Asian American Posthumanisms: Biopolitics, Ecopoetics, and Literature|
Fall 2021 not offered
|Course Cluster and Certificates: Urban Studies|
From 19th-century anxieties concerning subhuman coolies to 21st-century celebrations of suprahuman cyborgs, US discourses have always figured people of Asian descent as peripheral to the category of the human. While Asian Americanist scholarship has often responded by asserting the humanity of Asian Americans, a number of scholars and writers have begun to explore and even embrace the inhuman character of the Asian American. Drawing from recent scholarship in science studies, political ecology, anthropology, and literary studies, this course will consider what it looks like to shift the scale of analysis from the individual, organismal human to the social logics, biopolitical infrastructures, and ecological entanglements that supersede the human, or conversely, to the bodily fragments, molecular processes, and fragments that subtend the scale of the human. We will pay particular attention to the question of what consequences decentering the human has for the ethnic novel, a genre often valued for its ability to affirm the humanity of racialized subjects. For instance, what kinds of aesthetics and politics emerge from an imaginary centered not on the human individual but on systems, landscapes, entanglements, and other imaginative forms and social practices? What does a novel centered not on a human protagonist but on an object, a clone, or an ecosystem look like?
To explore these non-human centered logics and forms, we will read theoretical texts by Anne Cheng, Rey Chow, Donna Haraway, Aihwa Ong, Rachel Lee, Nikolas Rose, Anna Tsing, and others, alongside a selection of contemporary (and capaciously defined) Asian/American novels by writers such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Larissa Lai, Chang-rae Lee, Ruth Ozeki, and others.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: |
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Literature)
Kazuo Ishiguro, NEVER LET ME GO
Han Kang, THE VEGETARIAN
Larissa Lai, SALT FISH GIRL
Chang-rae Lee, ON SUCH A FULL SEA
David Mitchell, CLOUD ATLAS
Ruth Ozeki, A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING
Ed Park, PERSONAL DAYS
Anna Tsing, THE MUSHROOM AT THE END OF THE WORLD
Additional readings by Anne Cheng, Rey Chow, Donna Haraway, Rachel Lee, Colleen Lye, Nikolas Rose, and others. (Readings subject to change.)
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly Moodle posts, two short papers, one longer final paper, one oral assignment.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the Literatures of Difference and Theory requirements and contributes to the Race & Ethnicity and Theory & Literary Forms concentrations of the English major.
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