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Life writing draws on lived experiences and life narratives - ours’ and others’ – to examine the relationship between the past and the present, individuals and different types of social life, the public and the private, the local and the (trans)national. In this subject we will be thinking hard about identity and representation (including self-representation), power and ethics, the complexities of memory, as well as possibilities afforded by different forms of life writing, which encompass personal essays, memoirs, biographies, diaries, letters, oral histories, family histories, blogs etc. Life writing offers us a powerful entry point into exploring families, bodies, relationships, subjectivities and illuminating experiences that have been ignored or silenced in our culture. Research practices such as interviewing skills, immersion and observation, archival and genealogical research will be investigated in the production of a folio of original life writing.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- the ability to apply advanced theoretical, aesthetic and analytic skills to interpreting critical and creative texts;
- the ability to tackle new problems with the production of life writing with confidence and openness to contemporary artistic directions;
- a sound working knowledge of the history and contemporary directions of the genres;
- the ability to plan feasible creative projects for a given time-frame and word length;
- the ability to use structure and style with economy and power across the genres of life writing;
- the ability to participate effectively in group discussions and collaborative learning; and
- the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the wider public significance of their knowledge and skills.
At the completion of this subejct, students should gain the following generic skills:
- through critical and appreciative reading followed by presentations and group discussions, will acquire advanced skills in critical thinking and analysis, thinking creatively, openness to new ideas and the ability to communicate thoughts and knowledge; and
- through producing assignments as creative writing and critical essays will acquire advanced skills in written communication, time management and planning and practices and ethics in the field of creative writing.
Last updated: 16 June 2020