Multicultural literature is the study of literary works that deal with strong cultural content. Traditionally, such readings would predominantly deal with non-dominant, United States domestic culture, i.e., African American, Latino, Asian and Native American. However, this limited scope supports outdated concepts of diversity and excludes subcultures that are European in descent and international cultures that help us have greater historical understanding of U.S. culture and views about the western world. Accordingly, for the purposes of this book discussion group, we will use a broader definition of multicultural.
Like traditional literature, multicultural literature (MCL) deals with universal themes and the elements and techniques of whatever genre of literature. However, with the study of MCL, greater emphasis is placed on creating historical context, understanding elements of culture and exploring biases.
We, often, focus on differences and mentally separate ourselves from other cultures, creating an "Us versus Them" mentality. MCL provides us with the opportunity for greater understanding and appreciation of those cultures we deem different from our own.
Who can join?
The Book Club is open to all faculty, staff, students and community members.
How often does it meet?
The Book Club meets once a month, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Bring your own lunch.
Where does the club meet?
The Book Club meets at either the Intercultural Center or at the Library.
How do I get a copy of the book?
Contact Barbara Stransky, ext. 7279, to reserve a book for check out. Otherwise, you can borrow one from the Intercultural Center or purchase the book at a local store online.
What's in it for You?
- Increased understanding and appreciation of cultural differences
- Ability to articulate norms associated with individual cultures
- Possible ways to integrate elements of multiculturalism or multicultural literature into the classroom (faculty)
- Great books, great conversation and great fun!