WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Section: 002 Asian American Women Writers
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Class Misc Info:
This class satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Literature has traditionally been seen as the site where tensions among different groups in the United States — categorized according to gender, race, class, and sexuality — are resolved, exaggerated, or transformed. The literary engagement with such tensions has been seen, on one hand, as repeating U.S. political and cultural hegemonic structure and imagination, and, on the other, as resisting that political, economic, and cultural dominance. We will survey in this course the cultural production of Asian American women writers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will explore the ways in which their writing, arising out of the contradictions of U.S. democracy, displaces, in the words of cultural critic Lisa Lowe, the fiction of reconciliation offered by the national imaginary. We will investigate, in other words, the ways in which the writings of Asian American women disrupt national identity by revealing its gaps and fissures.

Asian American women’s literature exposes the multiple ways in which the U.S. sustains its fictional image to itself and to the world of democracy exceptionalism. Whether the Asian American women subject becomes in literature the subject or object of violence, fear, or sexual desire, its representation has reflected and in fact often influenced the emerging narrative of U.S. nationhood and identity.

Moreover, the invisibility, if not the complete erasure, of certain histories, especially those of Asian American women, symptomatizes the processes of exclusion and inclusion in the making of U.S. democracy and national memory. Thus we will study the ways in which Asian American women writers serve a cultural political function, not only for the ethnic or racial group they might embody, represent, or imagine but also for the larger body politic it threatens, constitutes, and sustains.

Students will be evaluated by exams, short written responses, active class participation, and a final and midterm paper. This class combines lecture and discussion.

WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (REC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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