Toward a Global America: Multi-Ethnic U.S. Literatures
One Section Available to Choose From:
|Course Dates||Weeks||Meeting Times||Status||Instructor(s)||CRN|
|July 14, 2014 - July 25, 2014||2||M-F 9A-11:50A||Open||Michael Litwack||10668|
What is America? Who are Americans? How have ethnic and immigrant authors come to understand the United States, and how have members of minority groups used literary expression to represent their own experiences and the experiences of their communities in the U.S.? Crossing multiple genres (short stories, autobiographies, poetry, critical essays) and historical periods, this course will introduce students to canonical and contemporary texts by African American, Arab American, Asian American, Chicano/Latino, Jewish American, and Native American writers. We will compare various representations of U.S. ethnic communities in mainstream public culture to those offered by minority literatures, and survey how categories such as race, ethnicity, and gender impact the production and reception of literary texts.
Foregrounding a transnational approach that situates the U.S. in a global context, we will read a range of authors, from Carlos Bulosan and J.D. Salinger to Toni Morrison and Sandra Cisneros, whose texts raise questions about the relationship between literature, historical context, and the making of American identities. We will look at how "America" itself has been depicted in print, while exploring literature's role in the construction and negotiation of national identities and cultural practices. Through close readings, we will also explore themes and theories of nationalism and transnationalism, border-crossing and hybridity, assimilation and multiculturalism, community and belonging.
This course is designed to expose students to the diversity of American literature while developing interpretative skills for the close reading and written analysis of texts. By the end of this course, students will be familiar with major concepts in literary and cultural studies such as globalization, democracy, diaspora, narrative and representation. Through an emphasis on intercultural literacy, critical thinking, and writing techniques necessary for effective citizenship, this course will prepare students for a wide array of college-level humanities classes.
There are no prerequisites for this course.