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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2009

E 314L • Approaches to Ethnic and Minority American Literatures

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33578 TTh
5:00 PM-6:30 PM
PAR 105

Course Description

This course introduces students to a variety of ethnic American literatures and helps to prepare them for success in the English major. Paying special attention to questions of literary forms and genres, we will explore the work of African-American, Native-American, Asian-American and Mexican-American writers. We will read these novels in conjunction with theoretical essays that offer insights as well as social and historical contexts for the literature. We will consider a wide range of issues, such as the re-writing of history through literatures; intersections of race, gender, class and sexuality; and questions involving labor and geographic displacement.

In addition, students will develop skills important for continuing in the English Department, including close reading, writing successfully about literature, incorporating secondary sources, discussing literary texts in a classroom setting and conducting discipline-specific library research.

Grading Policy

Three short critical papers: 45%
Final Oral Presentation: 10%
Three one-page close-reading assignments: 15%
Participation: 15%
Popular Culture Folder: 15%


Leslie Marmon Silko, Gardens in the Dunes
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street

Miscellaneous short stories from Native-American, African-American, South Asian American and Caribbean American writers

Film: Smoke Signals


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