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English 4581

Families Across Borders in US Multiethnic Literatures

Callahan

Credit hours: 3
GEC categories:
Prerequisites: Prereq: 10 qtr cr hrs or 6 cr hrs of English at 2000-3000 level, or permission of instructor. 5 qtr cr hrs in 367 or 3 cr hrs in 2367 in any subject is acceptable towards the 6 cr hrs. Not open to students with 10 qtr cr hrs for 581 or 6 sem cr hrs for 4581. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

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Course Objectives: This course will explore U.S. ethnic literatures through the frame of adoptive families formed across racial, ethnic, and other cultural borders. The American family has been a powerful cultural institution through which racial and ethnic borders are regulated. Furthermore, the stories we tell about adoption in fiction, autobiography, and documentary film create the “truth” about adoption and indirectly shape what constitutes "normal" families. How does adoption help to define the norms of race, ethnicity, and family? How have those norms been sustained or challenged through the stories we tell about adoption? The texts in this class call attention to the ways that all Americans—adopted and nonadopted alike—define themselves as members of families, communities, and the nation. For this reason, while these texts are about adoption, they also access pressing national concerns.

Course Content: Novels, short fiction, autobiography, and documentary film. *Fulfills "Diversity" requirement for the English major *Fulfills post-1900 requirement for the English major

Method of Presentation: Discussion and short lectures.

Method of Evaluation: In class discussion leading, short presentations, short essays, longer research paper;

 

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