English 150

Senior Seminar: Asian American Novel

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Fall 2005 Lye, Colleen
Lye, Colleen
TTh 11-12:30 243 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Chu, L.: Eat a Bowl of Tea; Bulosan, C: America Is in the Heart; Hagedorn, J: Gangster of Love; Hayslip, L: When Heaven and Earth Changed Places; Kang, Y: East Goes West; Kingston, M.H.: Tripmaster Monkey; Lee, C.R.: Aloft; Okada, J: No-No Boy; Truong, M: The Book of Salt; Yamashita, K.T.: Tropic of Orange


"It is by now a commonplace to describe Asian American identity as impossibly heterogeneous and hybrid. At the same time, Asian American Studies is founded upon the strategic necessity of the pan-ethnic category. Can there be a textual basis for Asian American identity? In particular, is there such a thing as an Asian American novel, and if so, what are its ideal characteristics? To what extent are certain ethnic experiences more assimilable to that ideal narrative form than others? Are there historical explanations for this? Literary explanations? In other words, what would it mean to think of ethnic experience as constituted through different protocols of narrative form? Why, for example, have so many contemporary Asian American authors been attracted to techniques of ""magical realism""? We will look at a variety of early and more recent examples from different ethnicities (Chinese American, Korean American, Vietnamese American, Japanese American), to see if we can develop an account of the novel from its realist to post-realist forms."

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