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Research Methods in Biography and Life Writing (12 points)


Leader: Barbara Caine

Clayton First semester 2003 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2004 (Day)

Synopsis: This unit looks at some of the methodological questions involved in life writing. It includes practical questions such as assessing databases and sources, interpreting and utilising interviews and oral histories. It explores ethical issues involved in researching life stories and biographies, and different approaches to the reading and interpretation of texts and sources. The unit examines methods used in biography, particularly political and literary biography, and newer methods developed in writing women's lives and indigenous lives. The use of life stories as case studies in history and sociology and questions raised by the study of testimony and collective memory are also explored.

Assessment: 2 seminar papers (2000 words each): 15% each + Essay on ethical issues (6000 words): 50% + 2 seminar presentations: 5% each + General seminar performance: 10%

Contact Hours: 2 hour seminar per week

Prohibitions: HSY4270, HYM4270

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