During the Spring 2021 semester I taught ENGL 345: Early American Literature 1500-1820! In this class, we explored the diverse literature from the colonial and early Republican periods, and considered the ongoing relevance of genres such as the jeremiad, captivity narratives, life writing, self-improvement stories, and etc.
In constructing my syllabus, I intentionally endeavored to provide a diverse array of texts. To that end, the syllabus ended up being approximately 60% BIPOC & female-authored texts (45% BIPOC and 25% women writers, respectively). We began the semester by centering Native American and First Nation people by writing land acknowledgements, and concluded by reflecting on the contributions of BIPOC and female authors to American literature and culture. We also read many canonical texts by white, male, and European authors. Overall, it was a great mix, and the students engaged thoughtfully with each text. I can’t wait to teach this course again!