English 166

Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Spring 2019 Leong, Andrew Way
MWF 1-2 170 Barrows

Book List

Bulosan, Carlos: America is in the Heart; Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung: Dictee; Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior; Mukerji, Dhan Gopal: Caste and Outcast; Nguyen, Viet Thanh: The Sympathizer; Okada, John: No No Boy

Other Readings and Media

A course reader with short stories and poetry.


This class provides a foundation for reading Asian American literature at three levels of scale: world, nation, and locality. At the world scale, we will discuss the political origins of the phrase “Asian American” in the late 1960s and how associations with radical forms of political activism such as the Third World Liberation Front informed the invention of the concept of "Asian American literature." We will also look back to short texts from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries to see how a larger, world historical perspective of Asian American literature from the Manila galleon trade through the Spanish American War can illustrate the limitations of historical and literary narratives that focus too heavily on the North Atlantic. At the national scale, we will examine how Asian American writers confronted the anti-Asiatic creation of national borders through immigration exclusions and origin quotas from the 1880s to 1920s. We will trace how the legacies of these exclusions informed later works written during and after ghettoization, internment, and refugee resettlement. Finally, at the scale of "locality," we will focus on ways of reading texts situated in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.

The English Department is working on expanding the class size for this offering. If you would like to enroll in this course after it fills, please put yourself on the wait list, and if we are able to accommodate you, you will be added as soon as possible (no later than the first week of classes).

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