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Cultural Studies Program

Courses :: CULS C701 Topic: Crossing Continents: Diasporic and Ethnic Minority Literatures in North America and Europe

This seminar will explore transcontinental migration as an experience of leaving a home and homeland and seeking to construct a sense of belonging in another place.  The primary texts we will read include fiction, memoirs, poetry, and screenplays by East Asian, West African, and Middle Eastern  immigrants and their descendants in North America and Europe. (Participants may choose works representing relocation from and to different regions for the final weeks of the course.)

A central objective of the course will be to bridge critical and theoretical perspectives that focus on socio-political categories and institutions of belonging (citizenship, permanent residency, political affiliations, ethnic and religious organizations, etc.) and those that analyze the individual inhabitation of spaces and places in terms of everyday practices and personal perceptions.  The latter set of approaches includes interdisciplinary work in the fields of literary criticism, performance studies, phenomenology,
psychoanalysis, and humanist geography.

Readings will include:

Manthia Diawara (Mali/France/USA). We Won’t Budge: An African Exile
in the World
Cheikh Hamidou Kane (Senegal/France). The Ambiguous
Adventure/L’Aventure ambigue
Linda Le (Vietnam/France) - Three Fates/Les Trois Parques
Li-young Lee (Indonesia/USA) - The Winged Seed and selections from
The Rose, The City in Which I Love You,
Emine Sevgi Ozdamar (Turkey/Germany) - selections from Mother
Tongue/Mutterzunge
Edward Said (Palestine/USA) - Out of Place: A Memoir
Vikram Seth (India/England) - Two Lives: A Memoir

Stephen Castles & Alastair Davidson. Citizenship and Migration:
Globalization and the Politics of Belonging.
Gerard Delanty, Ruth Wodak and Paul Jones, eds. Identity, Belonging and Migration
Jana Evans Braziel & Anita Mannur, eds. - Theorizing Diaspora
Gaston Bachelard - The Poetics of Space
Michel de Certeau - The Practice of Everyday Life - "Spatial Practices"
Jacques Derrida and Anne Dufourmantelle - Of Hospitality
Maurice Merleau-Ponty - The Primacy of Perception
Yi-Fu Tuan - selections from Topophilia: A Study of Environmental
Perception, Attitudes and Values; Landscapes of
Fear; Space and Place: the Perspective of Experience.