This course introduces students to a range of genres of life writing, including autobiography, memoir, autobiographical fiction, graphic memoir, testimony and biography. Students will become familiar with critical concepts, terms and approaches used to analyse life narratives, and with debates relating to authenticity, identity, truth, memory and self-representation. Special attention will be paid gender and sexuality, place and memory, and the representation of traumatic personal and historical events in life narrative. The class will explore individualist and relational modes of life writing. Confessional and testimonial paradigms, and the socio-cultural contexts in which authors deploy particular rhetorical modes of address will also be considered.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- identify features and characteristics of different genres of life-writing;
- explain and apply critical concepts used in analyzing autobiography, memoir, testimonial and autobiographical fiction;
- identify confessional and testimonial paradigms and explain their relevance to life writing
- present detailed textual analysis of life writing narratives, including verbal and visual features of graphic memoir;
- explain current debates relating to authenticity, truth, and self-representation in life writing
Indicative AssessmentShort response answers, 2400 words (8 assessments x 300 words each) (40%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, and 3]
Final essay, 1750 words (40%) [Learning Outcomes1, 2, 3, 4 and 5]
In-class presentation, 5 min duration (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, and 5]
Tutorial preparation and participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 5]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities, and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingAlison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)
Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis (2000)
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Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
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- 6 units
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