This course will explore the ways Asian American novels, short stories, poetry and film represent, elaborate and challenge how we understand Asian American experience as is it informed by race, gender, sexuality and age. Focusing on major texts of Asian American literature from the early 20th century to the present, we will discuss how and why the study of Asian American literature emerged from its historical exclusion from the U.S literary canon, and how this exclusion is tied to structural racism in the academy, a major institution in U.S. cultural gatekeeping. We will also discuss how the study of Asian American literature benefits from understanding broader historical and political issues relevant to the Asian American experience. To this end, we will read and discuss relevant primary texts and secondary criticism on topics such as (but not limited to), law, citizenship, labor, imperialism, war, anti-Asian racism, comparative racialization, queer identities and activism to deepen our understanding of the connection between the aesthetics and socio-political insights of Asian American literature. This course will incorporate significant discussion of race and racism as we consider how this literature offers cultural strategies of resistance and imagines anti-racist transformation.
Prerequisites: 30 credits of lower division work and Writing 231 or equivalent.
- Explain, at an intermediate level consistent with upper-level coursework at a comprehensive university, how Asian American literature contributes to understanding broader U.S. literary formations, as well as histories of racialized political, economic and cultural marginalization
- Articulate complex literary analysis of Asian American literature, with particular emphasis on themes of race and racism, as they relate to gender, sexism, immigration, transnationalism, imperialism, war, labor, activism, comparative racialization, at an intermediate level consistent with upper-level coursework at a comprehensive university
- Identify how Asian American literature offers examples of social critique, cultural agency, and anti-racist and anti-oppressive resistance, at an intermediate level consistent with upper-level coursework at a comprehensive university
- Demonstrate skills in written and oral critical analysis of primary course readings including close reading, thematic analysis, and comparative analysis of the above themes, at an intermediate level consistent with upper-level coursework at a comprehensive university
- Apply and synthesize key ideas from the secondary course readings (literary and cultural criticism) reflective of the above themes in written assignments and oral discussion of primary course texts at an intermediate level consistent with upper-level coursework at a comprehensive university
- Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
- Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
- Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
- Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
- Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.
- Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
- Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
- Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
- Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.