University of Notre Dame

On the Move: Migration in American Literature

Course Number: ENGL 13186-12
Instructor: Francisco Robles

In this class, we will examine the importance of migration in twentieth century U.S. Literature. We will consider how migration has been integral in telling or representing the American experience, particularly by investigating how movement has been used by authors to shape texts, ideas, and characters. In asking ourselves how the ideas of flux and movement impact both the content and the structure of a novel, we will reflect on how migration alters political ideas, ideals, and trends. Finally, we will explore the many ways that migration shapes or constructs our conceptions of homeland and region.

Course Texts:

Willa Cather, O Pioneers! (1913)
Nella Larsen, Quicksand(1928)
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath(1939)
Dorothy West, The Living is Easy (1948)
Tomás Rivera, …y no se lo tragó la tierra/…And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1971)
Arturo Islas, The Rain God (1984)
Sandra Cisneros, Caramelo (2002).

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