Today's discussion about immigration makes us raise the question about our American identities. This course will compare our own family origins, discuss immigration and xenophobia in the US, and examine iterations of this experience in literature over two centuries and many cultures. From our texts we will read short fiction written from a range of perspectives during the past three centuries. Is it true, as some immigrants opined, that "the New World really does surpass the Old?" Or, as another wrote in 1937, "It is hell to belong to a suppressed minority." We'll consider both in excerpts from Jacob Riis, Mary Antin, Andrew Carnegie, and Claude McKay, and in more current writing by Andre Aciman, Oksana Marafioti, Gustavo Perez Firmat, and many others. Whether we are immigrants ourselves or their grandchildren, we are all part of a procession which we'll examine from many angles. Lecture (plus Questions), Facilitated Discussion, Viewing Videos
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