Fall 2024

Political Autobiography

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-349  |  Political Science, as POSC-349


Jared Loggins (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 349 [US] and POSC 349) This course introduces students to the world of autobiographical writing by reading some important autobiographies written in the twentieth century. These authors include: Booker T. Washington, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Barack Obama. In addition to reading these autobiographies, students will also begin writing their own. By the end of the course, students will have raised the following questions: what makes autobiography distinct from other approaches to examining the past? what is the relationship between self and community? How does the politics and social arrangements of the outside world shape self-realization? How do we remember our past? Does memory of events change over time and if so, how? Is autobiography necessarily "political"? 

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Assistant Professor Loggins.

How to handle overenrollment: Permission only

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: This is a reading and writing intensive course. Each week, students will be expected to read and evaluate assigned passages and revise/discuss their passages with peers. Moreover, students will be expected to turn in written drafts of their own autobiography, which will be graded for clarity, style, and creativity.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Fall 2024