Regions, Hemispheres, Oceans (graduate seminar)

English 846b/ Am Stud 846b/ Comp Lit 539b

American Literature: Regions, Hemispheres, Oceans

Prof. Wai Chee Dimock

Fall 2014

Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls
Langston Hughes Reader
Ezra Pound, The Pisan Cantos
William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
Elizabeth Bishop, Complete Poems
Junot Diaz, Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Dave Eggers, What is the What
Monique Truong, The Book of Salt
Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide

Aug 27   INTRODUCTION

Arjun Appadurai, “The Production of Locality,” in Modernity at Large, 178-200.

Caroline Levander and Robert Levine, “Introduction” to Hemispheric American
Studies

Achille Mbembe, “At the edge of the World,” in Globalization, ed. Arjun
Appadurai, 22-51

Philip Steinberg, “Territorial Political Economy and the Construction of Ocean
Space,” in The Social Construction of Oceans, 1-33

Sept 3 THE BLACK ATLANTIC

Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative

John Bugg, “The Other Interesting Narrative: Equiano’s Book Tour,” PMLA 121
(2006), 1424-1442.

Cathy Davidson, “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself,” Novel 40 (2006-7),
18-51

Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic, 1-40

Recommended: Vincent Carretta, Equiano the African: Biography of a Self-Made
Man (2005)

Sept 10 ATLANTIC / PACIFIC

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Geoffrey Sanborn, “Melville’s Furious Life,” in Whipscars and Tattoos: The Last of
TheMohicans, Moby-Dick, and the Maori, 93-132

Recommended: C. L. R. James, Mariners, Renegades, Castaways

Sept 17 SPANISH / ENGLISH

Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Edward Fenimore, “English and Spanish in For Whom the Bell Tolls,” ELH 10
(1943), 73-86.

Recommended: George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia
.
Sept 24 CONTINENTS / RIVERS

Langston Hughes Reader

Selections from Langston Hughes in the Hispanic World and Haiti, ed. Edward
Mullen.
3

Ira Dworkin, “Near the Congo: Langston Hughes and the Politics of Internationalist
Poetry,” ALH 24 (2012): 631-57.

Brent Edwards, “Langston Hughes and the Futures of Diaspora,” American Literary
History 19 (Fall 2007): 689-711

Oct 1 AFRO / ASIAN

Ezra Pound, Pisan Cantos

Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound, The Chinese Written Character as a Medium
For Poetry, 3-33

Recommended: “Ezra Pound and African-American Modernism,” Paideuma 29
(2000), and Ezra Pound and China. ed. Z. Qian (2003)

Oct 8 NORTH / SOUTH

William Faulkber, Absalom, Absalom!

John T. Matthews, “Recalling the West Indies: From Yoknapatawpha to Haiti and
Back,” American Literary History 16 (Summer 2004): 238-62

Susan Buck-Morss, “Hegel and Haiti,” Critical Inquiry 26 (2000): 821-65.
Recommended: Edouard Glissant, Faulkner, Mississippi

Oct 15 EAST BY SOUTHWEST

Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

Mary Chinery, “Willa Cather and the Santos Tradition in Death Comes for the
Archbishop,” Willa Cather and the American Southwest, 97-107

Willa Cather’s letter to Commonweal (1927)

Oct 29 BRAZIL AND THE NEW YORKER

Elizabeth Bishop, Complete Poems

Lloyd Schwartz, “Elizabeth Bishop and Brazil,” The New Yorker, Sept 30, 1991, 85-98.
4

Fiona Green, “Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil and the New Yorker,” Journal of American
Studies 46 (2012): 803-29.

Nov 5 HISPANOPHONE / FRANCOPHONE CARIBBEAN

Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Edwidge Danticat and Junot Diaz in conversation, Bomb 101 (2007): 89-95

Monica Hanna, “Reassembling the Fragments: Battling Historiographies, Caribbean
Discourse, and Nerd Genres in The Brief Wondrous Life of  Oscar Wao,”
Callaloo 33 (2010): 498-520.

Nov 12 PETRO REGIONS

Dave Eggers, What is the What

Elizabeth Twitchell, “Fictionalizing Trauma in an Age of Misery Lit,” American
Literature 83 (2011): 621-48.

“Sudan’s Lost Boys are Drawn in War at Home,” New York Times, Jan 6, 2014

“A Lost Boy Grows up,” New York Times, December 8, 2012

“The Lost Boys of Sudan: The Long, Long, Long Road to Fargo,” New York Times
April 1, 2001

Recommended: Manthia Diawara, “Toward a Regional Imaginary in Africa,” in
The Cultures of Globalization, ed. Fredric Jameson and Masao Miyoshi

Nov 19 SOUTH CHINA SEA / ATLANTIC

Monique Truong, The Book of Salt

David Eng, “The End(s) of Race,” PMLA 123 (October 2008): 1479-93

Monique Truong, “My father’s Vietnam Syndrome,” New York Times June 28, 2006

Recommended: The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook
5

Dec 3 INDIAN OCEAN ECOLOGIES

Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide

Ursula Heise, “Journeys Through the Offset World: Global Travel Narratives and
Environmental Crises,” SubStance 41 (2012): 61-76.

Rob Nixon, “Stranger in the Eco-Village: Race, Tourism, and Environmental
Time,” in Slow Violence, 175-198.

 

 

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