English 182 - Spring, 2018

Literature of California

Class Information

Instructor: Ronda, Margaret
CRN: 81977
Time: TR 12:10-1:30
Location: 106 Olson


    This course offers a survey of the diverse range of writings on the histories, populations, natures, and cultures of California from its precolonial beginnings to the present. We will explore the ways literary texts reflect on California's historical legacies of colonialism, Native American dispossession, immigration and urbanization, as well as its ongoing patterns of racial and economic inequality and uneven geographical development. We will consider the ways California’s environments—wild, urban, rural, agricultural, carceral—are portrayed in their dynamism and turbulence, and how various writers consider the complex relations between human cultures and ecological milieu. Our readings will attend to portrayals of a wide array of everyday perspectives and life-worlds of Californians, past and present, alongside larger cultural conceptions of California as utopian and apocalyptic.


    The Literature of California, Vol 1, Al Young
    Cascadia, Brenda Hillman
    Under the Feet of Jesus, Helena Maria Viramontes
    Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Anna Deveare Smith