Studies in English, 1890 to Present: Multicultural Literature

English 2009
Multicultural Literature
Lynn Itagaki

How can we implement basic principles of an egalitarian society and democratic politics through culture? This political issue translates into the literary marketplace to incorporate authors from underrepresented communities who have been ignored or rejected by publishers, scholars, and readers. Multiculturalism affects a wide range of institutions: government, workplaces, schools, historical records, the media, laws, and art. This course will examine the way multiculturalism, through literary and filmic texts attempts to heal deep political, economic, and social rifts in US society, especially over discrimination and inequality. We will look at how multicultural literature attempts to inform its readers as well as include the underrepresented communities it fictionalizes in order to address policies of removal, exclusion, and containment. Course requirements will include short weekly discussion posts, three 1-page assignments, group presentation, and a final paper or documentary.