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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 450
Course Title: Minority and Ethnic Literature of the United States
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Significant and representative works by minority and ethnic writers (Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American, Jewish-American, etc.) of the United States. Prerequisites: ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Occasional offering.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Individual titles and collections of significant and representative works--including fiction, poetry and drama--by African American, Native American, Asian-American, and Jewish-American writers are required for this course.

Individual titles by such writers as James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Imamu Baraka (Leroi Jones), Alice Walker, Toni Cade Bambara, Toni Morrison, Paule Marshall, Sonia Sanchez, Robert Hayden, Maxine Hong Kingston, David Henry Hwang, Saul Bellow, and Bernard Malamud.

Imagining America-A Multicultural Anthology of American Fiction
By Brown and Ling, eds. (Persea)
African American Literature
By A. Young, ed. (Harper Collins)
Asian American Literature
By S. Wong, ed. (Harper Collins)
Hispanic American Literature
By N. Kanellos, ed. (Harper Collins)
Native American Literature
By G. Vizenor, ed. (Harper Collins)
Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Fiction
By T. McMillan, ed. (Penguin)
AIIIEEEEE! An Anthology of Asian American Writers
By Chin, Chan, and Wong, eds. (NAL Mentor)
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
By Cisneros, S. (Vintage)
The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories
By Ozick, C. ( Penguin)
Getting Home Alive
By Morales, A. and L. (Firebrand)
Course Objectives
  • To introduce important literary contributions made by American writers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
  • To analyze the function of basic literary elements in minority and ethnic literature of the U.S.
    Measurable Learning
  • Exhibit knowledge of assigned authors and works.
  • Describe and explain plots, major characters, principal themes and values, appropriate literary terms and significant literary elements in this literature.
  • Demonstrate through oral and written exercises practical criticism of literature.
  • Contextualize minority and ethnic literature within the broader American literature canon.
    Topical Outline: Departmental policy requires a minimum of 6,500 words of student writing.

  • Fiction of American minority and ethnic writers, about 25 readings, 25%
  • Poetry of American minority and ethnic writers, about 25 readings, 25%
  • Drama of American minority and ethnic writers, about 25 readings, 25%
  • Presentation and application of appropriate literary terms, 25%

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Carla Mettling Date: May 1, 2010
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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