Syllabus MAS 252 (S10)

Syllabus MAS 252 (S10) - SanJoseStateUniversitySpring2010

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San Jose State University Spring 2010 MAS 252: Comparative Ethnic Studies W 6:00 – 8:45 pm Clark #231 Instructor Info Dr. Magdalena L. Barrera Office: YUH #35 Phone: 408-924-5583 Email: magdalena.barrera@sjsu.edu Office Hours: Mondays 1:00 – 3:00pm; Tuesdays 10:00am – 12:00pm; and by appointment Course Overview In this course, we will be approaching Comparative Ethnic Studies through two means. The first will be to examine how select ethnic groups express themselves through a variety of literary works, from autobiography and memoir to poetry and fiction. We will read these with an eye towards how Americans of Mexican, Native, Irish, African and Jewish descent choose to represent their collective past through creative works, and we will seek to place these texts into a dialogue that reveals how each group defines itself contextually, and sometimes against the others. We will ask what sets a particular ethnic group apart from others, and whether there is anything these groups share in common. Our second focus will be an exploration of social/collective memory. We will investigate the process by which individual experiences and memories become part of a narrative shared by an ethnic group as a whole, and examine the particular memories and historical moments by which ethnic groups define themselves and use to represent their collective experience. We will question the ownership of collective memories: Who determines what is kept and what is discarded, and why? How are memories articulated and negotiated in everyday life? In bringing these two areas of emphasis together, we will try to understand how literary metaphor becomes an aid to memory and, therefore, a way to heal the wounds of the past. We will seek a new understanding of how we put to use in the present our visions of the past. Required Textbooks The following texts are available for purchase at the San Jose State University Bookstore: 1. Richard White, Remembering Ahanagran: A History of Stories (University of Washington, 2003) 2. Norma Cantú, Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera (University of New Mexico, 1995) 3. John Phillip Santos, Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation (Penguin, 2000) 4. Rigoberta Menchú, I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala (Verso, 1984) 5. N. Scott Momaday, Way to Rainy Mountain (University of New Mexico, 1976)
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MAS 252 Spring 2010 2 6. Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller (Arcade Publishing, 1989) 7. Daniel Mendelsohn, The Lost: A Search for Six of the Six Million (Harper Perennial, 2006) 8. Art Spiegelman, The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (Pantheon, 1996) 9. Toni Morrison, Beloved (Vintage, 2004) 10. Octavia Butler, Kindred (Beacon Press, 1988) In addition, there is a course reader available for purchase from San Jose Copies (124 E Santa
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course MAS 10B at San Jose State University .

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Syllabus MAS 252 (S10) - SanJoseStateUniversitySpring2010

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