AMCULT 204 - Themes in American Culture
Section: 001 Contemporary Arab American Women's Fiction
Term: WN 2009
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Repeatability:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

The purpose of this course is to survey Arab-American women’s fiction. The course will also trace the trajectory from "homeland" to the US, examining how Arab literature and American fiction have both shaped contemporary Arab-American writers. We will explore links between the writers' various cultures and subcultures; between the writers' themes and obsessions; between gender and ethnicity; between characters' harsh living conditions and their magical thinking. We will focus on the writers' representations of characters such as female prisoners, repressed housewives, the disabled, the elderly, pregnant teens, prostitutes, and veiled newlyweds. How are these characters, who live on the fringes of a further marginalized group, represented? Are short novels and stories the ideal vehicle for their particular stories, and why? Course work will involve a weekly critical analysis on the readings, and an optional creative component, including "imitation" papers as response pieces to each of the works. The mid-term will be a short essay examining a particular character, and the final project will be a critical essay on two or more works. In addition, students will be expected to make weekly presentations on the readings, focusing on literary techniques, themes, placing the stories in a larger cultural context, and the role that the writers' and characters' marginalization plays in their appropriation of the short fiction form.

Critical essays on Arab-American Lit:
Elmaz Abinader, “Children of Al-Mahjar: Arab American Literature Spans a Century”
Lisa Suheir Majjaj, “New Directions: Arab-American Writing at Century’s End”
Edward Said, selection from Reflections of Exile

Arab American Fiction:
Paulin Kaldas and Khaled Mattawa, Dinarzad’s Children
Munir Akash and Khaled Mattawa, Post-Gibran: New Arab-American Writing
Mona Simpson, Anywhere But Here
Alicia Erian, selections from The Brutal Language of Love, Towelhead
Mohja Kahf, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, selected short stories
Diana Abu-Jaber, selections from Origin, Crescent
Alia Yunis, The Night Counter
Randa Jarrar, A Map of Home, selected short stories
Laila Halaby, selections from West of the Jordan, In the Promised Land
Patricia Sarrafian Ward, The Bullet Collection

Arab fiction:
Salwa Bakr, selections from The Wiles of Men
Latifa Zayyat, selections from Personal Papers
Ahdaf Soueif, selections from Aisha
Nawal el-Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero

American Fiction:
Eudora Welty, selections from Thirteen Stories
Jane Bowles, “Camp Cataract,” “Everything is Nice”
Flannery O’Connor, “Good Country People”
Sandra Cisneros, selections from House on Mango Street and Caramelo
Mary Gaitskill, selection from Bad Behavior
Toni Morrisson, “Recitatif”

AMCULT 204 - Themes in American Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
P
24603
Open
10
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: Section 001 meets with English 280-002
009 (LEC)
 
27557
Open
4
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:00AM
Note: Students will be auto-enrolled in section 009 when they elect a discussion section (sections 010-012).
010 (DIS)
P
27558
Closed
0
 
-
M 1:00PM - 2:00PM
011 (DIS)
P
27656
Closed
0
 
-
M 3:00PM - 4:00PM
012 (DIS)
P
27657
Closed
0
 
-
M 4:00PM - 5:00PM
013 (LEC)
 
27658
Open
6
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Note: Students will be auto-enrolled in section 013 when they elect a discussion section (sections 014-016).
014 (DIS)
P
27659
Open
1
 
-
Th 1:00PM - 2:00PM
015 (DIS)
P
27660
Open
5
 
-
Th 2:00PM - 3:00PM
016 (DIS)
P
27703
Closed
0
 
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


Note:
The required books for the class are at Shaman Drum Bookstore, upstairs.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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