• The Craft of Writing – Genres of the Asian Diaspora: towards a rhetoric of representation

    R1A 002 | CCN: 10004

    Genres of the Asian Diaspora: towards a rhetoric of representation

    Instructor: Ryan Ikeda

    Location: Dwinelle 209

    Date / Time: Mo/We/Fr 12:00pm - 12:59pm

    4 Units

    The Bay Area is and has always been a significant site for Asian American creativity. It is home to the oldest Asian Pacific American arts organization in the nation, the Kearny Street Workshop, which was founded in 1972, and, in the East Bay, the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, founded in 1984. In fact, the genre of “Asian American literature” emerged as an academic category because of a demand for representation by undergraduates at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley in the late 1960s. Among this vibrant historical and cultural setting, our course seeks to explore works of art and artistic practices by local writers and artists who identify as Asian-Pacific Islander American, who are/have been categorized as such, and/or whose work refuses identification; it also interrogates representations of Asian Americans among popular culture.

    Given our local context, this course will explore myriad experiences among the Asian diaspora through poetry, poetics, and literature. During the span of six weeks, you will complete five writing projects. Writing projects will vary in genre, ranging from letter-writing (epistolary poetics) to essays to curatorial statements to various forms of poetry itself. While most writing projects will be submitted individually, you will have the support of a writing community: each of you will participate in writing groups by sharing your writing, responding to your peers’ writing, and presenting your writing among 2-3 other students.

    We will approach such projects creatively, critically, and tactically, engaging primary sources whenever possible. Contemporary scholarship from Asian American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Black Feminist studies will provide our theoretical inroads that may help us to intensify our examination of Asian Diasporic poetry.

    Course evaluation is labor-based, which means grades are contingent upon your effort and commitment to a writing process and not based on our assessment of your writing products. We welcome all persons to our course with one caveat to prospective students: this is a writing-intensive course that will require more time and energy than conventional R1As.

    Course Learning Objectives:
    1. To cultivate a writing practice that centers on self-directed inquiry, experimentation, imitation, discovery, and collaboration.

    2. To develop a slow-reading practice by examining both historical and emerging scholarship across the fields of Asian American/Asian Diaspora Studies, ethnic studies, and poetics.

    3. To advance, complicate, and enhance a research question in writing a 2000-word essay by engaging with primary sources in the fields of Asian American studies.