Why do we attach importance to origin stories? How does knowing our heritage (family history or national history) influence the way we imagine the past, the present, and the future? In this course we will examine tales of creation myths in the superhero genre, stories of world building from immigration and science fiction narratives, and chronicles of the American Dream. We will ask why are different perspectives integral and valuable to the way we engage with others. Class discussion and assignments will be framed around questions of how origin stories frame and influence discussions about power, privilege, and difference. How does our sense of self and our cultural values relate to constructions and portrayals of American national narratives such as the settlement of the New World or icons such as the Statue of Liberty? We’ll examine how creation myths and origins appear in superhero films such as Black Panther and Wonder Woman, delve into companies that focus on ancestry and heritage tours, and document how origin stories are a part of our own family histories and where/what we call home.