"New" Immigrant Fiction | Newberry

"New" Immigrant Fiction

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Dr. John Alba Cutler, Northwestern University
Wait list only
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

Historians generally recognize two landmarks in US twentieth-century immigration policy: the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, which restricted immigration from southern and eastern Europe; and the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, which did away with national-origins quotas and opened up immigration from Asia and Latin America in unprecedented numbers. The assimilation story of European immigrants from the early twentieth century is a familiar one, but the stories of Asian, Latin American, and Arab immigrants after 1965 remain relatively unknown. This seminar will survey recent short fiction about the “new” immigrant experience. As the scare quotes indicate, we will pay particular attention to what may or may not be new about these works of fiction, in terms of both content and form. How do contemporary writers understand the immigrant experience in terms that either parallel or diverge from earlier generations? How do new immigrants portray their relationships to ethnic communities claiming long, embattled histories in the US? Readings will include short stories by Daniel Alarcón, Edwidge Danticat, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Nora Okja Keller.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration for all Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars opens September 4, 2014.

For NTC registration information, please contact Charlotte Ross at rossc@newberry.org.