English R1A

Reading and Composition: Black and Yellow: Contemporary African American and Asian American Writing

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2013 Lee, Seulghee
MWF 10-11 222 Wheeler

Book List

Baker, K.: Nat Turner; Butler, O.: Bloodchild and Other Stories; Hong, C.P.: Dance Dance Revolution; Lu, P: Pamela: A Novel; Mullen, H.: Sleeping With The Dictionary; O'Hara, R.: Insurrection: Holding History; Parks, S-L.: Topdog/Underdog; Tomine, A.: Shortcomings; Truong, M.: The Book of Salt; Yau, J.: Ing Grish


Regrettably, despite the title, this course is not about Wiz Khalifa or the city of Pittsburgh. But channeling Mr. Khalifa, we too will aim to "know what it is" by way of developing thinking habits that "do it big." Specifically, we will discuss black and yellow American writing of the last twenty years. Sampling fiction, plays, and poetry of the very-contemporary period, we will address what the latest inheritors of these two literary traditions have in common, as well as where and how they diverge. Questions we might ask together include: what does a rubric of "ethnicity" permit in and preclude from literary content? What are the relationships traceable between racial identities and literary forms? How have writers addressed both the fiction of "race" alongside the all-too-realness of its lived experience? Authors we might read together include Kyle Baker, Octavia Butler, Cathy Park Hong, David Wong Louie, Pamela Lu, Nathaniel Mackey, Harryette Mullen, Robert O’Hara, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrian Tomine, Monique Truong, and John Yau. Along the way, we may also discuss cultural figures at the intersection of these racial formations, including Das Racist, Vijay Iyer, Yuri Kochiyama, Jeremy Lin, Miya Masaoka, and the Wu-Tang Clan.  

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