English 179 - Spring, 2022

Topics in Comparative Racial & Ethnic Literary Studies

Class Information

Instructor: Hsu, Hsuan L.
CRN: 62161
Time: TR 12:10-1:30
Location: REMOTE
GE Areas: American Cultures, Governance, and History Domestic Diversity Writing Experience


This course will consider how literary works by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People-of-Color) authors have framed and responded to specific historical contexts of racialization (or the social making and remaking of ?race?)?such as slavery, immigration, refugee migration, imperial wars, colonization, racialized labor, and environmental injustice. To that end, we will put literary concepts in dialogue with concepts drawn from interdisciplinary scholarship, including trauma, microaggression, criminalization, mimicry, comparative racialization, settler colonialism, and Indigenous resurgence. Through readings, discussions, and writing assignments, the class will explore conceptual frameworks for understanding how different contexts of racialization (as well as its inter-articulations with other aspects of identity such as class, gender, sexuality, and ability) inflect psychological, historical, and social aspects of everyday life, as well as how these conditions of experience shape?and are shaped by?literary form.


Participation & attendance: 25%
In-Class Writing (approx. 3pgs): 20%
TWO shorter (1.5-pg double-spaced) reading-response essays (with informal presentations): 30%
Essay (9-12 pgs double-spaced): 25%


David Chariandy, Brother
Claudia Rankine, Citizen
Helena María Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus
Mohsin Hamid, Reluctant Fundamentalist
Ocean Vuong, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves