A new Anthology of American Literature Ideas for a Table of Contents


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WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD TEXT or SET OF TEXTS TO END ON?Assorted Categories/Groupings of the Anthologies
Most anthologies start with a set of “epic” or “folk” texts, but they are rarely the same texts. How do we feel about this genre for a new anthology? Should they be separated or included in the general chronological flow of first recorded appearance?

Stories of the Beginning of the World [N1]

The Iroquois Creation Story

The Navajo Creation Story

Irvin Morris: Hajííneí

(The Emergence)
Native American Oral Narrative [H]

Talk Concerning the First Beginning (Zuni)

Changing Woman and the Hero Twins after the Emergence of the People (Navajo)
Wohpe and the Gift of the Pipe (Lakota)
The Origin of Stories (Seneca)
Iroquois or Confederacy of the Five Nations (Iroquois)
Iktomi and the Dancing Ducks (Christine Dunham, Oglala Sioux)
Raven and Marriage (Tlingit)
The Bungling Host (Hitchiti)
Creation of the Whites (Yuchi)
Native American Oral Poetry [H]

Zuni Poetry
----------- Sayatasha's Night Chant

Aztec Poetry
----------- The Singer's Art
----------- Two Songs
----------- Like Flowers Continually Perishing (Ayocuan)

Inuit Poetry
----------- Song (Copper Eskimo)
----------- Moved (Uvavnuk, Iglulik Eskimo)
----------- Improvised Greeting (Takomaq, Iglulik Eskimo)
----------- Widow's Song (Quernertoq, Copper Eskimo)
----------- My Breath (Orpingalik, Netsilik Eskimo)

A Selection of Poems
Deer Hunting Song (Virsak Vai-i, O'odham)
Song (Aleut)
Song of Repulse to a Vain Lover (To'ak, Makah)
A Dream Song (Annie Long Tom, Clayoquot)
Woman's Divorce Dance Song (Jane Green)
Formula to Secure Love (Cherokee)
Formula to Cause Death (A'yunini the Swimmer, Cherokee)
Song of War (Blackfeet)
War Song (Crow)
Song of War (Odjib'we, Anishinabe)
War Song (Young Doctor, Makah)
Song of Famine (Holy-Face Bear, Dakota)
Song of War (Two Shields, Lakota)
Song of War (Victoria, Tohona O'odham)
Native American Trickster Tales [N1]


Felix White Sr.’s Introduction to Wakjankaga (transcribed and translated by Kathleen Danker and Felix White)

From The Winnebago Trickster Cycle (edited by Paul Radin)

Sioux Ikto Conquers Iya, the Eater (transcribed and edited by Ella C. Deloria)

Navajo Coyote, Skunk, and the Prairie Dogs (performed by Hugh Yellowman; recorded and translated by Barre Toelken)
America in the European Imagination [H]

Thomas More

from Utopia
Michel de Montaigne

from Of Cannibals
Theodor Galle, after a drawing by Jan van der Straet [Stradanus]

America, c. 1575

John Donne

Elegie XIX, To his Mistris Going to Bed

Francis Bacon

from New Atlantis
Cultural Encounters – A Critical Survey [H]

Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932)

from The Significance of the Frontier in American History [also in N1]
Andrew Wiget

from Reading Against the Grain: Origin Stories and American Literacy History
Annette Kolodny

from Letting Go Our Grand Obsessions: Notes Toward a New Literary History of the American Frontiers

Mary Louise Pratt

from Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation
Paul Gilroy

from The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness
Paula M. L. Moya and Ramon Saldivar

from Fictions of the Trans-American Imaginary
*First Encounters: Early European Accounts of Native America [N1]

*Hernán Cortés

Description of Tenochtitlan

*Samuel De Champlain

The Iroquois

*Robert Juet

From The Third Voyage of Master Henry Hudson

*John Heckewelder

Delaware Legend of Hudson’s Arrival

*William Bradford and Edward Winslow

Cape Cod Forays

*John Underhill

The Attack on Pequot Fort
Native Americans: Contact and Conflict [N1]

Pontiac: Speech at Detroit

Samson Occom: From A Short Narrative of My Life [also in H]

Thomas Jefferson: Chief Logan’s Speech, From Notes on the State of Virginia

Red Jacket: Reply to the Missionary Joseph Cram

Tecumseh: Speech to the Osages

Native Americans: Removal and Resistance [N1]

Black Hawk: From Life of Black Hawk

Petalesharo: Speech of the Pawnee Chief

Speech of the Pawnee Loup Chief

Elias Boudinot: From the Cherokee Phoenix

Memorial of the Cherokee Citizens, November 5, 1829

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Letter to President Martin Van Buren
Patriot and Loyalist Songs and Ballads [H]

"Patriot" Voices

The Liberty Song

The King's own Regulars, And their Triumphs over the Irregulars
The Irishman's Epistle to the Officers and Troops at Boston
The Yankee's Return from Camp
Nathan Hale
Sir Harry's Invitation
Volunteer Boys

"Loyalist" Voices

When Good Queen Elizabeth Governed the Realm

Song, for a Fishing Party near Burlington, on the Delaware, in 1776
Burrowing Yankees
A Birthday Song, for the King's Birthday, June 4, 1777
A Song
An Appeal
The Vernacular Tradition [N2]


City Called Heaven

I Know Moon-Rise

Ezekiel Saw de Wheel

I’m a-Rollin’

Go Down, Moses [also in H]

Been in the Storm So Long

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Steal Away to Jesus [also in H]

Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel? [also in H]

God’s a-Gonna Trouble the Water

Walk Together Children

Soon I Will Be Done

Come Sunday

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child


This Little Light of Mine

Down by the Riverside

Freedom in the Air

Take My Hand, Precious Lord

Peace Be Still

Stand by Me


Good Morning, Blues

Hellhound on My Trail

C. C. Rider

Backwater Blues

Down-Hearted Blues

Prove It on Me Blues

Trouble in Mind

How Long Blues

Rock Me Baby

Yellow Dog Blues

St. Louis Blues

Beale Street Blues

The Hesitating Blues

Goin’ to Chicago Blues

Fine and Mellow

Hoochie Coochie


My Handy Man



[We raise de wheat]

Me and My Captain

Promises of Freedom

No More Auction Block

Jack and Dinah Want Freedom

Run, Nigger, Run

Another Man Done Gone

You May Go But This Will Bring You Back


John Henry

Frankie and Johnny

Railroad Bill

The Signifying Monkey


Sinking of the Titanic

Shine and the Titanic


Pick a Bale of Cotton

Go Down, Old Hannah

Can’t You Line It?


Oh, Freedom

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round

Abel Meeropol: Strange Fruit

We Shall Overcome

Langston Hughes: The Backlash Blues

Nina Simone: Four Women


Duke Ellington: It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)

Andy Razaf: (What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue

King Pleasure: Parker’s Mood


Sam Cooke: A Change Is Gonna Come

Smokey Robinson: The Tracks of My Tears

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas: Dancin’ in the Street

Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin: Respect

Curtis Mayfield: We’re a Winner

Marvin Gaye: What’s Goin’ On?

Stevie Wonder: Living for the City


Gil Scott-Heron: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: The Message

The Sugarhill’s Gang, Rapper’s Delight

Public Enemy: Don’t Believe the Hype

Queen Latifah: The Evil That Men Do

Biggy Smalls—The Notorious B.I.G.: Things Done Changed

Nas: N.Y. State of Mind

Eric B. & Rakim: I Ain’t No Joke

Outkast, Elevators or Rosa Parks


James Weldon Johnson: Listen Lord, A Prayer

C. L. Franklin: The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest

Howard Thurman: O God, I Need Thee

G. I. Townsel: The Way Out Is to Pray Out

Martin Luther King Jr.

I Have a Dream

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop

Malcolm X: The Ballot or the Bullet

James Alexander Forbes Jr.: O God of Love, Power and Justice

Bert Williams: Elder Eatmore’s Sermon on Generosity


All God’s Chillen Had Wings

Big Talk

Deer Hunting Story

How to Write a Letter

“‘Member Youse a Nigger”

“Ah’ll Beatcher Makin’ Money”

Why the Sister in Black Works Hardest

“De Reason Niggers Is Working So Hard”

The Ventriloquist

You Talk Too Much, Anyhow

A Flying Fool

Brer Rabbit Tricks Brer Fox Again

The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story

How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp for Mr. Fox

The Awful Fate of Mr. Wolf

What the Rabbit Learned
Songs of the Slaves[H]
----------- Lay Dis Body Down
----------- Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Had
----------- Deep River
----------- Roll, Jordan, Roll
----------- Michael, Row the Boat Ashore
----------- There's a Meeting Here To-Night
----------- Many Thousand Go
Songs of White Communities [H]
----------- John Brown's Body
----------- The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Julia Ward Howe)
----------- Pat Works on the Railway
----------- Sweet Betsy from Pike
----------- Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie
----------- Shenandoah
----------- Clementine
----------- Acres of Clams
----------- Cindy
----------- Paper of Pins
----------- Come Home, Father (Henry Clay Work)
----------- Life Is a Toil
African American Folktales [H]

Animal Tales

----------- When Brer Deer and Brer Terrapin Runned a Race
----------- Why Mr. Dog Runs Brer Rabbit
----------- How Sandy Got His Meat
----------- Who Ate Up the Butter?
----------- Fox and Rabbit in the Well
----------- The Signifying Monkey
Memories of Slavery
----------- Malitis
----------- The Flying Africans
Conjure Stories
----------- Two Tales from Eatonville, Florida
John and Old Marster
----------- Master Disguised
----------- The Diviner
----------- Massa and the Bear
----------- Baby in the Crib
----------- John Steals a Pig and a Sheep
----------- Talking Bones
----------- Old Boss Wants into Heaven
Tales from the Hispanic Southwest [N1, H]

La comadre Sebastiana/ Doña Sebastiana [N1]

Los tres hermanos/ The Three Brothers [N1]
El obispo/ The New Bishop [N1]
El indito de las cien vacas/ The Indian and the Hundred Cows [N1]
La Llorona, Malinche, and Guadalupe [N1]

La Llorona, La Malinche, and the Unfaithful Maria

The Devil Woman

Lorenzo de Zavala (1788-1836) [N1, H]

Viage a los Estados-Unidos del Norte America (Journey to the United States)
*Critical Controversy: Race and the Ending of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn [N1]

*Leo Marx: From Mr. Eliot, Mr. Trilling, and Huckleberry Finn

*Julius Lester: From Morality and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

*Justin Kaplan: From Born to Trouble: One Hundred Years of Huckleberry Finn

*David L. Smith: From Huck, Jim, and American Racial Discourse

*Jane Smiley: From Say It Ain’t So Huck: Second Thoughts on Mark Twain’s Literary Masterpiece

*Toni Morrison: From Introduction to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

*Shelley Fisher Fishkin: From Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture

World War I and Its Aftermath [N1]

Alan Seeger: I Have a Rendezvous with Death . . .

Ernest Hemingway: Letter of August 18, 1918, to His Parents

E. E. Cummings: From The Enormous Room

Jessie Redmon Fauset: From There Is Confusion [also in N2]

John Allan Wyeth, Jr.: Fromereville

Gertrude Stein: From The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Debates over “Americanization” [N1]

Frederick Jackson Turner: From The Significance of the Frontier in American History [also in H]

*Theodore Roosevelt: From The Winning of the West

*Albert Beveridge: From The March of the Flag

José Martí: From Our America [also in H]

Helen Hunt Jackson: From A Century of Dishonor

Jane Addams: From Twenty Years at Hull-House

From Chapter V. First Days at Hull House

Chapter XI. Immigrants and Their Children

*Mourning Dove (1888–1936)

CogeweaThe Ladies Race

Modernist Manifestos

F. T. Marinetti: From Manifesto of Futurism

Mina Loy: Feminist Manifesto

Ezra Pound: From A Retrospect [also in H]

Willa Cather: From The Novel Démeublé

William Carlos Williams: From Spring and All [also in H]

Langston Hughes: From The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain [also in N2 & H]
Postmodern Manifestos [N1]

Ronald Sukenick: Innovative Fiction/Innovative Criteria

William H. Gass: The Medium of Fiction

Hunter S. Thompson: From Fear and

Loathing in Las Vegas

Charles Olson: From Projective Verse

Frank O’Hara: From Personism: A Manifesto

Elizabeth Bishop: From Letter to Robert

Lowell, March 21, 1972

A. R. Ammons: From A Poem Is a Walk

Audre Lorde: From Poetry Is Not a Luxury [also in N2]

Ishmael Reed, “Neo-Hoodoo Manifesto

Creative Nonfiction [N1]

*Edward Abbey: From Desert Solitaire

*Barry Lopez: From Desert Notes

*Dorothy Allison: From Stubborn Girls and

Mean Stories

*John Crawford: From The Last True Story I’ll

Ever Tell

*Joan Didion: From The Year of Magical


*Edwidge Danticat: From Brother, I’m Dying

Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place

Corridos [H]

Kiansis I/Kansas I

Gregorio Cortez
Jacinto Treviño
Hijo Desobediente/The Disobedient Son
Recordando al Presidente/Remembering the President
Corrido de César Chávez/Ballad of César Chávez

Los Tigres del Norte, various corridos (must choose)

Carved on the Walls: Poetry by Early Chinese Immigrants
from The Voyage
----------- 5 [Four days before the Qiqiao Festival]
----------- 8 [Instead of remaining a citizen of China, I willingly became an ox]
from The Detainment
----------- 20 [Imprisonment at Youli, when will it end?]
----------- 30 [After leaping into prison, I cannot come out]
----------- 31 [There are tens of thousands of poems composed on these walls]
from The Weak Shall Conquer
----------- 35 [Leaving behind my writing brush and removing my sword, I came]
----------- 38 [Being idle in the wooden building, I opened a window]
----------- 42 [The dragon out of water is humiliated by ants]
from About Westerners
----------- 51 [I hastened here for the sake of my stomach and landed promptly]
----------- 55 [Shocking news, truly sad, reached my ears]
from Deportees, Transients
----------- 57 [On a long voyage I travelled across the sea]
----------- 64 Crude Poem Inspired by the Landscape
----------- 69 [Detained in this wooden house for several tens of days]

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