time to a total of 120 hours over the semester.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 Units of 1000 level English (ENGL) or Gender (GEND). Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4731 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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