HM6104: Autobiography, Confession, & Creative Nonfiction

HM6104: Autobiography, Confession, & Creative Nonfiction

Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

Module Title Autobiography, Confession, & Creative Nonfiction
Module Code HM6104
Module Tutor Bea Hitchman
School School of Education and Humanities
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 6
Brief Description

This module will introduce students to a number of authors who work in a range of autobiographical styles, including journalism, memoir, confessional poetry, the autobiographical novel, life-writing and diaries, as well as semi-autobiographical fiction and creative nonfiction. The module will discuss the broad characteristics of autobiography and nonfiction, and the questions it raises concerning the relation between, among other things, fiction, fact, history, and memory. In workshops, students will develop their own creative nonfiction piece, as well as a critical commentary in which they discuss their work within chosen genres, and in light of themes and topics studied in class.

Indicative Syllabus

This module will run as a weekly one-hour lecture, accompanied by a weekly one-hour writing workshop.  The lectures will focus on studying texts that make use of the autobiographical mode, and the techniques authors use when writing in it.  Topics and themes will include: writing as catharsis, imaginative autobiography, the ambiguity of truth, and the nature of confession.  In workshops students will present their own autobiographical work and analyze that of their peers in relation to topics and themes discussed in lectures.

Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad understanding of the models and theories related to autobiography and creative nonfiction
  2. show a thorough knowledge of the history of autobiography as a genre and form
  3. apply the theories and models studied in class to their own creative processes when writing in the autobiographical mode
  4. define their own artistic stance regarding the writing of nonfiction, and articulate the means by which it differs from writing traditional fiction
  5. compose a piece of autobiographical writing, drawing on the tools and techniques covered in lectures
  6. discuss and critically evaluate their own artistic aims, and honestly reflect on way in which researching and reading autobiography and creative nonfiction has impacted on their development as a writer.
Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 28
Independent Learning Hours: 122
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 100% Portfolio: 3000 words or equivalent
Special Assessment Requirements
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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