This course will examine 20th Century U.S. women of color fiction. We will explore the proliferation of literary, cultural, and intellectual work by women of color beginning in the 1970s. Rather than treating literature by women of color as providing transparent accounts of their lives, this course will focus on the critiques that grew out of their experiences at the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality and emerged in their fiction. This course will study the ways women of color writers used literary form and genres, especially speculative modes of writing, to alter and contribute to conversations around social change, and equality from the 1970s and through the 1980s and 1990s. Readings might include works by Karen Tei Yamashita, Rosaura Sánchez, Beatrice Pita, and Octavia Butler.
Student Learning Goals
1. To engage with women of color feminist critiques, concepts, and theories through examining fiction.
2. To strengthen writing, critical reading and analytical skills of texts, culture, history and society.
3. To engage with other students in a collaborative way through reading, writing, and thoughtful discussion.
4. To understand the historical context through which cultural texts emerge.
General Method of Instruction
Small and large group discussion, writing workshops, and a little bit of lecture.
Class Assignments and Grading
As a “W” course, you will be required to write two papers that will total 10-15 pages. Together, the two paper assignments will make up 70% of your grade. They will be graded according to the goals listed above. 30% will be based on your class participation, and the completion of assignments.