English 82 surveys American literature from the beginnings to l870. This simple description poses vexing questions: What is "American"? What is "literature"? Where is the "beginning"? How can such a vast and complex territory adequately and accurately be surveyed? This fall we will focus on the ways texts and authors have negotiated geographic, historical, mythic, ideological, cultural, and aesthetic borders, revising and redefining who are American, what forms literature may assume, and conventional assumptions about the construction of literary study. Instead of snippets from an anthology, we will read individual works such as travel writings of Olaudah Equiano and Elizabeth House Trist, Native American origin stories and personal histories, spiritual autobiography by Jonathan Edwards and Elizabeth Ashbridge, early popular novels by Susanna Rowson and Rebecca Rush, political writings by William Bradford and Thomas Jefferson, early African-American novels by Harriet Wilson and William Wells Brown, fiction of social reform by Melville (Piazza Tales) and Hawthorne (The Blithedale Romance), essays by Margaret Fuller and Emerson, poetry by Edward Taylor and Walt Whitman. Requirements are likely to include several papers, take-home midterms, class presentations, a final project.