Literature of Immigration
Prof. Joseph Conte
Jan 12: Introduction: The literature of
Jan 14: The multi-ethnic literatures of the
Jan 19: Tenement life: Jacob Riis’ How the
Other Half Lives
Jan 21: Riis’ How the Other Half Lives
Jan 26: Riis’ How the Other Half Lives
Jan 28: The rabbi and the “new woman”: Anzia
Yezierska’s Bread Givers
Feb 2: Yezierska’s Bread Givers
Feb 4: Yezierska’s Bread Givers
Feb 9: Southern Italian saga: Gay Talese’s
Unto the Sons
Feb 11: Talese’s Unto the Sons
Feb 16: Talese’s Unto the Sons
Feb 18: Talese’s Unto the Sons
First Essay Due in Class
Feb 23: Talese’s Unto the Sons
Feb 25: Talese’s Unto the Sons
Mar 2: Werner Herzog, Stroszek: A Ballad
Mar 4: Herzog, Stroszek. Film.
Mar 9: Spring Recess
Mar 11: Spring Recess
Mar 16: The professor takes a sabbatical:
Vladimir Nabokov’s Pnin
Mar 18: Nabokov’s Pnin
Second Essay Due in Class
Mar 23: Nabokov’s Pnin
Mar 25: The Irish troubles: Frank McCourt’s
Mar 30: McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes
Apr 1: McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes
Apr 6: McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes
Apr 8: The ghetto nerd: Junot Díaz’s The
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Apr 13: Díaz’s Oscar Wao
Apr 15: Díaz’s Oscar Wao
Apr 20: Díaz’s Oscar Wao
Critical Essay Due in Class
Apr 22: Conclusions and evaluations
All texts are available in paperback at Talking Leaves
Bookstore, 3158 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214, located across from the South
Campus. (716) 837-8554.
Díaz, Junot. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
New York: Riverhead, 2007.
Frank. Angela’s Ashes. New York: Scribner, 1997.
Vladimir. Pnin. New York: Vintage, 1989.
How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York. New
York: Penguin, 1997.
Unto the Sons. New York: Random House, 2006.
Anzia. Bread Givers: A struggle between a father of the Old World and a
daughter of the New. New York: Persea Books, 2003.
Additional readings can be found on the UB Learns
site for this course.
Two five-page papers; an eight-page critical essay; and
Neatly printed copies must be presented in class on the day indicated on
the syllabus. These copies should adhere to the following format: a cover page
with a title for your essay, your name, the course number and title, the date;
typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins; all pages numbered; stapled. The
paper should be proofread for grammatical and typographical errors.
policy: Late assignments will be accepted only by prior arrangement with
me. Failure to seek approval before the due date will result in a penalty of
one grade increment per class meeting.
Plagiarism: All secondary materials, either from print or digital
sources, must be properly attributed. Plagiarism of a paper—either in
whole or in part—will result in an immediate failure for the assignment and
possible failure for the course, at the discretion of the instructor.
Noted on a daily basis. Absence from more than six classes during the course of
the semester will result in a final grade deduction, up to and including failure
for the course, at the instructor’s discretion. Students should be prepared to
discuss the readings at every class. Please turn off cellular telephones and
other p.d.a.s before entering the classroom.
50% for the two papers; 40% for the critical essay; and 10% for attendance and
participation in class discussion.
Last revised on Wednesday, March 24, 2010.
Copyright © 2010 Joseph M. Conte. All