Michelle S. Liu
Introductory survey of Asian-American literature provides introduction to Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Hawaiian, South-Asian, and Southeast-Asian American literatures and a comparative study of the basic cultural histories of those Asian-American communities from the 1800s to the present.
This course will examine the historical currents that necessitated the emergence of an Asian Pacific American literary sensibility, in conjunction with a consideration of the difficulties and possibilities inherent to in this categorization. Asian American populations have been deeply impacted by restrictive immigration legislation and American foreign policy, putting its peoples in a unique position for defining Americanness. How do artists with an Asian ancestry challenge a country that ostensibly celebrates diversity yet looks with suspicion on the foreign? We will be reading the short stories of Jhumpa Lahiri, the essays of Carlos Bulosan, the play M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, watching Margaret Cho’s I’m the One that I Want, and novels by Annie Choi and Chang-rae Lee.
Student learning goals
Understand the cultural narratives that shape what we think of as "Asian American."
Experiment with the narrative forms that shape how we think of race.
General method of instruction
Discussion-based learning is my preferred way of running the classroom.
Class assignments and grading