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Personalizing History
AMST 245
Fall 2012
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: ENGL 246

How much are we shaped by our historical times and places? How much power do we have to make our historical conditions respond to our needs and desires? These are the questions at the foundation of this course. We will examine these questions and others in the literary genre of the immigrant memoir, where they are particularly crucial. The course includes both memoir-writing and memoir-reading. We will construct narratives about our times and selves in a series of writing workshops. There will be some exercise where you will be asked to research specific aspects of your times and places. For example, you might be asked to research and write about such questions as: when and where were you born, what were the major cultural or political currents of that time, and how was your early childhood influenced by them? Or you may be asked to bring in a photograph of someone important in your personal history and write about that person.

Immigrant memoirs are a distinct genre, with topics/themes that are particular to it. Some of the most important issues are: place and displacement, language, loss/trauma/melancholia/nostalgia, self-invention or transformation, family and generational differences, and the idea of "America." The class will engage with these topics in the analysis of the readings, and also in the writing of memoirs. Specific techniques will be highlighted for writing practice: the catalogue, diction, dialogue, metaphor, description, point of view, and narrative structure, including temporal organization, the doubled narrative, and the narrative frame.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AMST
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ENGL)(ENGL-Creative W)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-17-2024
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