Well, it seems as though this has been a wonderful class for all of us, myself included. The most rewarding aspect of the class, for me, was the phenomenal reading selection. Dr. Evans, you have a great eye for picking literature that is both engaging and instructive, and I really appreciate it. I have actually wanted to read all the material for this course. It was so refreshing to read material that wasn’t the same old “love story” plot of most classes. I thoroughly enjoyed delving into these texts and discovering the layers written into them. The graphic novel was particularly interesting, given that I haven’t read one before, especially for a class. Although I’m still not certain I like it entirely, I did love being exposed to new mediums of literature and ways of seeing/writing about the world. All in all, the variety and content of this course has been extremely rewarding; it shall stick with me the rest of my life.
I’m not kissing up when I say that I’ve enjoyed this class. This class allowed me to participate in some really fun, constructive dialogue. I’ve mostly avoided the topic of race throughout my life. I’m a W.A.S.P. who had almost solely white friends his entire life. Before this class, I felt that anything I had to say about race would be considered invalid because of this. But now, I feel like I’m an educated member of the conversation. The readings we’ve explored in this class have given me countless new perspectives on what it means to be “ethic” or to explore one’s ethnicity. I am hopeful that we could have more classes and dialogues like this class, that would explore these topics and not shy away from the uncomfortable nature of such a touchy subject. Let’s keep the conversation going!
Throughout the course of the semester, this course has developed into one of my favorites of my first year of college, and definitely my favorite literature course I have ever taken.
While we started out with writers such as Washington and DuBois, who began writing, when “ethnic writers” began to emerge. For their time, their radical thinking was almost life threatening. I doubt that Washington or DuBois would have ever imagined an America where we could discuss even more racialized texts in an open class full of white kids.
As we moved throughout the semester, we didn’t learn of just a contrast between black and white, but about other race struggles in the United States. It opened my eyes to the fact that racism didn’t just apply to the typical black/white relations, but rather to anyone who is not white and who’s history is not “American”.
For me, some of the most troubling narratives we read were the ones about people of multi-ethnic backgrounds and their struggle to fit in with either side. I found Caucasia one of my favorites of the novels we have read. I am currently diving deeper into the text for my final paper and finding more reasons to fall in love with the novel.
Truly, this course has been enlightening for me. Going into it, I
was genuinely unsure of what to expect. I'm not entirely certain
how I feel about categorizing literature as "ethnic," for I see
its drawbacks and benefits, but learning about great works in
this category, and the circumstances in which they were crafted,
was very illuminating. I can't say I'd honestly given the concept
of race a lot of thought before, but this course very
intelligently approaches the concept, how it is constructed, and
its consequences throughout society. I often felt a bit timid to
share my opinions in class, as you all, my fellow classmates, are
much more verbally skilled than I, and I likewise feared I'd
accidentally say something that might be considered problematic
(inadvertently of course), but even still, I learned much from
this course and found it a great environment for intellectual
discussion, debate, and growth.
It’s that time of the semester, where attending the last classes is such a bittersweet experience- synthesizing our works and preparing to take what we’ve learned and apply it elsewhere, while being flustered with the high concentrations of finals’ demands…
I have to say that being in this class is an experience that I will forever value, and being a part of this class is an experience that I will never forget. These two aren’t exactly the same thing for me, I was a tutorial student this semester, and I’ve learned that it’s pretty characteristic of an independently study- where I’m reviewing and analyzing materials on my own. But, in the times that I was able to attend the class with the rest of the students, I was experiencing the rich benefits of student discussion and diverse interpretations of the texts.
I don’t have the time to list the many things I learned and developed critically for myself during this course, and throughout Dr. Evan’s courses this year, but I can say that I couldn’t feel more satisfied with the content we used, and were assigned to consider, as I began to broaden my understanding of writing designed to represent what American literature is comprised of- diverse expressions of identity. In a course like this, without a doubt, I built my literary fluency; from expressing my interpretations, listening to others do the same, and becoming more fluent in talking about race and ethnicity in general. Couldn’t put a price on a class like this, especially considering my future career of becoming an educator.
Thank you Dr. Evans, and everyone in class… I appreciate it.
Overall, this course has been a pleasure to be a part of. In the beginning of the semester I was a bit worried about how I would deal with staying on top of things since I am taking the class pass/fail, but the works that we have engaged with over the past semester have been some of the best I’ve read in a while.Caucasia was by far my favorite novel of the semester and I truly enjoyed exploring themes of race and identity across its pages. I feel like the course was challenging to me in different ways such as confronting new mediums i.e. the graphic novel, and dealing with how I think about white privilege and how it not only effects my life but also the lives of those around me (specifically I am thinking about discussions we had over The Namesake and Caucasia.
Another thing that I especially appreciated about the class was the opportunity to read Sherman Alexie’s works and do analysis of current Native American culture. I had read The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven before and loved it but it took on a whole new meaning within the context of the class and I was grateful for the opportunity to have lively discussions about it in a group.
This class helped make my last semester here very enjoyable and I now have a long list of books I want to look into over the summer!
As someone who is incredibly interested in new media, this class has been a wonderful opportunity for me. This was the first class in which I was able to experience analyzing both a film and a graphic novel with a literary eye, and I found it incredibly rewarding. The class topic was also a fantastic focus for me, and I can honestly say that most of the novels we read throughout the semester were entirely new to me. Overall, I’m really excited about the way this course fit into my major and my semester, but most of all, I’m ecstatic that I was finally able to experience new media as part of a university course. I look forward to continuing these studies for a long time.