E421 – Asian American Literature
Prerequisites: CO150 and E270.
Description:Asian American writing on immigration, exile, exclusion, detainment, neocolonialism, resistance, hybridity, and transnationalism. This course explores Asian American fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction. Readings will include writing by Chinese, Japanese Filipino, and Korean immigrants around the turn of the twentieth century; texts by second and third generation Asian Americans; and works by recent immigrants from southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. We will work to understand these texts both as components of a still-emerging tradition of Asian American literature and within historical and social contexts. Our investigations will involve examining ideas about transnationalism, imperialism and colonialism, citizenship, assimilation, gender and sexuality, and cultural resistance. Readings from major theorists and critics of Asian American literature such as Viet Than Nguyen, Lisa Lowe, Rachel Lee, and Colleen Lye will assist us in developing strategies for reading these texts as aesthetic and political interventions. Authors studied will include a blend of recognized major figures such as Maxine Hong Kingston and Frank Chin, lesser known early writers like Younghill Kang and Jose Garcia Villa, and recent authors like Thi Diem Thuy Le and Jumpha Lahiri.