You are on page 1of 11

CMLT 2400

Asian American Literature

Fall 2015
12:20-1:10 MWF/ Correll Hall 313/ Call#24216
2:30-3:20 MWF/Correll Hall 116/ Call#24218
Soudabeh Rafieisakhaei

Contact information:
Office: 125 Joe Brown Hall
Office hours: W 3:30- 4

Course description:
As an introductory literature course, Asian American Literature is a study of
representative works by American authors of Asian descent. This course
seeks to familiarize students with cultural traditions and social and historical
backgrounds of Asian ethnic groups within the United States. Students will
examine literary depictions of the immigration experiences and problems of
assimilation encountered by each ethnic group, as well as explore themes of
identity, cultural opposition, gender and violence.
In this course, we will trace the rise and diversification of Asian-American
Literature via both foundational texts and non-canonical voices
representative of writers with cultural ties to China, Korea, India, Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Iran.

Course Objectives:
1. To identify some works of Asian American Literature.
2. To become familiar with major theme in Asian-American literature.
3. To reconsider the racial and cultural categories U.S. society employs
and to recognize the diversity represented by the construct of AsianAmerican
4. To gain perspective(s) regarding the important roles that diverse
ethnicities have in sustaining and developing the human community,
within the United States and beyond.
5. To develop the ability to perform close reading and think critically
about contemporary issues and representations affecting immigrant
6. To reconsider the value of literature as a means through which to
understand the world, the United States and yourself.

Required texts and resources:

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Penguin Books. ISBN 0143038095
Hong Kingston, Maxine. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood
Among Ghosts. Vintage; Reissue edition. ISBN 0679721886
Lahiri, Jhumpa. Interpreter of Maladies. Mariner Books. ISBN
Nafisi, Azar. Reading Lolita in Tehran. Random House Trade Paperbacks;
Reissue edition (November 4, 2008). ISBN 0812979303
Abdullah, Sheila. Saffron Dreams. Modern history press. ISBN

Some short readings will be available on eLC

You need to enroll in online class journal. You will receive an email for

Class Policies:
Attendance: Because I will be relying on your interest in and engagement
with the reading material, you must attend the class and keep up with the
readings. After three absences, which are usually adequate to accommodate
family emergencies and illnesses, I reserve the right to lower your grade by
taking off 5 points in your final grade. After five absences, I reserve the right
to withdraw you from the course. Please talk to me in advance or send me an
email for your absence and the reason for it. If you miss a class, it is your
responsibility to ask your peers what you missed, so get some contact
information from at least a few of your classmate. Please, please get to class
on time. When you are late the others become distracted. If you arrive after I
take roll, there is a good chance to be considered absent, so check with me
after the class. If you have more than 2 tardies, expect me to talk with you
about why you are unable to get to class on time. You cannot make up

missed quizzes.If you miss less than three class meetings you will get 3
points added to your final grade.

Class discussions: Class discussions are obviously a major component of

this course, and those discussions and related activities will be based on the
assumption that you have prepared by reading the assigned material prior to
the class meeting. Sharing your thoughts can feel very risky; we all have felt
the fear that we will ask some stupid question (there are no stupid
questions!) or put forward some nave interpretation or unpopular idea. But I
will expect you to take those risks anyway. Effective participation in class
discussion may make extra credit.

Quizzes: You can have reading comprehension quizzes on most readings.

Quiz may consist of three to five multiple-choice or comprehensive questions
asking for simple application of the assigned reading for that day. Quizzes
are not designed to make you stressed, they are a good way to review the
reading. Some questions may exploring your perspective on reading. It is to
encourage active learning.
Deadlines: You set the deadline for the class journal and first presentation
by determining the dates that you can do the assignment. Please take care
of your commitment and do not forget about deadlines. If you miss the class
while you have signed up for the journal you will lose the total points of the

Class Journal: Class journal is a collaborative blogging experience in which

we will post diaries, reflections, and thoughts about class meetings.
Everyone will write two posts (each 700 words or more) and comment twice
on others posts over the course of the semester. Each post needs a title.
There will be a sign up sheet in class, please do not sign up for two back to
back days. This is a collaborative writing project to help you position yourself
in the class context and to share your reflections on class activities and your
responses to the readings with your classmates. You do not have to write
under your real name. You may choose to use a pseudonym as long as you
let me know. Use a descriptive narrative and have your own voice. The blog
URLs for CRN 24216 and CRN 24218 are respectively and
Deadline for each post is before the next class meeting. Blog posts might be
a subject of class discussion. To enroll in class journal, you will receive an

invitation email. Everyone should be enrolled in online class journal by

8/24/2015 by accepting the invitation by then. Not being enrolled is not
acceptable excuse of late posts.
First presentations will be given throughout the semester by groups of two
each. They should last for 5-7 minutes, and should include visual aids, but
not YouTube clips. Creating a PowerPoint is strongly recommended. All the
materials used in the presentation should be turned in on eLC and might be
published on eLC for your classmates use. Topics for this presentation
include cultural aspects of Asian countries or Asian American communities in
the US.
Second Presentations will be given at the end of the semester as an
individual project. You will create an artwork as a response to one of the texts
that we read and present it in 3-5 minutes. Do not be concerned about your
art skills. You are more creative than what you think. Your presentation
includes a one page reflection about the process of your work.

Exams: You will have two exams, a midterm and a final. All the readings,
class discussions students presentations and guest speakers lectures are
subject to question. Both exams include multiple choice and free response

Etiquette: Literature is about life, in a literature class provocative and

personal issues involving sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, culture,
politics, etc. will and should be raised throughout the course, and I
encourage each of you to speak honestly and to feel safe doing so. If a
discussion gets heated, either in class or online, I expect students to speak
and to be heard respectfully and thoughtfully. If you are uncomfortable with
any of the topics discussed in class, please let me know.
I have the professional responsibility to treat students with understanding,
dignity and respect. You are also expected to demonstrate appropriate,
respectful behavior toward other members of the class community, both
instructor and peers. Behavioral misconduct could be categorized as
disruptive behavior which is defined as behaviors that hamper the ability of
the instructor to teach and students to learn. If it occurs, please do not
expect me to make an effort to address the disruption with you in private.
Disruptive student behavior will be submitted to UGA Student Affairs, Office
of Student Conduct.

Make sure your eLC profile has a picture in which your face is recognizable.
Also, turn the eLC notifications on to get notified when new materials are
Electronic devices: If you want to use a laptop to take notes in class please
let me know in advance, then do not use it to check Facebook, email, to
shop or any off-task purpose. There will be a sign up sheet it, also I may
occasionally ask you to submit your notes through email. Silence your cell
phones in class. Dont text unless we are using the phones regarding a class
activity. Texting in class is rude and disrespectful to me and to your
classmates. If you need to use your phone during class, please leave the
classroom, otherwise expect me to ask you to put your phone away. Failure
to comply with electronic device use policies could be a Code of Conduct
Textbook: Not having your book during class is inexcusable. It is the most
fundamental part of any Literature class. Everyone needs their own textbook
on their own desk. When you do not have the book, the rest of the class
suffers. There is too much distraction on sharing the books in class. After two
times not having the book, I reserve the right to lower your grade by taking
off 3 points in your final grade.
Grade distribution:
Daily grade includes quiz scores, all short writing assignments in or out of
class, participation in classroom activities (both discussion and group work)
Class Journal (blog) 10%
Presentations 15%
Midterm exam




Final exam


Grading Scale:

A = 93 100

A- = 90 - 92

B+ = 87 - 89

B = 84 - 86

B- = 80 - 83

C+= 77 - 79

C = 74 76

D= 69

C- = 70 - 73

F <69

Academic Honesty Policy:

As a University of Georgia student, you have agreed to abide by the
Universitys academic honesty policy, A Culture of Honesty, and the
Student Honor Code. All academic work must meet the standards described
in A Culture of Honesty found at: Lack of knowledge
of the academic honesty policy is not a reasonable explanation for a
violation. Questions related to course assignments and the academic
honesty policy should be directed to the instructor. The link to more detailed
information about academic honesty can be found at:
Bottom line: dont cheat. Its not worth it.

Students with disabilities

UGA is committed to the success of all learners. In collaboration with the
Disability Resource Center (, we work with students who
have documented disabilities to access reasonable accommodations and
academic supports.
For more information or to speak with a Disability coordinator, please call the
Disability Resource Center at (706)542-8719
If you have a letter from disabilities center, please share it with me at the
beginning of the semester, not at the end.

Syllabus: The course syllabus is a general plan for the course: deviations
announced to the call by the instructor may be necessary.

Schedule (Subject to change):

Mon 8/17 Introduction





8/21 landmarks in Asian American History in the


8/24 The Joy Luck Club (The Joy Luck Club- Scar)


8/26 The Joy Luck Club ( The Red Candle- The Moon

United States

Voice from the wall)

8/28 The Joy Luck Club (Rules of the Game- The

Mon 8/31 The Joy Luck Club (Half and Half- Two Kids)
Wed 9/2

The Joy Luck Club (Rice Husband- Four


The Joy Luck Club (Without Wood- Best Quality)


Mon 9/7

HOLIDAY: Labor Day

Wed 9/9

The Joy Luck Club (Magpies-Waiting Between

the Trees)

9/11 The Joy Luck Club (Double Face- A Pair of

Mon 9/14 Good Enough (eLC)

Wed 9/16 The woman warrior (No Name Woman)

9/18 The woman warrior (White Tiger)

Mon 9/21 The woman warrior (Shaman) 55-87

Wed 9/23 The woman warrior (Shaman) 87-109

9/25 The woman warrior (At the Western Palace)

Mon 9/28 The woman warrior (At the Western Palace) 136-160
Wed 9/30 The woman warrior (A Song for a Barbarian

Reed Pipe)



Midterm Exam

Mon 10/5 Kite Runner (film, in-class)

Wed 10/7 Kite Runner (film, in-class)

10/9 Kite Runner (film, in-class)

Mon 10/12

Kite Runner (film, in-class)

Wed 10/14

Researching my people, researching


Interpreter of Maladies

myself (eLC)

Mon 10/19 Interpreter of Maladies

Wed 10/21

Interpreter of Maladies



Interpreter of Maladies



Interpreter of Maladies

Wed 10/28


Reading Lolita in Tehran 1-40


Fall Break

Mon 11/2 Reading Lolita in Tehran 40-119

Wed 11/4 Reading Lolita in Tehran 119-153

11/6 Reading Lolita in Tehran 159-204

Mon 11/9 Reading Lolita in Tehran 204-257



Reading Lolita in Tehran 257-293



Reading Lolita in Tehran 293-334


Saffron Dreams

Wed 11/18

Saffron Dreams



Saffron Dreams

Mon 11/23


Wed 11/25






11/30 Saffron Dreams










Final exam Wed



12:00 p.m.

CRN 24216

3:00 p.m.

CRN 24218





Why are you taking this course?

What are your learning goals for this course? (Two)

Are you familiar with the required texts? If yes, which one and to
what extend?