American Literature prompts students to consider what it means to be an American in the 21st century. That concept drives the work of this course and guides students through an examination of literature produced in an ever-changing, ever-expanding country. Through close reading of a variety of American texts, students will explore how we as Americans identify ourselves through a complicated landscape that includes environment, gender, class, race, and community.
Through critical readings of hero tales and literature of social critique, British Literature helps students explore the concept of civic engagement. Investigating various representations of heroic action and vilification, as well as individual efforts to voice dissent, will help students identify the values of various societies and discuss what to do when there is a discrepancy between individual and social beliefs.