This course will introduce students to particular interdisciplinary methods that currently inform the theory and practice of literary study. We will focus primarily on literatures of the Americas from legal, anthropological, political, social, and historical perspectives. Issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality will inform these perspectives. Fundamental to our approach will be the close reading of the texts at hand in order to understand how language and literature operate as forms of social power. 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; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto; Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener, and Benito Cereno; Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark.