ENG 217 : Writings from the Margins of Contemporary American Literature

This course focuses on literature by multicultural/multiethnic writers writing about issues of race, class, gender, acculturation, and other themes emerging from the experience of living on the margins of contemporary American society. Texts and their authors living between two worlds -- African American, Asian-American, Native-American, Hispanic-American, European-American, Middle Eastern-American, and other borders -- are studied. Literary genres include poetry, drama, short fiction, non-fiction, and the novel. Students read, discuss, analyze, and write about the cultural and social impact of being a hyphenated-American on authors and the world they inhabit. Prerequisite: ENG 102 or permission of the instructor. Three class hours a week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Human Expression and Multicultural and Social Perspectives.
  1. Critically analyze literary works in general.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of themselves in relation to the cultural contributions of other cultures.
  3. Increase their awareness and understanding of what it means to be a person of one’s own ethnicity, race, gender, or class in America culture.
  4. Engage in discovery through the reading of literature of the values, beliefs, and experiences of people with perspectives different from one’s own, and understand their uniqueness and commonalities.
  5. Analyze and explicate your interpretation for minority cultures and the themes of race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, as represented in the assigned readings.
  6. Demonstrate how common or culturally specific heritage, perspectives, histories and/or belief systems influenced the writers in this course and the forms or genres in which they wrote.
  7. Develop a well-supported interpretation of a literary text.
  8. Illustrate critical thinking skills in well-developed thesis statements and paragraphs with relevant examples and details from literary text being analyzed.