Theorize Yourself: Authotheory as Text and Practice

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Literary Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Autotheory as Text & Pract

Fall 2019

Taught By: Emma Lieber

Section: AX

CRN: 7235

Credits: 4

The term “autotheory”—which refers to a genre of writing that has gained increasing prominence in recent years, both within and outside the academy—was first popularized by Maggie Nelson, who, in a 2015 interview, claims she took it from Paul Preciado’s Testo Junkie to apply to “autobiographical writing that exceeds the boundaries of the ‘personal.’” Often combining autobiography with so-called high theory (that is, Lacanian theory, French poststructuralism, and deconstructive theory), this new wave of self-writing has seen the revival of the personal precisely in the context of the kind of critical theory from which it was banished in the 1960s and 70s; it thus marks an important moment in the breakdown of the dichotomy between critical and personal writing that has reigned in the critical humanities in the past few decades. This course examines works of autotheory—both works that have been identified or that self-identify as such, and works that may be said to have preceded and contributed to its rise—both to articulate the contours of the genre, and to follow through on its questions about the place of the personal in academic and critical thinking. In other words, any class on autotheory that takes its insistences seriously must also perform them. Thus we will strive to write and speak in class in a way that takes seriously the place of the personal in the academic scene, and that approaches the acts of speaking and writing the “I” rigorously and sensitively.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Literary Studies (LLST)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2019 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2019 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 11:45am 12/7/2019 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 9:00am - 11:40am

Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th

Room: 261

Date Range: 8/30/2019 - 12/13/2019