Class Archive

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Spring 2020


Special Topics in American Cultures:
Ethnicity, Religion and Literature

TTh 11-12:30

This class will explore how 20th- and 21st-century American prose fictions have imagined the relationship between religion and ethnicity. Our first questions will be formal: How do different formal choices allow these writers ...(read more)

Fehrenbacher, Dena
Spring 2020


Special Topics:
The Literature & Art of Incarceration

MWF 11-12

This is a course on the literature of incarceration variously defined and experienced across a range of control systems that attempt to stunt the entire human being. I want to think about the forms of suppression, confinement, and the humiliations ...(read more)

Padilla, Genaro M.
Fall 2019


Freshman Seminar:
Here Here in Tommy Orange's There There

Tues. 12:30-1:30

Tommy Orange's story cycle, There There, depicts the lives of contemporary indigenous people in Oakland, California. Shaped by a transgenerational trauma, Orange's characters nonetheless survive. Countering romantic stereotype...(read more)

Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Fall 2019


Literature of American Cultures:
Growing Up Funny

MWF 9-10

America, we are told, is a nation of immigrants—of people from other lands who travel here and “become” American. That's a tall order. But what of those who can never quite belong—the misfits, outliers and strangers in t...(read more)

Saha, Poulomi
Fall 2019


Special Topics in American Cultures:
Race and Revision in Early America

Lectures MW 1-2 in 50 Birge + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 2-3; sec. 104: Th 10-11; sec. 105: Th 2-3; sec. 106: Th 4-5)

In this course, we will read both historical and literary texts to explore how racial categories came into being in New World cultures, and how these categories were tested, inhabited, and re-imagined by the people they sought to define. Our s...(read more)

Donegan, Kathleen
Fall 2019


Research Seminar:
Inventing Nature and Constructing Race

TTh 3:30-5

Scholars have recently argued that race and nature were "invented" around the turn of the nineteenth century. We'll begin by unpacking their counterintuitive arguments: what does it mean to argue that fundamental conceptual categories...(read more)

McWilliams, Ryan