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ENGL 200 A: Reading Literary Forms

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 9:30am - 10:20am
SMI 305
Alan Williams
Alan Williams

Syllabus Description:

English 200A – Tracing 20th-Century U.S. Racialization through Literary Forms

Course Description

This course reads literary forms—a novel, a graphic novel, short stories and film—alongside other primary and secondary sources for tracing U.S. racialization across the 20th century. The following periodization is covered: early 20th-century Yellow Peril, the interwar “rising tide of color,” Japanese American internment as the contradictory turning point toward the “inclusive” U.S. state, postwar integration, Vietnamese America and neoliberal multiculturalism.

Students will lead discussion of most of the texts, and all writing will go through peer review. Two 5-page major papers and four 2-page response papers will be produced, as this course carries the “W” credit.


  • Du Bois, W.E.B. 1928. Dark Princess: A Romance (ISBN-13: 978-0199387434).
  • Abe, Frank & Tamiko Nimura. 2021. We Hereby Refuse (‎ISBN-13: 978-1634059763).
  • Eat a Bowl of Tea (film). 1989. Dir: Wayne Wang, based on the 1961 novel by Louis Chu.
  • Heaven & Earth (film). 1993. Dir: Oliver Stone, based on a 1989 novel by Le Ly Hayslip.
  • The Namesake (film). 2006. Dir: Mira Nair, based on the 2003 novel by Jhumpa Lahiri.
  • All other required texts will be made available electronically through Canvas.
Catalog Description: 
Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
September 3, 2022 - 5:24am