Multiracial Literature of the American West|
Spring 2009 not offered
First presented at the Chicago World Columbian Exposition in 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner's now (in)famous "frontier thesis" posits the West as the defining space of the developing nation, the site and seat of American exceptionalism. For Turner, the West was a blank slate. But what of those for whom the so-called frontier was already homeland and those brought by force to this nation? Drawing on a variety of authors (such as Filipino American Carlos Bulosan, Chicano Alejandro Morales, Japanese American MinÚ Okubo, African American Anna Deveare Smith, and Leslie Marmon Silko of the Laguna Pueblo), this course examines the ways in which literature (as a cultural production) both critiques and helps to constitute dominant notions of "America" and the "West." Through close textual analysis, students will gain an understanding of the relationship between location, literature, and national identity.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Helen Hunt Jackson, RAMONA (1884)
Carlos Bulosan, AMERICA IS IN THE HEART (1974)
Alejandro Morales, THE BRICK PEOPLE (1988)
MinÚ Okubo, CITIZEN 13660 (1946)
Leslie Marmon Silko, CEREMONY (1977)
Anna Deavere Smith, TWILIGHT LOS ANGELES: 1992 (1994)
TomÔs Almaguer, RACIAL FAULT LINES (1994)
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly writing assignments; oral presentation with accompanying writing assignment; 2-3 essays (literary interpretation).
Weekly writing assignments (20%)
Oral presentation with accompanying writing assignment (15%)
2-3 Essays (literary interpretation) (20% & 30% or 15%, 15%, 20%).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
In this course students will practice their interpretation skills through the consideration and analysis of literary texts, in particular in relationship to their historical and political contexts. Thus, the students will develop their abilities to perform (in discussion and writing) literary interpretation. The students will also be asked to do weekly informal analytical critical writing, as well as at least two longer, interpretive essays. They will have some opportunity for peer review of their written work as well as individualized feedback from the professor.
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