Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gish Jen/Multicultural Identity--Humor--Class Divides

Gish Jen
Gish Jen is the author of Mona in the Promised Land.  She is truthful, funny, and serious--about being second generation Chinese American and writing about how a family becomes "American."  Her first novel was called Typical American and started the story of the Chang family that is continued in our novel--enjoy and think about how her humor conveys an important message about how immigrants make a life here and how their children re-imagine that life for themselves.  Her most recent novel is World and Town that continues to look at immigrants and the stories of why they come to America and what they bring.

Transcript of her Interview with Bill Moyers from Becoming American: The Chinese Experience
Here is a book review of our book from the New York Times.
Here is an interview with her from Powells Bookstore in Portland.
Here is the page about Gish Jen from Voices from The Gap: Women Artists from the margins.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cristina Garcia--Dreaming in Cuban--Migration/Culture/Identity

As we begin the reading/research and seminar process for our 3rd book, Dreaming in Cuban, by Cristina Garcia, we enter another land, culture, and history.  We will do research on the author and the background of the setting for this novel on Wednesday.  We will have our first seminar so you should have read the first 100 pages.  Your seminar paper #5 will be DUE on NOV. 10th. for the second seminar.  The work on this paper (1-2 pages) could be used also in your Essay #2 if you choose to develop a thesis that will find support and illustrations in the Garcia novel.  Here you can read an academic article about her work; here is a link to a bibliography of her work.  USE THESE RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ACADEMIC WRITING ON A NOVEL.
Cristina Garcia
In a 2003 interview published in Criticas discussing her most recent book Garcia said “For me, each book further embroiders the themes and obsessions that drove me to write in the first place. The characters may be different, the settings and times and particulars may vary wildly but the bigger questions of where do we belong and how do we negotiate our identities between and among cultures is what keeps me going.”
Cristina Garcia continues to write and lives in California.

Monday, October 18, 2010

David Mura--Where the Body Meets Memory

  • David Mura is a poet, novelist, and memoirist who has written most about his experience of being a Sansei--or third generation Japanese American whose life is underpinned by the experience of his parents and grandparents in World War II in the U.S.  
  •  The Densho project is the best place on the internet to find substantive/reviewed information about Japanese Internment and related topics.  This link is for a Reading called "The Question of Loyalty" about the two questions asked of detainees who could serve in the armed services concerning their loyalty to the United States.  The answer and response created conflict among Japanese Americans.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Narrative Threads--Writing our Story as we Read and Listen

We are focusing in our class on reading the story of Gogol and his family in The Namesake.  We are learning about another classmate by doing the cultural interview.  Next, you will write your own story as the first paper--a personal and reflective narrative.  Here are two resources to help you write and read the story of others.  More on listening from Jane in Monday's class.  We all have amazing stories to tell, hear, and write.

PEER EDITING of TYPED Drafts on Monday, Oct. 11; Return Peer Feedback on Oct. 13; 
ESSAY #1 DUE on Oct. 18th--with a 1-2 page Process narrative about your Writing Steps.

A sample student paper written by a former student, Jessica, called "The Leaky Canteen."
Another sample student paper written for this assignment.  Tom on "Saying Yes"
An personal narrative essay by Mary Catherine Bateson (two famous parents) called "Composing a Life."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beginnings: Sustaining Our Identity and Culture in a Multicultural Society

WELCOME!  Fall quarter in the evening Beginnings: Sustaining Our Identity and Culture in a Multicultural Sociey class where we will focus on culture, identity, immigration,communication across differences and how these themes are located in our lives and in society.

The first book that we will read and discuss in class seminars is Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri--see information to learn more about her below.  Get this book, start reading(Ch. 1-5 by Oct. 6th), and begin marking passages with the following themes:  culture; identity; family; history; immigration; gender; communication.  Underline and NOTE any places where you are confused, curious, or want to refer to during discussion.  In this class, you will learn to "Mark UP" your books in order to participate in our seminars--learn more about this in class this week and next as we begin our learning community class this quarter. 

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri has written one novel, The Namesake, and two equally compelling collections of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies and Unaccustomed Earth.  She has won a Pulitzer Prize.

Read about Lahiri on this site dedicated to the works by women of color at the University of Minnesota.

Below is an interview with the author by Arun Aguiar.  
This link is to the Seattle Public Library document called "Seattle Reads" where Lahiri was featured in 2007.  You will find some more information and some great questions about the book.