English 135AC

Literature of American Cultures

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Session Course Areas
1 Summer 2018 Stancek, Claire Marie
TuWTh 1-3:30 Hearst Mining 310 D

Book List

Alcalá, Rose: My Other Tongue; Loffreda, Bety, and Rankine, Claudia, eds.: The Racial Imaginary; Philips, M. NorbeSe: Zong!; Pico, Tommy: IRL; Rankine, Claudia: Citizen; Soldier, Layli Long: Whereas; Willis-Abdurraqib, Hanif: The Crown Ain’t Worth Much; Zamora, Javier: Unaccompanied


Taking contemporary American poetry as its central focus, this survey course will consider poetry from the last 18 years in relation to a number of concerns, debates, and questions by which we can critically engage a historical moment that continues to emerge. Toggling between questions vital to the field of contemporary poetry and poetics and those central to American culture, we will see how contemporary artists respond to the complexities of race, gender, class, and community; and how those responses are mediated both through poetry and the way in which it circulates. We will engage a variety of formal concerns, poetic subjects, and contested approaches to poetic production within the context of the social field, including: the impact of the internet on writing and reading practice, dissemination, and national conversations about race; the emergence of ecopoetics; the relation between tradition in a formal, poetic sense and the legacies of American white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy; how poetry represents history by including its materials, and how it also attempts to present the immaterial. These engagements will orient us as we ask after the specificity with which racialized ideologies and the structures they shape determine the experience of Black writers, Indigenous writers, and Latinx writers; how does each group represent their respective experience, and what interventions does their work seek to make in the legacies of both oppression and liberation within which their work is situated?  

Note that this class satisfies the American Cultures requirement for UC Berkeley students.

This course will be taught in Session D, from July 3 to August 9.

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