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America is in the Heart: Immigration and U. S. Literature cancelled

ENGL 261.301
instructor(s):
TR 4:30-6
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

This course will examine the capacious yet contentious history of immigration in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the contemporary period. We will consider paradigms of race, gender, and labor to understand discourses of citizenship and belonging at various crucial historical junctures, such as the post-Civil War era, World War II, and 9/11. How have exclusionary laws, immigration reforms, and American cultural imperialism influenced patterns of global migration to the U.S.? How might narratives of immigration complicate the oftentimes nationalist rhetoric of assimilation? Spanning Asia, Latin America, and Africa, we will read multi-ethnic works like John Okada’s No No Boy, Maxine Hong Kingston’s Woman Warrior, Julia Alvarez’s How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and Teju Cole’s Open City. We will also read contemporary poets like Claudia Rankine, Solmaz Sharif, and Ocean Vuong as well as the graphic novel American Born Chinese. Throughout this course, we will pay attention to how literary movements like realism, modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and postmodernism intersect with the politics of multi-ethnic subject formation, minority rights, and citizenship. Assignments will include two close reading papers, a class presentation, and a final paper.