Comparative Literature | Reading Women's Lives
C340 | 1130 | Stickney, G

Section carries cultural studies credit

Class Meets:  TR 2:30-3:45P   BH 244

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 C340, we will consider these questions as we compare different
kinds of life writing 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 1500s. 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 Ávila, Daniel Defoe´s Moll
Flanders, George Sand’s Intimate Journal, Annie Dillard´s An
American Childhood, Elisabeth Burgos-Debray´s I, Rigoberta Menchú:
An Indian Woman in Guatemala, and Maya Angelou´s I Know Why the
Caged Bird Sings. We will also discuss selected critical readings to
help us become more informed readers of women’s life writing. The
course will require daily preparation, active participation during
class meetings, several short writing assignments, a midterm exam,
and a comparative final paper.