Introductory courses addressing the representation and construction of "race" in literature and/or the contributions of ethnically diverse writers to the American culture. Focus and readings vary by instructor. May be repeated for credit with different content.
Sean Witters ()
Dates: July 1 - August 9, 2013
ENGS 57: Race and Ethnicity in American Literature and Culture This is a course on literature and culture in modern and postmodern America. Our approach to this cultural field is through, and by, the subjects of race and ethnicity. I think of this term ?subject? in both the sense of a focus of study and as referring to a person under the authority of, or constituted by, an ideology. In this sense, we will be studying literature, cultural works and commentary as a means of glimpsing our own relationship to the ?subjects? of race and ethnicity (with special attention to what is invisible, unspoken, and assumed). I will argue, from the start, that race, as it is conceived and practiced in American culture, is a fiction. What I mean by this is that, ?race? is not a material and transcendent fact, but rather a story. When I say, ?race is a fiction,? I am challenging our assumptions about its permanence and coherence as a set of explanatory claims about humanity and human depth. As a scholar of literature, I do not believe that fiction and stories are trivial. We encounter the world through language and live in a world of stories. We read the world through these stories. They define us. In this sense, race is a fiction, but it is also very real. Hence, we can see, from the start, that we are confronted with a fundamental irony. As scholars of literature and culture, we will use this sense of irony and a critical awareness of the way these fictions create ?subjects? to explore a broad range of material. We will read novels, short stories, essays ranging from Nella Larsen?s "Passing" to Barack Obama?s ?A More Perfect Union? speech, we will watch films and listen to music, including "American History X" and Public Enemy?s "Fear of a Black Planet," and we will read selections of significant critical commentary.
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|ENGS 024 OL1||English: American Literature (online)||to||N/A||See Notes||3||60462|
|ENGS 030 OL1||English: American Sounds: Words & Music (online)||to||N/A||See Notes||3||61123|
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