English 150

Senior Seminar: Maxine Hong Kingston and 'Postmodern

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2005 Lye, Colleen
Lye, Colleen
TTh 9:30-11 204 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Kingston, M. H.: China Men, The Fifth Book of Peace, To Be the Poet, Tripmaster Monkey, The Woman Warrior; a course reader


We will examine writings by this major figure of Asian American letters and consider the ways in which she has been taken up in the academy and by a wider public. Kingston's experimentation with different forms of writing will be used as a lens through which we will entertain the following questions: what is the difference between modernism and postmodernism? Why does there appear to be an affiliation between postmodernism and minority writing? How do we periodize the emergence of Asian American literature and its relationship to other kinds of U.S. and world literature? Is there an Asian American magical realism, and if so, what are its social conditions? What are the gender and sexual politics of U.S. immigration narrative? We will spend half the semester close-reading Kingston's works and the other half familiarizing ourselves with the literary and cultural theory that will help us frame them.

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