English 461 is an introduction to the literature of colonial America and the Early Republic. It satisfies the Literature: 1500-1789 requirement in the English major. The course does not emphasize familiar genres such as the novel, poetry, or short story. Instead, we will be reading missionary relations, spiritual autobiographies, scientific tracts, and personal narratives of exploration and captivity, as well as two stage dramas. The course is designed around feature films that are based on some of the historical sources we are reading, and that demonstrate how the literature and history of colonial America resonate in modern popular culture in the United States, Canada, and Mexico: Cabeza de Vaca, Black Robe, Pocahontas, and Jefferson in Paris. Our goal is to understand how the stories generated out of the history of colonial America and the Atlantic world continue to inform literature, cinema, culture and politics.