This course will introduce students to various ways of understanding literature that currently inform the theory and practice of literary study. We will look at interdisciplinary relationships to literature from legal, anthropological, social, and historical perspectives. Issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality will inform these approaches. Fundamental to all these methods will be the close reading of the texts at hand in order to understand how language operates to construct the range of social forms that literature represents. Readings will be taken from a list that includes: Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks; Shakespeare, The Tempest; Aimé Césaire, A Tempest (Une Tempête); Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas; Paul Radin, The Trickster; Gary Witherspoon, Navajo Kinship and Marriage; Diné bahanè: the Navajo Creation Story; U.S v. Rogers, James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans; Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto; Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener, and Benito Cereno; Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark, and The Bluest Eye; Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina.