ENGL 3025 America: Colony, Nation, World


Jaquelin Pelzer

Email: jaquelin.pelzer@colorado.edu


This course examines the role of the city in American literature, from 19th century configurations to future imaginations of the American city in decades and centuries to come. Through a variety of genres, including fiction and nonfiction, we will explore the roots of U.S. city life along with the issues and opportunities that urban density provides.


In this class, we will study literature to achieve these primary aims:

1) Content Knowledge: authors and novels, national themes and historical contexts, major literary movements, and more. Reading quizzes at the end of each module will cement the knowledge gained by doing assigned readings and attending to introductory lectures and discussion post prompts.

2) Analysis: digesting long texts for structure, themes, style, and commonalities and differences among them, including discussion posts and close readings.

3) Writing: expression of understanding, analysis, and synthesis through papers of increasing length and complexity.

4) Reading: foster reading confidence/comfort with reading long texts and encourage a life-long habit of reading.


Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward

Edith Wharton, House of Mirth

Raymond Chandler, Farewell My Lovely

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Sandra Cisneros, House on Mango Street

Karen Tei Yamashita, Tropic of Orange

Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

  1. K. Jemisin, The City We Became

(Additional short readings posted to Canvas.)


Out of 100% for total course assignments:

Close Reading Exercises – 12.5%

Paper 1 – 15%

Paper 2 – 20%

Reading quizzes – 20%

Discussion posts – 30%

Syllabus quiz – 2.5%

(Opportunities for extra credit may be announced during the term.)

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado