English 100

Junior Seminar: Gender and Asian/Pacific America

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Spring 2005 Ray, Kasturi
TTh 2-3:30 203 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Hwang, D: M.Butterfly; Murayama, M: All I Asking for is My Body; Hara, M: Bananaheart and Other Stories; Okada, J: No-No Boy; Kogawa, J: Obasan; Chin, F: Chicken Coop Chinaman; Yamanaka, L-A: Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre; Lee, C-R: Native Speaker; J.Hagedorn: Charlie Chan is Dead 2: A Home in the World


In this course we will explore how different Asian/Pacific American writers, over time, have mapped out the pitfalls and possibilities of both normative and transgressive gender roles for Asian/Pacific Americans. There are two main goals for this semester: 1) to understand this literary history, wherein different writers and theorists imagine new identities as well as record persistent ones; and 2) to understand the context and stakes of their work, by gaining a sense of the social and political struggles with which they actively or implicitly engage. This is primarily a literature course, but we will read selected texts from the fields of media studies, sociology, economics, and political theory. Topics include the history and current representations of Asian/Pacific Americans in different institutions, including the media and the law; strategies and imperatives for gender transformations; sexual practices and their perceived relationship to ethnic loyalty; and possible links between gender norms and labor hierarchies. Required texts include those listed above as well as those made available in a course reader.

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