English 180M
Asian American Literature


Professor Julie Yen 
(916)  278-6176

Calaveras 160


Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
Julie Otsuka, When the Emperor Was Divine
Gish Jen, Typical American
David Henry Hwang, M. Butterfly
Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth
Nam Le, The Boat

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce you to the diversity and richness of Asian American texts, which link America to Asia through literary ties as well as emotional bonds. In our class discussions, we will attempt to make connections between the various texts by considering topics such as family relationships, personal identity, racial stereotypes, cultural differences, gender politics, and other themes that you discover in the readings.

This is a Writing Intensive course which also fulfills the General Education Race and Ethnicity requirement (C4).

Learning Objectives

By the end of the semester, you should be able to:

  • "see" various cultures through their literature
  • develop your own interpretation of Asian American works within the context of American literary history
  • make thematic connections between Asian American texts and texts in the more familiar literary "canon"
  • articulate your readings and the connections that you make between texts with clarity and persuasiveness
  • continue to explore new texts on your own-- with confidence and pleasure.

English 180M

English Department
California State University, Sacramento