This course will provide students with opportunities to explore critical and creative texts by selected American women writers of color, and to think and talk critically about interactions and relationships between, and (mis)perceptions of, dominant and marginalized cultures in the U.S. from a hemispheric perspective.
Students will work to fill gaps and build knowledge about American women writers of color after 1900. The assigned readings will attempt a loose lineage or map of trends and movements as writers in the margins move toward the mainstream and build the contemporary moment, as well as a hemispheric vision encompassing the racial, cultural, ethnic and/or linguistic complexity of the Americas. As we work through this chronology of writing, we may also consider the blurring generic line between critical/theoretical texts and traditionally defined creative works. How do women of color come to write and theorize their lineage in US literary history? How does their writing question the idea of America in working toward a more comprehensive understanding that embraces the Americas as a central concept?
Weaving through dominant discourses and creative movements and schools, we will come to the contemporary period with an understanding of women writers of color as integral engineers of American literature in a hemispheric context.