Intro to Lit: Literary History

Politics of Asian American Literature

This course is a penetration into (1) how Asian American realities have been shaped and reshaped though chaotic histories of wars and global capitalism; and (2) how these textures are represented in Asian American literature. The intersection between power, race, and identity will be interrogated: What drives Asian diasporic communities to struggle for their visibility and inclusiveness in socio-ideological hierarchy of America? How do Asian American communities strive between fissure and conciliation, displacement and relationality? The major themes of claiming America, negotiating the stereotype of “the model minority,” and navigating through memory and amnesia will be explored through the significant literary works in the critical periods of history. The genres will include memoirs, autobiographies, short stories, and novels. Some consequential critical essays and academic companions will be concurrently discussed.

Required texts:

Sui Sin Far, Mrs. Spring Fragrance
Carlos Bulosan, America Is In the Heart (autobiographical novel)
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
Joy Kogawa, Obasan
Shawna Yang Ryan, Water Ghosts
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer