Cynthia Blakeley, PhD


I regularly teach two seminars a year in Emory University’s Institute for the Liberal Arts: 

Memory and Memoir 

I have taught this popular, upper-level seminar for nine years. Our readings include academic essays and studies on memory, as well as a dozen or so personal essays and seven modern memoirs from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds.  

President Jimmy Carter visited our class three times (2015, 2017, and 2018) to discuss his book A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety. During each visit, President Carter spoke with my students for an hour, answered questions, and signed copies of his memoir. We were thrilled to meet and speak with him! 

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey also made a guest visit (2016), sharing deeply personal poems while touching on the connections between poetry, memory, patterns, and the creation of meaning. 

Interdisciplinary Research Methods 

This fast-paced course, which I’ve taught for seven years, prepares juniors to write a senior thesis. It’s a lot of fun to help students articulate their ideas and develop them into research questions and a thesis prospectus. 

And . . .

I have taught four semesters of Dreams: Theories of Interpretation, which considers—and interprets—dreams from a wide range of disciplinary approaches. Earlier in my career I taught a literature seminar entitled Youth, Identity, and the Self, and I have recently co-taught several one-credit “sidecar” courses, including Telling Our StoriesReading for Pleasure, and Misinformation and You: Navigating the Modern Media Ecosystem.