• Course Number: ENGL 134RJ
  • Prerequisites:

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  • Advisory Enrollment Information:

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  • Quarter: Spring 2024

This course explores the creative imagination of racial justice through placemaking and the poetics of return. Our focus will be on return narratives across multiple genres—fiction, memoir, poetry—as a way of thinking through place, race, and nationhood in the context of exile and diaspora. While diasporic subjects historically experience forced displacement as a result of U.S. empire’s involvement in regime change, these subjects also wrestle with the degree to which they themselves are implicated and complicit in imperial projects and nation-state consolidation. We will explore how diasporic writers practice placemaking through writing. How do writers understand the implications of longing to return to a “homeland”? How do they distinguish “homeland” from “home” or “nation-state”? And how do they articulate the stakes of the im/possibility of return? We will examine these questions through a set of transnational literary and cultural crossings, and study the ways in which empire, Indigeneity, racial capitalism, and Orientalism shape the possibilities and limits of the poetics of return.

For those who declared in Fall 2023 or later, this course can fulfill one of two subject area requirements for the English major:
-Literature and the Social
-Form, Media, Expression


  • Schedule & Location
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