English | Projects in Reading & Writing: Tell Me a Story: Self, Culture, and Nation in Contemporary Autobiography
W170 | 27430 | Rubens


•	27430		5:45-7:00p	TR		JH A107
What do MTV’s The Ashlee Simpson Show, scrapbooking, David Sedaris’
book Naked, time capsules, and weblogs have in common? They are all
forms of contemporary autobiography (also called memoir), and beyond
telling a story about one individual, these texts also “tell
stories” about American culture.
Personal narratives, for example, reveal which social groups have
access to authority in America and the ways these people stay in
power. Thus, autobiography, what largely seems to be the story of
just one individual, can say much about our experiences as
Americans. In this course, we will utilize a variety of written,
visual, and televisual forms of contemporary autobiography to
examine the motivation for making the “private” public as well as
the consequences and popularity of a mode of storytelling that is
highly personal yet so much more. Additionally, because this is a
composition course, we will also practice the kinds of analytical
writing college requires using this course’s theme as a guide.