Marites L Mendoza
Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
Form, Language and the Politics of Filipino/American Fiction
Anglophone Philippine writing saw its fraught emergence during the U.S. colonial venture there at the turn of the 20th century, the events of which haunt the accounting and continuing production of Anglophone Filipino literature. The dissemination of English through U.S. colonial apparatuses (namely, a more widespread public education system) enabled both the formation of a Philippine Anglophone canon and also a critical sphere that continues to debate the politics of Philippine writing in English.
This course will examine both Philippine Anglophone writing produced in the Philippines and that produced in the United States, working against the national canon-bound impulse to quarantine them. We will ask how acts of writing in English has lent itself as a platform for expressing and negotiating Filipino and Filipino American identity, while also being a problematic site for Philippine politics. To that end, we will look closely at the short story and novel forms in particular, to ask questions about how these forms and their conventions have been deployed by Filipino writers and have given particular shape to political critique.
Primary readings will include the novels Dogeaters and State of War (by Jessica Hagedorn and Ninotchka Rosca, respectively), and a coursepack of short fiction and essays by Jose Garcia Villa, Salvador Lopez, Paz Marquez Benitez, Loreto Paras Sulit, and Manuel Arguilla. Secondary readings will include excerpts from the work of Allan Isaac, Caroline Hau, and E. San Juan.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
It is recommended that students have taken a 100-level writing course in preparation for English 242.
Class assignments and grading
Since this is a “W” course, reading tasks will be coupled with a good deal of writing, workshopping your writing, and responding to classmates’ writing. Much of the course will be given to practicing close reading techniques and constructing well-argued, engaging literary analyses. Assignments will include weekly online posts and responses, one short paper, and one long essay.