This course will consider the development of 'ethnic' and new immigrant literature in the United States from the early twentieth century to the present day. It will do so by positioning literary works within their wider historical, political and cultural context. The course will examine the dominant ideas and concerns of a range of texts from life-writing and poetry to drama, short fiction and the novel by writers from a range of ethno-cultural backgrounds, including Irish, Jewish, Caribbean and Asian American. Issues for discussion will include the claiming of the United States by new immigrant and 'ethnic' writers; race and ethnicity; gender, class and sexuality; labour and economic status; the uses and re-writing of American history and 'master narratives'; the impact of US regionalism; the ways in which writers engage with the American canon; multiculturalism and the 'culture wars'; and the growth of 'ethnic' American writing and Ethnic Studies as academic fields. The course will analyse works by such writers as Jacob Riis, John Okada, Jamaica Kincaid, Claudia Rankine and Junot Diaz.