HUM 255 : Cultural Diversity in Contemporary American Literature

Transcript title

Diversity in Literature



Grading mode

Standard letter grades

Total contact hours


Lecture hours


Recommended preparation

WR 121.

Course Description

This course examines cultural diversity as recorded in American literature since 1965, emphasizing literary and cultural values in poetry, fiction, and drama. Readings focus on writers’ views of life within historically marginalized groups based on ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity.

Course learning outcomes

1. Build knowledge of language arts and cultures different from one’s own:
a. Identify distinctive cultural characteristics, genres, and periods of selected American literature from diverse, multicultural perspectives.
b. Situate selected individual multicultural texts in their specific cultural contexts and analyze significant ways that these texts reflect or represent those contexts (e.g. cultural values and beliefs, intellectual and creative traditions, historical and biographical backgrounds, social and political realities)
c. Evaluate the limitations and benefits of studying multicultural works in cross-cultural translation (i.e. across different languages, writing systems, cultures and creative media)
2. Apply this knowledge to cross-cultural comparative analysis:
a. Identify and analyze significant cross cultural differences and similarities--among different texts and cultures; between diverse language arts/cultures and one's own; and/or between diverse language arts/cultures and those of other groups.
b. Examine the effects of individual and culturally-determined factors (such as race, gender, class, nation, biases of information sources, prior cross-cultural experiences) in one’s own and others’ responses to multicultural texts.
c. Identify topics of personal interest, unanswered questions, controversial claims and alternative viewpoints arising from one’s comparative study for further research and investigation.
3. Construct and communicate persuasive cross-cultural interpretations:
a. Formulate responses and interpretations using varied strategies and resources (e.g., active reading/viewing skills; self-reflection, critical and empathetic thinking, oral discussion and writing, multiple perspectives, comparative analysis, interdisciplinary knowledge).
b. Create a persuasive cross-cultural interpretation of a multicultural text that integrates ethno- relative perspectives and analytical criteria appropriate to multicultural language arts and their cultural contexts.
c. Communicate one’s interpretations in informal and formal writing, using relevant, well- selected evidence from multicultural texts and their cultural contexts to support one’s points.
d. Avoid plagiarism by using an acceptable academic style (e.g. MLA) to cite direct quotations.

General education/Related instruction lists

  • Cultural Literacy
  • Arts and Letters

Outside of

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