This course is a survey of the traditional and contemporary short story in English, with a few in translation as well. We will begin with a close look at Poe and Hawthorne who helped create the American short story, and continue with two long stories by Melville and Gogol that have shaped the history of the form. We will then begin looking at stories thematically, grouped around such concerns as initiation, love and marriage, and the confrontation with death.
We will discuss the development of short forms, technical concerns such as structure and style, and the ways in which race, class and gender problems have shaped the contemporary story.
Course requirements include regular attendance, active participation in discussion, weekly short papers and a take-home final.