English 190

Research Seminar: Contemporary Ethnic Surrealist Poetry and Poetics


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
10 Fall 2011 Chen, Christopher
Chen, Christopher
TTh 12:30-2 203 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Cha, T: Dictee; Dinh, L: All Around What Empties Out; Foster, S: Atomik Aztex; Kaufman, B: The Ancient Rain: 1956-1978; Kelley (ed.), R: Black, Brown, & Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the Diaspora (The Surrealist Revolution); Mullen, H: Recyclopedia; Mullen, H: Sleeping With The Dictionary; Richardson (trans.), M: Refusal of the Shadow

Description

Inspired by an eclectic mixture of influences ranging from Negritude to Sun-Ra, and from Yellow Peril pulp novels and films to counterfactual histories, a number of contemporary African American and Asian American poets have attempted to articulate what could be called a raced or ethnicized surrealist poetic practice in the United States. This seminar will focus on a number of important historical precursors to this poetic tradition, namely translations of the work of Aimé Césaire and other Negritude poets like Leopold Senghor. We will also conduct a broad survey of a range of highly influential poets like Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Lawson Fusao Inada, Janice Mirikitani, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha—all authors who have been central to the construction and revision of contemporary ethnic literary canons which have historically privileged realist, autobiographical narratives or the first person, confessional lyric voice. Throughout this seminar, we will investigate how margins and mainstreams are created and revised within ethnic literary traditions.

We will then focus upon a group of contemporary poets who have historically been marginalized within these emergent canons—poets like Elouise Loftin, Bob Kaufman, Jayne Cortez, Sonia Sanchez, Li-Young Lee, Linh Dinh, John Yau, Will Alexander, Harryette Mullen, Koon Woon, and Sesshu Foster. Considered together, these poets explore a satirical mode often obsessively focused on the structure and character of racial stereotypes and plumb the depths of what could be called postmodern popular culture’s vast racial unconscious—circulating through films, music, and advertising. Finally, we will attempt to identify shared thematic and formal features of contemporary ethnic surrealist writing and read this body of work against an older tradition of European surrealist literature and art committed to an anticolonial politics yet whose vision of non-Western art remained primitivizing.

Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in, or wait-listing for, this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2020

190/1

Research Seminar: Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics

190/2

Research Seminar: William Faulkner’s Temporalities

190/3

Research Seminar: American Romanticism

190/4

Research Seminar: Poetry and the Virtues

190/5

Research Seminar: British Fiction Since 1945

190/6

Research Seminar: Hollywood in the Thirties

190/7

Research Seminar: Jane Austen

190/8

Research Seminar: James Joyce

190/9

Research Seminar: Victorian Versification

190/10

Research Seminar: Modern California Books and Film

fall, 2019

190/1

Research Seminar: Creative Sentences

190/2

Research Seminar: Shakespeare and Company

190/3

Research Seminar: American Transcendentalism

190/4

Research Seminar: Cli Fi (Climate Change Fiction)

190/5

Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial

190/6

Research Seminar: Literature on Trial: Romanticism, Law, Justice

190/8

Research Seminar: Ideology

190/10

Research Seminar: Inventing Nature and Constructing Race

spring, 2019

190/1

Research Seminar: Flann O'Brien and Irish Literature

190/2

Research Seminar: Transsexual Literatures and Cultures

190/3

Research Seminar: James / Baldwin

190/5

Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I

190/6

Research Seminar: Carnal Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

190/7

Research Seminar

190/8

Research Seminar: Edgar Allan Poe

190/9

Research Seminar: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

190/10

Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson

190/11

Research Seminar: Willa Cather

190/13

Research Seminar: Sixties Cinema

fall, 2018

190/1

Research Seminar: Melville in the 50s

190/2

Research Seminar: Laughter and Vision: Explorations in the Novel of Ideas

190/3

Research Seminar: Representations of Coercion and Resistance in African American Slave, Jim Crow, and Neo-slave Narratives

190/4

Research Seminar: William Blake

190/7

Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial

190/8

Research Seminar: Repression and Resistance

190/9

Research Seminar: Mark Twain

Griffin, Ben

190/10

Research Seminar

No instructor assigned yet.

190/11

Research Seminar

No instructor assigned yet.

190/12

Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I

190/13

Research Seminar: The Jamesian Novel

190/14

Research Seminar

spring, 2018

190/1

Research Seminar: Trials of Literature: Romanticism, Justice, and the Law

190/2

Research Seminar: James Joyce

190/3

Research Seminar: Hawthorne & Melville

190/4

Research Seminar: Reading Walden Carefully

190/5

Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance

190/6

Research Seminar: Sixty Years Since: The Historical Novel

190/7

Research Seminar: Contemporary Historical Fiction

190/8

Research Seminar: Literary Theory and Its Objects

190/9

Research Seminar: The Faerie Queene: The Ethics of Imagination

190/10

Research Seminar: Pagan Fictions in Christian Literature

190/11

Research Seminar: Andrew Marvell

190/12

Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I

190/13

Research Seminar: Alfred Hitchcock


Back to Semester List