Summer A term English 200B (VLPA and W): (Im)migrant/Transnational Fictions

English 200B, VLPA and W course, Summer A-term,  M-Th 9:40-11:50:
"(Im)migrant/ Transnational Fictions," is a five credit course taught by senior English Department faculty member John O'Neill.  English 200B is dedicated to reading and writing about works of fiction that explore the global movement of people in a time when migratory flows are increasingly met with resistance and persecution.  
Reading, discussion and writing in this class will engage this process of movement, what sacrifices are required, what restrictions are imposed, and what transformations might occur.  We will explore the ways in which these fictional works engage the challenges of daily life to enrich our understanding of the struggles encountered by others who seek to preserve a sense of self in the absence of familiar frames of reference or forms of support. While being recognized is a powerful desire, it often conflicts with the fear of exposure, just as the pull of nostalgia competes with the embrace of new possibilities.   

Texts include short stories The Border Patrol State” by Leslie Marmon Silko; “Borders” by Thomas King; “War Years” by Viet Than Nguyen;  and Signs Preceding the End of the World, by Yuri Herrera, Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue and Exit West by Mohsin Hamid 
A few comments from students who took this course last summer

  • The themes discussed in the course are particularly relevant given recent events/policy decisions, and seem to be very relatable regardless of background.  The novels, particularly the last two, were very engaging and easy to read; it did not feel like work reading them for class.
  • As someone who comes from an immigrant family, I have never read novels of global migration, and it was nice to finally have that exposure, especially in a time like this. 
  • The way the instructor leads class discussion is very inclusive.  He makes everyone feel like their comment/idea matters.   
  • I found I learned a lot about my style in addition to how different each person’s critical eye acts. The themes of these books also gave some better life understanding.
  • The course as a whole taught me how to think in a bigger scale, to think more, and to read more.
  • John’s contribution, his enthusiasm and effort to interact with each and every one of his students is particularly effective to me, as it encourages the students to participate and become more excited in doing the assignments.
No add codes required. Prof. O'Neill is on leave and away from regular email spring quarter, but will respond to questions about this course:
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