How do we continue to construct ourselves and evolve as a nation? Who is now part of that reconstruction process, either by invitation, invention or force? What new and different challenges face us as a nation? Anticipating the future, who and what will we become as a nation? What role does literature continue to play in the formation of an American identity and is that identity new? These are a few of the salient questions students grapple with in this course. To do so, they trace America’s ever-evolving literary tradition, from the end of the 19th century to the present day, covering periods of modern and contemporary American literature. The course explores a variety of genres, including short stories, poetry, drama, nonfiction, novels and film. Texts reveal a wide range of themes, voices and styles permeating the diverse world of American literature, allowing students to consider the historical, social and intellectual implications of being an American as well as to unpack the features of distinct literary movements. Students continue to develop critical reading, writing, revising, thinking, and speaking skills through a range of assignments. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.