Fall 2014 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
It would seem that a genre as easily approached as the short story should not require advanced study. In fact, however, this relatively new literary genre, dating from the 19th century, has elicited both theoretical studies and debate over its very nature and purpose. For example, the recent popularity of the very short storyâ€”aka â€œflash fictionâ€ or microfictionâ€”raises questions about the boundaries and essential elements of the genre. Can a story of 250 words really be considered in the same category as one of 12,000 words?
This course will act as a kind of discussion lab for the instructorâ€™s textbook-in-progress. We shall strive to rethink and redefine the storyâ€™s basic elements; consider changing definitions of it purpose; and review the storyâ€™s historical development from Poe and Tolstoy, through Chekhov, Joyce, Hemingway, and Updike, to minimalists like Carver and Beattie.
Fiction 100, 14th ed. (including "Reader's Guide to the Short Story")*
Charles May, ed., The New Short Story Theories (Ohio Univ. Press)
packet of readings (available only at Off-Campus Books)
*The new edition of Fiction 100 is unconscionably expensive, but rental and used copies will be available at Off-Campus Books.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Students will give an oral report on a particular short story theory, illustrated by single story. They will also write a 15 pp. research paper also on a short story theory.