ENG 267 Introduction to Asian American Literature

Floyd Cheung, MW 1:10 PM-2:30 PM

Although we sometimes think only of modern-day authors like Amy Tan or lê thi diem thúy when we think of Asian American literature, in fact Asian Americans have published writings in English since at least 1887.  In this course, we will read selected Asian American poetry, autobiographies, novels, short stories, songs, and plays produced from the late nineteenth century until the present. 


This year, I plan to juxtapose earlier and more contemporary texts to highlight continuities and to investigate contrasts within and across five thematic units:


·         “Where are you from?”: The Outsider Racialization of Asian Americans

·         Immigrants and Refugees

·         Sell-out or Subversion: Reading Responses to Images of Asian Americans

·         The Intersection of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality

·         At Home in America


Primary texts probably be drawn from the following:


Sui Sin Far.  Selections from Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings

Watanna, Onoto.  Selections from “A Half Caste” and Other Writings

Kothari, Geeta.  “Where Are You From?”

Kim, Jennifer Sa-rlang.  “Where Are You From?”

Bulosan, Carlos.  America Is in the Heart

lê thi diem thúy.  The Gangster We Are All Looking For

Tancharoen, Maurissa.  “Nobody’s Asian in the Movies”

Sia, Beau.  “Sell Out”

I Was Born with Two Tongues, “Letter to Our Unborn Children”

Lee, Helen. Sally’s Beauty Spot

Lahiri, Jhumpa.  The Namesake

Hwang, David Henry.  M. Butterfly

Mootoo, Shani.  Selections from Out on Main Street

Tsiang, H. T.  And China Has Hands

Chung, Frances. Crazy Melon and Chinese Apple

Foster, Sesshu.  City Terrace Field Manual


I will lecture often but briefly.  Discussion is expected.  Written work probably will include two short essays and one longer essay.