This course will explore multicultural youth literature, covering literature for ages 0 to young adult. Students will engage with literature that represents a diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, primarily in the American context. We will read books such as Brown Girl Dreaming, The Hate U Give, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Lenore Look’s Alvin Ho and Ruby Lu books.
Multicultural Youth Literature is often discussed in terms of mirrors (reflections of one’s own experience) and windows (insights into other people’s experiences). Recently the debate about diverse literature, its importance, and who possesses the authority to write it has heated up. In this course we will explore examples of inclusive literature, reflecting on questions such as: Why does diverse literature matter? How do we identify quality diverse youth literature that accurately portrays culture beyond “food, fashion, fiestas, folklore, and famous people”? How can cultural outsiders write and/or evaluate diverse literature?
Literature, 1789 to the present courses focus on literary work produced over more than two centuries -- from the period of British romanticism and the early republic of the United States up to now -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history. Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.