Who is a "real" Asian and who is "fake"? Is cultural identity real or are we just performing certain identities to fit into social positions? This course will address these identarian questions that shape Asian American Identities and Literatures. We will draw from the Asian American "pen wars" in the 1970's and reflect on the liminality of various Asian American writers caught between Asian and American loyalties. We will unpack real, fake and fabricated identities and discuss how identities have been historically shaped by race, gender, class, but are gradually moving beyond these categories into intersectional realities. Our selection of texts will include creative and experimental literatures that subvert forms and genres to accommodate newly emerging racial and identarian realities, narratives that reflect nationalistic conflicts as a result of war and oppression, and texts that deal with the physical and psychological effects of people born and bred in cultures and contexts that have disowned them. We shall reflect on identarian issues of social/cultural identity, gender, sexuality, race, citizenship, nationality, exile, disability, diaspora, and immigration through their narratives. Taught from the theoretical basis of critical racial formation, the course will help students reflect, question and realize their own identarian influence and characteristics and will also improve critical thinking on modern issues and encourage the habit of reflective reading and writing.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM