Summer 2013 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Many scholars claim that America wrote itself into existence. What is the difference between a culture based on oral tradition and one based on written documents? Which documents helped to create American identity, and how did American identity form and change during the early colonial and nation-building eras? What was the role of Native American and English identities? How did early modern conceptions of race, class, and gender affect the formation of an American social imaginary? This course will explore these questions and more as we read historical texts—including Native American myths and legends, Puritan religious documents, and Enlightenment political documents—alongside literary texts—including poetry and early novels. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, post weekly responses to readings on an electronic discussion board, take a midterm and final exam, and give a presentation on primary source documents from an online database.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: