ENGL 242 A: Reading Prose Fiction

Crossing Borders: Caribbean-American Narratives of Migration

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
Location: 
LOW 205
SLN: 
13934

Syllabus Description:

Crossing Borders: Caribbean-American Narratives of Migration

  • LOCATION/TIME:         Loew 205, T/Th 1:30-3:20 PM   
  • INSTRUCTOR:              Meri Bauer (Call me Meri)
  • OFFICE:                         ART 347
  • OFFICE HOURS:           Tues. 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, or by appointment
  • EMAIL:                           mabauer@uw.edu, mabauer.uw@gmail.com

Course Links

Syllabus WI 2015.doc

Class Files

Writing Centers

Course Description

The United States has been described as a “nation of immigrants” and a “melting pot” of multiculturalism. These conceptions of American nationhood seem in tension with some US immigration policies, including the construction of fence line on the Mexico-U.S. border and the practice of holding non-criminal immigrants indefinitely in detention centers.

This course investigates how Caribbean-American writers conceive of migration to the United States. We will read several novels by these writers alongside theoretical and cultural works that aim to define and/or chronicle the migration experience. We will ask questions such as: how do narratives and theories of migration work within and/or move beyond the contradictions outlined above? What conceptions of migration and immigration are most helpful, and which are most limiting? We will explore these questions through close reading of prose fiction, where we look closely at imagery, language, form, characterization, and narration. We will attempt to connect these works to the broader cultural and historical context of the Caribbean and of immigration to the United States. In other words, we will try to discover why migration narratives matter in real life.

My classroom and course are built around my high expectations for students. This course is reading- and writing-intensive and fulfills the “W” requirement. This course will help you to read “between the lines”—more critically and deeply—to better understand the works as well as prose fiction as a form. The classroom will provide a forum for dynamic discussions that will require a high level of thinking and participation from all students.

Course Texts and Materials

  1. Danticat, Edwidge. Breath, Eyes, Memory.
  2. Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy.
  3. Marshall, Paule. Reena and Other Stories.
  4. Readings and videos posted on the Canvas course calendar.
  5. UW email address. Please check your university email accounts regularly as I will send out announcements and updates via email. Outside of office hours, email is the best way to get in touch with me. Emails sent after 5:00 pm or on weekends might not be answered until the next business day.

 

 

Additional Details:

The United States has been described as a “nation of immigrants” and a “melting pot” of multiculturalism. These conceptions of American nationhood seem in tension with some US immigration policies, including the construction of fence line on the Mexico-U.S. border and the practice of holding non-criminal immigrants indefinitely in detention centers.

This course investigates how Caribbean-American writers conceive of migration to the United States. We will read several novels by these writers alongside theoretical and cultural works that aim to define and/or chronicle the migration experience. We will ask questions such as: how do narratives and theories of migration work within and/or move beyond the contradictions outlined above? What conceptions of migration and immigration are most helpful, and which are most limiting? We will explore these questions through close reading of prose fiction, where we look closely at imagery, language, form, characterization, and narration. We will attempt to connect these works to the broader cultural and historical context of the Caribbean and of immigration to the United States. In other words, we will try to discover why migration narratives matter in real life.

My classroom and course are built around my high expectations for students. This course is reading- and writing-intensive and fulfills the "W" requirement. We will examine these texts deeply and critically. This course will help you to read “between the lines”—more critically and deeply—to better understand the works as well as the literary forms of the forms they inhabit. The classroom will provide a forum for dynamic discussions that will require a high level of thinking and participation from all students.

Catalog Description: 
Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 11:00am