Studies in American Literature: Post-Resistance Paradigms

Course Number: ENGL 235
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 235
Quarter: Winter 2014
Instructor: Rana, Swati
Day(s): M
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Location: SH 2617

In the years since Lisa Lowe’s Immigrant Acts (1996) first brought the postcolonial paradigm of hybridity to ethnic studies, attributing a fundamental “counterhegemony” to Asian American literature and culture, critics have questioned the attribution of resistance to this archive. In fields as varied as comparative ethnic studies, affect theory, queer studies, and postcolonial studies, critics have explored the ways in which minoritarian subjects and ethnic writers have inhabited the space between resistance and complicity, and in so doing invited us to refine our understanding of those very terms. The goal of this seminar is to study and develop post-resistance paradigms, to acknowledge the ongoing importance of resistance-based criticism and historiography, even as we produce concrete ways of reading and interpreting minoritarian complicities. We will devote ourselves to works of theory and literary criticism (and the scholarly monograph in particular) at the nexus of postcolonial studies and comparative ethnic studies. Readings will include work by some of the following: Victor Bascara, Stephanie Batiste, Homi Bhabha, Pheng Cheah, Tina Chen, Anne Cheng, Patricia Chu, Hamid Dabashi, Paul Gilroy, Frantz Fanon, Jinqi Ling, Heather Love, Lisa Lowe, José Muñoz, Sianne Ngai, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Crystal Parikh, Jasbir Puar, Gayatri Spivak, and Henry Yu. You will choose a primary text or set of texts to read in dialogue with the work of these scholars as the basis for a seminar presentation and final paper.