In our story-telling times, who are the subjects of biographies? Who invent their own lives in words and images? How do people tell their stories in all their differences? How do we recount our relations to a community, our place in the world? From portraits to ‘selfies,’ this seminar will take you on a journey in time and place – in French. We’ll investigate a variety of works including an early trans writer, discovered by Foucault, and Rousseau. We’ll discuss writers who choose the French language as their way to express themselves: the Algerian Feraoun, the first woman working as a writer in French, Christine de Pizan, James Joyce. We’ll consider the many ways they shape their stories to present the changes and discoveries that mark their lives. Trips to the Nasher Museum and Rubenstein Library will give us other rich material to consider. Throughout the seminar, work will combine creative writing with criticism and research. You’ll experiment with composing your own autobiographical narrative. This seminar aims in the end to support you in developing your French as another way to express yourself.