Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Seminar. 2 hours pers week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word essay  Essay: 
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 successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge of contemporary ethnic American literature and the critical debates surrounding the literature;

2. employ advanced skills to conduct research and deliver criticism at a consistently high level of engagement;

3. explain and sythesise a diverse body of primary and critical materials in a well-organised essay that demonstrates a mastery of the field of critical inquiry into ethnic American literature;

4. demonstrate an ability to communicate complex ideas in oral discussion of the material studied.

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.


_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. Native American Literature

Leslie Marmon Silko, "Ceremony" (1977)

_3. Chicana/o Literature

Gloria Anzaldua, "Borderlands/La Frontera" (1987)
Jimmy Santiago Baca, "Martin & Meditations on the South Valley" (1987)

_4. Asian American Literature

Maxine Hong Kingston, "The Woman Warrior" (1976)

_5. African American Literature

Toni Morrison, "Beloved" (1987)

_Secondary Reading

Ruoff, A. LaVonne Brown and Jerry W Ward, Jr. "Redefining American Literary History". New York: Modern Language Association, 1990
Singh, Amritjit, Joseph T Skerrett and Robert E Hogan. Eds. "Memory, Narrative and Identity: New Essays in Ethnic American Literatures". Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1994

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
Gloria Anzaldua Borderlands/La Frontera Aunt Lute Books Primo search Jimmy Santiago Baca Martin & Meditations on the South Valley New Directions Primo search Leslie Marmon Silko Ceremony Prentice Hall Primo search Maxine Hong Kingston The Woman Warrior Picador Primo search Toni Morrison Beloved Vintage Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7