Upper-division Seminar: Model Minorities - Controversies in Ethnic Literature

Course Number: ENGL 197
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
Advisory Enrollment Information: This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 197
Quarter: Fall 2013
Instructor: Rana, Swati
Day(s): TR
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: SH 2635

How do ethnic writers advance or critique the model minority myth? What controversies arise around representations of minority identity? How can we learn to read these controversies critically, and thereby deepen our understanding of broader social debates? This course focuses on controversial works of ethnic literature, works that have been reviled and beloved, works that have sparked enduring questions and offered important answers to the meaning of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity, as well as national and transnational identity. We will not only pay close formal attention to these texts but also read them in the context of the varied histories and critical debates that attend them. Our challenge will be to make sense of the social through the literary—by grappling with the complexity of ethnic representation to develop a critical perspective on enduring debates about race and ethnicity in the United States. Readings will likely include the following: Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory, Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine; as well as a course reader with work by Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frank Chin, Paula Gunn Allen, and Jhumpa Lahiri.