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AAS 320 • Gender And Asian American Lit
TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 101
(also listed as
AMS 322, WGS 340 )
Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.
In this course, we will examine how representations of gender and sexuality are instrumental to our understanding of Asian American literature from nineteenth to the twenty-first century. In our discussion of these readings, questions of identity and power will be central to understanding of the intertwined nature of race, gender, and the nation-state. We will read Asian American literature by both male and female writers in order to understand how gender and sexuality are central to understanding Asian American experiences. We will focus on questions of identity formation in relation to legal histories, racial ideology, global migrations, generational divides, class status, sexuality, and military conflict.
We will also investigate the role of gender in literary debates surrounding representations of Asian Americans. For example, we will consider Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, which is the most widely read Asian American literary text in relation to Frank Chin’s attack on Kingston that she misrepresents and reinforces stereotypes that threaten Asian American masculinity. In examining these tensions between these Asian American writers, we will uncover some of the complex intersections between race and gender, revealing how profoundly they have shaped Asian American writers and literature. In order to develop a firmer grasp of the debates and significance of gender dynamics, we will read both literature by both early immigrant writers and contemporary Asian American writers and secondary critical analysis.