Coming of Age: Personal Narrative

HOUSECS 59.07

Fall 2019

Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm, Keohane 4D201 SEM

There is power in the telling of stories to reflect, absorb, interpret, and heal. Coming of age at college means being immersed in newfound independence in an environment and community that is not always affirmative and inclusive. We recognize everyone is a work-in-progress, striving to understand themselves and how they fit into the communities around them. There is something distinctly human in the sharing of narratives, both in healing and the expansion of empathy and imagination to understand across barriers, emotions, and previously unspoken experiences. Throughout this course, we will analyze and reflect upon various coming-of-age stories, rooted in identity, belonging, trauma, gender, and various cross-cultural understandings both in the context of college campuses and outside of it to understand the development of self and voice. These self-explorations can come in many forms including humor, introspection, and examination of growth. The course will be student-centered with peer-review sessions on written works and open discussions on the variety of factors and intersectionalities in a coming of age experience. The course will consist of student-written creative nonfiction short stories and culminate in a final project of a personal narrative and academic close analysis of a student’s chosen topic.

Instructor(s): 
  • Isabel Senior, isabel.senior@duke.edu
  • Julia Wang, julia.wang@duke.edu
Sponsor/Department: 
  • Sheryl Welte Emch, Thompson Writing Program
Class Limit: 
15