Joaquin Murieta
What story do the stories of early America tell? This course traces the development of an American literary tradition from contact (“discovery”) to settlement (colonies) to nationhood (revolution) to secession and tentative resolution (the Civil War). Writing and storytelling were important ways for American Indians, explorers, colonists, African Americans, travelers, U.S. citizens, and others to process the possibilities, confusion, and violence of settling the New World. We will read a wide array of writings, including travel writing, poetry, novels, essays, slave narratives, and short stories, encountering a remarkably unpredictable history of “America."