EN101: Growing Up in Asian America

Instructor: Jennifer Ho

Seminar: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:15-2:30pm, Shattuck 207

Office: Shattuck 210                          

Phone: 358-2103

E-mail: jho@mtholyoke.edu  (this is my preferred method of communication)

Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:30-4pm—meet in Shattuck 210, Wednesdays 4-5pm and by appointment

This writing seminar focuses on Asian American coming-of-age novels by addressing questions of identity formation. Themes pertinent to our discussion include the influences of family, class, sexuality, violence, and history in the maturation process of Asian American protagonists. We will also question definitions of Asian American ethnic identity, the phrase “coming-of-age,” and the concept of “Asian America.” Through an examination of these Asian American coming-of-age novels, we will also develop students’ expository composition skills. Novels in the course include but are not limited to Gish Jen’s Mona in the Promised Land, Milton Murayama’s All I Asking for Is My Body, Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman, and Mei Ng’s Eating Chinese Food Naked.

Required Texts:

Donald Duk ­ Frank Chin

Mona in the Promised Land – Gish Jen

Comfort Woman ­ Nora Okja Keller

All I Asking for Is My Body ­ Milton Murayama

Eating Chinese Food Naked ­ Mei Ng

The Bedford Handbook ­ Diana Hacker

All texts are available for purchase through Odyssey Books.

Course Requirements: 

Final grades will be determined as follows:

Attendance, participation, assignments 15%
Explication Presentation 10%
Paper #1 ­ Character Analysis I
Paper #2 ­ Character Analysis II 20%
Paper #3 ­ Comparison 35%


Week 1

T—Jan 29       Introduction

Th—Jan 31     What does an Asian American coming-of-age story look like?

Web CT Workshop; Due:  Letter of Introduction

Week 2

T—Feb 5        Donald Duk—Chin  (1-78); Due: Paraphrase/Summary exercise

Th—Feb 7      Donald Duk—Chin  (79-122)                       

Discuss Paper #1--Analysis

Week 3

T—Feb 12      Donald Duk—Chin  (123-172—end)            

Th—Feb 14    Grammar/Composition                                  

Due: APA Quiz

Week 4

T—Feb 19      Peer Editing Paper #1

Th—Feb 21    All I Asking for Is My Body—Murayama

Due: Paper #1

Week 5

T—Feb 26      All I Asking for Is My Body—Murayama

Th—Feb 28    Grammar/Composition

Week 6

T—Mar 5       Mona in the Promised Land—Jen (3-103)    

Discuss Paper #2—Character analysis II

Th—Mar 7     Mona in the Promised Land—Jen (107-165)

Week 7

T—Mar 12     Mona in the Promised Land—Jen (166-251)

Due: Paper #1 Revision

Th—Mar 14   Mona in the Promised Land—Jen (252-304—end)


SPRING BREAK—March 16-24

Week 8

T—Mar 26     Comfort Woman—Nora Okja Keller 

Th—Mar 28   Comfort Woman—Nora Okja Keller 

Week 9

T—Apr 2        Comfort Woman—Nora Okja Keller 

Th—Apr 4      Peer Editing Paper #2

Week 10

T—Apr 9        Grammar/Composition; Due: Paper #2

Th—Apr 11    Grammar/Composition                                  

Discuss Paper #3--Comparison

Week 11

T—Apr 16      Eating Chinese Food Naked—Ng  (11-113)

Th—Apr 18    Eating Chinese Food Naked—Ng  (114-159)

Week 12

T—Apr 23      Eating Chinese Food Naked—Ng  (160-252—end)

Th—Apr 25    Grammar/Composition

Due: Paper #2 Revision

Week 13

T—Apr 30      Writing Workshop ­ Introduction/argument for Final Paper

Th—May 2    Grammar Composition

Week 14

T—May 7      Peer Editing

Final Comparison Paper Due:  TBA