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ENGL 197: Ghosts and War in Asian America: Home


What do ghosts reveal about the enduring legacies of wars and their impact on Asian American narrative and culture? How might reckoning with the undead or unresolved deepen our understanding of race, empire, and other social and cultural formations?

You will be reading fiction, poetry, and cultural criticism by Asian American authors who contend with the afterlives of U.S. wars in Asia and the Pacific, including but not limited to World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. While these wars might be understood as "history" in official records, their effects linger in personal and cultural memory. Texts may include Mine Okubo's Citizen 13660, Joseph Han's Nuclear Family, Mai Der Vang's Yellow Rain, and Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous.

The resources included in this guide are just a very small subset of the vast number of those available to you through the UCSB Library. Please feel free to contact me if you would like one-on-one help with your research.

Your Assignment

Option 1: Research paper (6-8 pages) – Write a research paper incorporating at least one
cultural text from the course and 5-6 scholarly texts. You may consult sources outside
the scope of our course materials to support your argument. 

Option 2: Research driven creative portfolio – you may propose a final creative project
with a written component that engages the themes from the course and consults 4-5
scholarly texts

Annotated Bibliography: You will gather a list of scholarly and creative sources that inform your understanding of the project. You will then develop an annotated bibliography containing at least 6 sources for your research paper or creative project. For all the projects, at least 4 of these sources should be scholarly (peer reviewed). Two of your sources may be course texts.

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