Diaspora and Migration in Contemporary Chicana/o and African-American Literature
This course will focus on the representation of diaspora and migration in the contemporary literature of Chicanas/os and African-Americans. The histories of Chicanas/os and African-Americans are informed by movement, both enforced and "voluntary," in ways that uniquely place both groups of people in the ongoing formation of American life and culture. In addition, we will explore the relationship between physical dislocation and cultural displacement and marginalization. The literature we will be studying by and large still seeks to come to terms with an often supressed history and its effects on contemporary life for African-Americans and Chicanas/os. As such we will also read relevant critical and historical context to provide the necessary context in which to read the literature. Among the authors we will read are James Baldwin, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Gloria Naylor, Arturo Islas, John Edgar Wideman, and Helena Maria Viramontes. Each student will have to complete one formal in-class presentation and to write two 10-12 page essays.