Arts & Education
More About Segal, Alan
Titles: Sociology Instructor
BA (Concordia University), MA (New York University), PhD (University of British Columbia)
Current Research Interests:
Sexuality; Identity; Gender
NEW COURSE IN SOCIOLOGY
SO 2950 Autobiography (3 UT Credits)
Transferable to University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge, Athabasca University, University of Victoria
No course on this topic exists in sociology in any North American university I investigated. However it deserves a disciplinary study. The course is schediuled for the winter term, 2011-12. .
Credit Value: 3 UT
Hours: 3 Class Contact Hours per Week
Prerequisite: SO1000 (Introduction to Sociology)
In contemporary western culture the personal asserts itself vigorously through familiar modes of theatre, music, film, books, comics, and now, in a more accessible significance, technology. Facebook, YouTube, chat lines, and an array of similar outlets, indicate our search for referents of individual lives. This course opens a door to the varieties of representation of ourselves. It explores the meanings of autobiography, and how social contexts endorse, foster, inhibit, or valorize it.
Goals: 1. To become familiar with how sociological concepts can illuminate understanding of what we commonly call autobiography
2. To critically assess the place of autobiography in contemporary life.
Textbook(s): Reading Autobiography by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson
Evaluation/Grading: Assignments will be assessed on a marking grid of A+ to F, except the Journals.
Midterm: An essay of 1500 words minimum that presents your autobiography, life history, etc. You will incorporate a reflective quality based on challenges associated with different forms of representation. No research is necessary beyond what is assigned for the course.
Final Essay: One essay based on an autobiography of whatever form. You will draw on concepts from the main text and lectures for the course, to analyze your selection. Your purpose will not be to summarize the selection, but to offer a substantive sociological analysis of it. The minimum length for this assignment is 2500 words. All research must be cited according to MLA style.
Two Journals: (F, C+ to B) Each journal is to be at least 400 words. Anything pertinent to autobiography and its variant manifestations, ideas introduced in class discussions or lectures, class interaction, personal experience, etc., is suitable. Observations about, and suggestions for, the course are also suitable. No research is necessary or expected. The journals are an informal type of communication with me.
Lateness Penalty: For the essays, each calendar day; and for the journals, every 2 calendar days, will result in a reduction of one letter grade. You also must observe the minimum length for all assignments.
All final grades at the College are reported according to a 4.0 scale. Each placement on that scale is equal to a prescribed number of points. The total points available to you from your assignments is 14. Your final mark for the course will be based on the total points your marks correspond to, divided by 14. A percentage will be derived based on this tabulation, and the percentage will be reconverted to a final grade.
NOTE: (1) No class averaging will be done. (2) All marks will appear on Blackboard/Moodle. If you are unfamiliar with this system, employees of the library will instruct you for access. You are responsible for monitoring your grade input, and informing me that a mark has not appeared for which you deserve credit.
Week 1: Course Outline Introduction
Week 2: Introduction, Part 1
What is autobiography?
Personal and Sociocultural Idioms of autobiography:
Self(hood), Narrative, Life History, Identity, Embodiment
Week 3: Introduction, Part 2
Historical antecedents of autobiography
Genre, Memory, Redemption, Truth, Trauma, Testimony, Justice
Week 4: Chapter 1, Reading Autobiography:
Life Narrative: Definitions and distinctions
Week 5: Lecture: Subject, Will, and Discourse
Modernity, Postmodernism, Ideology
Week 6: Chapter 2, Reading Autobiography:
Week 7: Lecture: Colonialism, Postcolonialism, Race, Gender, Sexuality, Myth
Week 8: Chapter 3, Reading Autobiography:
Week 9: Lecture: Sigmund Freud, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Homi Babha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Judith Butler
Week 10: Chapter 4, Reading Autobiography:
Life Narrative in Historical Perspective
Week 11: Chapter 5, Reading Autobiography:
A History of Autobiography Criticism, Part 1: Defining the Genre
Week 12: Chapter 6, Reading Autobiography:
A History of Autobiography Criticism, Part 2: Defining the Genre
Week 13: Chapter 7, Reading Autobiography:
A Tool Kit: Twenty Strategies for Reading Life Narratives
Week 14: Appendix A, Reading Autobiography:
Fifty-two Genres of Life Narrative
Professional Work / Publications / Presentations
Queer Lessons. Manuscript in Progress
(2003) Review of "Queering India" edited by Ruth Vanita; "South Sea maidens: Western fantasy and sexual politics in the south pacific" by Michael Sturma; "Sexual lifestyles in the twentieth century" by Elina Haavio-Mannila, Osmo Kontula, and Anna Rotkirch. Gender and Society, October, Volume 17, Number 5, 801-803.
(2001) "Sexual lives, gay selves." Lambda Nordica, Fall Issue. Goteborg, Sweden
"Raving at school: Perceptions of sexuality, identity, and school culture in Canada, The Netherlands, England, and the Czech Republic." Presented at the Summer Institute: Public Education and Diversity: Opportunities and Challenges. Sponsored by the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta and the Alberta Teachers Association. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. July 9-13, 2001.
(2001) "Masculinity, school, and self in Sweden and the Netherlands." In Stephen Whitehead and Frank Barrett, Eds., The masculinities reader. Polity Press, Cambridge, U.K.
(2001) "Conceptualizing gender identity." Lobstick: An Interdisciplinary Journal, April, Volume 2, Number 1, 61-68.
(2000) "Masculinity, school, and self in Sweden and the Netherlands." Journal of Men's Studies, Winter. Volume 8, Number 2, 171-193.
(1999) Review of "Masculinity goes to school", by Rod Gilbert and Pam Gilbert. Canadian Journal of Education, Winter, Volume 24, Number 2, 222-224.
Workshop on Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Education. (Presented on conditions in North America). Sponsored by Amnesty International - HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries). Amsterdam, August 6, 1998
"En/Gendering our selves: Perceptions of identity in Sweden and The Netherlands." Paper prepared for the Queer Games? Theories, Politics, Sports Conference - University of Amsterdam. Amsterdam, The Netherlands; July 29-31, 1998.
"Perceptions of identity and school influence among gay and lesbian youth." Paper delivered to the Sociology Department of Goteborg University, March 19, 1998.
"Preliminary analyses: European Rhythms: Schools and Identity in Sweden and the Netherlands." Presentation to the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia - May 22, 1998.
Presented three different sessions to faculty and graduate students on my research on schools and sexual identity. Center for Multicultural Education, University of Washington (Seattle), November 25 & 26, 1997.
"Addressing anti-homophobia curriculum in teacher education programs." Presented at a session on Anti-Homophobia Curriculum in Teacher Education Programs, at the Bridging the Gap: Moving from Ideas to Action conference of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network. Seattle, Washington. August 18-20, 1997.
"Surfing the curriculum: Alternative sexualities in an anti-discrimination project in a small, rural high school." Presenter and Moderator at a session on Organizing Anti- homophobia Work in Difficult Areas, at the first National Conference of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network. Salt Lake City, Utah. March 21-23, 1997.
"Fear without loathing? Research, community, and the politics of social change." Also "Identity/Sexual Identity". Both papers presented at the 1996 Learned Societies Conference, in a session on Critical Perspectives on Masculinities sponsored by the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association. Brock University; Ste. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
"Identity, schools, and homosexuality". Paper presented at the 1995 Learned Societies Conference, held at the University of Quebec at Montreal. June 7, 1995.
"School memories: Identity, sexuality, and homosexuality". Paper presented at the 1995 Learned Societies Conference (University of Quebec at Montreal), in a session sponsored by the Society for the Study of Education. June 5, 1995.
"Curricular influence and school intent: Identity and homosexuality". Presented at the 1995 Learned Societies Conference (University of Quebec at Montreal), in a session sponsored by the Canadian Critical Pedagogy Association. June 3, 1995.
Coordinator of the Coming Home Project, and Developer and Presenter of the associated workshop. South Peace AIDS Council. Grande Prairie, Alberta. 1993-1994.
"Review of Cohen, Martin. The truth about Marvin Kalish: A mystery." BCLA Reporter. June 1993: 13
"Review of Castle, Stephanie. Feelings: A transsexual's explanation of a baffling condition." BCLA Reporter. April 1993: 13