The Rhetoric of Autobiography
129 | CCN: 31333
Instructor: Michael Mascuch
M/W/F 12:00pm-1:00pm, Hearst Annex B1 ///
What is autobiography and why is it so popular these days? Are we all so self-obsessed? Or so accountable to others? How is autobiography a medium of self-knowledge, anyway? Aren’t all modes of self-reference autobiographical? We’ll ask these questions, and more, studying autobiography as rhetorical activity that takes many forms. We will read some classics, including Augustine’s Confessions, Rousseau’s Confessions, and Frederick Douglass’s Narrative; some new classics, including Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts; and some cult classics, such as Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes and Joe Brainard’s I Remember.