Asian American Literature
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To narrow your search for works in the CUNY Catalog it helps to do an advanced, rather than a basic, search. In an advanced search you can enter Boolean terms to expand, exclude, or narrow your search. You can also define your search by format, if you're interested in e-books or films, or by location in the library, which is relevant if you want to limit your search to authoritative reference works. The reference works at Rosenthal include dictionaries, handbooks, encyclopedias, bibliographies and original works of literature by and about Asian American writers (though original works are mostly located in the stacks, not in reference). Much of the material about Asian American literature is in circulation or in e-books rather than in reference; try searching the collection for particular themes or a particular author you are researching.
When searching for Asian American literature in the CUNY Catalog it can be difficult to distinguish between literature by verses about Asian American authors, because both are treated as subject terms. The difference is in the order of the terms; a book with the subject term 'American Fiction—Asian American Authors' describes fiction by an Asian American author, whereas 'Asian Americans in Literature' likely describes a critical work about Asian American literature. A simple approach is to start by entering keywords you think best describe your topic and narrow from there.
Subject verses author searches
Remember that when searching for books BY an author you will enter the author's name (last name, first name) in the Author entry field in your search. If you are searching for works ABOUT an author you enter the author's name (last, first) under the Subject entry field in your search.
- American drama—Asian American authors
- American fiction—Asian American authors
- American fiction—Asian American authors—History and criticism
- American poetry—Asian American authors
- American literature—Asian American authors
- Asian American Authors
- Asian American—Drama
- Asian Americans in Literature
- Asian Americans in Literature—Dictionaries
- Asian Americans in Literature—Encyclopedias
If you are searching for Asian literature, as opposed to Asian-American, your subject headings might also start with a particular ethnicity. For instance, Japanese Literature and Korean Literature are both subject headings.
- American literature—[Japanese] authors [insert ethnicity here]
- PS153.A84 Ethnic American Literature (note the specificity of this particular call number, which is where most of the books on this list are cataloged)
- PS126-138 American Literature—Biography, Memoir
- PS153-173 American Literature—Treatment of special subjects
- PS301-326 American Literature—Poetry
- PS330-353 American Literature—Drama
- PS370-380 American Literature—Prose Fiction
- PS700-3576 American Literature—Individual Authors
If you wanted to read international literature, or collections of literature, here are some call numbers that could be of interest.
- PL Languages of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceana
- PL501-889 Japanese
- PL901-998 Korean
- PL1001-3208 Chinese
- PL3512 Malaysian
- PL3515 Singapore
- PL5001-7511 Languages of Oceana (Phillipine, Taiwan, Polynesian, more)
Example: The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature is PL782 .E1 C55 2005
Encyclopedias are ready reference resources designed to help readers understand complex concepts within the work; entries tend to be alphabetic by entry but cross-referenced by theme, or author, depending on the encyclopedia. Depending on the specificity of the resource, one can look up a particular work, an author, a common theme, a historical landmark, and more, and discover its significance in the context of the culture or literature. They tend to cover a wide range of material, as opposed to a detailed analysis of an individual work.
Here are some examples:
- Asian American Playwrights : A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook (Reference Level 3 - PS338 .A74 A9 2002 and Electronic Resource)
- A series of biographical entries about individual playwrights which investigate the major themes, works, critical reception, and a list of studies about each author.
- Asian American Novelists : A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook (Reference Level 3 - PS153.A84 A825 2000 and Electronic Resource)
- A series of biographical entries about individual novelists which investigate the major themes, works, critical reception, and a list of studies about each author.
- The Columbia Guide to Asian American Literature Since 1945 / Guiyou Huang. (Electronic Resource)
- A historical overview of the major genres in Asian American literature since 1945. Entries, in the A-Z section, are further broken down by literature type: anthologies, poetry, fiction, drama, and more; within each section one can find detailed descriptions of authors and their works. Also includes a section on literary criticism.
- Encyclopedia of Asian American literature (Reference Level 3 - PS153 .A84 O37 2007)
- This is very introductory, but provides information about major authors and their works. Includes a bibliography of Asian-American literature and a secondary bibliography.
- The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature / edited by Guiyou Huang.(Electronic Resource)
- Because this encyclopedia is online through the Gale Virtual Reference series, its interface lends itself to searching rather than browsing (ie works more like a database than an e-book, though an e-book it technically is). Nonetheless, it is a standard encyclopedia where you search the author or work you wish to know more about, and the entry gives you biographical info, lists of works, critical reception, and further reading. Also indexes Asian American periodicals, awards, alliances, associations, literary themes, more. See the list of contents to discover which authors are indexed. Search e-index to scour all contents.
Critical Books or Collections of Critical Essays:
The following books can all be found on the shelf in this location, alongside other similar works: PS153.A84 C46-PS153.A84 Y8. Here is a short list of examples of what you'll find here:
- The Americas of Asian American Literature: Gendered Fictions of Nation and Transnation / Rachel C. Lee (Electronic Resource)
- Lee addresses the current debates on the relationship between gender, national identity, and ethnic identity through close analysis of select literary texts, including authors Gish Jen, Jessica Hagedorn, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Carlos Buslosan.
- Eating Identities : Reading Food in Asian American Literature / Wenying Xu. (Electronic Resource)
- A book-length critique discussing food in literary works authored by Asian American writers.
- The Ethics & Poetics of Alterity in Asian American Poetry / Xiaojing Zhou. (Electronic Resource)
- Zhou analyzes the works of seven Asian American poets through the lens of ethics and critical form. Includes an index of works and terms.
- An Interethnic Companion to Asian American Literature (PS153.A84 I58 1997)
- A survey of Asian American writers: part one is broken down by region, and part two is broken down by issue.
- Transnational Asian American Literature: Sites and Transits(PS153.A84 T73 2006)
- Series of critical essays with a transnational approach to what Asian American literature is. Essays are by various authors, and separated by genre, including poetry, fiction, and memoir.
- MLA International Bibliography:
- The most scholarly and comprehensive database for articles and books on the modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics and literary aspects of film. More than 66,000 citations are added annually.
- 60+ core journals in Asian studies. Covers over 500 journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Full text is available for all articles as recently as about 5 years ago.
- Project Muse:
- 15+ core journals in Asian studies. Full-text access to over 200 journals from university presses and scholarly societies, focusing on the humanities and social sciences. A smaller database than JSTOR, but they index an excellent list of journals and their full-text content is more recent.
- Humanities Full Text:
- Cover-to-cover indexing and abstracting of key English-language publications in the literature of the humanities.
- Literature Criticism Online:
- Compiles excerpts of the most important literary criticism on an author or work. The essays are chosen to provide a useful overview of critical work on the literary works in question. Note that you can narrow your search by series, which are organized by century.
Journals and E-Journals
E-Journals: note that many of these are indexed in JSTOR
- Asian American Literature : Discourse and Pedagogies
- from 2010 to present in Directory of Open Access Journals
- Journal of Asian American studies (1097-2129)
- from 02/01/1998 to present in Project MUSE - Standard Collection
- Chinese Literature, Essays, Articles, Reviews (0161-9705)
- from 01/01/1979 to 12/31/2007 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences III Archive Collection
- Japanese Language and Literature (1536-7827)
- from 04/01/2001 to 10/31/2007 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences III Archive Collection
- Journal of East Asian Linguistics (0925-8558)
- from 01/01/1992 to 12/31/2007 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences VI Archive Collection
- from 01/01/1997 to present in Springer Americas
Queens College has an Asian / American Center, located at Kissena Hall, room 315, and they have a non-circulating research library with over 2,500 documents, including books, periodicals, and reports. Their holdings are listed in the CUNY Catalog so when you do your searches those works will come up, but it's worth noting that they are open from 9:30-3:30 Mon-Thurs, and offer other resources, like paper-writing assistance.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.
- Stacks (Call # A-L Level 4; Call # P-Z Level 5) - LB2369 .G53 2010
- Desk Reference Level 3 - LB2369 .G53 2010
- Online MLA Formatting and Style Guide from the OWL at Purdue