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ENGL 3377 Multicultural Literature

Instructor Contact:

Judith Strathearn

Email:  judith.strathearn@Colorado.EDU

Course Description:

Henri Lefebvre writes in The Production of Space that “any [who] search for space in literary texts will find it everywhere and in every guise: enclosed, described, projected, dreamt of, and speculated about” (Lefebvre 15). A Small Place: Geographies of Multicultural Literature investigates the complex relationship between space/place and race. Through our readings, we will interrogate how identity is constructed as a result of location (and/or vice versa) and the ways geography is expressed through a variety of literary forms.

Course Objectives:

  • Discover how texts address social, cultural, and political concerns through various literary forms addressing how literature dramatizes, interrogates, reflects upon and reimagines racial and cultural experience.
  • Describe and define the ways the large and small spaces shape your understanding of race and ethnicity.
  • Effectively discuss and engage the primary materials as well as supporting scholarship, critical analysis, close reading, and literary terminology.
  • Enhance writing skills through formal and informal writing assignments. Students will work with MLA citation formatting in formal essays that will use textual evidence to support well-constructed argumentative ideas.

Required Text:

Books will be available at the CU Bookstore or you can purchase online. (e-books are fine, if available).

  • Gardner, Janet. Reading and Writing About Literature: A Portable Guide 3rd (ISBN 1457606496)
  • Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place (ISBN 0374527075)
  • Naylor, Gloria. Mama Day (ISBN 0679721819)
  • Otsuka, Julie. When the Emperor Was Divine (ISBN 0385721811)
  • Pinero, Miguel Outlaw: The Collected Works of Miguel Pinero (ISBN 1558856064)
  • Tuan, Yi-Fu. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience (ISBN 0816638772)
  • Wiesenthal, Simon, The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness (ISBN 0805210601)

Additional required readings and supplementary materials will be on D2L in PDF and media forms. 

Assignments and Grading

Weekly Discussion Posts (5 initial posts/10 response posts) 30 Points
Short Close Reading Papers (3; 10 points each) 30 Points
Final Project (proposal, rough draft, workshop, and final draft) 100 Points
End-of-Semester Meta Commentary 20 Points

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