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English 390R Special Topics

Multi-Ethnic Voices in the Expanding U.S.A., 1865-1945

Dr. Larisa Schumann

Office Hours:

Course Description
An analysis of the fiction, poetry, drama and essays of major ethnic writers from the United
States. From a comparative angle, this course will explore the historical, social, cultural and
racial contexts which shape the literature. Several critical approaches will be taken to show
interrelationships among writers.

Guiding Questions
o What is an American?
o What literary/textual products do Americans create?
o What is the American Dream?
o How do writers reconcile the promises of the Dream with the complex reality of life in
the USA?
o What do multicultural American voices have to say about the Dream?
o How do they engage in discourse about American identity, the American Dream, and
American nation building?
o What is the American's place in the expanding nation?
o How and when did the United States become an empire ?
o What is the place of colonized peoples in the American Nation and Empire?
o How can we use "rhetorical listening" to approach these texts?
o What is cultural criticism and how does it inform our reading of these texts?
o What about other critical frameworks or theories?

Prerequisites: English 251

Learning Outcomes:


Packet from University Readers:

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey. "Unguarded Gates."
Antin, Mary. The Promised Land (excerpts).
Bonnin, Gertrude (Zitkala- a). "Impressions of an Indian Childhood," "The School Days of an
Indian Girl," and "An Indian Teacher among Indians."
Bulosan, Carlos. "Freedom from Want."
Callahan, Sophia Alice. Wynema, A Child of the Forest (excerpts).
Cather, Willa. My Ántonia (excerpts).
Chávez, Fray Angélico. New Mexico Triptych.
Chesnutt, Charles. "Her Virginia Mammy," "The Wife of His Youth," & "The Future American"
Comfort, Anna Manning. "Home Burdens of Uncle Sam."
de Crevecoeur, St. Jean. Letter 3, "What is an American " Letters of an American Farmer.
Dodge, Mary Mapes. "Miss Maloney on the Chinese Question."
Far, Sui Sin (Edith Maud Eaton). Excerpts from Mrs. Spring Fragrance: "'Its Wavering Image',"
"The Story of One White Woman Who Marries a Chinese," "Her Chinese Husband,"
"The Americanizing of Pau Tsu," "In the Land of the Free," "A Plea for the
Chinaman," and "The Chinese in America."
Harper, Frances E. W. "Aunt Chloe's Politics," and "Learning to Read"
Hopkins, Pauline Elizabeth. "Talma Gordon."
Howells, William Dean. "Editha."
Hughes, Langston. "I, Too, Sing America," and "Let America Be American Again."
Jackson, Helen Hunt. Ramona (excerpts)
Kipling, Rudyard. "The White Man's Burden."
Lazarus, Emma. "The New Colossus."
Lili`uokalani. Hawai`i's Story by Hawai`i's Queen (excerpts)
Mann, Mary Peabody. Juanita: A Romance of Real Life in Cuba Fifty Years Ago. (excerpts)
Ridge, John Rollin. The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, the Celebrated California
Bandit. (Excerpts)
Ruiz de Burton, Maria Amparo. Who Would Have Thought It (excerpts)
---. The Squatter and the Don (excerpts)
Schomburg, Arthur. "The Negro Digs Up His Past."
Twain, Mark. "To the Person Sitting in Darkness."
Watanna, Onoto (Winnifred Eaton). "A Half Caste," "Two Converts," "Miss Lily and Miss
Chrysanthemum: The Love Story of Two Girls in Chicago" and "The Japanese in
Williams, William Carlos. Yes, Mrs. Williams (excerpts)
Winnemuca, Sarah. (Thocmetony). Life Among the Piutes (excerpts)

Chesnutt, Charles. The Marrow of Tradition.
Dove, Mourning (Hum-ishu-ma). Cogewea, the Half-Blood.
Yezierska, Anzia. Arrogant Beggar.

Morris, Aldyth. Lili'uokalani.

Other Required Reading

Handouts & readings for class work
Handouts from classmates’ presentations
Online postings on class site
Images and video clips posted on class site

Major Assignments (expanded assignment descriptions will be posted online)

Please note - this course is "paperless," meaning you will submit all assignments through our
course site. All graded assignments will be returned to you this way. The only paper you will
turn in will be for quizzes and exams.
o Reading quizzes: 10%. 6 quizzes, (with 1 optional/bonus quiz). Usually 5-10 multiple
choice or matching questions to prepare you for class discussion and give you an
incentive to complete the reading.
o On-line Reading Journals: 10%. 6 entries, or about one every other week of class work
(with 2 optional/bonus Journals). These entries are less formal writing that should
show you not only read the assigned reading, but were able to make significant
connections between the text and other texts (such as previous readings, current
events, or personal experiences). This is a space to do some deep thinking about the
text or ask more questions about it, that will help you prepare for class discussions,
quizzes, and exams. Prompts will be provided online on our class site. You will also post
your journals there.
o Midterm Exam: 15% on readings up through week 8. The test will feature multiple
choice, matching, and short answer questions.
o Presentation & Short Paper: 10% & 10% You will present a critical reading of a short
story or other text (from an approved list) using New Media, such a PowerPoint or
Movie Maker. Then you will write a short paper extending your critical reading from
your presentation. Ideally, you should turn in the paper the week after you complete
your presentation.
o Final Project: 20% Your final project will be to construct an anthology of multicultural
literature. Playing the role of cultural critic, you will put THREE texts into conversation
with each other. One text should come from the course syllabus, while the other two
can be any texts either produced between 1865-1945, or that refer back to those years
or issues, or that are inspired by the culture of those years. You must specifically
address how the pieces discuss themes of identity, citizenship, power, empire, or
race/class/gender. You will also provide your rational for this anthology, along with
either an adaptation or a visual recreation of a second text on the course syllabus.
o Final Exam: 20% On readings from second half of the semester. The test will feature
multiple choice, matching, and short answer questions.
o Attendance & participation: 5% This grade reflects how well you participate in class
discussions and how regular your attendance is.

Instructional Methods
This course will be structured as a lecture class, with group learning activities and student
presentations. A typical class day will include a quiz, discussion based on journal entries, a
student presentation, lecture about assigned reading, audiovisual presentations,
activities/work with the literature, and pointers about writing.
o Taking notes will prepare you for exams and other writing activities. Please bring
notebook paper and pens or pencils for note taking and in-class writing activities.
o No Laptops are allowed in class unless we are doing an in-class writing activity or if I
have told you to bring your laptops to class that day.

Course Policies and Requirements

Grading: It is important to remember that simply fulfilling the minimum requirements of the course
warrants an average grade (as in C), not an A. Coming to class every day and doing assignments is not
something that earns “extra credit” or an automatic A; it’s expected by your being in the course. A
higher grade will be based on the distinctive quality and development of your work, on your ability to
engage critically with a text, and on a willingness to explore new subjects, genres, and techniques.

Grading Scale A= excellent, outstanding 4 A- 3.67

B+ 3.33 B =exceeds expectations (with some excellent 3 B- 2.67
C+ 2.33 C=satisfactory, meets expectations 2 C- 1.67
D+ 1.33 D=poor 1 D- 0.67

Quizzes and Exams will be graded on a point scale.

Students who take the course for Pass/No Pass will merely receive a “pass” or “no pass” grade on their
assignments. You can access grades online at our Pearson Learning Studio site (formerly eCollege).

Attendance: Regular attendance is necessary to your success in this course. It is university policy that
only official university absences are excused. Students representing the school in a university-
mandated activity that requires missing class should provide official documentation of schedules and
turn in work in advance. Absences will reduce your grade. Attendance is essential to success in this
class. Also, no assignments will be accepted if you miss class the day it is due. Students whose absences
are due to circumstances beyond their control may appeal this policy by scheduling a meeting with
their adviser. To do well in this course, you must come to class.

Tardies: Please be on time for class. Students who are tardy (five minutes late or more) are a
distraction to the whole class. And being late is not professional behavior. Keep in mind that missed in-
class work cannot be made up.

Late Work: Journals are due before class. Writing assignments are due by 11:59 PM on the days
specified on the schedule. Quizzes and exams can only be taken in class on the days noted. Work will
not be accepted after that. If you know you will be missing a class, you need to submit the assignment
ahead of time. This course relies heavily on technology, so you will need to have reliable access to the
internet, which is always available in several places (including the library) on campus. Problems with
technology (i.e.: computer crash, printer malfunction, internet connectivity issues, etc.) are not
acceptable excuses for submitting late work. Plan ahead to avoid last minute crises. Note: Exceptions
will be made for extenuating circumstances such as those with documentation and/or natural disasters
and so forth.
Classroom Atmosphere: Our classroom is a place where all of us can share our ideas, thoughts, and
questions without fear or embarrassment. Let's show respect for each other and be kind. Infractions to
the Honor Code will be reported.

Office Hours: During the office hours posted above, I will be in my office and available to talk with you
about any questions, comments, or concerns you have about the course. Please stop by and see me
during these hours—that time is yours. If the hours don’t work for you, come make an appointment
with me.

Technologies: Please turn cell phones and any other electronics off during class. You’ll be notified in
advance if you should bring laptops to class for work; otherwise, keep them closed during class.
Texting, checking Facebook, etc. from your phone or computer means you’re not engaging in the daily
activities of our course. If you are using your electronics during class, it will negatively impact your
professionalization grade (and your final grade). When you are in class, be “in” class – alert, attentive,
and ready to contribute.

Netiquette: Communication Courtesy Code All members of the class are expected to follow rules of
common courtesy in all email messages and other online work. If I deem any of them to be
inappropriate or offensive, I will forward the message to the Chair of the department and the online
administrators and appropriate action will be taken, not excluding expulsion from the course. The
same rules apply online as they do in person. Be respectful of other students. Foul discourse will not be
tolerated. See the following link concerning "netiquette" for more information:
http://www.albion.com/netiquette/ Participating in the virtual realm, including social media sites and
shared-access sites sometimes used for educational collaborations, should be done with honor and
integrity. You can read more here: http://macaulay.cuny.edu/community/honorable-

Disabilities Statement:

Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism
Course Schedule (Subject to change, as needed)
Week Course Introduction: What is an American? What is the American Dream?
1 Hughes, Langston. “I, Too, Sing America,” and “Let America Be American Again.”
Lazarus, Emma. “The New Colossus.”
Aldrich, Thomas Bailey. “Unguarded Gates.”
de Crevecoeur, J. Hector St. John. “What is an American?” Letters of an American Farmer.
“My Country 'Tis of Thee” and “America, the Beautiful”
What is Rhetorical Listening?
Kipling, Rudyard. “The White Man's Burden.”
Twain, Mark. “To the Person Sitting in Darkness.”
Comfort, Anna Manning. “Home Burdens of Uncle Sam.”
Journal #1 due second day of class
Discourse about American identity, the American dream, and nation building
Weeks Native Americans
2 & 3 What is Cultural Criticism?
Quiz #1
Dove, Mourning (Hum-ishu-ma). Cogewea, the Half-Blood
Callahan, Sophia Alice. Wynema, A Child of the Forest (excerpts).
Bonnin, Gertrude (Zitkala-Ša). “Impressions of an Indian Childhood,” “The School Days of
an Indian Girl,” and “An Indian Teacher among Indians.”
Video clips of The Only Good Indian
Jackson, Helen Hunt. Ramona (excerpts)
Journal #2
Weeks African Americans
4 & 5 Quiz #2
Harper, Frances E. W. “Aunt Chloe's Politics,” and “Learning to Read”
Chesnutt, Charles. “Her Virginia Mammy, ” & “The Wife of His Youth,” “The Future
American” and The Marrow of Tradition (excerpts)
Schomburg, Arthur. “The Negro Digs Up His Past.”
Smith, Lillian Eugenia. Strange Fruit.
Hopkins, Pauline Elizabeth. “Talma Gordon.”
Video clips of Imitation of Life & Pinky
Journal #3
Week Review for and take the Midterm Exam
Week Jewish Americans &“white” Americans
7 Quiz #3
Antin, Mary. The Promised Land (excerpts).
Yezierska, Anzia. Arrogant Beggar.
Cather, Willa. My Ántonia (excerpts).
Howells, William Dean. “Editha.”
Journal 4
The American's place in the expanding nation
Week Texas & New Mexico
Quiz #4
Chávez, Fray Angélico. New Mexico Triptych.
Paredes, Américo. George Washington Gómez.
Bonus Journal due (optional)
Weeks California & Her Peoples
9 & 10
Quiz #5
Winnemuca, Sarah. (Thocmetony). Life Among the Piutes (excerpts)
Far, Sui Sin (Edith Maud Eaton). Excerpts from Mrs. Spring Fragrance: “'Its Wavering
Image',” “The Story of One White Woman Who Marries a Chinese,” “Her Chinese Husband,”
“The Americanizing of Pau Tsu,” “In the Land of the Free,” “A Plea for the Chinaman,” and
“The Chinese in America.”
Watanna, Onoto (Winnifred Eaton). "A Half Caste," “Two Converts,” “Miss Lily and Miss
Chrysanthemum: The Love Story of Two Girls in Chicago” and "The Japanese in America."
Dodge, Mary Mapes. “Miss Maloney on the Chinese Question.”
Ruiz de Burton, Maria Amparo. Who Would Have Thought It? (excerpts)
---. The Squatter and the Don (excerpts)
Ridge, John Rollin. The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, the Celebrated California
Bandit. (Excerpts)
Journal #5
The place of colonized peoples in the American Empire
Week Puerto Rico, Cuba, & the Caribbean
11 Quiz #6
Mann, Mary Peabody. Juanita: A Romance of Real Life in Cuba Fifty Years Ago. (excerpts)
Williams, William Carlos. Yes, Mrs. Williams (excerpts)
Bonus Journal due (optional)
Week Hawaii & the Pacific-Asia Rim
12 Video clips from Hawai`i's Last Queen & Princess Kaiulani
The Pinky Show: Hawai`i vs US Imperialism
Morris, Aldyth. Lili'uokalani. (play) & Hawai`i's Story by Hawai`i's Queen (excerpts)
Bulosan, Carlos. “Freedom from Want”
Journal #6
Week Course Wrap-up & Preparing for the Final Exam; Projects Due
Texts for Presentations:

List of short story or other texts for presentations (you may also propose a short story for this
assignment via email. Specify why you think this story will fit in with our course theme. You
must have permission before you proceed with the assignment).

Suggested stories can be found online or in the collection Imagining Americas: Stories from the
Promised Land, edited by Wesley Brown & Amy Ling on course reserve in the library.

In the land of the free / Sui Sin Far

Whipping / Marita Bonner
English lesson / Nicholasa Mohr
German refugee / Bernard Malamud
they won’t crack it open / Kim Yong Il
Eileen / Mary Gordon
A wife’s story / Bharati Mukherjee
Cariboo cafe / Helena Maria Viramontes
Immigration blues / Bienvenido Santos
Soap and water / Anzia Yezierska
His Grace / Mikhail Naimy
New year for Fong Wing / Monfoon Leong
Japanese hamlet / Toshio Mori
Seventeen syllables / Hisaye Yamamoto
Lesson / Toni Cade Bambara
Death of Horatio Alger / LeRoi Jones, Amiri Baraka
Only approved Indians can play : made in USA / Jack Forbes
In the American society / Gish Jen
Loudest voice / Grace Paley
Opiate of the people / Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Man to send rain clouds / Leslie Marmon Silko
American horse / Louise Erdrich
Playground of hostility / Howard Gordon
El Patrón / Nash Candelaria T
Thank God for the Jews / Tahira Naqvi
Gussuk / Mei Mei Evans.
Security / Joseph Papaleo
Barbie-Q / Sandra Cisneros
Old West / Richard Bausch
Return to the source / Jo Pagano
Elethia / Alice Walker
Visitors, 1965 / Oscar Hijuelos
Disappearance / Jeanne Schinto
Chandelier / Gregory Orfalea
Five jack cool / Michael Stephens
Grandma’s wake / Emilio Díaz Valcárcel
To Da-Duh, in memoriam / Paule Marshall.

Other texts
“Songs of the fat brown woman” or any two other poems/ Sia Figiel
“Heaven” & “Stink Eye” / Cathy Song

Your choice?