E 314V • Asian American Literature and Culture (34545-34550)
What does it mean to be "Asian American"? What nuances are lost beneath that broad designation? This course examines literature, memoir, poetry, drama, film, and critical essays in order to understand the historical contexts and cultural forces that shape Asian American identity as it is represented in these forms. The course covers a diverse range of diasporic and first-generation Asian American experiences, and we will pay specific attention to the formation of Asian American subjectivities at the intersections of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class.
The objective of this class is to critically examine the literary formation and political import of the category "Asian American," especially when the concepts of America and American-ness are far from static. The novels, short stories, plays, and films we study in this class will track the movement of Asian American literature from narratives of immigrant assimilation to more complex considerations of nationhood and identity. Ideally, students will come away from the course with a more textured understanding of what we mean when we say "Asian American."
Weekly short journals: 25%, 5 formal reading responses: 15%, 2 mid-length critical textual analyses: 25% each, Peer reviews of textual analyses: 10%
Readings will be drawn from he following texts: America Is in the Heart, Carlos Bulosan; Dogeaters, Jessica Hagedorn; Interpreter of Maladies, Lahiri; M. Butterfly, David Henry Hwang; Native Speaker, Chang-Rae Lee; Free Food for Millionaires, Min Jin Lee; The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini; Bento Box in the Heartland, Linda Furiya; Stealing Buddha's Dinner, Bich Minh Nguyen; The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston; Course packet; Better Luck Tomorrow (Lin); The Wedding Banquet (Lee); Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (Leiner); The Namesake (Nair)