ENGL233 - Introduction to Asian American Literature
0101 - Davis, Lawrence-Minh

Asian American literature is a young but impossibly rich body of work, the definitions and boundaries of which are always shifting.  Crafted by those of Asian descent?  Written about those of Asian descent?  Including those of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Central Asian, and/or West Asian descent—what exactly does the designation “Asian American” mean, anyway?  Focused within the American landscape, or stretching throughout various Asian “diasporas”?  Including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, theater, spoken word, and/or other genres?  All of the above, or various discrete combinations?

The debate is unending.  This much seems certain, however the definitions and boundaries above settle and unsettle:  Asian American literature, as it restores histories forgotten and sometimes erased, as it grapples unendingly with social justice, imagines the communities we may not always have but perhaps deserve.  This course surveys the diverse tradition of Asian American writing with particular attention to historical and political contexts that shape the writing and our study of it.  Through in-class and out-of-class assignments, we will work to develop critical reading and analytical writing abilities.  2 short papers, midterm and final exams.

Also offered as AAST233. Not open to students who have completed AAST233 or AAST298L. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: AAST233, AAST298L or ENGL233.