American Literary Cultures highlights literature written by regional authors--particularly those of Texas and the Southwest--and includes readings representative of a broad array of American social, religious, racial, and ethnic groups from first contact to early twentieth-century Modernism. Tracing the diverse heritages and global impulses that shaped America, this reader engages undergraduate students by offering a unique collection of texts that comprise American literary cultures.
The selections showcase a culturally rich and heterogeneous tradition--indigenous, Latinx, European, and African American. The narratives and counternarratives offered here introduce students to a diversity of voices--near and far, familiar and foreign, present and historical. Through ballads, lyrical poems, tall tales, short stories, speeches, sermons, memoirs, and discourses on language and literature, students encounter diverse and often challenging works of American literary culture. The texts within and the vast panoply of worldviews and personalities they reflect challenge students to critical, contextual, creative, and empathetic engagement with the past. Through such engagement, students will better appreciate the present as they prepare to become citizens of an increasingly globalized world.