Who is making decisions on which ethnic literature gets included into the standard educational canon? How does this decision-making process occur? "The Ethnic Canon" questions the current process, arguing that texts are added to the canon only after an operation that attempts to resolve and neutralize historical and political contradictions and differences. "The Ethnic Canon" offers a wide variety of critical viewpoints, and speaks to the history and practice of canon formation within specific ethnic literatures. It is a unique collection in its pointed critique of the academy regarding particular authors and texts which have and have not been included in the canon. The texts examined include: Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon", Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man", Amarico Paredes' "Between Two Worlds", Richard Rodriguez' "Days of Obligation", and David Henry Hwang's "M. Butterfly", along with the novels of Amy Tan, Filipino works and Caribbean women's writings.
Part 1 Instituting minor literatures: "border" studies - the intersection of gender and colour, Paula Gunn Allen; canon, institutionalization, identity - contradictions for Aisian American studies, Lisa Lowe. Part 2 the construction of the ethnic: the borders of modernity - Americo Paredes's "Between Two Worlds" and the Chicano national subject, Ramon Saldivar; Telling the difference - representatins of identity in the discourse of Indianness, Jana Sequoya-Magdaleno; the politics of Carnival and Heteroglossia in Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon" and Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" - dialogic criticism and African American literature, Elliott Butler-Evans; tropology of hunger - the "miseducation" of Richard Rodriguez, Norma Alarcon; calculated musings - Richard Rodriguez's metaphysics of difference, Rosaura Sanchez; "sugar sisterhood" - situating the Amy Tan phenomenon, Sau-Ling Cynthia Wong. Part 3 The ethnic, the nation and the canon: in search of Filipino writing - reclaiming whose "America"?, E. San Juan Jr; a rough terrain - the case of shaping an anthology of Caribbean women writers, Barbara Christian; "M. Butterfly" and the rhetoric of anti-essentialism - minority discourse in an international frame, Colleen Lye.