October 11th, 2010

Writing prompt for My Life

Find one paragraph or passage in pages 70-91 or 102-114 in Autobiography to apply to My Life. That is, use one of the critical descriptions of autobiography described by Anderson, and apply it to your own understanding of My Life. Your post should include:

1. The passage from Autobiography you are using
2. A brief paraphrase or description of that passage
3. Write 2 paragraphs explaining how this passage helps you understand the work of My Life. Use the specific language of the criticism in your analysis; in other words, adhere very closely to both texts.¬† If you don’t want to talk about My Life as a whole, you can pick one specific section of My Life to apply the criticism to, and explain how the criticism helps you understand this one section.

If you are looking for some more info on Lyn Hejinian and My Life, the American Academy of Poets has a great website with author bios and related materials. Here is the page for My Life. Please print out and bring in both this post and your post regarding your own research paper. Don’t bring in your computer: print out these pages on paper, and bring in that paper.

October 6th, 2010

Chinese Calligraphy in Dictee

Well, the mystery of the Chinese calligraphy is solved:

The calligraphy on p. 26-27 means Man and Woman. That on page53-54 is Father and Mother.

I don’t read Chinese, and got this information from the following article (if you’re interested in further reading!):

Sue-Im Lee “Suspicious Characters: Realism, Asian American Identity, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s ‘Dictee'” Journal of Narrative Theory, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Summer, 2002), pp. 227-258

October 3rd, 2010


For Wednesday, 10/6 write up your blog post on your research topic (see previous), and then write a second post on Dictee. Choose one paragraph from Dictee and write up a close reading of that passage.

We will meet in Razran 360 computer lab at 4:30 and then move back to Klapper. Bring both Cha and Anderson.

September 30th, 2010

Research Paper Freewrite

Hi, guys. I hope you found the library workshop useful, and feel like you can begin looking into some topics you are interested in covering in your final paper. For your first of two blog assignments this week, I will ask you to do the following:

1. Look again at the directives for the final paper, and spend 5 minutes freewriting again, just as we did in class, about what topic you are interested in exploring in your paper. This can be done by hand or computer, but it’s all for you.

2. Type up an entry that explains 1) what your potential topic will be, 2) how it will pertain to the topic of auto/biography, and 3)what it is about this topic that you are interested in exploring. If you are not sure which texts you want to write about, list a few potential texts you think you might be interested in covering.

If you have any questions, send me an email. Looking forward to hearing about what you guys are interested in…

September 26th, 2010

Blog post Due 9/29

Both David Sedaris and Nora Ephron’s essays self-consciously reflect their own position as autobiographical writers. Choose one passage that you think serves as an example of this self-consciousness, type out that passage and give the page number, and then write at least 400 words analyzing how this passage makes you think about the autobiographical process of writing the self.

Don’t forget to see the info below for Wednesday’s class. We will spend the first half of class in the library and the second half in Klapper.

September 26th, 2010

Wednesday’s class and Research Paper

We will meet on Wednesday at 4:30 in the library room 101A. Come prepared to research your glossary term, and also have some ideas about what you might want to write about for your final research paper.

Here is some information on the final research paper that will help you think about the topic: Research Paper Description

September 19th, 2010

Blog Writing Prompt due 9/22

For this blog prompt, you can choose one of the following:

1. Choose one scene in Lucky, and write at least 500 words describing how you think this scene relates to the book as a whole. Why is this scene significant to our understanding of this text?

2. Write a post considering Lucky as a memoir in light of our discussion last Wednesday. How does this text differ in terms of authority, authorship, and truth from The Things They Carried?

DON”T FORGET to add the blogroll to your own page (ID is 660, for directions see below) and write a response to another student’s post from last week (and this week if you have time before class). You will always have 2 blog assignments for the week: write your own post, and respond to at least one other student’s post, or the comments on that student’s post. You can read and respond to as many students’ posts as you want. The more the better!

September 9th, 2010

Blog writing prompt (due 9/15)

After creating your blog (see previous post for help) please write your first post responding to the following prompt:

In Linda Anderson’s introduction¬† to Autobiography she summarizes several different critics’ interpretations of the genre. Choose one passage from the introduction that you find interesting. Type out the quote, and indicate what page it’s on. Then paraphrase (write in your own words) what you think this passage is saying about the genre of autobiography. Finally, explain what you personally find interesting about this topic.

Your own writing (not the quotation itself) should be at least two full paragraphs. Thus your blog should contain the following

1. The passage you are using, typed out in full, with its corresponding page number.

2. At least one paragraph paraphrasing what this passage means.

3. Another full paragraph (not just a few sentences) explaining your response. Your response can include what you find interesting about this, what is new in this or what you disagree with

You are of course encouraged to write more than 2 paragraphs, but that is the minimum.

September 1st, 2010

Help creating your blog

To set up your course blog, go to qwriting.qc.cuny.edu. If you have already created an account, log in and create a new blog. If not, set up a new account.

For help creating this account, you can go to help.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu. On this page you will find all the information you need explaining how to get your blog up and running, how to choose a template/theme, and how to post.

Once you have created your blog, please add your link to the blogroll¬† by adding your name and the url of your your blog to “Join Blogroll” on the right side of this page. You must then display the class blogroll on your own page. To find out how to do so, look here.

August 31st, 2010


Welcome to the class blog for English 391W: Auto/biography. You should be able to find course information here, including course readings, announcements, and a schedule of assignments. Please check here weekly for announcements and writing prompts for your blogs. If you have any questions, email me at pburger@gc.cuny.edu

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