English 141 - Winter, 2020

Topics in Diasporic Literatures & Migration

Class Information

Instructor: Jerng, Mark
CRN: 76953
Time: MWF 12:10-1:00
Location: 146 Olson


    Topic: Asian American Literature

    This course will explore narratives of Asian diasporas and how they figure global questions of citizenship, empire, labor, and capital. It is impossible to define Asian diasporan subjects in terms of a single, group identity. Instead, we will track multiple relationships between routes and roots, following diasporic movements between China and the U.S., China and Jamaica, Korea and America, forced Japanese migration, Japan and Brazil, India and the U.S., Vietnam-Australia-U.S. We will discuss the inter-relationship of these narratives with the conventional ?immigrant story? without reducing it to that convention. We will see how these writers trace their subjects across and within global developments such as war, U.S. militarism, colonialism, and circuits of capitalist production and how they illuminate different dimensions of citizenship ? political, economic, and cultural. We will concentrate much of our attention on how these narrative and poetic forms, perspectives, and voices antagonize, exacerbate, and internalize dominant logics of racial capitalist forms such as property, labor, and accumulation as well as dominant modes of belonging such as the nation, colonialism, family, and intimacy.


    Lecture Attendance & Participation 15%
    2-page Argumentative Claim & Evidence Exercise: 15%
    Outline of Critical Essay 15%
    One 5-7 page paper 15%
    One 8-10 page paper 20%
    Final Exam 20%


    Native Speaker, Chang-rae Lee
    China Men, Maxine Hong Kingston
    The Pagoda, Patricia Powell
    When The Emperor Was Divine, Julie Otsuka
    Through the Arc of the Rainforest, Karen Tei Yamashita