Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 20 Hours. 10 x 2 hour workshop seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 x 2,500 word essays  100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should typically be able to:

1. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of a range of Asian American writing in its historical and cultural contexts;

2. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of theories of Asian American cultural production;

3. demonstrate an ability to express themselves cleraly in writing and speech.


This module aims:

1. to introduce students to an important and expanding body of American ethnic writing;

2. to explore developing theories of Asian American cultural production, and to encourage students to relate these to their reading of Asian American literature;

3. to study the development of Asian American literature in its historical and cultural contexts;

4. to expand the student's knowledge of ethnic American literatures.

Brief description

This module is a study of the ways in which Asian American literary traditions have developed and how they are related to other traditions of American literature within historical, social, political and cultural contexts. It includes fictional and autobiographical texts from the mid-1940s to recent publications in the 1990s. The term 'Asian American' gathers together a variety of different ethnic groups, including Chinese American, Japanese American, Filipino American, South Asian American and Korean American, and this module attempts to display the range of writing which has been produced in these areas. The module also examines some of the themes and experiences that have preoccupied these authors. These themes include: the mother/daughter relationship, identity and the process of (Anglo-) Americanisation, and the search for 'home'. The experiences of immigration, Japanese American experiences during the Second World War, and Asian diaspora responses to political upheaval in the ancestral country, will provide an additional focus for discussion.



_1: Introduction to Asian American Literature
Beginning Ethnic American Literatures, chapters 1&3

_2: Telling the Gold Mountain Story
Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men

_3: Chinese American Mother/Daughter Writing
Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club. Extract from Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior

_4: Japanese American Writing
John Okada, No-No Boy

_5: Writing Against Red China
Anchee Min, Red Azalea

_6: Filipino American Writing
Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart

_7: Korean American Writing
Chang Rae Lee, Native Speaker

_8: Writing Hawai'i
Kathleen Tyau, A Little Too Much Is Enough

_9: South Asian American Writing
Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine

_10: The Asian American Short Story
Text to be announced: photocopy provided

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
Amy Tan (1991) The Joy Luck Club Vintage Primo search Anchee Min (1996) Red Azalea Orion Primo search Bharati Mukherjee (1991) Jasmine Virago Primo search Carlos Bulosan (2000) America is in the Heart University of Washington Press Primo search Chang Rae Lee (1998) Native Speaker Granta Books Primo search Helena Grice et al. (2001) Beginning Ethnic American Literatures Manchester University Press Primo search John Okada (1980) No-No Boy University of Washington Press Primo search Maxine Hong Kingston (1989) The Woman Warrior Picador Primo search Sylvia Watanabe (1995) Talking to the Dead Anchor Books/Doubleday Primo search

Please note that as these books are American, and in most cases published by American presses, they MAY have to be changed at short or late notice


This module is at CQFW Level 6