This posting considers literature as part of the U.S. current literary canon, and why? How do these selections reflect the cultural tradition of the United States?
Although this topic is so vast and depends on how far your course goes back (or forward) into the realm of American literature, I have presented you with some initial brainstorming ideas to consider when assessing which literary components should deemed as part of the current American literary canon. Please also note that my personal reading and teaching tastes reflect a more open, progressive, multicultural reflection compared to the traditional nominations. After you have formulated your own ideas, please feel free to send it back to me for further feedback, editing, or collaboration.
Although the classical writers are implicit, you might want to investigate how public discourse, American Puritanism, colonial values, revolutionary ideals, and the formation of an early American national character encompassed the works of Franklin, Paine. Bradford, Winthrop, Bradstreet, Rowlandson, Jefferson, ...