Comparative Literature | Women in World Literature
C340 | 1127 | Gwen Stickney


*Satisfies COAS Cultural Studies requirement*

What is life writing?  Why do women write about their lives?  What
issues do they explore?  Is life writing true?  How do women modify
autobiographical forms and content in different countries and time
periods?  How should we read life writing about women?  In this
course, we will consider these questions as we compare different kinds
of autobiographical writings by or about women.  The texts will tell
the stories of women's lives in Spain, England, France, Guatemala, and
the United States since the 1500's.  The lineup of women will feature
mothers, daughters, wives, lovers, nuns, artists, a saint, a sinner, a
child prodigy, an anthropologist, a Nobel Prize winner, and others.
Their lives have been recounted in such forms as confessions,
fictional autobiographies, journals, collaborative testimonies, and
novels.
Our texts will include The Life of Teresa of Jesus: The Autobiography
of Teresa of ┴vil, Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders, George Sand's
Intimate Journal, Annie Dillard's An American Childhood, Elisabeth
Burgos-Debray's I, Rigoberta Mench˙: An Indian Woman in Guatemala, and
Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  We will also discuss
selected critical articles to help us become more informed readers of
women's autobiographical writing.  The course will require active
participation during class sessions, several short writing
assignments, a midterm exam, and a comparative final paper.