Our Course

HONS 255.03 | Fall 2021 | MYBK 320 | T/TH 10:50 – 12:05

Photo Credit: Larissa Honsek

What is the self, and how has it been defined historically? And how do we conceive of the self in the today, and as we look to the digital future? How is the self written, pictured, mythologized, transformed, and virtualized? This course will address these enduring questions, using the practice of contemporary autobiography as our focus.

We will begin with a section on “investigations and methods” where we will examine ideas of selfhood across time and from different disciplinary perspectives and explore methodologies unique to the interdisciplinary field of autobiography and life-writing studies. The course will then proceed to a section on “models” where we read and discuss and write about a set of autobiographies with these investigations and methods in mind. The course will conclude with a final section focusing on “making” in which students will engage in a major research project in relation to autobiography.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

General Education SLOs for Humanities:

  1. Students analyze how ideas are represented, interpreted or valued in various expressions of human culture.
  2. Students examine relevant primary source materials as understood by the humanities area under study and interpret the material in writing assignments.

These learning outcomes will be evaluated using the take-home mid-term exam. 

Honors SLOs for Colloquia Exploring Complexity and Diversity require that students:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to create and communicate analytic arguments supported by evidence (Reinforced)
  2. Evaluate complex issues using an interdisciplinary perspective (Introduced, Reinforced, & Demonstrated)
  3. Analyze and synthesize information within and/or across disciplines (Reinforced)

Course-specific SLOs:

  1. Students demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the historical and theoretical context for autobiography
  2. Students apply key concepts related to autobiography to analyze contemporary autobiographical texts
  3. Students synthesize knowledge from interdisciplinary research in support of creative and/or critical autobiography-focused projects


For students entering the Honors College under the new curriculum in Fall 2018, this course may count towards one of two required Exploring Complexity and Diversity Colloquia courses. In order to enroll, you must successfully complete an Honors Foundation course in Fall 2018.

Required Course Materials

You can purchase these book independently or through the College Bookstore

~ 2010 ~

~ 2018 ~

~ 2019 ~

~ 2019 ~

~ 2021 ~

~ 2019 ~


~ 2017 ~


~ 2021 ~




Book list, with links:

Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives, Second Edition (2011), by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson

Educated: A Memoir (2018), by Tara Westover

The Book of Delights (2019), by Ross Gay

In the Dream House (2019), by Carmen Maria Machado (2019)

The Undocumented Americans (2021), by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls (2019), by T Kira Madden

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir  (2017), by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Punch Me Up to the Gods (2021), by Brian Broome


Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

Skip to toolbar