ENGL313 - American Literature
0101 - Edlie Wong

This discussion-based, writing-intensive course offers a selective overview of American literature from the eighteenth century to the present. Ranging across historical periods and literary genres (from the slave narrative to poetry, regional fiction, drama, and the modern novel), we will examine how authors contribute to a national literary tradition by reworking ideas of literature and nationhood. Along the way, we will consider questions about the boundaries and various functions of both literature and nation, as well as the ways in which literary texts have addressed (or failed to address) America’s critical struggles over the extension of democratic principles across the lines of race, class, and gender. We will ask, among other things, how these writers changed peoples’ ideas about themselves and built or broke down ideas about what counts as “American” literature.


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of department.