COMP 303
Cities of the Anglophone Chinese Imagination
Last Offered Spring 2008
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed AMST 305 / ENGL 374 / COMP 303 / ASST 305
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

The recent fascination with all things “diasporic,” “global,” “transnational,” and “cosmopolitan” has shifted the emphasis away from conceiving of ethnic literatures solely, or primarily, as sub-categories of national literatures. A focus on “horizontal” rather than “vertical” ties re-frames our thinking about minority literature while also raising new issues. For example, what exactly is shared by subjects in a given diaspora? Does the term “diaspora” necessarily invoke the specter of racial essentialism? What happens to the category of race when one moves away from local politics? Is the idea of a diasporic subject much less vexing than the idea of, say, a racially minoritized person? How important a role does the shared English language play in these diasporas? In this course, we will look at the works of a specific diasporic literary group–English-language Chinese writers (in this case, Chiang Yee, Louis Chu, Chuang Hua , Evelyn Lau, Shirley G. Lim, Pamela Lu, Alvin Lu, Timothy Mo, Fred Wah, Ouyang Yu)–as a means to think about the nature of the “diasporic” and the “global.” We will focus on two types of sites: 1) geographic-mostly cities and urban areas: San Francisco, NYC, Taipei, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, London, Vancouver, etc.–which function as material spaces and places of the imagination, and 2) linguistic–i.e., the space of the English language.
The Class: Format: discussion/seminar
Limit: 17
Expected: 10
Class#: 3049
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on one 5- to 7-page paper, one 8- to 10-page paper, short response papers, participation
Prerequisites: those taking this as an English class must have previously taken a 100-level English course
Enrollment Preferences: American Studies majors
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST or ASST; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP or ENGL
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 305 Division II ENGL 374 Division II COMP 303 Division II ASST 305 Division II
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
AMST Space and Place Electives

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