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ENGL 1102: Multicultural American Literature: Culture and Context (Vasconcelos): Getting Started


This guide will introduce you to major resources in Multicultural American literature. If you have questions or need research help, just ASK! You can either contact me or the general Reference Desk.

Cover of The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

Encyclopedias on Racial and Ethnic Groups

Use these encyclopedias to better understand the histories and cultures of groups in U.S. society.

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America

Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society

Encyclopedia of World Cultures

Encyclopedia of African American Society

Encyclopedia of American Indian Issues Today

Encyclopedia of Islam

Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife

American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural Change

The Reference collection on the first floor of the Main Library has many more reference books. Sample titles include:

Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History (Main Ref E184.M88 E876 2010)

Handbook of North American Indians (Main Ref E77 .H25)

Atlas of Asian-American History (Main Ref E184.O6 .A89 2002)

Historical Statistics of Black America (Main Ref E185 .H543 1995)

Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States (Main Ref E184 .S75 O97 2005)


Other Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Use these reference sources for definitions, concise overviews of literary works and authors' lives, and cultural and historical context.


Literature Resource CenterLiterary Reference Center, and The Literary Encyclopedia: Three online encyclopedias with biographies of writers, plot summaries, and some critical analyses.

A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory and Key Terms in Literary Theory: Two dictionaries with concise explanations of terms used in studying literature.

Historical Events and People:

Dictionary of American History: An authoritative quick reference to people, places, and events.

American National Biography: The major biographical encyclopedia on persons (no longer living) of importance in U.S. culture and history.

Religious Beliefs:

Encyclopedia of Religion: The standard scholarly encyclopedia of religion. Besides entries on individual religions, this encyclopedia includes comparative essays on broad topics such as "Prayer" and "Eternity."

Language Dictionaries:

Oxford English Dictionary: The authoritative historical dictionary of the English language.

Dictionary of American Regional English: A project that documents how words, phrases, and pronunciations vary across the U.S.

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