Reading List 8: U.S. Race and Ethnic Literatures

Faculty Committee:

Stephanie Batiste,  Felice Blake, Ben Olguín, Swati Rana, and Candace Waid


Examinees will select two of the areas listed below (Sections I through V). Examinees are expected to be familiar with the critical and theoretical contexts of all items selected for their exams.  Those marked with a cross (+) are digitized and available online, consult with the Staff Graduate Adviser. 



Slave Narratives

(Choose 2 authors)

1) Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

2) Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)

3) Phyllis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects

4) Harriet Wilson, Our Nig


Post Reconstruction Era/Turn-of-the-Century

(Choose 3 authors)

1) W. E. B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folk

2) Charles Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman; The Marrow of Tradition; House Behind the Cedars

3) Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Lyrics of Lowly Life, Sport of the Gods

4) Frances Harper, Iola Leroy (1892)

5) Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces

6) Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery


Harlem Renaissance / Early

(Choose 3 authors)

1) Jessie Fauset, Plum Bun

2) Georgia Douglass Johnson, selected poems +

3) James Weldon Johnson,  Autobiography of and Ex-Colored Man

4) Alain Locke, The New Negro

5) Claude McKay, Home to Harlem; selected poems +

6) George Schuyler, Black No More

7) Jean Toomer, Cane (1923)


Harlem Renaissance / Late

(Choose 2 authors)

1) Langston Hughes, Weary Blues; selected poems +

2) Nella Larsen, Passing; Quicksand

3) Fire!! A Quarterly Devoted to Younger Negro Artists (1926)

4) Ralph Ellison, Shadow and Act


Post Renaissance

(Choose 3 authors)

1) William Attaway, Blood on the Forge

2) Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

3) Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go

4) Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Dust Tracks on a Road; Mules and Men                                                                                                                     

5) Anne Petry, The Street

6) Melvin Tolson, “Dark Symphony”, “Psi” +

7) Richard Wright, Native Son


Civil Rights Era / Black Arts Movement

(Choose 4 authors)

1) James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, Go Tell It on the Mountain

2) Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha

3) Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

4) Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope

5) Paula Marshall, Brown Girl, Brownstones

6) Amiri Baraka, The Dutchman

7) Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf



(Choose 4 authors)

1) Octavia Butler, Wildseed; Kindred

2) Gayl Jones, Corrigadora

3) Jamaica Kincaid, Annie JohnIn a Small Place

4) Audre Lourde, Zami, A New Spelling of My Name

5) Toni Morrison, Beloved; The Bluest Eye; Song of Solomon; “Recitatif” +

6) Sherley Anne Williams, Dessa Rose

7) August Wilson, The Piano Lesson; Joe Turner's Come and Gone; Fences

8) John Edgar Wideman, Brothers and Keepers


Examinee’s Choice

Five additional texts not already included in the African American Literature list




1) Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart

2) Theresa Hak-kyung Cha, Dictee 

3) Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior and/or China Men

4) Abraham Verghese, My Own Country



1) Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey

2) Joy Kogawa, Obasan

3) Chang-rae Lee, Native Speaker

4) Milton Muruyama, All I Asking For is MY Body

5) John Okada, No-No Boy

6) Lois-Anne Yamanaka, Blu’s Hanging

7) Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rainbow


Short Fiction

1) Sui Sin Far (Edith Eaton). Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings

2) Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

3) Lan Samantha Lan Chang, Hunger

4) Bharati Mukherjee, The Middleman and Other Stories

5) Hisaye Yamamoto, Seventeen Syllables



1) Philip Kan Gotanda, Yankee Dawg, You Die!
2) David Henry Hwang, M. Butterfly



1) Li-Young Lee, selections +

2) Walter Lew, ed,  Premonitions

3) Cathy Song, selections +


1) Frank Chin. AIIIEEEEE!

2) Sylvia Watanabe and Carol Bruchac, eds., Home to Stay Asian American Women's Fiction


Examinee’s Choice

Five additional texts not already included in the Asian American Literature list



1) Oscar Z. Acosta, The Revolt of the Cockroach People

2) Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima

3) Norma Cantú, Canícula

4-5) Ana Castillo, Mixquiahuala Letters and The Guardians

6-7) Sandra Cisneros, House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek or Caramelo

8) Arturo Islas, The Rain God

9) Rolando Hinojosa, Estampas del valle or Klail City

10) Cherrie Moraga, Giving Up the Ghost

11) Alejandro Morales, Brick People or Rag Doll Plagues

12) Américo Paredes, George Washington Gomez

13) John Rechy, The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez

14) Tomás Rivera, Y no se lo tragó la tierra… and the earth did not part

15) Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Squatter and the Don

16) Luis Valdez, Zoot Suit

17) José Antonio Villareal, Pocho

18-19) Helena Maria Viramontes, The Moths  and Their Dogs Came with Them

20) Poetry selections from the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature: Lucha Corpi; Jimmy Santiago Baca: Judith Cofer Ortiz; Gary Soto; Lorna Dee Cervantes

21-25) An additional five works not on the list and chosen by the examinee




1) Yellow Bird (John Rollin Ridge), Joaquin Murieta

2) Alice Callahan, Wynema,

3) Simon Pokagon, The Queen of the Woods

4) Zitkala-Sa, American Indian Stories

5) Mourning Dove, Cogewea, the Half Breed

6 - 7) D' Arcy McNickle, The Surrounded; Wind from an Enemy Sky

8 – 9) N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn; The Ancient Child

10 – 11) Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; The Almanac of the Dead   

12 – 13) James Welch, Winter in the Blood; Fools Crow

14 – 15) Ray A. Young Bear, Jr: Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint ChroniclesRemnants of the First Earth   

16 – 17) Gerald Vizenor, The Heirs of Columbus; The Trickster of Liberty: Tribal Heirs to A Wild Tribal Baronage

18 – 19) Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine; Tracks

20 – 21) Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues; Indian Killer

22 –23) Louis Owens, Bone Game; Sharpest Sight

24 – 25) Linda Hogan, Mean Spirit; Solar Storms

26 – 27) LeAnn Howe, Shell Shaker; Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story

28 – 29) Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water; Truth and Bright Water

30) Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, From the River’s Edge

31) Paula Gunn Allen, The Woman Who Owned the Shadows



32) Nora Marks Davenhauer, Life Woven with Song

33) Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller

34) Alison Hedge Coke, Blood Run



35) selections by Ray A. Young Bear; Joy Harjo; Linda Hogan; LeAnn Howe; Simon Ortiz; Gerald Vizenor; Luci Tapahonso; Adrian Louis; Sherwin Bitsui +


Poetry Anthology:

36) Robert Dale Parker, ed., Changing is not Vanishing: American Indian Poetry to 1930



(Select 25 of the following items)

1) Paula Gunn Allen, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in Native American Traditions

2) Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera

3) MM Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination

4) Homie Bhabha, The Location of Culture

5) Kimberly Blaeser, “Gerald Vizenor: Writing and the Oral Tradition" +

6) Lisa Tanya Brooks, The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast

7) Columbia Guide to the American Indian Literatures of the United States since 1945

8) James Cox, Muting White Noise

9) Randolph Bourne, "Trans-national America" +

10) Mary Pat Brady, Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies +

11) Ana Castillo, Massacre of the Dreamers

12) Anne Anlin Cheng, Melancholy of Race

13) Phil Deloria, Playing Indian +

14) W.E.B. Dubois, Souls of Black Folk

15) Edith Eaton, "Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian." +

16) Rosa Linda Fregoso, Mexicana Encounters

17) Stuart Hall, "New Ethnicities" +

18) Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, "Speaking in Tongues" +

19) Abdul JanMohamed, The Death-Bound Subject +

20) Daniel Heath Justice, Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History +

21) Penelope Myrtle Kelsey, Tribal Theory in Native American Literature: Dakota and Haudensaunee Writing and Worldviews +

22) Robert King, The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative +

23) Arnold Krupat, Red Matters: Native American Studies +

24) George Lipsitz, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness +

25) Jose Marti, "Nuestra America" +

26) Kobena Mercer, "De Margin & De Center" +

27) Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark,

28) Winston Napier, ed,  African American Literary Theory: A Reader

29) Native Critics Collective, Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective +

30) Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formations +

31) Louis Owens, Other Destines: Understanding the Native American Novel +; Mixed Blood Messages: Literature, Film, Family, Place; Mixed Blood Messages: Literature, Film, Family, Place +

32) People,  Part I (1999) [Maori]

33) Elvira Pulitano, Toward a Native American Critical Theory

34) Edward Said, Orientalism

35) Ramon Saldivar, Chicano Narrative

36) Jose David Saldivar, Border Matters; The Dialectics of Our America

37) Sonia Saldivar-Hull, Feminism on the Border

38) Gregg Sarris, Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to Native American Literature

39) Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman and the Beauty of the Spirit

40) Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous +

41) Gayatri Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak" +

42) Brian Swann and Arnold Krupat, Recovering the World: Essays on Native American Literature

43) Yi-fu Tuan, Topophilia

44) David Treuer, Native American Fiction: A User’s Manual

45) Raul Villa, Barrio-Logos

46) Gerald Vizenor, Manifest Manners: Postindian Warriors and Survivance; Shadow Distance: A Gerald Vizenor Reader; Fugitive poses: Native American Scenes of Presence and Absence

47) Warrior, Weaver, Womack, American Indian Literary Nationalism

48) Jace Weaver, That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community

49) Robyn Wiegman, American Anatomies

50) Craig S. Womack, Red on Red

Revised 10/2013