In this course we examined what it means for a text to be considered American Literature. The texts we read in class were atypical texts for an American Literature course because we were exploring what it means for a text to be transnational. In the existing canon of American Literature, much of the scholarship is focused on work from the United States. In this course we were encouraged to break with that organization of the canon. We asked questions about race, gender, and society and explored how texts challenge existing understandings of literature.
Course Texts: Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Another Country by James Baldwin, The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.
James, Jenny. "Syllabus for English 374," Transnational American Literature, Fall 2016.