Teaching Life Writing Texts in Europe

Dennis Kersten, Anne-Marie Mreijen


Although courses on auto/biography and life writing are taught at different universities in Europe, and elements of contemporary life writing issues are addressed in different disciplines like sociology and history, life writing courses, as described in Teaching Life Writing Texts, are certainly not taught at all European universities. Also, quite a few teachers of life writing courses have to devise their own curricula and syllabi – as Richard Holmes demonstrated in  "The Proper Study?”, an essay on teaching auto/biography -  treading on unknown territory and unable to share their experiences with their colleagues. Apart from this, some life writing courses at European universities have had to make room for other courses when budgets are tight, as they are these days. Other university teachers struggle with the institutional framework they have to work in, operating in a specific faculty or masters programme context which poses limits as to which subjects to choose from and to discuss with the students. With these problems in mind, we thought it useful to share our experiences with other European teachers of life writing classes, and introduce a new cluster to the Journal of European Journal of Life Writing: “Teaching Life Writing in Europe.”In this cluster articles will be published which focus on the daily experience of teaching life writing classes, addressing questions like how to design a course about life writing that logically builds on and follows from your students’ knowledge, expertise and reading experience and does justice to current research as well.

This article was submitted to the European Journal of Life Writing in December 2014 and published on 16 March 2015.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.4.141

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Copyright (c) 2015 Dennis Kersten, Anne-Marie Mreijen

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European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by the VU University Library.