Ethnic American Literature

1:00p-2:15p TR (30) 3 cr.

Since America's beginning, authors have used print media to create an American character and a national identity. Often the American subject has been defined in contrast to a "negative other," a Native American, African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Jewish American, Irish American, etc. However, since the dawning of the civil rights era, writers increasingly have delineated their identities in relation to their ethnicities, creating a more diverse and productive American subject identity. This course surveys outstanding examples of ethnic American literature--fiction, plays, autobiographies, and essays. Readings will introduce the student to a variety of ethnic-American literature and stimulate important questions about stereotyping, voice, race, and ethnicity. Students will keep a reading journal, write several short papers and one long paper, give one group presentation, a take a final exam.

Tentative Reading List:
Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street
Michael Patrick Macdonald, All Souls: A Family from Southie
Barbara Rico and Sandra Mano, editors, American Mosaic: Multicultural Readings in Context
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
David Henry Wang, M.Butterfly
John Wideman, Brothers and Keepers