The Broadview Anthology of American Literature

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature rethinks American literature, foregrounding a diverse range of voices while also including a full range of established major works.

“I am eager to teach with this anthology! It aligns with cutting-edge research through its selections, its introductions, and explanatory notes, and the texts are supplemented with primary documents that encourage teachers and students to think critically and dynamically.” — Koritha Mitchell, The Ohio State University

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature promises to be a dynamic addition to the genre—I’m very much looking forward to teaching from it.”
— Michael Borgstrom, San Diego State University

“I’m very excited to teach from this new anthology!”
— Megan Walsh, St. Bonaventure University

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature Volume A: Beginnings to 1820 and Volume B: 1820 to Reconstruction are forthcoming in summer 2022. To request a copy, write to

General Editors

Derrick Spires, Cornell University
Christina Roberts, Seattle University
Joe Rezek, Boston University
Justine Murison, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Laura Mielke, University of Kansas
Christopher Looby, UCLA
Rodrigo Lazo, UC Irvine
Alisha Knight, Washington College
Hsuan Hsu, UC Davis
Rachel Greenwald Smith, Saint Louis University
Michael Everton, Simon Fraser University
Christine Bold, University of Guelph

Key Features

Covering American literature from its pre-contact Indigenous beginnings through the Reconstruction period, the first two volumes of The Broadview Anthology of American Literature represent a substantial reconceiving of the canon of early American literature. Guided by the latest scholarship in American literary studies, and deeply committed to inclusiveness, social responsibility, and rigorous contextualization, the anthology balances representation of widely agreed-upon major works with an emphasis on American literature’s diversity, variety, breadth, and connections with the rest of the Americas.


  • Strong foundation in current scholarship, including particular attention to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation.
  • Major canonical works presented in full include Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative; The Coquette; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave; and Benito Cereno.
  • Full author sections in the bound book volumes are devoted to often underrepresented figures such as the following:
    • Anne Hutchinson, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Briton Hammon, Venture Smith, Lucy Terry, Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket), Tecumseh, and Elizabeth Ashbridge (Volume A)
    • George Moses Horton, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Jose Maria Heredia, Black Hawk, Sojourner Truth, James Whitfield, Martin Delany, Fanny Fern, William Wells Brown, David Walker, and John Rollin Ridge (Volume B).
  • In-depth sections on such topics as “Slavery in Early America,” “Nature and the Environment,” “Expansion, Native American Expulsion, and Manifest Destiny,” “Gender and Sexuality,” and “Oratory.”
  • In both the bound book volumes and the anthology’s website component canonical authors are looked at with fresh eyes: selections include excerpts from Bradstreet’s Meditations, Divine and Moral; Franklin’s “Sidi Mehemet Ibrahim on the Slave Trade” and “Drinking Song” [To the Abbe de la Roche, at Auteuil]; Rowson’s Slaves in Algiers; Irving’s “The Wife”; Sedgwick’s “Cacoethes Scribendi”; excerpts from Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha; excerpts from Thoreau’s A Yankee in Canada; Whitman’s “Song of the Redwood Tree”; and excerpts from Melville’s The Confidence Man and the full text of his Encantadas.
  • Illuminating contextual materials provided for key authors and works.
  • Wide range of additional authors, works, and contextual materials provided as part of the anthology’s online component: selections include topics such as “Immigration and Indentured Servitude” and author entries on such writers as Catharine Brown, Ukasaw Gronniosaw, Mary Jemison, Sarah Kemble Knight, Mary Ann Shadd, John Marrant, Frances Sargent Locke Osgood, Robert Montgomery Bird, Elizabeth Stoddard, and E.D.E.N. Southworth.
  • Large trim-size, two-column format, allowing for side-by-side presentation of different versions of certain texts. (Several of Dickinson’s poems are presented in this way, as is the Declaration of Independence; several Spanish-language selections are presenting in facing-column translation.)
  • More visual and print-cultural materials than competing anthologies.
  • Broader and more extensive coverage of African American oral literature and Indigenous oral and visual literature than in competing anthologies.
  • More extensive and more helpful annotations than in competing anthologies.
  • Comprehensive introductions to periods and to authors, providing essential background.
  • Close attention paid to links between the United States and the rest of the Americas, especially Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Includes literature through the Reconstruction era, reflecting increasing scholarly emphasis on the ongoing legacy of slavery after the end of the Civil War. (Reconstruction material will also be included in the anthology’s third volume.)

Volumes and Format

In 2022 we will publish The Broadview Anthology of American Literature Volume A: Beginnings to 1820 and Volume B: 1820 to Reconstruction.

Volumes A & B will also be available in a combination package, priced at a discount for survey courses.

Volumes covering Reconstruction to the twenty-first century are forthcoming in late 2024.

Sample Selections

Click the links below to access PDF samples of The Broadview Anthology of American Literature. Please note that these samples are from the advance uncorrected proofs.

Washington Irving
Olaudah Equiano
Sor Juana
William Bradford
Civilizations in Contact: The Caribbean
William Apess
Rebecca Harding Davis
Emily Dickinson
Herman Melville
David Walker
Contexts: Expansion, Native American Expulsion, and “Manifest Destiny”