Narrative Thinking & Writing
Section 050, Winter Term
Wed, 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Room 2M74, Manitoba Hall
The goal of this course is to understand personal narrative writing as a form of inquiry into the world of social ideas and experiences. We will consider personal writing in relation to composition, communication and feminist theory, to identify its many forms and purposes. We will read a wide range of personal narrative texts, and think about how they appeal to us as readers.
We will practice several narrative forms by writing essays that rely to different degrees on experience, observations, interpretation and research in the form of secondary sources.
We will differentiate among these main forms: the personal essay (experience-based prose, featuring elements of plot and story); the narrative argument (experience-based prose, speaking out in combination on personal identity and on public matters), and scholarly narrative (experience-based prose, within the context of a scholarly argument). After establishing differences, we will examine blurred boundaries between fictional and non-fictional creative writing and consider how representation and interpretation are a part of all written inquiry work, so that we might think of all research as “storied”.
To evaluate the contribution of personal narrative to knowledge making, we will apply standards of coherence, fidelity, and appropriateness. We will also consider how narrative inquiry can be a form of scholarly investigation foregrounding the role of the self in knowing.