Tell Even Us: Writing Memory, Trauma, Self
Division I; Difference, Power, and Equity;
Cross-listed as COMP357 / ENGL300 / AMST300
In this course, we will read a diverse selection of personal memoirs dealing with the traumas, transgressions, and transformations of what we understand to be “modern life.” We will meditate on how categories of identity and experience, memory and history are being constructed and deconstructed, reimagined and remade anew. We will pay special attention to how these writers/artists narrate the overlapping cycles of loss, pain, grief, survival, resilience, and resistance in the face of (structural, institutional, interpersonal, and intimate) violence, and consider the possibilities for (individual and collective) healing that can exist in and beyond the world as we know it. What, after all, does it even mean to have or to not have, to find, to lose, to have stolen, to dissolve, and/or to recover a self in a besieged America? Books we will cover may include: Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Gloria Anzaldúa), Dictee (Theresa Hak Kyung Cha), How to Write an Autobiographical Novel (Alexander Chee), When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir (Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele), Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (Deborah Miranda), This is for the mostless (Jason Magabo Perez), Redefining Realness (Janet Mock), like a solid to a shadow (Janice Lobo Sapigao), Men We Reaped(Jesmyn Ward), 7 Miles A Second (David Wojnarowicz).
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly reading responses, a midterm paper (7-8 pages), and a manuscript for a memoir in a medium of their own choosing
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: previous coursework in race, ethnicity, and diaspora, junior or senior standing, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: American Studies majors
Distributions: Division I; Difference, Power, and Equity;
Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL or COMP DPE: Analyzes the dynamics of power and privilege in the U.S. from a national and transnational context, examines the perspectives of socially marginalized groups, and fosters an understanding of the beliefs, experiences, and cultural productions of these groups.
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives;
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- ENGL 300 - 01 (F) SEM Writing Memory, Trauma, Self