Race, Robots, and Asian/American Literature (LIT2603.01)

Franny Choi

From Blade Runner to Ex Machina, visions of robotic futures are populated with Asian bodies, settings, and cultural forms. How is it that robots became so closely linked to the racialization of Asian/American people? What might we learn about the latter by examining how the former shows up in our cultural imagination? And how have Asian diasporic writers handled these uncomfortable entanglements in literature? In this 2000-level literature course, we will examine works of fiction, poetry, and film that engage connections between Asian/American identity and artificial life. In doing so, we will build close reading skills, practice constructing arguments about texts, and explore key concepts in Asian American, postcolonial, and feminist studies, including orientalism, alterity, the model minority myth, objectification, and intersectionality. Course readings will include literary works by Larissa Lai, Ted Chiang, Bhanu Kapil, and Kazuo Ishiguro; critical texts by Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Anne Anlin Cheng, and Wendy Hui-Kyong Chun; and several films. For the final project, students will have the option to either write an essay about a piece of media featuring robots, or do a creative project with a critical introduction.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: Literature , Fully In-Person , All courses
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