English 165

Special Topics: Immigration and the American Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2021 Reyes, Robert L
Thursday 12-3 301 Wheeler


Called the "American Century" for its rise to prominence as a global superpower, the U.S. also made fundamental changes to policy that radically altered the complexion of new immigration. This class will examine literature about immigration during the 20th century. We'll read nine novels about or presaged by a "great" migration in order to consider the movement of bodies in the domestic United States. We'll pair these novels with macro-narratives of immigration, with political slogans like "the American Century" or the idea that America is a "nation of immigrants," to glean what these works of literature can tell us about immigration in the broadest sense.


Carlos Bulosan's America is in the Heart, David Anthony Durham's Gabriel's Story, Arturo Islas's The Rain God, William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses, Toni Morrison's Jazz, Tommy Orange's There There, John Steinbeck's East of Eden, José Antonio Villareal's Pocho, and Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence

We'll also read selections from Tomás Almaguer's Racial Fault Lines, Ron Takaki's A Different Mirror, W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, Edward Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management, and Jia Lynn Yang's One Mighty and Irresistible Tide

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