What is U.S. literature? What makes writing in the U.S. different from other writing in the English language - and, in particular, different from writing in the U.K? The aim of this course is to offer possible answers to these questions by looking at some of the classic texts regarded as establishing U.S. literature as a separate literature from English. Students are advised to obtain as many of the prescribed texts as they can and to read some of them before the start of the academic year. The authors, topics and texts are listed in the order in which they will be discussed. Any editions of the prescribed texts are acceptable, as long as they are complete and unabridged, apart from Whitman's Leaves of Grass, which needs to be the 1855 edition, edited by Malcolm Cowley (Penguin).