E 370W • Gender, Sexuality, and Migration
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
E 370W (Cultures of Immigration and Dislocation) may not also be counted.
The history and culture of the United States and the larger Americas have been profoundly shaped by migrations, including colonization by European peoples, the African diaspora forced by slavery, the shifting and unstable border between the U.S. and Mexico, the arrival through Ellis Island of Eastern and Southern Europeans, the long and multiple histories of immigrants from Asia, the movement of gays and lesbians to urban centers, and the arrival of refugees from war and genocide. Although migration is sometimes represented as a threat to the integrity of the nation, it is, in fact, at the center of it.
We will explore the impact of this history by reading contemporary literature, mostly by women, with particular attention to how migration is shaped by gender and sexuality. We will consider how literature, with its attention to the relation between personal and historical experience, provides an especially valuable document of migration and intervenes in public discourse about it. The course will also provide students with an opportunity to reflect critically on the their own national identities as residents, and in some cases, citizens of the U.S. - what does it mean, and what can it mean, to be "American"?
5 short (1-2-page) papers every other week 35%
Mid-term book review paper 15%
Group presentation and final paper 20%
Blackboard assignments, attendance, and class participation 30%
Octavia Butler, Dawn, Sui-Sin Far, from Mrs. Spring Fragrance and other Stories, Anzia Yezierska, from America and I, Zitkala-Sa, from American Indian Stories, Sandra Cisneros, Caramelo, Zadie Smith, White Teeth, Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy, Monique Truong, The Book of Salt, Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
Course packet of essays by Lisa Lowe, David Eng, Chandra Mohanty, and others.