ENGL 110(F) The Age of the Short Story (W)

This class will emphasize the development of critical reading skills through its focus on American short fiction of the nineteenth century. What a story is, and what a story does are key questions for the class and for the authors we will examine. What does it mean for a story to be simply funny, or simply horrifying? What formal features allow a story to intervene into political problems in its day? How do stories define the United States, and how do they define the relationship of literature to the nation? Are some stories meant only as aesthetic productions? Readings include Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Bret Harte, Victor Sejour, Charles Chesnutt, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Sarah Orne Jewett. Format: discussion/seminar. Requirements: class participation and 20 pages of writing in the form of frequent short papers. No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 19 (expected: 19). Preference given to first-year students.

Hour: T. DAVIS