Autobiographical Storytelling

Every life delivers a story (or three) worth telling well. This workshop course rehearses the writing and performance skills necessary to remake the raw material drawn from lived experience into compelling autobiographical storytelling. Course participants will work in an array of storytelling modes (stand-up, slam, songwriting, etc) to devise, document and perform an original work of autobiographical storytelling.

Sample reading list:
Lynn C. Miller & Lisa Lenard-Cook, Find Your Story/ Write Your Memoir
Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Princeton 1746-1896
Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother
Plus an array of films, podcasts and other media

Reading/Writing assignments:
Short weekly readings and listening sessions, with occasional screenings. Field trips, workshops with guest artists and performances as required. Regular short writing/performance assignments throughout the semester, with a final project portfolio. 10% Other Exam: At semester’s end, course participants will convene a public “work demonstration” to share the core questions and processes guiding the story work developed in the course.

Other Requirements:
United States Travel Required

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Enrollment is permission of the instructor only. Contact Professor Brian Herrera ( to inquire about enrollment.

Other information:
This workshop will be organized around the thematic focus of “Princeton, Slavery and Me.” This course engages directly with the historical materials unearthed by the Princeton and Slavery Project and requires participants to examine how the history of slavery at Princeton guides, informs or challenges their ethical and moral understandings of the stories they craft from the raw material of their own lived experience.




Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 pm
Fridays, 11:00 am - 12:50 pm


Brian Herrera