What is America? A country? A continent? A political ideal? A culture? This course traces the development of ideas about America, from its historical beginnings to our own time, from European fantasies about the New World and its possibilities to the experiences of settlers and citizens facing its realities. We will explore the competing and even contending narratives of America in a wide variety of cultural documents, from orations, sermons and political tracts to novels, poems, photographs, and films. The course is open to all interested students and required for all American Studies majors.