English R1B

Reading and Composition: The Politics of Romance and Miscegenation

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2005 Janice Tanemura
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12-1 246 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

"Typee, Herman Melville

American Knees, Shawn Wong

Quicksand, Nella Larsen

When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, Le Ly Hayslip

Iola Leroy, Frances Harper

All About Love, bell hooks

Course Reader

(Texts subject to change)


Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967)

The Guru (2002) "


"The purpose of this course is to trace the history of 'romance' beginning with its early use by American authors to introduce a humane foundation for American democracy. We will follow how the idea of romance as a literary form that emerges alongside processes of nation-formation engages with fears of racial Otherness in the 19th and 20th century by also looking at U.S. anti-miscegenation laws. Then we will try to understand how these renderings of romance as it confronts sexuality and race affects the experience of romance itself on a private level, as the experience of 'love.' Racialized romances are always more than a simple 'love story.' Race is a prominent theme that complicates the idea of 'love' by foregrounding oppression, woundedness, and the desire to heal through assimilation. The course will focus on consensual romance narratives in order to explore the romance genre's embeddedness within nationalist ideals, specifically its foundation in the idea of universal love.

The course will offer the student frequent practice writing in various forms. We will compose essays gradually, beginning with questions that emerge from our initial responses to the texts, in order to achieve a practical fluency with sentence, paragraph, and thesis-development skills. Students will be assigned two progressively longer essays that we will workshop and peer-edit in class. "

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