Non-fiction:People - ENGL9100

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 7 30 (15) David Flusfeder checkmark-circle


Students will read and respond to a selection of biographies and autobiographies in various literary forms—along with the core reading list, a module reader will contain extracts of examples of: the life, memoir, journal, chronicle, essay, testimony, case study, confession; even the Japanese 'I-novel' and participatory journalism will be considered—to inform the planning of and working on their own piece of biographical or autobiographical ‘life’ writing. Students will investigate the intersections between fiction and non-fiction (and poetry), deploying a range of literary techniques. The module will be structured thematically, working with different forms and sub-genres in turn, allowing the students to experiment with various approaches. During the first half (six sessions), specific works will be discussed (and appropriate writing exercises applied), three sessions will be filled with workshops, and one session will be spent brainstorming ideas and planning.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 21
Private Study Hours: 279
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Assignment (7,000 words) – 100%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Hejinian, Lynn, (2013). My Life, Middletown, CT: Weslyan
Kraus, Chris, (2016). I Love Dick, London: Serpent's Tail
Masters, Alexander, (2016). A Life Discarded, London: Fourth Estate
Nelson, Maggie, (2016). The Argonauts, London: Melville House
Smith, Patti, (2011). Just Kids, London: Bloomsbury
Symons, A.J.A. (2011). The Quest for Corvo, New York: NYRB Classics

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Read, analyse and respond to a range of narrative non-fiction, both past and present;
2 Demonstrate an advanced historical perspective on various life-writing forms and their sub-genres, with a particular focus on memoir and biography;
3 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the specific methodological and creative choices in narrative non-fiction life writing;
4 Confidently apply advanced techniques to their work;
5 Demonstrate originality in the planning and execution of a sustained piece of narrative non-fiction;
6 Evaluate theoretical and practical knowledge that will allow them to explore various aspects of biography and autobiography.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate advanced creative writing skills;
2 Demonstrate advanced communicative and collaborative skills;
3 Show substantial capacity for independent projects and research;
9 Use library resources towards completion of an advanced creative project.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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