Teaching Life Writing Texts in Europe

Memory to Ink: Autobiography Project in Portugal


  • Marilyn S Zucker Stony Brook University




Autobiography, personal narrative, teaching


This paper outlines a project centered on the teaching of Autobiography and Personal Narrative at the University of Lisbon. The course was an effort to ignite personal/collective empowerment through writing in a country where such writing has long been repressed by a variety of cultural imperatives. Students read autobiographical articles and book excerpts by well-known English language writers, read practically-oriented theoretical pieces, and wrote stories of their own lives prompted by their readings and discussions as they experienced and gained authority through authorship. Their growing self-advocacy registered as the course progressed, evidenced by the detail and reflection, authenticity and complexity of their written work.


This article was submitted to the European Journal of Life Writing on 2 April 2013 and published on 20 March 2015.

Author Biography

Marilyn S Zucker, Stony Brook University

Marilyn Zucker is Professor in the Writing department
at Stony Brook University (SUNY), Stony Brook, NY.





Teaching Life Writing Texts in Europe