Intro to Lit: Culture & Lit

English 272: Literatures of Resistance and Resilience
Fall 2018
MWF 1:30pm-2:20pm
KUY 407

Course Description
In this course we will explore how literary elements within short stories, novels, poetry, and film both document and provide roots of resistance, civil disobedience, revolution, and social change for various writers and peoples. What is resistance? What is agency? How do writers portray resistance to everyday and systemic racism, heteropatriarchy, homophobia, imperialism? How can we trace literary histories of resistance, and how have these creative strategies and interventions changed through various contexts? Where do we fit into these histories—how have they impacted our lives and how can we choose to shape future stories?

As we engage texts by writers such as Liliʻuokalani, Sia Figel, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leanne Simpson, we will begin crafting answers to these questions. We also will analyze how the authors work to resist and combat histories and structures of oppression, either through their representations of the lives of their characters, and/or through the act of writing itself. As we analyze similarities and borrowings among these texts, we will identify differences that we can trace to distinct histories, processes, and narratives of resistance centered on land, culture, gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity.

(Tentative) Course Readings
Written in the Sky by Matthew Kaopio
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Yellow by Don Lee

(Tentative) Course Films
Kumu Hina (2014)

NOTE: Course description and course readings are subject to change. Particularly, course readings are in flux and will very likely change by the end of the Spring semester. Email instructor for any additional information at