Topic: Contending Identities in Korean American Literature
|Time||Days||Location||Instructor||GER||Credit||OPUS Class Number||Syllabus (Tentative)|
White Hall 103
Content: What does it mean to be a Korean American, and who gets to decide? This course explores the responses of contemporary Korean American writers to these questions. In novels and memoirs published over the past forty years, these writers relive the historical events and cultural conflicts that have shaped Korean Americans’ sense of identity, citizenship, and subjectivity. The first half of the course focuses on the Japanese occupation of Korea (1905-1945), the partition of 1945, the Korean War and their legacy for immigrants who sought refuge and a new life in the U.S. Next, we zero in on a particular historical moment--the experiences of the Comfort Women, who were forced to become the sexual slaves of Japanese soldiers—described from two different perspectives: one novel is set in Korea and the other in Hawaii. In the second half of the course, the focus shifts to the experiences of more recent Korean immigrants and their children in various parts of the U.S. and Tokyo.
Texts include: Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker, Helie Lee, Still Life with Rice, Richard Kim, Lost Names, Therese Park, The Gift of the Emperor, Nora Okja Keller, Comfort Woman, Susan Choi, The Foreign Student, Suki Kim, The Interpreter, Don Lee, Country of Origin.
Particulars: Frequent short writing assignments, an oral presentation, and three papers of seven to eight pages.
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