How does the place shape a person? In this course, students will study primarily the literature of America and Americans, both of these broadly defined to include indigenous, undocumented, newly arrived, long-settled, powerful, and powerless people. Students will read and examine what it means to be a citizen, to have a voice, or to be without one, here in this country. They will write amply about who tells the story of our country and what each narrative reveals about our hopes, dreams, and values. Students will write critically and creatively on every text, and they will learn to use their own voices to speak truth to power in the form of letters to the editor, one-act plays, short fiction, poetry, speeches, and editorial or persuasive essays. Texts may include: Beloved, The Great Gatsby, Anna in the Tropics, Another Brooklyn, Sing, Unburied, Sing, as well as texts from our visiting writers, and a selection of additional short stories, poems, and essays selected by the instructor.