This course will examine three geographic and imaginative locations which have spawned some of the most original contemporary short fiction: the American South, Ireland, and the meeting of races in the city. For each location, we will read a volume of stories by a writer who can be seen as a precursor to the contemporary work: these include Faulker, James Joyce and Langston Hughes. The reading list will likely include volumes of stories by Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty and Peter Taylor; William Trevor and Edna O'Brien; and John Edgar Wideman, Toni Cade Bambara and Nadine Gordimer. The list is made up of collections, not anthologies, in order to get a sense of the writer's voice and development. Course requirements include brief weekly papers, a longer final paper, regular attendance and active participation in discussion.