ENGL 201

Narratives of U.S. America

The objective of this class is to demonstrate how creative expression through the literary arts is key to the understanding, formation, and self-definition of communities across the United States of America. Students will articulate theories and concepts of critical diversity into the realm of literary production and how they develop, register, and disseminate relationships of power and/or meaning in an artistic medium. The history of U.S. America is framed by the movement of people across land and space: Colonization and Slavery, Manifest Destiny, Western Expansion, and Immigration. This course will trace the genealogies of travel, displacement and migration in literary representations of US America and its mapping of alternate geographies and narrative identities. In other words, we will examine the role played by literature in imagining and interpreting the uncertainties of geographical displacement, colonialism, the material transformation of minority communities, and the ongoing shaping of their identities. Discussions will be based on themes such as the role of literature and the imaginative reconstruction of the past and careful rendition of social realities; the contrasts, connections and intersections with the historical roots and literary traditions of the US and the rest of the continent; the broader debates on the imagining of US history and the Americas as a whole. This class aims to achieve a broader and more complex understanding of the roots of US America through the understanding of the literary and cultural expressions of its historically marginalized groups and their echoes and dialogues with dominant cultural expressions.

Course Teachers