ENGL631 - Readings in 20th Century American Literature: Literature of Americas from Transnational Perspectives

Would it be useful to conceptualize American literature as literature of the Americas – North America, South America and the Caribbean islands stretching between those two continents?  Does the study of the literature of these areas suggest a shared “American” literary heritage?  We will consider these questions through readings of 20th century writing as well as foundational material from the 18th and 19th centuries that could help us understand how writers explore twentieth century concerns.  Moving back and forth across the continents, our reading will include Jose Martí’s “Our America”, Sor Juana, or the Traps of Faith by Octavio Paz, Canadian Hugh MacLennan’s Barometer Rising, Shani Mootoo’s He Drown She in the Sea, Rolena Adorno’s Colonial Latin American Literature and Heimert and Delbanco’s The Puritans in America: A narrative anthology.