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Techniques of Nonfiction: Memory and Memoir
Fall 2020
Section: 01  

Taking the shifting nature of memory--sometimes fluid, often repressed, shape-shifting, nonlinear, occasionally contradictory--as our starting point, we will read and write memoirs, personal essays, and experiments. We will examine how writers convey not only remembered events but also the events' lasting emotional and symbolic significance, almost invisibly, within the technical aspects of their texts. As we read and write, we will consider the relationship between content and form in personal nonfiction, and we will explore the various ways writers employ narrative and anti-narrative structures when writing about oneself and one's own life. In other words, this semester, you--everything that composes who you are as an individual--will be your primary subject matter as we think about memory, consciousness, the (un)reliability of linearity and "truth," and language's relationship with time, presence, and place. We will look deeply into the complexities of what it means to be a person in the world, with language alive inside of us. We will walk into the rooms of our memories and heritages. We will question our relationships with temporality and language, and we will dredge up--in order to write through--our most impossible thoughts.

We will divide our time between reading contemporary investigations into nonfiction forms--the memoir and anti-memoir, experimental fictions that cull from one's life and heritage, the lyric essay, and hybrid essay forms--and writing our own nonfiction texts in response. There will be biweekly presentations, in-class writing experiments, and intensive workshops of one another's work. The class will culminate in a book arts project and a reflective essay.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Creative W)(ENGL-Literature)
Past Enrollment Probability: Less than 50%

Last Updated on MAY-21-2024
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