Department of English

Amrita Mishra


Postdoctoral FellowPh.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Postdoctoral Lecturer
Amrita Mishra

Contact

Courses


E 314V • African American Lit/Cul-Wb

35570 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDWr (also listed as AFR 315T)

E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture-WB

 

Instructor:  Mishra, A

Unique:  35570

Semester: Spring 2021

Cross-lists:  AFR 315T, 31045

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  In light of the growing national Black Lives Matter movement and resistance to state-sanctioned violence and white supremacy, how might we think about Black literatures as sites of meaning-making, healing, joy, or revolution?  What is the power of the Black literary imagination in recasting narratives of the past and in envisioning radical futurities?  What is the present political utility of seeking value in the speculative—“what could have been”—over the official historical record, or “what was”?  This course looks at a range of contemporary Black creative works that explore the past and how the past continues to inform our present moment.  Together we will ask: how do these African diasporic writers reimagine the traumatic histories of the Middle Passage and plantation slavery, and unearth moments of Black joy and resilience in rewriting those histories?  How does Black literature and art negotiate issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class?  How does Blackness articulate itself in the creative works of more recent US-based African diasporas, such as in the work of Ghanaian-American writer Yaa Gyasi?  Alongside creative works we will read selections of critical race theory, Black feminism, and activist agendas that will help us conceptualize Black death, the politics of resistance and refusal, and Black love.

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy and acquire models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a Cultural Diversity and Writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

 

Requirements and Grading:  3 close-reading research papers, including creative writing options for the final project (70% of final grade).  For the first paper, you will submit a draft that will be graded.  We will then have individual writing conferences to discuss your work and feedback, after which you will be asked to resubmit a revised paper.  Subsequent papers will have revision opportunities through peer-review and class writing workshops.  There will also be weekly reading journals/blog posts, casual class presentations, and evaluated class participation (30% of final grade).

 

Tentative Texts (subject to change):  Kindred, Octavia Butler; Citizen, Claudia Rankine; Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward; Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi; Heavy: An American Memoir, Kiese Laymon; selections from Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your Mother, James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, amongst others.

E 323D • Migration Literature-Wb

36075 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
GC

E 323D  l  Migration Literature-WB

 

Instructor:  Mishra, A

Unique #:  36075

Semester:  Spring 2021

Cross-lists:  none

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description:  Where are you actually from? –

In his 2017 Man Booker Prize short-listed novel, Exit West, Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid muses: “and when she went out it seemed to her that she too had migrated, that everyone migrates, even if we stay in the same houses our whole lives, because we can’t help it.  We are all migrants through time.”  In light of an international refugee crisis, increased border militarization and incarceration, and immigration restrictions, what does it mean for the contemporary novel to imagine the migrant, and the “migrant through time?”  Together we will navigate fairly unchartered waters in this class by taking seriously the category of “migrant literature,” a category much less familiar, than, say, “immigration literature.”  One of the main questions we will ponder throughout the semester will be: how is the “migrant” imagined in global contemporary literature, and how is this imagining distinct from that of a traveler, expat, or refugee?  What is the power or political utility of bringing creative works together through their investment in the “migrant”?

 

We will begin with Shailja Patel’s 2010 dynamic multi-genre text and performance, Migritude, which conceptualizes the idea of “migritude” as a way of inhabiting, voicing, and celebrating migrant consciousness in the face of state-sanctioned violence, xenophobia, and colonialism.  Migritude will become a useful framework in exploring other global creative and critical works (and some that blur the line between critical and creative) that grapple with issues of the displacement and movement of bodies, the making of diaspora, citizenship, and empire.  Our readings will invite questions such as: how do contemporary works make visible marginalized histories of migration and their legacies in the present moment? How do the overlapping matrices of race, class, gender, and sexuality shape the migrant experience and border crossings? What does it mean to belong?

 

Requirements & Grading:  3 close-reading + research papers (70% of final grade).  Option to revise first paper and resubmit after an individual writing conference to discuss feedback.  There will also be weekly reading journals/ blog posts, short creative writing prompts, 1-2 class presentations, and evaluated class participation (30% of final grade).

 

Texts (subject to change):  Migritude, Shailja Patel; Exit West, Mohsin Hamid; Coolie Woman, Gaiutra Bahadur; The Best We Could Do, Thi Bui; Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi; Season of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih; The House of Broken Angels, Luis Alberto Urrea; selections from Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your Mother, Hazel Carby’s Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands, and other creative/critical texts.

AFR 315T • African American Lit/Cul-Wb

30039 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDWr

Please check back for updates.

E 343C • Caribbean Literature-Wb

34939 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
GC (also listed as AFR 330Q, C L 323)

E 343C  l  Caribbean Literature

 

[previously offered as E360L.2]

 

Instructor:  Mishra, A

Unique #:  34939

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  AFR 330Q, C L 323.6

 

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description:  “As your plane descends to land, you might say, What a beautiful island Antigua is—more beautiful than any of the other islands you have seen, and they were very beautiful, in their way, but they were too green, much too lush with vegetation, which indicated to you, the tourist, that they got quite a bit of rainfall, and rain is the very thing, just now, you do not want, for you are thinking… you could stay in this place where the sun always shines and where the climate is deliciously hot and dry… since you are a tourist, the thought of what it might be like for someone who had to live day in, day out in a place that constantly suffers from drought, and so has to watch carefully every drop of fresh water used must never cross your mind”

 

- Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place

 

The Caribbean is often imagined today, as European colonizers once did, as a tropical paradise: pristine beaches, eternal sunshine, the perfect getaway.  But as Kincaid insightfully observes, in such imaginings the islands are emptied out of actual Caribbean peoples, their lived experiences, and historical complexity.  In this course we will read a range of major writers from various Caribbean nations and islands who write back to and dismantle such colonial fantasies of the Caribbean as they grapple with questions of race, gender, sexuality, and belonging.  We will begin with Caribbean writers of the early 20th century who contributed to and advanced modernist and avant-garde literary movements that are conventionally associated with Western Europe and the US.  Together we will ask: how did such texts resist colonialism and colonial ways of thinking or being?  How did such texts conceptualize Caribbean regional and national belonging?  What power did the Caribbean literary imagination have on transforming national consciousness?

 

We will then explore Windrush-era and contemporary writers who negotiate the postcolonial Caribbean and nationhood.  How do such texts unearth the enduring and varied legacies of slavery, indentured labor, maroonage, and the dispossession and genocide of indigenous peoples?  How might literature recast those narratives of the past and imagine alternative radical futurities?  Alongside creative works we will read some selections of literary theory and travel journals of colonizers on the Caribbean.

 

This course contains a Global Cultures flag.

 

Requirements & Grading:  3 close-reading + research papers (70% of final grade). Option to revise first paper and resubmit after an individual writing conference to discuss feedback.  There will also be weekly reading journals/blog posts, short creative writing prompts, 1-2 class presentations, and evaluated class participation (30% of final grade).

 

Tentative Texts (subject to change):  Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, Aimé Césaire (Martinique); Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys (Dominica); A Small Place, Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua); The Swinging Bridge, Ramabai Espinet (Trinidad), At the Full and Change of the Moon, Dionne Brand; The Price of Memory, documentary directed by Karen Mafundikwa (Jamaica); Krik? Krak!, Edwidge Danticat (Haiti); selections from works of Suzanne Césaire (Martinique), José Martí (Cuba), Junot Diaz (Dominican Republic).  We will be reading all texts in English; if you are a French or Spanish reader please feel free to read the original!

E 314L • Banned Books And Novel Ideas

34930 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.216
Wr

E 314L  l  3-Banned Books and Novel Ideas

 

Instructor: Mishra, A

Unique #:  34930

Semester:  Spring 2019

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description: What makes a novel dangerous? How do works of fiction imagine possibilities that disrupt a dominant political or social order, and why and how do these transgressions warrant the silencing of such texts? In this class, we will look at a range of novels and short stories that have been banned or censored for their negotiations of gender, race, sexuality, or religion.  Central to all texts in our selection is a preoccupation with the use of magical realism, fantasy, and/or dystopia to articulate such concerns.  Primarily we will ask: how do banned books at once reflect and transform the social realities that they are written in?  What can the restriction of a text tell us about the nature of a political or social structure, and how does such restriction affect the way in which we read or evaluate the text?  How does censorship or suppression in different global contexts—such as of Allende in Chile and the US, or Rushdie in various Muslim majority nations—help us think through some novels’ transnational radical potential?

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

 

Tentative Texts: La casa de los espiritus(The House of the Spirits), Isabel Allende; The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood; Beloved, Toni Morrison; The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie.

 

Requirements & Grading: There will be a series of 3 short essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (70% of the final grade).  There will also be participation, blog posts, and class presentations, which will constitute 30% of the final grade.

E 314V • Asian American Lit & Culture

35155 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 2.128
CDWr (also listed as AAS 314)

E 314V  l  2-Asian American Literature and Culture

 

Instructor:  Mishra, A

Unique #:  35155

Semester:  Fall 2018

Cross-lists:  AAS 314

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  In his 2017 latest Man Booker Prize short-listed novel, Exit West, Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid muses: “and when she went out it seemed to her that she too had migrated, that everyone migrates, even if we stay in the same houses our whole lives, because we can’t help it.  We are all migrants through time.”  In light of an international refugee crisis and the simultaneous increase in deportations from and immigration restrictions to the US, what does it mean for the contemporary Asian-American novel to imagine the migrant, and the “migrant through time”?  How might the 20th and 21st century “Asian-American novel”—in the various ways that we may define or destabilize the category— help make visible contemporary and older debates about the displacement of bodies, immigration, and the complicated relationship between a homeland and a diaspora?

As a class we will read a range of novels and secondary materials to explore issues of race, imperialism, diaspora, citizenship, and gender in the project of constructing “Asian-American” identity.  Our readings will invite questions such as: what is the very idea of “Asian-American literature” and what contemporary political utility might it have?  What can Asian-American novels teach us about historical Asian diasporas’ cultural and labor contributions to our present day understandings of “America,” and about the intimate relationship between US foreign policy and Asian refugees rehabilitated in the US?  How might such literature force us to consider the ways in which recent-anti-immigrant rhetoric in the US and elsewhere works to erase those older histories?  Finally, how does the contemporary Asian-American novel complicate and unsettle the conventional immigrant narrative of moving permanently from a disadvantaged homeland to a new land of promise?  What do we do, for example, with immigrant characters who voluntarily leave the US to return to other homes?

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

 

Possible Texts include Hala Alyan’s Salt Houses (2017), Thi Bui’s graphic novel The Best We Could Do (2017), Karen Tei Yamashita’s Letters to Memory (2017), Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West (2017).

 

Requirements & Grading:  In this course, there will be a series of 3 short essays, all of which may be revised and re-submitted (70% of final grade).  In addition, you will be evaluated on the basis of reading journal entries, shorter writing assignments, an in-class presentation, and engaged class participation (30% of final grade).

E 314V • Asian American Lit & Culture

35157 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM SZB 380
CDWr (also listed as AAS 314)

E 314V  l  2-Asian American Literature and Culture

 

Instructor:  Shingavi, S

Unique #:  35157

Semester:  Fall 2018

Cross-lists:  AAS 314

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  Yes

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  As a worldwide refugee crisis continues, hateful rhetoric in the US is directed toward recent and potential immigrants, despite immigration’s central role in the nation’s identity.  Considering contemporary and historical debates about immigration through the lens of 20th and 21st century Asian American novels and short stories, this course will focus on conceptions of nationhood, ethnicity, race, gender, and sexuality, and ask the following questions:  What has it—and does it—mean to be “Asian American”? How does Asian American literature navigate oppression, politics, and culture?

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and/or Asian American Studies.  They will also learn historical contexts, critical debates, and the relationship between “home” countries and the diasporas.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

 

This course contains a Cultural Diversity flag.

 

Tentative Texts:  Bulosan, America is in the Heart; Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker; Eddie Huang, Fresh off the Boat; Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies; Karen Tei Yamashita, I-Hotel; lê thi diem thuy, The Gangster We Are All Looking For; Mohsin Hamid, Reluctant Fundamentalist; Suji Kwock Kim, Notes from the Divided Country, among other short stories and secondary sources.

 

Requirements & Grading:  There will be two mid-term papers (25% each) and a final paper (35%).  There may also be short quizzes, reaction papers, blog posts, and/or in-class presentations (15% of the final grade).

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Food

43650 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 0.132
Wr

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Exotic Food 

“Stop thinking. Just slurp the noodle in your mouth. I don’t need you to tell me about your spiritual awakening, or your surprise at how modernized our cities are, or how charmed you were that English was so widely spoken … Eat, but don’t expect a gold star for your gastronomical bravery.” – Shin Yin Khor

“I got hot sauce in my bag, swag” −Beyoncé Knowles, “Formation”

Brightly coloured fruit. Spicy aromas floating out of chaotic souks. Palm trees. The idea of “exotic food” generally conjures up an alluring faraway place; anyone who tries it must be a daring worldly adventurer, or “gastronomically brave.” Food and travel blogs and television shows like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown have long promoted the glamour of traveling to experience cuisines on the other side of the world as “authentically” as possible. For those of us who can’t globe-trot, restaurant reviews, menus, cookbooks, and social media attempt to recreate the experience of travelling by constructing and then selling the “exotic”: but can you experience all of Ethiopia by trying injera, or be an expert on Uruguayan culture if you try a choripán? What might the dangers of imagining and glamourizing the “exotic” be? When we become food adventurers in our hometowns or travel to eat, are we doing the same thing European colonizers did for centuries: profit from other regions of the world by exploiting their natural resources and culturally appropriating elements while imagining ourselves to be superior? 

In this course we will explore and interrogate a range of texts in public discourse—from food memoirs to restaurant reviews to food travel shows—concerned with debates surrounding “exotic” food. Some central questions may be: how does the marketing of the “exotic” affect the environment and endangered species, and certain livelihoods? Can claiming an “exotic” food empower certain minority cultures? Is Beyoncé singing about hot sauce in her bag a way of inverting black stereotypes to celebrate blackness and her Southern heritage? We will also work to determine how the “exotic” is constructed and then used in various genres of food-writing and marketing to make particular arguments, an constantly ask: what does this food text want to argue for? How does a formulation of the “exotic” help this text accomplish that argument? We will learn to identify arguments, rhetorically analyze different kinds of persuasive sources and food genres, and cultivate individual arguments. Critical writing assignments include summarizing the argument of a food text, researching and and mapping out a particular controversy related to “exotic” food, rhetorically analyzing the menu, presentation of food, or ambience at a dining establishment, and writing a rhetorical analysis paper. We’ll also do some creative persuasive writing: a personal food memoir and blog post documenting an encounter with “exotic” food, and a final project where students will construct an argument through a genre of food-writing of their choice: memoir, recipe and introduction, blog-post, critical op-ed or restaurant review.

 

Assignments:

  • Food Source Summary: 5% 
  • Food Memoir and Reflections: 7.5%
  • Exotic Food Blogging: 10%      
  • Definition Paper: 2.5%
  • Coggle Map + Synthesis: 15%
  • Primary Cultural Object Analysis: 5%
  • Rhetorical Analysis Paper: 20% (10% for first draft, and 10% for revised draft)
  • Paper Proposal: 2.5%
  • Argument Paper and Presentation: 25% (10% for first draft, 15% for revised)
  • Participation, in class and on Canvas discussions: 7.5% 

Required Course Materials:  Everything’s an Argument, Andrea A. Lundsford and John J. Ruskiewicz, EasyWriter, by Andrea A. Lundsford. Additional readings on Canvas.

RHE 309K • Rhetoric Of Food

44100 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.210
Wr

RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Exotic Food 

“Stop thinking. Just slurp the noodle in your mouth. I don’t need you to tell me about your spiritual awakening, or your surprise at how modernized our cities are, or how charmed you were that English was so widely spoken … Eat, but don’t expect a gold star for your gastronomical bravery.” – Shin Yin Khor

“I got hot sauce in my bag, swag” −Beyoncé Knowles, “Formation”

Brightly coloured fruit. Spicy aromas floating out of chaotic souks. Palm trees. The idea of “exotic food” generally conjures up an alluring faraway place; anyone who tries it must be a daring worldly adventurer, or “gastronomically brave.” Food and travel blogs and television shows like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown have long promoted the glamour of traveling to experience cuisines on the other side of the world as “authentically” as possible. For those of us who can’t globe-trot, restaurant reviews, menus, cookbooks, and social media attempt to recreate the experience of travelling by constructing and then selling the “exotic”: but can you experience all of Ethiopia by trying injera, or be an expert on Uruguayan culture if you try a choripán? What might the dangers of imagining and glamourizing the “exotic” be? When we become food adventurers in our hometowns or travel to eat, are we doing the same thing European colonizers did for centuries: profit from other regions of the world by exploiting their natural resources and culturally appropriating elements while imagining ourselves to be superior? 

In this course we will explore and interrogate a range of texts in public discourse—from food memoirs to restaurant reviews to food travel shows—concerned with debates surrounding “exotic” food. Some central questions may be: how does the marketing of the “exotic” affect the environment and endangered species, and certain livelihoods? Can claiming an “exotic” food empower certain minority cultures? Is Beyoncé singing about hot sauce in her bag a way of inverting black stereotypes to celebrate blackness and her Southern heritage? We will also work to determine how the “exotic” is constructed and then used in various genres of food-writing and marketing to make particular arguments, an constantly ask: what does this food text want to argue for? How does a formulation of the “exotic” help this text accomplish that argument? We will learn to identify arguments, rhetorically analyze different kinds of persuasive sources and food genres, and cultivate individual arguments. Critical writing assignments include summarizing the argument of a food text, researching and and mapping out a particular controversy related to “exotic” food, rhetorically analyzing the menu, presentation of food, or ambience at a dining establishment, and writing a rhetorical analysis paper. We’ll also do some creative persuasive writing: a personal food memoir and blog post documenting an encounter with “exotic” food, and a final project where students will construct an argument through a genre of food-writing of their choice: memoir, recipe and introduction, blog-post, critical op-ed or restaurant review.

 

Assignments:

  • Food Source Summary: 5% 
  • Food Memoir and Reflections: 7.5%
  • Exotic Food Blogging: 10%      
  • Definition Paper: 2.5%
  • Coggle Map + Synthesis: 15%
  • Primary Cultural Object Analysis: 5%
  • Rhetorical Analysis Paper: 20% (10% for first draft, and 10% for revised draft)
  • Paper Proposal: 2.5%
  • Argument Paper and Presentation: 25% (10% for first draft, 15% for revised)
  • Participation, in class and on Canvas discussions: 7.5% 

Required Course Materials:  Everything’s an Argument, Andrea A. Lundsford and John J. Ruskiewicz, EasyWriter, by Andrea A. Lundsford. Additional readings on Canvas.

Curriculum Vitae


Profile Pages


External Links