ENGL349T - Asian American Literatures; Asian American Graphic Novels
0101 - Lawrence-Minh Davis

Graphic novels are suddenly “serious literature.” Asian American graphic novels have flooded the comics market over the last 10 years. Race has always been visual. How can we draw these seemingly disparate realities into conversation? This class will examine a range of Asian American graphic works expressly as racial projects. That is, we will consider these works as they enter, often self-consciously, a contested arena of racial and cultural representation, not only documenting or exploring Asian American experience and history, but playing with, thinking through, and subverting racialization, racial identity formation and construction, and the politics of visual representation. We will pay particular attention to the strategic use, and interweaving, of narrative and visual modes of representation. How, we will ask, do Asian American graphic novels open up the work—and representational repertoire—of Asian American literature proper, and why do they matter?