Biography, Life Writing, Autofiction

LIT 420

History and art of the life story, examining biography as it drives research and contemporary writing. From Montaigne to Rousseau, the biopic to the lives of troubadours, we will study modes, media and social functions: portrait, caricature, meditation, fragments, selfies. The subjects: famous or anonymous people; those who are not human, landscapes, the sea—even inanimate objects. The accounts of radical change or metamorphosis, personal epiphanies, self-conscious reflection. The aims of depicting lives as they unfold. Texts include Foucault, Augustine, Flora Tristan, Pascal, Ferraoun. Critical readings will be coupled with creative work culminating in a research project around your life.
Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • FL
  • R
  • ALP
  • CZ
Cross-Listed As
  • FRENCH 411
  • HISTORY 420
Typically Offered