The American frontier has often been written as a space for adventure and self-definition; in many ways, it can be seen as the birthplace of American individualism. In this course, we will take a somewhat more critical view of "frontier," one that considers different notions of American space and the place of the individual in those geographies. We will investigate the intersections between geography, gender, history, and ethnicity, reading not only literary texts but also contemporary political debates about, among other things, the use of land and the significance of national borders. Writers will include Gloria Anzaldua, John Edgar Wideman, Jack Kerouac, Maxine Hong Kingston, Americo Paredes, Terry Tempest Williams, Achy Obejas, and Cherrie Moraga. Requirements: class and listserver discussion, two short response papers, in-class presentation, one longer paper, and a final exam.