Course Information
SchoolEnglish Language and Literature
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
Course ID600017435

Programme of Study: 2018-2019

Registered students: 2
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
KORMOSElective CoursesWinter/Spring-6

Class Information
Academic Year2019 – 2020
Class PeriodSpring
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours39
Class ID
Course Category
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
Students will --understand the historical/cultural contexts of autobiographical texts, and how the latter resist and transform those contexts. --understand how an author’s own gender, ideology, social class and religion shapes his/her textual self-representation. --explore the ways in which the self is presented and shaped by different literary and narrative forms, probe the relationship between truth and fiction in narrative, and reflect on the tension between invention and disclosure. --demonstrate an informed awareness of key theories concerning life writing and the “construction” of the self.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Demonstrate social, professional and ethical commitment and sensitivity to gender issues
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
This course examines diverse modes of textual self-representation (autobiographies, diaries, letters) from the early modern period to the present. Particular emphasis is placed on seventeenth-century autobiographical texts as it was in this period that life writings of various kinds began to proliferate. We look into the historical, cultural and ideological reasons that explain this proliferation and seek to understand the complex interactions between these self-representations and the world within which they were produced. We follow a similar process of interpretation in the study of texts from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and we will conclude with a brief look into contemporary self-representations in social media (facebook, twitter, etc.). Students will also have to study a number of critical texts on theoretical issues related to the “construction” of the self and autobiographical writing. Primary Sources* (from the five volumes of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th edition) Volume A Margery Kempe, pp. 425-426 Julian of Norwich, pp. 414-415, 423-424 Volume B “Writing the Self” pp. 1867-1868 John Foxe, pp. 687-688 Lucy Hutchinson, pp. 1868-1871 Anne Halkett, pp. 1874-1878 D. Waugh, pp. 1878-1880 Margaret Cavendish, 1888-1891 Volume C Samuel Pepys, pp. 2260-2269 Frances Burney, pp. 2992-2997, 3005-3011 Volume D De Quincey, pp. 567-569 William Wordsworth, pp. 356-370, 398-402. Volume E John Stuart Mill, pp. 1115-1122 Harriet Martineau, pp. 1616-1619 Anonymous, pp. 1620-1624 *Some more primary texts will be available on the e-learning platform. Secondary Bibliography Select critical texts will be assigned each week and will be available on the e-learning platform. They constitute essential reading and will be discussed in detail in class. Students are expected to be familiar with them to contribute to their analysis. Understanding these texts will also be necessary for successful performance in the final exams.
Autobiography, diary, self, life-writing, self-representation
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Multimedia
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
The form of information technology that the teacher of this course uses is the e-learning (Moodle) in conjunction with the internet. E-learning is used routinely for the following course activities: -announcements of all sorts that concern the class (these are sent automatically to each registered student via the e-class's mailing system) -the creation of an electronic library which includes documents relevant to the course (electronic books and articles, notes, links to useful sites, definitions of new terms, electronic primary sources not easily accessible to students, and several other aids that the teacher feels may be of use to the students.
Course Organization
Reading Assigment100.4
Student Assessment
Student performance is evaluated on the basis of written exams and oral presentations, which include: in-class oral presentations on some aspect of the course, and a comprehensive, essay-type exam on complex questions at the end of the semester. It is noted that the participation of students in class discussions play an advisory role (i.e., they help the instructor to form an opinion about the student’s abilities), whereas the class presentations, the final exam, and the research paper (if written) play a definitive as well as advisory role in the student’s final grade. The criteria of evaluation include the following: -Correct (idiomatic) use of the English language -Organization of thought -Understanding of the basic ideas explored in the course -Critical thought and synthetic ability -Originality -Maturity and sophistication of thought -Comprehensive coverage of the course material -Effectiveness of communication with an audience (esp. on oral presentation)
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Formative, Summative)
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Formative, Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative, Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
Compulsory Georges Gusdorf, “Conditions and Limits of Autobiography.” In Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical. Ed. James Olney. Princeton U P, 1980, pp. 28-48. Mary Mason, “The Other Voice: Autobiographies of Women Writers.” In Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical. Ed. James Olney. Princeton U P, 1980, pp. 207-235. Effie Botonaki, “Seventeenth-Century Englishwomen's Spiritual Diaries: Self-Examination, Covenanting, and Account Keeping.” The Sixteenth Century Journal, 30: 1 (Spring, 1999), pp. 3-21. Optional Linda Anderson, Autobiography. London: Routledge, 2001. Read pp.18-27 (on Augustine’s Confessions), and consult the Glossary (pp. 134-141) if you need to. Stefano Calzati and Roberto Simanowski, “Self-narratives on social networks:trans-platform stories and acebook’s metamorphosis into a postmodern semiautomated repository.” Biography 41: 1 (Winter 2018), pp. 24-47. Maria DiBattista and Emily O. Wittman, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Autobiography. Cambridge University Press, 2014. Read Chapter 2 (pp. 23-34), by A. H. Becker, on Augustine’s Confessions, and Chapter 4 (pp. 49-57), by L. D. Kritzman, on Montaigne and autobiography. Paul John Eakin, “Does Autobiography Have a Future?” a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 32:2 (2017), pp. 271-273. Anne-Marie Millim, “The Victorian Diary: Between the Public and the Private.” Literature Compass (2010): 977–988. Judy Simons, Diaries and journals of literary women from Fanny Burney to Virginia Woolf .” Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1990, pp. 169-188. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson. “The Visual-Verbal-Virtual Contexts of Life Narrative.” Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010, pp. 167-168, 183-191. John Wiltshire, “Early nineteenth-century pathography: the case of Frances Burney.” Literature and History 2: (2 Fall 1993), pp. 9-23.
Last Update