Autobiographical Society

Module code: SY3094

As a society we have recorded our lives through many different mediums, and in the digital age we can record every minute, detail and thought we have - immortalised forever online. You’re going to be looking at letters and correspondence, biography and autobiography, diaries, art, photographs, video, social media and blogs to piece together this narrative.

Your investigations will explore continuities, transformations and social change within these human documents and their historical importance. You’ll also be looking at how these texts have changed over time by examining notions such as lens, standpoint, perspective, production and 'reading' in auto/biographical texts.

Topics covered

  • Biography
  • Autobiography
  • Letters as sociological data
  • The biographical turn
  • Biographical methods and analysis
  • TV and music as biographical referents
  • Ethics
  • Diaries as sociological data
  • Pearl Jephcott
  • C Wright Mills
  • George Orwell
  • Using Images and film
  • Family Photographs and Photo-analysis
  • Literature
  • Gender, class and ethnicity

Learning

  • 2 hours of lectures
  • 9 hours of seminars
  • 139 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Life writing composition, 1,000 words (25%)
  • Life writing critical analysis, 500 words (25%)
  • Portfolio, 2,500 words (50%)