What is an American family? What does sexuality have to do with citizenship? How is love political? What do the people with whom we belong have to do with the places where we belong? And how do these questions get worked out in our national literature?
This blog is being written by students in a course that investigates the interrelationships between love, sex, and family on the one hand, and narratives of Americanness on the other hand. We consider stories of the frontier, the road, the small town, and the ancestral home—and stories of true love, sexual awakening, dysfunctional families, and chosen communities. We ask how immigrating to, ex-patriating from, or living in America shapes an individual’s relationships and a family’s story. Above all we seek to place these facets of American identity and narrative—nationality and sexuality—in productive conversation with each other.