This course is a survey of Asian American Literature. Studying fiction, essays, and poetry, we will closely read representative texts alongside historical essays. A few of the questions we will consider are: How does the history of Asian America inform the literature and vice versa? What does it mean to be "Asian American"? How do these texts fit into or defy ideas about race, gender, and class on the one hand and classifications of genre, period, and literary style on the other? We will study relationships among these works to uncover how they reflect on, depend on, or revise one another. The goal of this course is to expand your understanding of Asian American literature, and improve your writing, reading, and critical thinking skills in the process.
The authors we will study: Sui Sin Far, John Okada, Edward Said, Maxine Hong Kingston, Erika Lee, Li-Young Lee, Frank Chin, Mae Ngai, Nellie Wong, Mitsuye Yamada, and Tom Modungo.
The films and television we will consider: Nahnatchka Khan’s Fresh off the Boat, David Cronenberg’s M. Butterfly, and Sharon Yamato and Ann Kaneko’s Flicker in Eternity.