This course takes as its starting point the question: "What constitutes American identity?" By reading texts from a variety of genres and cultural perspectives, the course explores the themes of community, loss, and identity. In what ways can these most central of human experiences be viewed as distinctly American? Commencing with the Declaration of Independence, the course traces an emerging American identity as it is articulated by figures central to American culture. This exploration explore these questions as they are articulated over time: over the last three hundred years.