ENGL349J - Asian American Literatures; New World Arrivals: Literature of Asian American Migration and Diaspora
Syllabus:
Section(s):
0101 - Edlie Wong

This discussion-based course explores the literature of Asian migration and settlement in the Americas over the longue durée. Initially, as indentured or bonded laborers and later as emigrants seeking new homes, migrants from China, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines played significant roles in the making of the Americas. However, their political claims on the “West,” especially in the U.S., proved to be a far more divisive matter. This class explores these complex multiethnic stories of New World arrival in the evolving context of U.S. immigration and naturalization law. Over the semester, we will investigate a wide range of fictional and nonfictional writings charting these interwoven histories of Asian American migration and diaspora, paying especial attention to different genres as vehicles for cultural expression. Writers we may consider include, Thi Bui, Carlos Bulosan, Wong Chin Foo, Edith Maude Eaton, Younghill Kang, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jhumpa Lahiri, Le Thi Diem Thuy, Yan Phou Lee, Karen Tei Yamashita, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Miné Okubo.In our readings, we will ask, among other things, how these writers responded to the conditions of minority experience in the Americas while contributing to and challenging ideas about gender, class, and race and what counts as the “American experience.”