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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Fall 2005

POR 381 • Autobiographical Writings

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46005 TTh
11:00 AM-2:30 PM

Course Description

This course is designed to acquaint students with a variety of autobiographical texts in Brazil: private and public diaries, working-class memoirs, personal writings in prose as well as in poetry, some of them written by the major twentieth-century Brazilian writers. To explore the context of production and circulation of autobiographical discourse in Brazil is one of the course's main purposes. Other topics of discussion will include: autobiographical writing in Brazil and Spanish America; the place/value of autobiography within Brazilian literary criticism; female rhetoric and its relation to mainstream constructions of the self; the question of authorship (vs. authenticity) in the memoirs of socially-excluded writers; and the politics of textual strategies of self-representation. The course will be divided into three parts: (a) Modernist Memoirs; (b) The Female Autobiography; and (c) Testimonial Literature.

Classes will be taught in Portuguese. Reading knowledge of Portuguese is required but class participation and the final paper may be in Spanish or in English.

Grading Policy

Your grade will be based on: active class participation, including exercises such as leading class discussion (30%); one oral report of the final paper proposal (20%); and a final research paper (50%).


Helena Morley. Minha vida de menina (1893-95; published in 1942) Lima Barreto. Diário de Hospício (1919-20; published in 1953) Graciliano Ramos. Infância (1945) Oswald de Andrade. Um homem sem profissão: sob as ordens de mamãe (1954) José Lins do Rego. Meus verdes anos (1956) Carolina Maria de Jesus. Quarto de despejo (1960) Maura Lopes Cansado. Hospício é Deus: volume 1 (1968) Carlos Drummond de Andrade. Boitempo (1968) and Menino antigo (1973) Clarice Lispector. Água viva (1973) and Objeto Gritante (excerpts; 1971) Lygia Fagundes Telles. Invenção e memória (2000) Jocenir. Diário de um Detento: o livro (2001)


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