ENGL658B - Readings in Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas; Drugs and Terror

“Drugs and Terror” will examine the mainstream appropriation of narco-culture, terrorism, and other forms of exceptional violence in U.S. ethnic literature. It will put together the work of theorists of surveillance and terrorism such as Simone Brown, Naomi Paik, Erica Edwards, and Eva Herschinger and fictive and journalistic accounts of narcotrafficking and terrorism to examine how the language of left-wing political radicalism from the Global South [movements in El Salvador (FMLN), Nicaragua (Sandinista), Peru (Shining Path), Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador, for example] gets redeployed as the language of exceptional violence stemming from the Global South. The language of uncontrollable violence from the Global South in turn produces the forms of counterterrorist militarization used in the management of persons and communities of color within the US nation-state. In sum, this course explores how the grammars of extraordinary violence in law, literature, and popular (and populist) culture in the wake of Latin American radical social movements allow us to think differently of contemporary multi-ethnic US literature.

Meets the Modern and Contemporary requirement in the MA Literature track