English | Ethnic American Literature
L374 | 24471 | Crystal Wilkinson

Crystal Wilkinson

9:30a-10:45a TR (30 students) 3 cr., A&H, CSA.

TOPIC:  “Recent Stories from the Gap”

Americans are essentially a hyphenated people. Many of us live with
what  W.E.B. DuBois calls a "double consciousness." We are a
condensation of cultures. We are American and African, Mexican,
Native, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, and so fort. Living in America in
this gap (the in-between) has been the subject of some of our best
writers, writers who sometimes are traversing this life themselves.
In this course we will begin the study of recent stories from the
gap. We will explore what happens when one lives straddled between
two worlds and discuss the conflicts, contradictions, assimilations
that occur. Among those recent writers whose works we will study are
Neela Vaswani, Jumpha Lahiri, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Diaz, Edwidge
Danticat, Sherman Alexie, Toni Cade Bambara, Toure, Suheir Hammad,
David Wong Louie and others. In speaking of the African-American
experience, DuBois said that Africans in America always feel
a "twoness, two warring souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled
strivings; two warring ideals in one body." We will introduce
ourselves to this range of writers and see how this thought applies
to each work of short stories. We will also read a variety of
critical and historical texts to supplement our reading list.
Requirements for the course will include, in addition to attendance
and participation, three papers, one individual presentation, one
group presentation, and one exam.