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Alix Paschkowiak, Comparative Literature
Instructor Office: 309 South College
Spring 2000
Comparative Literature Hours: M W 12-1pm & by appt. tel. 577-1309 or msg. 545-0929

Spiritual Autobiography

Mach W-25 T/TH 11:15-12:30


Course Description & Objective:

Spiritual Autobiography is writing about the self or the selves in confrontation with the unknown, during times of personal or social conflict, loss, and rebirth (spiritual in this sense does not necessarily refer to institutionalized religion). We will read autobiographies from several traditions and time periods. This class is reading and writing intensive. The texts shall act as model and subject for good writing.

Texts and Materials:

Black Boy, Richard Wright

Memoirs, Pablo Neruda

one book of your choice* see list

Oranges are not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

The Cavalry Maiden, Nadezhda Durova

The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston

Night, Elie Wiesel

Buy at Atticus Bookstore, Main St., Amherst


Attendance Policy

I expect you to attend every class meeting. On the fourth absence, your final grade will be lowered. On the sixth absence, you will fail this course. Absences resulting from medical problems or other emergencies will be excused if proper documentation is submitted to me. I give extra consideration when assigning final grades to those students with perfect attendance.

Late Essay Policy

All late papers will be subject to a grade reduction. If you turn your paper in more than a week late, your paper will be returned to you with a grade of "F."

Grading Policy

In determining your course grade, I will give slightly more emphasis to work done later in the semester, especially if you show improvement. In general, each essay counts roughly the same. Participation, reading quizzes, and other special assignments also count in the analysis of your final grade.

Course Schedule

Jan 27 Introduction

Feb 1 Black Boy

Feb 3 Black Boy

Feb 8 Black Boy

Feb 10 Memoirs
Autobiography #1 due in class

Feb 15 Memoirs

Feb 17 Memoirs

Feb 22 Oranges are not the only Fruit

Feb 24 Oranges are not the only Fruit

Feb 29 Oranges are not the only Fruit
Critical Essay Due

Mar 2 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Mar 7 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Mar 9 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Autobiography #2 due in class

Mar 12-20 Spring Break

Mar 21 The Cavalry Maiden

Mar 23 The Cavalry Maiden

Mar 28 The Cavalry Maiden

Mar 30 The Woman Warrior

Apr 4 The Woman Warrior
Critical Essay due

Apr 6 The Woman Warrior

Apr 11 Night

Apr 13 Night

Apr 18 Night
Autobiography #3

Apr 20 Holiday

Apr 25 Presentations

Apr 27 Presentations

May 2 Presentations

May 4 No class - student conferences

May 9 Presentations

May 11 Presentations

Date TBA Take Home Final due in my mailbox in 303 South College

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