American Autobiography

American Autobiography: The Promise of America
The promise of America, to paraphrase Tocqueville, may be said to involve securing equality in freedom and overcoming slavery and its legacy. Jay Parini has called autobiography “the essential American genre,” because “the individual is not only valued but also preeminent and representative.” Writers of this genre illuminate different aspects of the promise of America, depending on, among other things, when they lived, their background, their race and their gender. To learn what we can about America from this genre, we will read: Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography; Frederick Douglass’ multiple autobiographies; The Education of Henry Adams; The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Pauli Murray’s, Song in a Weary Throat: Memoir of an American Pilgrimage; and Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father. Students will write short papers on four of these writers.
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INTD 1040

All Sections in Winter 2022

Winter 2022

INTD1040A-W22 Lecture (Dry)