- Course Number: ENGL 50
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- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 50
- Quarter: Summer B 2013
Throughout the 20th century, the United States has frequently been referred to as the great “melting pot” and envisioned as a country where immigrants’ cultural identities are subsumed into the fabric of the nation and everyone comes out “American.” Despite this, modern America reveals a plurality of traditions that have done anything but disappear in the face of some culturally dominant conception of “Americanness.”
This course will critically examine the idea of the “melting pot” by looking at multi-ethnic sites of cultural diversity, hybridity and intersectionality in works produced in the 20th century. Through fiction by authors including Jean Toomer, Paule Marshall, Sherman Alexie and Junot Diaz–and accompanying critical and theoretical readings–we will question the validity of the “melting pot” metaphor and explore new methods of talking about both multi-ethnic American identity and American literature.