In this survey course students will explore how between the late eighteenth and the twentieth centuries "American" national identities have formed within a global context. That is, they will examine how national subjects have depended upon peoples and spaces outside the nation to define themselves and others. Through in-depth class discussions, we will look at shifting ideas regarding American gender, sexual, racial, and religious identities, “innocence” and “experience, domesticity and imperial expansion. We will read works by Royall Tyler, Herman Melville, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Bowles, James Baldwin, Toni Cade Bambara, and Jamaica Kincaid. Course requirements will include class participation, several short response papers, one essay, and a final exam.