Shawn H Wong
Seminar study of special topics in language and literary study. Limited to seniors majoring in English.
Real vs. Fake: The Literature of an American Chinatown
For decades much of what the average American knows about Chinatown was invented by films, television, and comics. The image of Chinese America and Chinatowns was a constant battle between real and fake portrayals. This class will explore the range and variety of those images from late 19th century to the present such as the silent movie classic Broken Blossoms (1919) by D.W. Griffith to recent documentaries about Chinatown to fiction ranging from Sui Sin Far to Fae Myenne Ng to Jeffery Chan.
Student learning goals
Understand the goal and function of a media generated racial stereotype.
Understand the dynamics of an ethnic enclave such as an American Chinatown.
Understand where range, variety and depth of Chinese American literature.
Understand how the social history of Chinese America is articulated in its literature.
Understand the history of the image of Asians in film from the early 20th century to the present.
General method of instruction
Seminar discussion of literature and film.
Class assignments and grading
There will be three exams and no comprehensive final. One research paper is due at the end of the course (drafts of the paper will be due about midway through the course).
Approximately 75% of the grade will be on the research paper and 25% on exams and participation in discussion.