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AUTOBIOGRAPHY When Memory Speaks

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					AUTOBIOGRAPHY: When Memory Speaks
603-10304C03            Instructor: Dr. Eleanor Beattie
FALL 2000               Office Rm.3D.3.3 (Local.1283)
Dawson College          Office Hrs: Tues & Thurs 1-4
English Department              & by appointment.

Course Hours Per Week: 1 Hour of Theoretical Work; 2 Hours of Practical Work; 3 Hours of Homework.

MINISTERIAL OBJECTIVES: The objective of this course is to enable students to apply a critical approach to literary
themes. To this end, students should learn to recognize a work's literary themes, cultural context, and value system.
Students should be able to explicate a text from a thematic perspective.
MINISTERIAL STANDARDS: By me conclusion of the course, students, with the aid of reference material and without
artificial time constraints, will be able to produce a 1000 word analysis. This analysis would reflect a knowledge of
literary and rhetorical elements and devices which reinforce themes and the implicit and explicit value systems in a text.
The students would use appropriate terminology and would be able to revise both the form and content of their work.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES: DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGY
         This course analyzes autobiography and fiction that grows out of autobiographical accounts by largely
contemporary authors from a wide range of cultures. Students will learn to recognize the thematic elements central to
autobiography and see, through the understanding of literary elements, how these thematic elements are adapted to
include other voices and other genres. We will also look closely at the way autobiography is transformed into fiction;
students will have the opportunity to more thoroughly understand this process by turning their autobiographical sketches
into fictional stories. The class will also work on a collaborative autobiographical project.
         While the course emphasizes the development of students' interpretive and critical skills, it also includes a review
of practical skills required to plan, draft and revise essays. These skills include the drafting of a clear thesis statement and
general outline; the development of coherent paragraphs; and the correction of errors in grammar, sentence structure and
diction.
         Students are expected to read material before each class. Classes will be devoted to group discussions, oral
presentations and writing assignments. Specific instructions and dates
for assignments will be given two weeks before each deadline.

REQUIRED TEXTS (All available in the Dawson Bookstore):
Eleanor Beattie. "Autobiography: When Memory Speaks" Manual
Frank McCourt. Angela's Ashes
A Grammar and Essay Handbook from your last English class.

GRADING
20% Short Autobiographies (Oral Presentations 5%; 650w in-class essay 15%)
20% Angela’s Ashes (Oral Presentations 5%; typed essay 15%)
30% Autobiography and the Shape of Fiction (Oral Presentations 5%; outline for paper 10%; typed essay 15%)
15% Reading Quizzes & Grammar Tests
15% An Autobiographical Incident or an Autobiographical Photo Project
100%
For three groupings of readings (1, 3 & 4), the same pattern will be followed: a quiz on the readings; a lecture and class
discussion of the readings; the choosing of topics and groups determined by topic choice; oral presentation by topic
groups; an individually written essay on a subject chosen from the narrowed down topic choices.
THE READINGS

Introduction and The Beginnings: Questions on Autobiography in relationship to other literary forms; the
History of Autobiography with excerpts from Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions (1783); ruminations on the
art by George Woodcock in "Kinds of Autobiography".

1. Short Autobiographical Narratives
Lillian Smith "When I Was a Child"
May Yee, "Nei um lung, ma? Aren't You Cold?"
Nawal El Saadawi, "The Mutilated Half"
Milagros Paredes "From the Inside Out"
Roseanne Arnold, "Living on Mountain Time" (excerpt from My Lives)
Maxine Hong Kingston, "No Name Woman"
Virginia Woolf, "22 Hyde Park Gate"
Tennessee Williams. "The Man in the Overstuffed Chair"
Gertrude Stein. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (excerpt)

2 An Autobiographical Project: Written Sketch or a Photo Project
C. G. Jung."Prologue" (excerpt from Memories, Dreams. Reflections)
Jill Ker Conway. The Road from Coorain (Excerpt)
Jill Ker Conway. "Word and Image" (excerpt from When Memory Speaks: Reflections on Autobiography)
Pierre Berton. The City of Gold (Film)

3. Angela's Ashes
McCourt, Frank. Angela's Ashes

4. Autobiography and the Shape of Fiction
Frank O’Conner “First Confession”
“Autobiographical Fiction: A Boundary Genre”
Natsume Soseki “I Am a Cat”
Sally Potter The Tango Lesson(Film)
Clark Blaise. "Memories of Unhousement" from Resident Alien
Clark Blaise. I Had a Father (excerpt)
Clark Blaise. "Identity" from Resident Alien
Clark Blaise. "The Salesman's Son Grows Older" from A North American Education

Attendance and Discipline:
1. Attendance is vital to success in this course. Note that a large part of the term mark comes
from work done in class. Students are responsible for all information and assignments given in
class whether or not they are present. Students are expected to be on time and not to be
wandering in and out during class. Lateness, wanderings and early departures will be counted as
half-absences. After several absences, the student will be asked to meet with the teacher to
discuss his or her progress.
2. The student is expected to come to the teacher's office during office hours when problems are
not sufficiently dealt with in class, and to come when the teacher requests the student to come
for tutoring.
Cheating and Plagiarism: "Plagiarism is the presentation or submission by a student of another person's work
as his or her own." (See Dawson's policy statement on Cheating and Plagiarism in the Dawson Calendar, pp. 22-
23). Cheating means to have obtained unauthorized assistance (from family, friends, etc.) in preparing an
assignment or writing a test. Any form of cheating or plagiarism will result in failure of the course.
Assignments: All assignments must be neatly prepared according to standard manuscript rules. Late
assignments and papers will be penalized unless prior arrangements are made.

Religious Holidays: Students are responsible for informing the teacher, in writing, by the third class of term,
which religious holidays they intend to observe so that alternative assignments or dates for presentations can be
arranged.

           ==================================================================
                                    103 EXIT PROFILE

A student graduating from an English 103 course
in Reading
     identifies one or more themes in a literary work.
     understands the literal meaning of the text studied,
     recognizes ways in which stylish, rhetorical, and formal features of the works studied
     contribute to the expression and development of a theme,
     perceives and appreciates the significance of historical and cultural context to the work studied.

in Writing
     can develop a literary analysis of a theme or themes within the works studied,
     can develop a critical analysis that is distinct from a personal reaction or plot summary,
     can locate supporting evidence within the literary work, present it clearly and logically, and
     explain how the evidence supports the thesis,
     can maintain unity and coherence throughout the essay,
     can write relatively clear and error-free sentences.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE – READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS – 603-10304C03
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

N.B.    Spring Break: Wednesday, March 14 to Friday, March 16
        Easter Break: April 13-April 16 & Ped Day, Tuesday, April 17

           ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Essay e (in-class assignment) on Short Autobiographical Narratives is due Mar. 2
Essay two on Angela’s Ashes is due April 18th (without fail)
Term paper on Autobiography and the Shape of Fiction is due the last class of the term, May 11th.

An Autobiographical Project is due the week beginning April 4th.

Test one: the week beginning February 28
Test two: the week beginning April 4

Group presentations will be given in weeks six and seven (1st present), weeks and twelve (2nd present) and week
fourteen (3rd present) of the term. There will also be several short reading quizzes throughout the term; these
quizzes are not announced. Students will receive week-by-week reading schedules and will be expected to read
the material assigned for each class. Specific dates for assignments and tests will be given two weeks before
each deadline.

           ==================================================================
AUTOBIOGRAPHY: When Memory Speaks                          603-10304C03        Dr. Eleanor Beattie
WINTER 2001


READING & DISCUSSION SCHEDULE FOR Short Autobiographical Narratives The following material
should be read by the dates listed below. Be sure to answer the questions attached to the readings in your
Manual.

F. Jan 26: “When I Was a Child” by Lillian Smith; “Aren’t You Cold?” by May Yee;

W. Jan 31 “The Mutilated Half’ by Nawal El Saadawi

F Feb 2:   “From the Inside Out” by Milagros Paredes; Living on Mountain Time (excerpt) by Roseanne Arnold

W. Feb 7: “No Name Woman” by Maxine Hong Kingston and the excerpt from The Autobiography of Alice B.
           Tokias by Gertrude Stein

F. Feb 9: “22 Hyde Park Gate” by Virginia Woolf; “The Man in the Overstuffed Chair” by Tennessee Williams

F Feb 16 Preparation for Oral Presentations:

F Feb 23 Oral Presentations

W Feb 28: Oral presentations

F March 2: In-class essay on Short Autobiographical Narratives


READING AND DISCUSSION SCHEDULE FOR An Autobiographical Project. The following material should
be read by the dates listed below. Be sure to answer the questions attached to the readings in you Manual.

W. Mar 7: C.G. Jung “Prologue” (excerpt from Memories, Dreams, Reflections); Jill Ker Conway. The Road
from Coorain (Excerpt); Jill Ker Conway. “Word and Image” (excerpt from When Memory Speaks: Reflections
on Autobiography)

F Mar 9: Pierre Beron. The City of Gold (Film)

Spring Break: Wednesday, March 14 to Friday, March 16

				
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