Memory and Imagination:
The Self in Story and Society

Welcome to the home page of a College Seminar course at Bryn Mawr College (Fall 2004).

Course Syllabus
Course Forum Area

How do our human memories and imaginations give rise to the stories we tell and to the selves that we are becoming? In this course we consider the nature of memory and its relationship to imagination, both in the evolving life of the individual and in the development of the larger group or culture. We regard the self, then, as both singular and collective, fixed and in flux, determined inwardly and shaped by external forces. We look at the relationship of identity to power, and address the question of how re-considering memory and identity might open up new imaginative spaces in global contexts. Our inquiry will include novels or memoirs by authors Louise Erdrich, Oscar Wilde and Maxine Hong Kingston and essays by anthropologists and poets as well as shared photographs and other artwork; films may include Memento and Bamboozled. We will write descriptively and critically, drawing on memory and imagination as well as analysis to develop and revise our understandings. In this process we will employ on a range of sources, including texts, visual images and observations.

Images on this page by Sharon Burgmayer.

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