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Among considerations of this discussion-oriented class will be strengths and weaknesses of short stories and story collections published from 1990 to present. Pre/co-requisite: Three hours in English courses numbered ENGS 005 - ENGS 096; Sophomore standing.
Nancy Welch ()
Dates: May 18 - June 12, 2015 Prereqs: ENGS 005,006,011,012,013,014,021 022,023,024,025,026,027,028,030,031,032,040,041,042,050, 021,023,057,061,065,081,085,086,095, or 096
This course introduces readers and potential writers of fiction to the contemporary short story. To help us develop what John Barth calls a ?third eye? for understanding how stories work?and to grasp what short stories do that distinguish this genre from other creative genres like the novel or the personal essay?we will read some theory from practicing writers such as Charles Baxter, John Barth, Zadie Smith, and Flannery O?Connor. And, of course, we will read stories?lots of them, working to understand over an intense four weeks how stories are crafted, what sorts of windows on the world they offer, and how these stories address or fall prey to some of the legitimate gripes critics have voiced in recent years about the state of contemporary short fiction.
You will need The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Short Stories Since 1970, edited by Lex Williford and Michael Martone, plus a reliable Internet connection and easy access to Blackboard for additional readings, assignments, and discussion forums. This class meets for four weeks between May 18 and June 12; while you will have assignments (reading and writing) that you?ll work on at your own pace throughout the week, class will be ?in session??that is, with deadlines for discussion posts and other assignments?every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during each of the four weeks. So look ahead at your schedule: If you know you?ll have ample time between May 18 and June 12 for a fast-paced 100-level course, and if you love reading and perhaps writing stories, this course is for you.
Requirements and activities will likely include a reading journal, discussion forum, a mid-session craft analysis of one story, and a capstone project that, depending on each student's inclinations, may take the form of a critical essay or a creative imitation of one of the course?s story selections.
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