Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion

Learning Outcomes

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


1. Introduction: What is "Ethnic" American Literature?
Michael Fischer, "Ethnicity and the Post-Modern Arts of Memeory" in "Writing Culture", ed. James Clifford and George Marcus, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986
Lisa Lowe, "Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Asian American Differences", in her "Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Politics", Durham: Duke University Press, 1996
Werner Sollors "Foreword: Theories of American Ethnicity", "Theories of Ethnicity: A Classical Reader", ed. Werner Sollors, London: Macmillan, 1996

2 and 3. Native American Literature
N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn (1968)
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine (1984)
Imagining Indians (dir. Victor Masayesva, Jr., 1992)

4. and 5. Latino/a / Chicana/o Literature
Tomas Rivera, Y No Se Lo Trago La Tierra/ And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1971)
Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera (2nd ed., 1999)
Zoot Suit (dir. Luis Valdez, 1981)

6. and 7. Asian American Literature
Chan Is Missing (dir. Wayne Wang, 1982)
Le-Ly Hayslip, Child of War, Woman of Peace and extracts,
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Fifth Book of Peace
Olive Stone, Heaven and Earth

8. and 9. African American Literature
Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)
Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing (1989)
Percival Everett, Erasure (2004)

10. Reading ethnic texts
"Ethnic American Literature and its Discontents: Reflections on the Body and the Nation", Maria Zamora (The Humanities Review, Fall, 1997, pp.1-7); David Palumbo-Liu, "Introduction", The Ethnic Canon, Institutions, Histories, and Interventions (University of Minnesota Press, 1995); Lisa Lowe, "Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Marking Asian American Differences" Diaspora 1.1, (Spring,1991), pp.24-44.

Brief description

This option analyses a cross-section of "ethnic" or "minority" literature by Native American, African American, Asian American, and Chicana/o writers. Our focus is on the role this literature has played in interrogating questions of ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality in post-World War II American culture. Issues and topics addressed include: cultural pluralism, the melting pot and American "identity", ethnic and cultural difference; immigration, displacement, and migratory identities; geographical and metaphorical borderlands; mixed blood and the divided self; ethnic nationalism and cultural suvival; and "whiteness" as a racial and ethnic category.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Anzaldua, Gloria (1999) Bordelands/La Frontera (2nd Ed) Primo search Erdrich, Louse (1984) Love Medicine Native American Literature Primo search Everett, Percival (2004) Erasure Primo search Hayslip, Le-Ly Child of War, Woman of Peach and extracts Primo search Lee, Spike (1989) Do The Right Thing Primo search Lowe, Liss (1996) Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Politics Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Asian American Differences Durham: Duke University Press Primo search Luis Valdes (1981) Zoot Suit Primo search Momaday, N. Scott (1968) House Made of Dawn Native American Literature Primo search Morrison, Toni (1987) Beloved Primo search Sollors, Werner (1996) Theories of Ethnicity: A Classical Reader Foreword: Theories of American Ethnicity London: Macmillan Primo search Fischer, Michael (1986) Writing Culture Ethnicity and the Post-Modern Arts of Memory James Clifford and George Marcus (editors) University of California Press Primo search Lowe, Lisa (1991) Diaspora 1.1 Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Asian American Differences Spring pp.24-44 Primo search Palumbo-Liu, David (1994) The Ethnic Canon, Institutions, Histories, and Interventions Introduction University of Minnesota Press Primo search
Recommended Text
Kingston, Maxine Hong The Fifth Book of Peace Primo search Rivera, Tomas (1971) Y No Se Lo trago La Tierra/And the Earth did Not Devour Him Primo search Stone, Olive Heaven and Earth Primo search Ruoff, A, LaVonne Brown and Ward, Jerry W. Jr (1990) Redefining American Literary Hisotry New York: Modern Language Association Primo search Singh, Amritjit; Skerrett, Joseph T and Hogan, Robert E. (eds) (1994) New Essays in Ethnic American Literatures Memory Narrative and Identity Boston: Northeastern university Press, 1994 Primo search Zamora, Maria (1977) The Humanities RFeview, Fall Ethnic American Literature and its discontents: Reflections on the Body and the Nation pp.1-7 Primo search
Recommended Consultation
Masayesva, Victor Jr. (Director) (1992) Imagining Indians Film Primo search Want, Wayne, (Director) (1982) Chan Is Missing Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7