American Studies | Topics in Interdisciplinary AMST: Race, Place, and Nation: Imagining Our Communities
A350 | 15954 | Gano

MW, 9:30a-10:45a, SY103

Instructor: G. Gano

Course meets with LATS-L398

Is the nation solely an “imagined community,” or does it have a
necessary relationship to physical place?  How do places become
nationalized?  What is the relationship between “race” and “place”?
This course draws upon questions central to postcolonial theory and
environmental studies, focusing on ways in which geography—physical,
political, and cultural—comes to acquire nationalist (or
antinationalist) meaning in 20th century literary texts.  Together,
we will track the meaning of various places in modern American
literature, including political and cultural territories, natural and
built borderlands, and migratory and temporary homesites.  Our
purpose will be to discover how representations of particular places
and the peoples associated with them enabled writers to express
approval of or resistance to hegemonic “American” values and beliefs,
including Anglo-Saxonism, “Puritanism,” nationalism, class
stratification, and others that were especially prevalent in the U.S.
after the First World War.