ENGL 237

American Literature and Culture: Beyond Borders

This introductory course engages with developments in American literary history that precede, complicate, or challenge nationalist frameworks. It focuses on the U.S. nation and/or its colonial antecedents through a lens that is transnational or multinational, considering the space we now identify as ┬┐America┬┐ (U.S) in relation to a variety of identities, traditions, and cultures that have circulated within and around it. The course thus emphasizes an anti-exceptionalist approach to American literature, focusing instead on the circulation of ideas about or in relation to the American U.S. within larger cultural or global contexts. Specific periods and themes vary according to instructor from the colonial era to the present, and may include comparative colonial or imperial literatures, trans-Atlantic traditions, and America in its various international, multi-national or post-national contexts. Course sub-topics might include but are not limited to the following: Anglo-American literary relations, narratives of colonization, Caribbean-American contexts, the Atlantic slave trade, U.S.-Mexico or hemispheric relations, literatures of transnational or international migration, the U.S. in a global world.