Introduction to Literature: Culture & Literature

ENG 272-001 Asian American Literature: Across the Diaspora

Meeting days: TR 10:30-11:45am Location: KUY 302

Instructor: Christina Nakyong Lee (  

Office Hours: R 9:00am-10:00am (or by appointment) 

Office Location: KUY 218  Appointment Location: KUY 218 or Zoom 


Course Description 

“Diaspora” is a term used to refer to people who have often been involuntarily dispersed from their homeland to multiple parts of the world and created new cultures and identities based on the histories and consequences of their departure. In this class, through both Korean dramas and Asian American literature, we will be exploring the history, culture, and identity of the Korean peninsula  and how they were impacted by colonization, Cold War politics, division, and finally, migration. In addition, we will be exploring how popular media such as Korean dramas and literature engage with the ever-evolving culture of Korea. Some key questions we will be asking in this class are: What is ethnic nationalism, and is it still relevant today, in South Korea’s globalized landscape? How does culture and identity evolve across the diaspora? And finally, why do we revive ghosts? 

This course may be of particular interest to you if you are in or planning to be in the culture and literature field. 

Our class will be in person.



  1. Mr. Sunshine, Kim Eun-sook (Netflix Subscription required) 
  2. Comfort Woman, Nora Okja Keller (ISBN: 9780140263350, UH Manoa Bookstore) 
  3. Nuclear Family, Joseph Han (ISBN: 9781640094864, UH Manoa Bookstore) 
  4. The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir, EJ Koh (ISBN: 9781947793385, UH Manoa Bookstore)
  5. Crying in H-Mart, Michelle Zauner (ISBN: 9780593396599, UH Manoa Bookstore)
  6. Parasite, Bong Joon-ho (2019)

***All supplementary reading materials will be posted in Laulima Resources


Reading Responses (5%)

Peer Editing Workshops (5%)

Participation (15%)

Analysis Paper #1 (1000 words) (15%)

Analysis Paper #2 (1000 words) (15%)

Analysis Paper #3 (1000 words) (15%)

Creative Paper #4  (1000 words) (15%)

Final Exam (15%)