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Readings in Memoir ENG Writing Essays ENG Postcolonial Literature ENG Advanced Nonfiction ENG Readings in Memoir Professor Amy Butcher, aebutche owu.
Once upon a time, long before the Age of Oprah, writers who had lived through something fascinating or terrible or both would turn their experiences into fiction. Nowadays, however, these stories equally take the form of memoir—a sub-genre of the diverse and expansive genre we typically call creative nonfiction.
What does this mean? It means, in part, that the form is increasingly considered both artful and necessary; experiences once deemed so humiliating or painful that people hid them are now so remunerative that some writers make them up.
But what is a memoir, how does it function, and how is it differentiated from autobiography and simple recollection? We will, in short, talk quite a bit about truth, identity, and veracity in art. Course Texts must be purchased in physical form—no e-readers, please: This class depends and in fact thrives upon the individualized interpretation and thoughtful engagement of each and every student, and as such, class participation comprises a large percentage of the final grade.
Many students make the unfortunate mistake of thinking that it is enough to complete the reading and attend class; on the contrary, I consider class participation to be the act of demonstrating yourself to be an actively engaged and enthused part of our classroom conversation. There is, in other words, no place in my classroom for intellectual apathy, and it is not enough to show up and warm a seat.
Please note that I also expect all students to self-regulate; those who attempt to regularly monopolize conversation or make tangential or anecdotal comments will be equally penalized.
In my experience, the best participants in a discussion-based seminar such as this one not only listen to what their classmates black swans by lauren slater essays for scholarships to say, but work to engage, build upon and complicate those sentiments rather than simply waiting for their turn to speak or reiterating what has already been presented.
In addition, because it is my firm belief that an engaged and respectful student gives their full attention to the materials and the discussion at hand, I do not allow computers or e-readers in my classroom without a note from the learning specialist, your phone should not be on your desk, your laptop should not be open, and under no circumstances should you be texting or falling asleep in class.
Repeated failure to do so will result in an F for class participation. As this is a reading-intensive course, the majority of your time each week will be spent completing the assigned reading; our page count will invariably fluctuate, but typical weekly reading assignments will range from pages.
It is therefore very important that you set aside time each week to do the required reading and stay current with our assigned work, which not only ensures your success in course quizzes and exams but facilitates our weekly discussions.
Please note that while this discussion will ultimately involve the whole class, it is the task of the discussion leaders to guide us in a very specific, analytical and conversational interpretation; I am therefore expecting pairs to have not only completed the assigned reading, but to have worked together to digest the material and subsequently form a thorough and processed understanding and a structured plan of engaging the class in this discussion.
If it is the first day of a new book, pairs may begin by introducing the author, their career summary, or any other useful or relevant information that will help to put the work in context, but on the whole, these discussions should largely comprise of a guided critical and analytical close reading.
These questions should be relatively sophisticated and specific in scope and should aim to engage the memoir far beyond the surface level IE: While you are certainly encouraged to do some research, I expect students to formulate their own analysis and interpretation of the assigned material; please do not rely on Sparknotes or any other reading summary website.
Partners are welcome to structure their time however they feel would be most effective—students might, for example, begin with asking the class to respond individually in a notebook to a question before guiding us in their particular interpretation, or else partners might split the class into small groups halfway through the discussion to analyze a particular passage or moment.
To supplement our weekly reading, students will complete weekly journal entries that examine and analyze the memoir and the many questions or ideas it will invariably raise about truth, art, subjectivity, or any number of related concepts.
You should be, in other words, performing a close reading of the memoir and analyzing the writing as a carefully crafted piece of art that was formed from, above all, true accounts.
While less formal than a paper, these entries should nonetheless construct a coherent narrative, be scholarly in tone, employ complete and grammatically sound sentences, and be free of spelling and typing errors.
Please refer to our in-class handout for further illustration of the level of engagement and effort I expect. Because these journal entries are designed to foster intelligent conversation in class, no late journal entries will be accepted; if Blackboard is down or you experience complications in trying to upload the file, please email it to me before the start of class for credit.
Please note that these entries—of which there are 12—make up a significant percentage of the final grade, so failing to regularly complete and submit them will significantly affect your final grade. This course culminates in both a midterm and final exam, both of which test reading and comprehension skills as well as your ability to identify and interpret select passages from the assigned texts.
Both exams are designed to show that you have completed all assigned reading, taken notes, and otherwise demonstrated yourself to be an engaged, analytical, and critical close reader.
The final exam will be a take-home, open book exam and will ask that you comment on the memoir form as a whole as well as the connections shared between texts.A board by Abbey Slater. Black and whites. Collection by Abbey Slater. Follow. Thom Yorke The Eraser Revista Musical Stanley Donwood Music Album Covers Music Albums 6 Music Black Swan Red Black Lp Cover.
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