Doctors and Terrorists: The Fictions of South Asian America


South Asians have always played an integral role in the culture, history and politics of the United States. However, for complex reasons, their presence has either been concealed, or dismissed through dangerous stereotypes, or just as inaccurately, excessively celebrated for proving the generosity of American liberalism and multiculturalism. Racially misrecognized, this large and heterogeneous group has nonetheless shaped American categories of race, sexuality, and citizenship in intriguing and powerful ways. South Asian Americans have reached to fiction, music and popular culture to craft deeply intimate and original assessments of mainstream desires. In doing so they have sought to resist the dictates of whiteness, to question US imperialism, to garner acceptance and mobility, to build solidarity with other US minorities. In this course we learn about the complex history and cultural productions of South Asians in America. How did "South Asia" become a category of identification, and who benefitted from that designation? What role have South Asians played in the economic, cultural and global ascendancy of the United States? How do South Asians connect with, and control, their countries of origin? Why do discourses of sex and intimacy rise to the surface in this history, and what is the significance of story-telling in building the archive and questioning the fiction of South Asian America? Course enrollment is limited to first-year and sophomore students.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; BU BA; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SC