Course Instructor Days Times Room


This semester we will study contemporary American memoirs and autobiographical writings of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries.  Graded assignments will consist of two essays and a cumulative, in-class final exam focusd on your identification of figures of speech and theoretical concepts in examples from the texts we have read this semester.  I have also planned a campus visit from and film screening b y Regina E. Grimes, who is descended from the early African American memoirist William Grimes.  Her presentation will be included in a series of literary and performative events planned around discussions of Claudia Rankine's book-length lyric poem Citiizen, which will culminate in a staged reading based on the book in March 2019.  

This is the list of books I have ordered for the class. They will be available for your purchase at the university bookstore:

Ordinary Light:  A Memoir.  By Tracy K. Smith,  New York: Vintage, 2016.  Paperback.  ISBN: 0345804074.

Citizen: An American Lyric. By Claudia Rankine.  Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2014.  Paperback. ISBN: 1555976905.

Educated:  A Memoir.  By Tracy Westover.  New York: Random House, 2018.  Hardcover.  ISBN: 0399590501.

The Latin Deli: Telling the Lives of Barrio Women.  By Judith Ortiz Cofer New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1995.  Paperback.  ISBN: 9780393313130.

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir.  By Thi Bui.  Reprint 2017; New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2018.  Paperback. ISBN: 1419718789.

Heavy: An American Memoir.  By Kiese Laymon.  New York: Scribner, 2018.  Paperback.  ISBN: 1501125656.