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Explore this Unique Take on Immigration Stories


Immigration has once again taken center stage in the national spotlight, giving artists, writers and thinkers another opportunity to consider and help reimagine the complex possibilities and outcomes of intermingling human perspectives from a creative standpoint. It is often said that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, whose various cultural backgrounds have helped shape what America is.

This course centers thematically around the immigration stations of Ellis Island on the East Coast and Angel Island on the West Coast. We will explore the ways that acclaimed authors, including Maxine Hong Kingston and Piri Thomas, have used literature to express what it means to be an immigrant, or a child of immigrants, in America. We will read narratives now considered classics in the literature of immigration, as well as contemporary pieces, portraying immigrant experiences from China, Japan, Russian Poland, Africa and Latin America. Through these texts we will investigate the ways that immigrant identity influences both the lives of those who made the journey and the lives of their descendants.

Topics Covered:

  • Diaspora
  • The "Other"
  • Assimilation
  • Compliance and resistance to institutions
  • Love
  • Family
  • The American Dream

Course Number: LIT-40022
Credit: 2.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Creative Writing

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