Introduction: Identities in Context

Nation, Refuge, Empire: America’s Contested Identity Stories

American Freedom, American Slavery

America is a Poem

America is a Settler Society

“Wretched refuse of your teeming shore”: America and Immigrants

Film: Race: The Power of an Illusion, Episode 3: The House We Live In

America is a Land of Black, White, and In-between

Nella Larson, Passing (free 1st. edition provided by Internet Archive)

America is a Borderzone

America is a Prison

Tu (11/5) • Mine Okubo, excerpts from Citizen 13660 (PDF to be supplied) Th (11/7) • In-class film: The Prison in 12 Landscapes (dir. Brett Story, 2016)

Tu (11/12) • Michelle Alexander, excerpts from The New Jim Crow (PDF to be supplied) Th (11/14) • TBA

Performing American Identities

Tu (11/19) In-class film: Paris Is Burning (dir. Jennie Livingston); Second paper due

Th (11/21) Anna Deveare Smith, Twilight Los Angeles


Tu (11/26) Smith, Twilight Los Angeles

Th (11/28) No class – Thanksgiving

Tu (12/3) Smith, Twilight Los Angeles

Th (12/5) Smith, Twilight Los Angeles

America: Diaspora Nation?

Tu (12/10) Henry Yu, “Los Angeles and American Studies in a Pacific World of Migrations,”

American Quarterly 56.3 (Sept. 2004)