Course Number:
ENG 244
Transcript Title:
Asian American Literature
Created:
Aug 10, 2022
Updated:
Aug 10, 2022
Total Credits:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture / Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement:
Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement:
Yes
Grading Options
A-F, P/NP, Audit
Default Grading Options
A-F
Repeats available for credit:
0
Prerequisites

Prerequisite / Concurrent

WR 121

Course Description

Studies literary works by Asian American authors whose works are fundamental to American literature. Considers Asian American texts, which may include folklore, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and graphic novels. Analyzes texts’ historical, cultural, geographical, and political contexts.  Prioritizes Asian American experience, worldview, and intellectual traditions in the study of their literature. Prerequisites/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the importance of self-documentation in Asian American literature as a means to challenge stereotypes and caricatures.
  2. Explain how various perceptions of identity shape Asian American literature and scholarship.
  3. Examine the intersection of class, history, politics, gender, and sexuality in Asian American literature and apply that knowledge to real-world issues impacting contemporary populations.
  4. Identify and trace the distinctive literary forms – fairy tales, fables, proverbs, poetry – and/or recurring themes of Asian American literature from historical through contemporary texts.
  5. Analyze a text through close critical reading and offer interpretation orally, digitally,  and/or in writing, using and citing textual evidence in support of a thesis.

Alignment with Institutional Learning Outcomes

Major
1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)
Major
2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
Not Addressed
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)
Major
4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)
Major
5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Suggested Outcome Assessment Strategies

Self-assessed discussion forums, mini-essays, and one final project (essay, video, digital story).

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content

Outcome #1: Analyze the importance of self-documentation in Asian American literature as a means to challenge stereotypes and caricatures.
  • History of discrimination against Asian Americans in the US
    • Political motivations
    • Stereotypes & caricatures (i.e. representation in popular culture)
    • Institutional discrimination (i.e. Chinese Exclusion Acts, WWII concentration camps for Japanese descendants, etc.)
    • Individual discrimination (i.e. prejudicial beliefs, words, behaviors)
    • Violence against and exploitation of Asian women
    • Fetishization of Asian American culture
    • Exploitation of labor
  • Interrelated themes and motifs in Asian American literature
    • Themes
      • Racial and Cultural Identity
      • Generational Trauma and Identity
      • Cultural Fragmentation and Forced Assimilation 
      • Sovereignty and Self-Determination
    • Motifs
      • Confronting the “Model Minority”
      • Folklore and Mythology
      • Transnationalism
      • War and Colonialism
      • Impact of Tourism
Outcome #2: Explain how various perceptions of identity shape Asian American literature and scholarship.
  • Explore through careful analysis (written, verbal, and/or creative) how Native American literature reflects diverse Indigenous cultures. 
  • Familiarize students with analytical techniques of selected literature through the lenses of historical and cultural scholarship
    • Close reading of language, structure, themes, symbols, and other textual features.
    • Analysis of texts from the perspective of their socio-economic contexts.
  • Interpret academic assessments of Asian American literature, with the goal of critiquing or expanding the arguments of this scholarship. 
Outcome #3: Examine the intersection of class, history, politics, gender, and sexuality in Asian American literature and apply that knowledge to real-world issues impacting contemporary populations. 
  • The Asian American experience through social, historical, and cultural contexts.
  • How historical and political events impact Asian American communities and literature.
  • How historical, social, and political issues are reflected in contemporary Asian American literature
  • How Asian American literature reflects the ongoing activism and cultural flourishing of contemporary communities.
Outcome #4: Identify and trace the distinctive literary forms--fairy tales, fables, proverbs, poetry-- and/or recurring themes of Asian American literature from historical through contemporary texts.
  • Define a variety of literary forms and provide examples of these forms using study of model texts.
  • How literary forms relate to historical and cultural moments in Asian American literature.
  • Interpreting how authors’ variations of various forms relate to theme, motif, and purpose.
Outcome #5: Analyze a text through close critical reading and offer interpretation orally, digitally, and/or in writing, using and citing textual evidence in support of a thesis.
  • Guide students’ practice of close reading to accomplish interpretative goals including: understanding a work’s key ideas, identifying how a work’s craft and structure reinforce its themes, and recognizing how a work connects to others.
    • “Tracking” methods to help students achieve a rich understanding of the texts Annotation of texts with marginal notes or comments.
    • Graphic organizers to track themes and textual features and to organize student responses to the texts.
    • Digital tools (i.e. blog posts, portfolio entries, discussion posts, video “reels” or “stories”) for tracking passages or textual features in works.
  • Introduce students to the OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab as a resource to help them with all aspects of essay writing including thesis and content generation, citation, organization, and proper formatting: https://owl.english.purdue.edu

Suggested Texts and Materials

Anthologies/Literary Criticism /Teaching Resources:

  • Chin, Frank, et. al, Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers
  • Maeda, Daryl. Chains of Babylon: the rise of Asian America
  • Wong, Sau-ling Cynthia. Reading Asian American Literature: From Necessity to Extravagance
  • —and Stephen H. Sumida, A Resource Guide to Asian American Literature
  • Lee, Rachael, The Routledge Companion to Asian American and Pacific Islander Literature
  • —The Americas of Asian American Literature
  • Lee, Robert G. Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture
  • Rajini Srikanth, The World Next Door: South Asian American Literature and the Idea of America
  • Lavina Dhingra Shankar and Rajini Srikanth, eds. A Part, Yet Apart: South Asians in Asian America
  • Patricia Chu, Assimilating Asians: Gendered Strategies of Authorship in Asian America

Asian American Literature

  • Amy Ling, “I’m Here”
  • Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings
  • Zia, Helen, Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People (Memoir/History)
  • Salesses, Matthew, Disappear Doppelgäger Disappear
  • Cathy Song (poet), Picture Bride; Frameless Windows, Squares of Light
  • Kristiana Kahakauwila, This is Paradise (Hawaiian/Essays)

Japanese American Literature:

  • Lydia Minatoya, Talking to High Monks in the Snow (AB/B)
  • Kogawa, Joy. Obasan
  • Takhei, George,            They Called Us Enemy  (Graphic Novel)
  • John Okada, NoNo Boy
  • Cynthia Kadohata, The Floating World
  • Garrett Hongo, Coral Road, The River of Heaven (Poetry/Hawaiian)
  • Janice Mirikitari, We, The Dangerous; Awake in the River & Shedding Silence

Korean American Literature

  • Cha, Steph, Your House will Pay (2019)
  • Cotrell, Patrick Yumi, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace (2017)
  • Kim, Eugenia, The Kinship of Secrets (2018)
  • Kim, Suki, The Interpreter (2003)
  • E. J. Koh, The Magical Language of Others (2020) 
  • Zauner, Michelle, Crying in H Mart (2021)

Vietnamese American Literature

  • Thi Bui, The Best We Could Do (Graphic Novel, Memoir)
  • Matt Huynh, The Boat (Interactive Graphic Novel, Sydney-Born, NY-Based)
  • Ocean Vuong, Night Sky with Exit Wounds (P), On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (N)
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies (M), The Refugees (E)
  • Lê Thi Diem Thúy, The Gangster We Are All Looking For (N)

Indian American Literature

  • Jhumpa Lahiri,  Interpreter of Maladies (E), The Namesake (N), The Lowlands (N)
  • Saumya Dave, Well-Behaved Indian Women
  • Akhil Sharma, A Life of Adventure and Delight (Essays),
  • Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine

Chinese American Literature

  • Louis Chu, Eat a Bowl of Tea
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, Woman Warrior (N)
  • Gus Lee, China Boy
  • Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You
  • Fae Myanne Ng, Bone

Filipino American Literature

  • Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart (Novel), On Becoming Filipino (E)
  • Han Ong, Fixer Chao (N)
  • JoAnne Ramos, The Farm (N)
  • R. Zamora Linmark, Leche (N)