Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG424H1S L0101

ENG425H1S    L0101    W11-1   
Advanced Studies Group 2: Canadian Literature
Instructor: Smaro Kamboureli
Office Telephone: TBA
Office Address: TBA
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Brief Description of Course: What is a memoir? What is its relationship to life writing? What is the difference between autobiography and witness accounts of traumatic events? Are blogs instances of life writing? Is life writing a genre or a set of cultural practices and discourses? How do first-person accounts complicate the act of truth telling? What is the relationship between authenticity and the narrativization of memories? In other words, what constitutes what Philippe Lejeune called“the autobriographical pact”? These are some of the questions that will frame this course. Our close reading of a selection of memoirs and life writing narratives published in Canada will be informed by a range of recent theories about life writing practices, as well as by the social and political contexts that shape such narratives.

Required Reading:  A course pack of critical essays, as well as a range of primary texts that may include Roy K. Kiyooka’s Mothertalk, Denise Chong’s The Concubine’s Children, Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed, Karen Connelly’s Burmese Lessons: A Love Story, and Gregory Scofield’s Thunder Through My Veins. Texts available at The Bob Miller Book Room (180 Bloor Street West).

First Two Authors/Texts: Camilla Gibb, This is Happy; Denise Chong, The Concubine's Children.

Method of Evaluation: Research essay; reading journal; and class discussion and brief presentations.

Link to ARTSCI Calendar Course Descriptions.

Link to ARTSCI 2016-17 Timetable with Room Allocations.

Return to 400 Level Courses.

Return to 2016-17 Fall-Winter Courses.

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