This course is designed to introduce students to critical approaches to the study of U.S. minority literatures and cultures from the ‘long’ 20th century. We will examine the issues of ‘structure’ and ‘representation’ centrally in the formation of U.S. racial and ethnic identities. We seek to consider how the writings by U.S. racial and ethnic groups used literature to reflect on, negotiate and sometimes resist multiple forms of de jure and de facto racial segregation. Definitions of race and citizenship, Exclusion Acts, Jim Crow Segregation, Japanese Internment, the prison industrial complex, ‘Borderlands,’ suburbia, and multiculturalism are some of the topics that selected course texts explore. The course will provide an analytical foundation for examining literary production in relation to the historical and political contexts that impact the cultural imaginary.