Course Content (Syllabus)
This course highlights the importance of ethnic literature in relation to the shared ideals of democracy, freedom, equality etc. in the U.S. We will investigate key historical events and political crises that have influenced ethnic writers and their writings. We will examine central themes and debates in the field of critical ethnic studies including race, class, gender, land rights, and cultural practices. The course will demonstrate how ethnic literature provides critiques of the mainstream, and how it puts forward a claim for self-identification. There will also be sections of varied identity-formation theories in order to foreground the transnational and transhistorical relevance of ethnic studies. Our focus will be primarily on the thought processes of Chicanas/os, but we will also discuss a limited number of literary writings by African Americans and American Indians. Students will also consider concepts related to the spatio-temporal and environmental hermeneutics of being. Class assignments include: attendance/in-class discussions, oral presentations, and an analytical essay.