Intro to American Literature

What is American Literature? Is literature national?

One Definition

American literature is the literature written or produced in the area of the United States and its preceding colonies.


American literaturethe body of written works produced in the English language in the United States.

World Map

American literature cannon is not everything. We decide what to include. For a long time, American lit was only U.S. Literature. It has expanded to include women and different American Cultures. The term is problematic. This class is very inclusive.

What are some American literature genres?

This class is only a beginning.

Writing About Literature

We will be writing essays about literature. I added this link to the Resources page. It has a lot of great information. Check it out.


Why do we annotate? How do we annotate?

What is “Close Reading?”

Read the Letter of Columbus and annotate it.

What kinds of things did you annotate and why?

Letter of Columbus

The Letter of Columbus to Luis De Sant Angel Announcing His Discovery (1493)

Wiki Article on the letter