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Grant number like: FS-50096-06

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Columbia University (New York, NY 10027-7922)
Rachel Adams (Project Director: March 2006 to January 2009)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$147,287 (approved)
$127,902 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2006 – 9/30/2007

Toward a Hemispheric American Literature

A five-week seminar for fifteen college and university faculty to situate the study of American Literature in a hemispheric framework that includes Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

For many decades, the study of literature was partitioned into national categories, a division that is most evident in English departments, where the undergraduate major typically emphasizes two distinct British and U.S. tracks. This five week seminar for college teachers adopts a new paradigm for the study of American literature that situates it in the context of the American hemisphere rather than the nation state. The proposed seminar explores the new possibilities for Americanist literary study opened up when “America” is understood not as a synonym for an isolated United States but as a network of cultural filiations that have extended across the hemisphere from the period of colonization to the present. In so doing, it furthers the goals of the We the People initiative by situating national history and culture in a broader inter-American context.