|Semester and Year||FA 2012|
|Time||9:30 AM - 10:45 AM|
Open to Gallatin first-year students only.
“An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience,” wrote James Baldwin. This course will examine how writers “face and use” their life experience in a variety of genres, including private correspondence, journals, essays, and memoirs. What is the relationship between lived experience and literary experiment ? Who is the “self” that emerges in a story? Do all identities count as “authentic”? These questions will frame our analysis of how personal writing gives shape to, and is shaped by, an author’s life. We will also consider how, and why, artists working in different media, such as song, film, and paint, create “self-portraits.” These different aesthetic approaches will help us understand how our reception of a life-story is informed by the style of its transmission. This course is designed to advance your skills and confidence as writer, so we will experiment with a range of written exercises and draft techniques. Assignments will include short online responses, and four personal and analytic essays, each revised at least once. Readings may include: St. Augustine, Confessions (Book One); The Book of Margery Kempe (selections); Rousseau, The Confessions (Book One); Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl ; James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son (select essays); Zora Neale Hurston, Dust on the Tracks (selections); Virginia Woolf, “A Sketch of the Past”; Richard Rodriguez, The Hunger of Memor; Anchee Min, Red Azalea; and Alison Bechdel, Fun Home.
First-Year Program: Writing Seminars (FIRST-UG)