Course Number

CMLT 130

Syllabus Date

Spring 2014

Department course is offered by

CMLT - Comparative Literature

Course description

What images make people think of the United States of America? Cowboys? The flag? And are there similar icons in other cultures that help define cultural identity? The National Imagination explores the concept of a national community as constructed and critiqued through literary and cinematic narratives, as well as other cultural texts.

Our underlying premise is that national languages and cultures promote the identity of particular communities. We are interested in examining those subjective expressions of culture—images, symbols, narratives—that lead people to feel that they are members of the communities we call nations. We are also interested in discovering points of resistance to national identity.

Students are trained to examine the nature of the national imagination as a seminal idea that has shaped modern cultures. They explore a variety of cultural texts -- such as architecture, painting, journalism, film, and literature -- that may be said to embody the national.

This iteration of the course examines the United States, Austria, and Colombia and was co-taught with Juan Pablo Rivera.

A photo of this Spring 2014 class was taken as part of Professor Bob Tobin's ongoing class photo tradition.


Colombia, Austria, United States, national identity, literature



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.