Chosen Family Style: Queer Asian Pacific American Literature (LIT2529.01)

Franny Choi

To be LGBTQIA and AAPI is to occupy two disparate, marginalized identities that seem constantly to be shifting. What might the literature of this intersection teach us about larger questions of community, belonging, and resistance? This 2000-level class attempts to locate a Queer Asian Pacific America through literature, from the work of early Chinese American lesbian poets like Kitty Tsui and Merle Woo, to David Henry Hwang’s queer reimagination of Madame Butterfly, to Fatimah Asghar’s hybrid novel When We Were Sisters, and beyond. How do discourses of AAPI identity negotiate—even depend upon—gender and sexuality? How have writers of literature engaged with concepts such as fetishization, kinship, assimilation, and “saving face” as a matter of craft? And what possibilities for postcolonial and diasporic being may be opened up by queer/trans life, literature, and language? We will engage these and other questions by reading works of fiction, poetry, and drama, as well as critical and theoretical texts. Students will submit weekly responses, write one midterm paper, and have the option of doing a creative or critical final project.

Learning Outcomes:
- Become familiar with a broad range of queer/trans Asian Pacific American literature and scholarship from the 1980s to the present.
- Explore key concepts in Queer, Feminist, Asian American, and Indigenous Studies, and consider some of the ways writers have engaged with these issues in their work.
- Analyze works of literature through the lens of race, gender, and sexuality, paying close attention to the literary and rhetorical techniques utilized therein.
- Write critically and creatively in response to works of poetry, fiction, and drama.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature
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