This course uses a Global South, transnational lens to explore and critique literatures dealing with immigration and race in the Americas. Questions we will explore in the course include: How do authors address transnational human migrations in their texts? How do these texts reproduce or subvert existing political, cultural, or linguistic borders? To what extent do these authors dialogue across these borders, or instead seek to have readers themselves cross over into unfamiliar territory? What may be the limits of such an aesthetics of subversion?
Beyond engaging with the theoretical perspectives offered by scholars such as Benedict Anderson and Gloria Anzaldúa, in order to understand the multilayered Global North-Global South dialogues found in these literatures students in the course will read texts from several different literary and cultural traditions, including African American, Native American, Latin American, Anglo-American, and Latin American Indigenous perspectives. Texts covered in the course will include: the autobiography of Omar Ibn Said (1831; the only extant Arabic text written by an enslaved African), William Faulkner’s Light in August (1932), Gayl Jones’s Corregidora (1975), Jakaltek Maya Victor Montejo’s Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village (1987), selections from Laguna Pueblo Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (1991), Hector Tobar’s The Tattooed Soldier (1995), and Zapotec Lamberto Roque Hernández’s Here I Am (2009).