Fall Semester Senior Choice

Have you ever been told that no sophisticated writing uses “I”? This class gives the lie to that notion! In this class, offered during the fall semester, students will become deeply familiar with memoir and autobiographical writing through the study of full-length literary memoirs and personal essays. The central question for this course is “How does one individual’s lived experience inform or enrich others’ understanding of their lived experiences?” In other words, students will examine how memoirists detail with vivid specificity their own circumstances while connecting those circumstances to larger phenomena, themes, and communities. Students will explore the liberations (and limitations) presented by the use of the first person. Throughout, students will be mining their own lives for material that they will craft into short, thematic personal essays suitable for submission for publication consideration. Students will also receive guidance on the crafting of personal essays and statements for the college-application process. At the end of the course, students will produce a mini-memoir (approximately 50 pages in length) that has a narrative throughline, an intentional design, and significant thematic significance.