This course surveys written responses to the social, political, cultural, economic, and intellectual changes wrought on both sides of the Atlantic as a result of the English colonization of North America, from first contact to the burgeoning settlements of New England in the mid-seventeenth century. Although many of our readings will focus on English ventures and texts, and on familiar figures and events (e.g., the "lost colony" of Roanoke, John Smith and Pocahontas, the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving) we will also read some less familiar texts, including some by writers who were not English, or who never even traveled to the Americas, to help understand the origins and significance of these cultural icons.