HIS 341.01 D. H. Kaiser
Spring 2006 Mears 216
Mears 217 email@example.com
Description: The seminar will begin with a careful reading and analysis of a handful of memoirs from imperial and Soviet Russia, from women and men, from noble and worker. In reading these personal histories, we will consider the virtues and limitations of memoirs, and the extent to which they conform to a “genre,” and thereby either illumine or obstruct our sense of the past. Students will be expected to direct much of the discussion during the first half of the semester, and active participation in discussions (including occasional reporting on additional reading) is expected of all seminar participants (and will be graded—see Grading below). In addition, each seminar participant will undertake a detailed analysis of one important memoir of the student’s choosing (consult the bibliography prepared for the course), drawing upon our common readings and discussions in order to appraise the usefulness to the historian of that particular account. Students will submit reports on their progress throughout the semester (see Course Schedule below), and at semester’s end will submit their results in written form, as well as present their major findings orally to the seminar.
Nadezhda. The Cavalry Maiden. Journals of a Russian Officer in the Napoleonic Wars. Trans. Mary Fleming Zirin.
Aleksandr. Up From Serfdom. My Childhood
and Youth in
and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide
for Interpreting Life Narratives.
Volkov, Solomon. Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich. NY: Limelight Editions, 2004.
15% Additional reading/Discussion direction
20% Discussion participation
15% Oral presentation
25% First written version (not a first draft)
25% Final paper version
Dates to Remember:
1/27 Selection of memoir/autobiography to be studied
2/22 Preliminary bibliography due
4/26 First version of paper due
5/1, 3, 8 Oral presentations
5/10 Final version of paper due
Autobiography: Literature or History? Fact or Fiction?
Reading Autobiography, 1-14
*Popkin, Jeremy D. “History and
Autobiography,” in Popkin, History,
Historians & Autobiography. (
*Popkin, Jeremy D. “Narrative Theory, History, and Autobiography,”
in Popkin, History, Historians &
1/25 Life-Writing in Question: Some Well-Known Cases
*_____. “Questioning the Identity of Olaudah Equiano,
or Gustavus Vassa, the African,” in The
Global Eighteenth Century, ed. Felicity A. Nussbaum (
Carretta, Vincent. “Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa? New Light on an Eighteenth-Century Question of Identity,” Slavery and Abolition 20, no. 3 (December 1999):96-105. [available from instructor]
Torrington, Arthur. “Equiano Was Not Born in Africa?”
Max, Arthur. “New Edition of Anne Frank diary includes missing pages.”
*Hardy, H. J.
J., “Scientific Examination of a Few Previously Unknown Pages to Determine
Whether They Belong to the Diary of Anne
Frank,” from The Diary of Anne
Frank. The Revised Critical Edition,
eds. David Barnouw, Gerrold Van Der Stroom, trans.
1/27 DUE: Selection of memoir/autobiography to be studied
1/30 How to Read Autobiographies
Reading Autobiography, 83-146, skim 146-63
2/1 How to Read Autobiographies: Post-Modern Critiques
Reading Autobiography, 15-81, 165-79
#Smith, “Performativity, Autobiographical Practice, Resistance,” a/b:Auto/Biography Studies 10, no. 1 (Spring 1995):17-33.
#Olshen, “Subject, Persona, and Self in the Theory of Autobiography,” a/b:Auto/Biography Studies 10, no. 1 (Spring 1995):5-16.
2/6 Gender, the Autobiographer’s Self and the Autobiographical Subject
#Smith, “The Impact of Critical Theory on the Study of Autobiography: Marginality, Gender, and Autobiographical Practice,” a/b: AutoBiography Studies 3, no. 3 (Fall 1987):1-12.
*Smith and Watson, “Introduction: Situating Subjectivity in Women’s Autobiographical Practices,” in Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader, eds. Sidonie Smith, Julia Watson (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998), 3-37. PS366.A88 W636 1998
Suggested additional reading:
Smith, Sidonie, “Construing Truth in Lying Mouths: Truthtelling in Women’s Autobiography,” in Women and Autobiography, ed. Martine Watson Brownley and Allison B. Kimmich (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1999), 33-52. HQ1185.W65 1999
Smith, Sidonie, “The Universal Subject, Female Embodiment, and the Consolidation of Autobiography,” in Smith, Subjectivity, Identity, and the Body: Women’s Autobiographical Practices in the Twentieth Century (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), 1-23. CT25.S6 1993
Smith, Sidonie, “Woman’s Story and the Engenderings of Self-Representation,” in Sidonie Smith, A Poetics of Women’s Autobiography. Marginality and the Fictions of Self-Representation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 44-62. PR756.A9 S65 1987
Spacks, Patricia Meyer, “Selves in Hiding,” in Women’s Autobiography: Essays in Criticism, ed. Estelle C. Jelinek (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980), 112-32. CT25.W6
2/8 Universal Subject? Masquerade? “Self in Hiding?”
Nadezhda Durova (1783-1866)
Durova, The Cavalry Maiden
Durova, The Cavalry Maiden
2/15 Marginality and the Other: Whose Autobiographical Self?
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75)
#“The Bedbug (1979). Editorial in Literaturnaia gazeta, 14 November 1979, p. 8,” from A Shostakovich Casebook, 84-89.
Side-by-Side Comparison of Texts from Testimony
with Their Original Sources,” from A
Shostakovich Casebook, ed. Malcolm Hamrick Brown (
2/22 Memory, Reconstruction and the Autobiographical Act
*Gazzaniga, “Real Memories, Phony Memories,” in Gazzaniga, The Mind’s Past (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 123-148. QP360.G392 1998
Sugggested additional reading:
Craig R., “Schematization of autobiographical memory,” in Autobiographical memory, ed. David C. Rubin (
Brown, Norman R., Steven K. Shevell and Lance J. Rips, “Public memories and their personal context,” in Autobiographical memory, ed. David C. Rubin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1986), 137-58. BF378.A87 A88 1986
Neisser, Ulrich. “John Dean’s Memory: A case study,” Cognition 9(1981):1-22. Reprinted in Memory Observed: Remembering in Natural Contexts, ed. Ulric Neisser (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1982), 139-59. [text available from instructor]
Neisser, Ulrich, and Nicole Harsch, “Phantom Flashbulbs: False recollections of hearing news about Challenger,” in Affect and accuracy in recall: Studies of “flashbulb” memories, ed. Eugene Winograd and Ulrich Neisser (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 9-31. [text available from instructor]
Daniel, Marjorie Kaiz, Kenneth I. Howard, and Emily S. Bennett, “The Altering
of Reported Experiences,” Journal of
Spence, Donald P. “Passive Remembering,” in Remembering Reconsidered: Ecological and traditional approaches to the study of memory, eds. Ulrich Neisser and Eugene Winograd (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 311-25. BF371.R38 1988
White, Richard T. “Memory for Personal Events,” Human Learning 1(1982):171-83.
2/22 DUE: Preliminary Bibliography
2/27 Memory Invoked: Conclusive Evidence?
Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977)
Nabokov, Speak, Memory
Nabokov, Speak, Memory
Dowell, Ben. “1940s sex kidnap inspired Lolita,” The Sunday Times-Britain, September 11, 2005.
*Pilling, John, “A Tremulous Prism: Nabokov’s Speak, Memory,” in Autobiographical Statements in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature, ed. Jane Gary Harris (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), 154-171. PG3016.A98 1990
Suggested additional reading:
Bruss, Elizabeth. “Vladimir Nabokov: Illusions of reality and the reality of illusions,” in Bruss, Autobiographical Acts: The Changing Situation of a Literary Genre (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), 127-72. PR756.A9 B7
Gezari, Janet. “Chess Problems and Narrative Time in Speak, Memory,” Biography 10(1987):151-62.
Michael. “The World Without Us: Speak, Memory,” in Wood, The Magician’s Doubts. Nabokov and the Risks
3/6 Genre, Plot, and the Constructed Autobiographical Self
*Maynes, Mary Jo. “Notebooks from the Road: How Workers Became Autobiographers,” in Maynes, Taking the Hard Road: Life Course in French and German Workers’ Autobiographies in the Era of Industrialization (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 31-53. HD8430.M29 1995
*Koenker, Diane P. “Scripting the Revolutionary Worker Autobiography: Archetypes, Models, Inventions and Markets,” International Review of Social History 49(2004):371-400.
Suggested additional reading:
Olney, James. “’I Was Born’: Slave Narratives, Their Status as Autobiography and as Literature,” in The Slave’s Narrative, ed. Charles T. Davis and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), 148-75. E444.S575 1985
Smith, Sidonie. “Taking It to a Limit One More Time: Autobiography and Autism,” in Getting a Life: Everyday Uses of Autobiography, eds. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 226-46. CT25.G48 1996
3/8 Workers’ Lives—Whose Voice Tells the Tale?
Vasilii Gerasimov (~1852-1892 ) and Stepan Podlubny (1914- )
Vasilii. “Foster Child of the Foundling
Home,” in Reginald E. Zelnik, Law and
Disorder on the
*Podlubny, Stepan. “Diary of Stepan Filippovich Podlubny,” in Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930s, eds. Veronique Garros et al. (NY: New Press, 1995), 293-331. DK268.A1 S67 1995
*Hellbeck, Jochen. “Working, Struggling, Becoming: Stalin-Era Autobiographical Texts,” Russian Review 60(2001):340-359.
Suggested additional reading:
“Kreenholm Revisited: Life and Memory of Vasilii Gerasimov,” in Zelnik, Law and Disorder on the
3/13 Serfdom: The Emancipation Plot and the Master’s Voice
Aleksandr Nikitenko (1804-77), Up From Serfdom
Nikitenko, Up From Serfdom
S P R I N G B R E A K
4/3 Consultations/Research & Writing
4/5 Consultations/Research & Writing
4/10 Consultations/Research & Writing
4/12 Consultations/Research & Writing
4/17 Consultations/Research & Writing
4/19 Consultations/Research & Writing
4/24 Consultations/Research & Writing
4/26 DUE: First version of course paper
5/1 FINAL PRESENTATIONS
5/3 FINAL PRESENTATIONS
5/8 FINAL PRESENTATIONS
5/10 FINAL PRESENTATIONS
DUE: Final version of course paper
Some Additional Resources
a/b:Auto/Biography Studies 1985- . The principal journal devoted to “life writing,” it has temporarily ceased publication. University of Iowa holds a complete run through vol. 18 (2003). For contents of back issues up to 2001, see http://facstaff.uww.edu/hoganj/abcont.htm
Biography 1978.- . Examines all forms of life-writing, including autobiography. The University of Iowa Libraries hold a complete set. From vol. 23 (2000) available via Project Muse: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/bio/. For contents of all volumes: http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/journals/bio/issues.html.
Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. 1999- . “The title reflects the intention to give nonfiction its due as a literary genre...the journal includes works ranging from personal essays and memoirs to literary journalism and personal criticism.” University of Iowa has complete set. Vol. 5 (2003) forward available on-line: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/fourth_genre_explorations_in_nonfiction/
Narrative. 1992- “Narrative’s broad range of scholarship includes the English, American, and European novel, nonfiction narrative, film, and narrative as used in performance art.” From v. 10(2002) available on-line: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/narrative.
Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism. 1977- “Prose Studies invites submission of essays on all aspects of non-fictional prose and all related history and critical theory, including, but not limited to, the essay, autobiography, and the history of the book.” University of Iowa holds from v. 3 (1980).
Textual Practice. 1987- “Britain’s principal international journal of radical literary studies...Textual practice works at the turning points of theory with politics, history, and texts....” University of Iowa holds complete set. From vol. 14 (2000) available on-line via Taylor & Francis on-line journals.
Encyclopedias, Handbooks, Commentary:
Autobiographical Practices in Russia—Autobiographische Praktiken in Russland. Eds. Jochen Hellbeck, Klaus Heller. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004. CT25.A923 2004
Dictionary of Russian Women Writers. Eds. Marina Ledkovsky, Charlotte Rosenthal, Mary Zirin. Westwood, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. REF PG2997.D53 1994
Encyclopedia of Life Writing. Autobiographical and Biographical Forms. Ed. Margaretta Jolly. 2 vols. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2001. REF CT21 .E53 2001
Heldt, Barbara. Terrible Perfection. Women and Russian Literature. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987. Devotes attention to Dashkova, Durova, Labzina and others. PG2997.H45 1987
Holmgren, Beth, ed. The Russian Memoir: History and Literature. Evanston, IL, 2003. Includes Helena Goscilo on Elena Bonner, Gitta Hammarberg on Natal’ia Dolgorukaia, Galya Diment on Nabokov and Brodsky, and Marina Balina on several Soviet-era writers’ life writings.
_____. Women’s Work in Stalin’s Time. On Lidiia Chukovskaia and Nadezhda Mandelstam. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. A Grinnell alumna considers the Mandelstam memoirs in detail. PG2997.H65 1993
The Modern Encyclopedia of East Slavic, Baltic, and Eurasian Literatures (formerly called The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet Literatures ). Eds. Harry B. Weber, George J. Gutsche, Peter Rollberg. Gulf Breeze: Academic Press International, 1977- . REF PG2940.M6
The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet and Eurasian History (formerly called The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History), ed. Joseph L. Wieczynski, 60 vols. Gulf Breeze: Academic Press International, 1976- . REF DK14.M6
Self and Story in Russian history. Ed. Laura Engelstein, Stephanie Sandler. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000. DK189.2 .S45 2000
Additional Selected Critical Commentary on Autobiography
African American autobiography: A collection of critical essays. Ed. William L. Andrews. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1993. PS366.A35 A37 1993
American women’s autobiography: fea(s)ts of memory. Ed. Margo Culley. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992. PS366.A88 A48 1992
Anderson, Linda R. Autobiography. NY: Routledge, 2001. CT25.A53 2001
Autobiographical statements in twentieth-century Russian literature. Ed. Jane Gary Harris. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990. PG3016.A98 1990
Autobiography, Essays Theoretical and Critical. Ed. James Olney. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980. CT25.A95 1980
Bruss, Elizabeth W. Autobiographical Acts: The Changing Situation of a Literary Genre. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976. PR756.A9 B7
Conway, Jill Kerr. When Memory Speaks: Reflections on Autobiography. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. CT25.C68 1998
The Culture of Autobiography: Constructions of Self-Representation. Ed. Robert Folkenflik. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993. CT25.C84 1993
De/colonizing the subject: the politics of gender in women’s autobiography. Ed. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992. HQ1185.D4 1992
De Man, Paul. “Autobiography as De-facement,” in De Man, The Rhetoric of Romanticism. NY: Columbia University Press, 1984. PN1261.D4 1984
Eakin, Paul John. Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of Self-Invention. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985. PS366.A88 E26 1985
Eakin, Paul John. How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. CT25.E25 1999
Evans, Mary. Missing Persons: The Impossibility of Auto/Biography. London: Routledge, 1999. CT21.E83 1999
Getting a life: Everyday uses of autobiography. Ed. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. CT25.G48 1996
Goodwin, James. Autobiography: The Self-Made Text. NY: Twayne Publishers, 1993. CT25.G6 1993
Olney, James. Memory and Narrative: The Weave of Life-Writing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. CT25.O43 1998
Olney, James. Metaphors of self; the meaning of autobiography. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972. CT25.O44
The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women’s Autobiographical Writings. Ed. Shari Benstock. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998. PR756.A9 P75 1988
Smith, Sidonie. A poetics of women’s autobiography: marginality and the fictions of self-representation. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1987. PR756.A9 S65 1987
Studies in autobiography. Ed. James Olney. NY: Oxford University Press, 1988. PS366.A88 S84 1988
Weintraub, Karl Joachim. The Value of the Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978. CT25.W37
Women and autobiography. Ed. Martine Watson Brownley and Allison B. Kimmich. Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1999. HQ1185.W65 1999
Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader. Ed. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998. PS366.A88 W636 1998
Memory and Autobiography
Autobiographical Memory. Ed. David Rubin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. BF378.A87 A88 1986
Autobiographical Memory: Remembering What and Remembering When. Eds. Charles P. Thompson, John J. Skowronski, Steen F. Larsen, Andrew L. Betz. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996. BF378.A87 A885 1996
Conway, Martin A. Autobiographical Memory: An Introduction. Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1990. BF378 .A87 C65 1990
Conway, Martin A. Flashbulb Memories. Hove: L. Erlbaum Associates, 1995. BF378.F55 C66x 1995
Episodic Memory: New Directions in Research. Eds. Alan Baddeley, John P. Aggleton, Martin A. Conway. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Royal Society, 2002.
Koriat, Asher; Morris Goldsmith; and Ainat Pansky. “Toward a Psychology of Memory Accuracy,” Annual Review of Psychology 51(2000)481-537.
Memory. Ed. Elizabeth Ligon Bjork, Robert A. Bjork. San Diego: Academic Press, 1996. BG 371.M447 1996
“Memory in Psychology,” Encyclopedia of Psychology. http://www.psychology.org/links/Environment_Behavior_Relationships/Memory
Memory Observed: Remembering in Natural Contexts. Ed. Ulric Neisser. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1982. BF371 .M455 1982
The Oxford Handbook of Memory. Ed. Endel Tulving, Fergus I. M. Craik. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. BF371.O84x2000
Recovered Memories and False Memories. Ed. Martin A. Conway. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. RC455.2.F35 R426 1997
The Remembering Self: Construction and Accuracy in the Self Narrative. Eds. Ulric Neisser and Robyn Fivush. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. BG378.A87 R46 1994
Theories of Memory. Ed. Alan F. Collins et al. Hove: L. Erlbaum Associates, 1993. FB371 .T44x 1993
The Autobiography of the Working Class: An Annotated, Critical Bibliography. Eds. John Burnett, Davic Vincent, David Mayall. 3 vols. Brighton, Sussex: Harvester, 1984-89. Z7164.L1 B95 1984b.
The French Worker: Autobiographies from the Early Industrial Era. Trans., ed. Mark Traugott. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. HD8433.A1 F74 1993
Gagnier, Regenia, “Social Atoms: Working-Class Autobiography, Subjectivity, and Gender,” Victorian Studies 30(1987):335-63.
The German Worker: Working-Class Autobiographies from the Age of Industrialization. Trans., ed. Alfred Kelly. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. HD8453.A1 G47 1987.
Hernandez, Richard L. “The Confessions of Semen Kanatchikov: A Bolshevik Memoir as Spiritual Autobiography,” Russian Review 60(2001):13-35.
Maynes, Mary Jo. Taking the Hard Road: Life Course in French and German Workers’ Autobiographies in the Era of Industrialization. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. HD8430 .M29 1995
Rendall, Jane. “’A Short Account of My Unprofitable Life’: Autobiographies of Working Class Women in Britain c. 1775-1845,” in Women’s Lives/Women’s Times. New Essays on Auto/Biography, eds. Trev Lynn Broughton and Linda Anderson. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997, 31-50. CT25.W66 1997
Steinberg, Mark D. “The Injured and Insurgent Self: The Moral Imagination of Russia’s Lower-class Writers,” in Workers and Intelligentsia in Late Imperial Russia: Realities, Representations, Reflections, ed. Reginald E. Zelnik. Berkeley, 1999. 309-29.
_____. “Worker-authors and the Cult of the Person,” in Cultures in Flux: Lower-class Values, Practices, and Resistance in Late Imperial Russia, ed. Stephen P. Frank, Mark D. Steinberg. Princeton, 1994. 168-84. DK222.C85 1994
_____. “Workers on the Cross: Religious Imagination in the Writings of Russian Workers, 1910-1924,” Russian Review 53(1994):213-39.
_____. Proletarian Imagination: Self, Modernity, and the Sacred in Russia, 1910-1925. Ithaca, 2002. PG3026.L3 S74 2002. Especially “Introduction” 1-20, “Cultural Revolution: The Making of a Plebeian Intelligentsia” 21-61, “Knowledges of Self,” 62-101, and “The Proletarian ‘I’,” 102-46. Short biographies of worker/writers on 287-312.
Steinmetz, George, “Reflections on the Role of Social Narratives in Working-Class Formation: Narrative Theory in the Social Sciences,” Social Science History 16(1992):489-516.
Useful Toil: Autobiographies of Working People from the 1820s to the 1920s. Ed. John Burnett. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984. HD8393.A1 U8 1984.