This course will introduce third year students to a comparative, inter-American approach to the study of N. American literature. 20th century fiction from the US and Canada will be studied side by side in order to shed light on questions regarding ethnic belonging and national identity in an age of mobility and transcultural interconnections. The United States and Canada have different histories of immigration, different colonial and postcolonial legacies, and different multicultural and citizenship policies. Nevertheless, both the U.S and Canada originate in white settler cultures that entertain conflicted relationships with indigenous populations, have been part of transatlantic networks that were engaged in slave trade, and are currently grappling with their own insecurities of national identity, continuing racism and the claims of ethnicity. During the course of the semester we will trace differences and similarities in the ways multicultural creative writers have responded to similar questions from within these two different - yet neighboring and interconnected - national contexts.
Assessment: final exams, presentations