Asian American Lit (60; XL ES 372)


  • Reading Packet
    consisting of selected, foundational Asian American texts;
  • Monique
    Truong, Book of Salt (novel);
  • R. Zamora
    Linmark, Leche (novel);
  • Karen Tei
    Yamashita, Tropic Of Orange (hypertextual
  • Gish Jen, World and Town (novel);
  • Sesshu Foster,
    Atomik Aztex (speculative fiction);
  • Gene Luen
    Yang, American Born Chinese(graphic
  • John Okada, No-No Boy
  • Kimiko Hahn, The Artist’s
    Daughter: Poems
  • Milton Murayama, All I Asking
    For Is My Body
  • Maya Lin, What Is Missing
  • Justin Lin, Better Luck

Books ordered through UHM Bookstore. Films
viewed at Sinclair, Wong A/V.


This course introduces students to some of
the most creative writers, filmmakers and artists on Asian America from the end
of the 19th century to today.  Non-majors are welcome. Organization of this
course will combine small group discussion and lecture, with the emphasis on small
group and class discussion.

The “reading list” consists of prose,
poetry, graphic novels, films, photography, and websites. The main goal would
be to read, discuss and write (this is a writing intensive class) about some
excellent literature and art. This goal includes examining some of the
cultural, economic, and political forces to which these talented and daring
artists were speaking to and seeking to change. Many of these texts question
and undercut narrow definitions of both labels, “Asian” and “America”.   The course will delve into crucial events
such as the turbulent 1960’s, the Civil Rights Movement and concepts such as immigration,
settler, diaspora, transnationalism, borders, hybridity, ethnicity, race,
gender, ideas that are central to a more complete appreciation of not just
Asian American cultural production (such as novels, memorials, and films) but
also many other contemporary American literatures and cultural and social
concerns. Today, there are over 50 “Asian”
nationalities or ethnic peoples in North America. Americans of Asian heritage
comprise a variety of religions, political beliefs, class, sexual orientation,
cultural customs and traditions. This course maps the differences as well as
the similarities among these groups called Asian Americans. So, the class will examine:

1) shared themes as well as the diversity found in Asian American texts;
2) the ways that “local” literature by Hawai’i writers of Asian descent
intersect with and depart from Asian American writing; 3) the ways that
Asian American literature and identity revise, complement and otherwise engage
with various “Americas”; 4) some of the important issues and goals for Asian
Americans in the next 50 years

: (Writing Intensive class) include but may not be limited

  • A one-page
    response paper (single-spaced assigned every two weeks);
  • one essay (5-pages
    minimum, double-spaced);
  • oral presentation
    (5-10 minutes) and a written summary of your presentation;
  • a final essay exam
    (take home).