This survey course examines American literature from the colonial times to the end of the nineteenth century. In the seminar we will explore the major writers and literary movements (romanticism, realism, regionalism, naturalism) as well as some of the lesser known authors and works of the period. This course encourages students to think about the texts and discuss them in the class. The discussions will focus on the cultural and historical contexts from which the texts arise. Students will also be asked to keep a journal of their thoughts and responses to themes and ideas expressed in the texts.