Reading, Writing, and Race: Contemporary American Ethnic Literature
In recent decades, “ethnic” literature has topped U.S. bestseller lists. In this class, we will read works by Native American, Mexican American, Asian American, and African American writers to explore the cultural and literary politics of reading, writing, and race. We will examine what readers (including ourselves) expect of ethnic writers, what authors expect of their readers, and what writers expect of each other. How does race impact reading? Why is “ethnic literature” a distinct category in American literature? How do authors address cultural insiders and outsiders as they present problems of individual and national identity, immigration and assimilation, language and power, violence and rebellion, and cultural contact?
taught by Jill Gatlin