The course offers an overview of multiethnic and multicultural literature through a selective examination of authors, trends and historical contexts related to the United States of America. The literary production examined in the course describes a complex cultural and social experience in which writers continuously negotiate their own identity within the communities they belong to and the United States at large, thus exploring linguistic, racial, generational, gender and economic issues in a socio-historical context that has often evolved at a dramatically fast pace.
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Fruizione: 21810392 CULTURE DEI PAESI DI LINGUA INGLESE in Politiche per la Sicurezza Globale: Ambiente, Energia e Conflitti LM-52 A - Z BECCE NICOLANGELO


The course, divided in two modules (Module 1: Multicultural American Literature; Module 2: Asian American Writers) focuses on the discussion, from a multiethnic and multicultural perspective, of historical, social, political, and economic issues that arise from the reading of the literary selection. Special attention will be given to the analysis of literary texts in order to understand the relationship between American literature and the national identity of the United States of America.

Core Documentation

Alvarez, Julia. “Snow”, in How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. New York: Bloomsbury, 2004 (1991), 86-87.
Bui, Thi. The Best We Could Do. New York: Abrams ComicArts, 2017 (excerpts).
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street, London: Vintage, 1991 (1984) (excerpts).
Danticat, Edwidge. “Children of the Sea” and “Caroline’s Wedding,” in Krik? Krak! New York: Soho Press, 1995, 3-25, 135-188.
Gillan, Maria Mazziotti. “Shame and Silence in My Work,” in Mary Ann Vigilante Mannino and Justin Vitiello (eds.) Breaking Open: Reflections on Italian American Women’s Writing. West Lafayette (IN): Purdue University Press, 2003, 153-175.
Lahiri, Jhumpa. “Interpreter of Maladies,” in Interpreter of Maladies. London: Harper UK, 2000, 43-69.
Morrison, Toni. “Recitatif”, in Martin, Wendy (Ed.) The Art of the Short Story. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006, 1167-1181.
Santos, Bienvenido. “Quicker with Arrows”, in Wong, Shawn (ed.) Asian American Literature. A Brief Introduction and Anthology. New York: HarperCollins, 1996, 80-102.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. “Yellow Woman”, in Charters, Ann (Ed.) The Story and Its Writer (9th Ed.) Boston and New York: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2015, 1208-15.
Spiegelman, Art. The Complete Maus. Harmondsworth (UK): Penguin, 2003 (1996) (excerpts).
Tusiani, Joseph. Gente Mia (excerpts), in Ethnicity. Selected Poems, New York: Bordighera Press, 2000, 1-6, 8-9.
Yamamoto, Hisaye. “Yoneko’s Earthquake,” in Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories. New Brunswick (NJ): Rutgers University Press, 2001, 46-56.

Type of delivery of the course

Students are expected to come to class having read all the assigned readings. In addition, they should be prepared to engage in in-class discussions.


Lecture attendance is compulsory.

Type of evaluation

The final exam is both in written form (with a series of open-ended questions) and in oral form.