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Ethnic America: South Asian, Arab, and Muslim Literature and Culture in the United States

In the past decade, literary critics and scholars have noted the emergence of “9/11 literature” and “Post-9/11 literature” as markers of “two discrete stages in the process by which we collectively revised our expectations about the world after the terrorist attacks” (A.J. Aronstein). Perhaps the most significant “Post-9/11” revision was—and continues to be— the emergence of collective experiences amongst South Asians, Arabs, and Muslims in the United States, due to the racist and orientalist logics of the War on Terror and its ongoing consequences. This course explores the literary and cultural expressions of these collective experiences of identity formation, state violence, and community response and resistance, while also investigating the distinctive and complex historical contexts that shape contemporary South Asian, Arab, and Muslim literature in the United States. Throughout the semester, we will pay close attention to categories of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and class that inform our readings, as well as histories of colonialism, diaspora, and racial formation. Our authors will include Sonia Sanchez, Malcolm X, Nayyirah Waheed, Mohsin Hamid, Suheir Hammed, Mohja Kahf, Bushra Rehman, Randa Jarrar, and others.

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