ENGL 239 Spring 2014 Imagining Immigrants (D) (W)

The goal of this course is two-fold: to become more responsive readers of literature and more empathetic readers of cultural differences. As Shakespeare's Othello demonstrates, the conflicts, anxieties, and vulnerabilities faced by today's immigrants have a long history. Moving physically from one culture to another but remaining imaginatively torn between their adopted country and their country of origin, feeling at times like a stranger to both, immigrants face questions that concern us all in our increasingly global society, questions of identity, liminality, alienation, empathy, and language. Bombarded by a language that is not their own, immigrants are constantly thinking about what words mean both literally and symbolically. Why this word rather than another? How do humor and irony work in a foreign culture? How do writers reconcile the pressures of the present moment with the stream of memories from the old country? How is one person's point of view, or one society's point of view, different from another's? How can images and metaphors convey the experience of constantly seeing an object, or an entire world, in terms of another? In addition to Shakespeare's Othello, Nicole Krauss's History of Love, Li-Young Lee's Rose, Tracy Kidder's Strength in What Remains, and Stephen Frear's film Dirty Pretty Things, we will read personal essays and short stories by such writers as Eva Hoffman, Oscar Hijuelos, Ha Jin, Nola Kambanda, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jhumpa Lahiri, Frank McCourt, Edward Said, and Helena Maria Viramontes.
Class Format: seminar/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: active contributions to class discussion; four 3- to 5-page papers plus short journal entries for a total of 20 pages
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: first-year students who have taken a prior English course or who have a 5 on the AP exam; sophomores and English majors who have yet to take a Gateway
Department Notes:
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Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division I,Exploring Diversity,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives,AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora,ASAM Related Courses,ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses,ENGL Literary Histories C
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 3705
ENGL239-01(S) SEM Imagining Immigrants (D) (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsExploring Diversity InitiativeWriting Intensive Ilona D. Bell
TR 09:55 AM-11:10 AM Hollander 140 3705
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