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Courses - Fall 2021
English Department Site
American Fictions: U.S. Literature, History, Politics, and Constitutional Law
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg
Works of American literature explored in the context of major texts and developments of U.S. history, culture, politics, and constitutional law. We begin with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and survey the course of American literature and history, from 1776 to the present, in relation to defining political and constitutional issues. Readings of canonical works like "Huckleberry Finn" and "The Grapes of Wrath" coupled with special attention to minority authors and issues, and horizons of constitutional contemplation opened up by minority, immigrant, and women's voices and experiences. Key historical and political issues include human rights; equal protection; religious tolerance; democratic principles; republican structures of government; independence; revolution; slavery; removal; immigration; free speech; labor rights; civil rights; feminism; environmentalism; international law and flows of people; economic globalization; technology and digital innovation; and the role that literature and the humanities play in fostering various forms of civil society, multiculturalism, and a globally accountable citizenship.