AFR 403 Spring 2013 New Asian American, African American, Native American, and Latina/o Writing (D)

Cross Listed as LATS403, AMST403, COMP375, ENGL375
Critics reading minority writing often focus on its thematic--i.e., sociological--content. Such literature is usually presumed to be inseparable from the "identity"/body of the writer and read as autobiographical, ethnographic, representational, exotic. At the other end of the spectrum, avant-garde writing is seen to concern itself "purely" with formal questions, divorced from the socio-historical (and certainly not sullied by the taint of race). In the critical realm we currently inhabit, in which "race" is opposed to the "avant-garde," an experimental minority writer can indeed seem an oxymoron. In this class we will closely read recent work by Asian American, African American, Native American and Latino/a writers which challenges preconceptions about ethnic literature, avant-garde writing, genre categorization, among other things. The writing done by these mostly young, mostly urban, poets and fiction writers is some of the most exciting being written in the United States today; their texts push the boundaries of aesthetic form while simultaneously engaging questions of culture, politics, and history. Reading them forces us to re-think our received notions about literature. Authors to be read include Will Alexander, Sherwin Bitsui, Monica de la Torre, Sesshu Foster, Renee Gladman, Bhanu Kapil, Tan Lin, Tao Lin, Ed Roberson, James Thomas Stevens, Roberto Tejada, and Edwin Torres.
Class Format: seminar/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on either one 16- to 18-page seminar paper or two shorter papers (one 7-8 pages and one 9-10 pages); short response papers; participation
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Prerequisites: those taking this as an English class must have previously taken a 100-level English course
Enrollment Preference: American Studies majors
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST, AFR or LATS; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP or ENGL
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora,ENGL Literary Histories C,LATS Comparative Race + Ethnic Studies Electives
Enrollment Limit: 15
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 3879
AFR403-01(S) SEM New Minority American Writing (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Dorothy J. Wang
T 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Greylock A 3879
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