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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2008

AMS 370 • Autobiography: Modern Life in America -W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30081 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
BUR 232

Course Description

Autobiography is one of the most revealing forms of narrative about culture. While providing an immediacy that is intimate in the writer's relation to self and to the world, it also gives the reader a view of the external worldthe writers world and that of othersthat may offer a new way of seeing, a point of view that we could never have without reading the autobiography. Plus, well-written autobiographies are just plain fascinating. Skillful autobiography can be constructed as a series of essays about ones life. It can be written in a sustained narrative, or it can be couched as fiction. When you write about your own life, you can muse on the big questions, share your insights, or relate the mundane details about your days, your families and friends.

This course is about published autobiographies and your autobiography. It is not a lecture-based course. Rather, it is a discussion and presentation-based course, with a substantial amount of writing

Grading Policy

Classroom participation: 20% Presentations of day's reading: 10% Two five-page essays: 30 % Ten-page final paper and presentation: 40%


Possible Texts Strunk and White, The Elements of Style Annie Dillard, An American Childhood Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies Russell Baker, Growing Up Rick Bragg, All Over but the Shoutin' Sarah Bird, The Yokota Officers Club Mary Carr, The Liar's Club Course packet


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