Crafting the American Short Story

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Meeting Information
Location: FPH 105
Days: Monday-Friday
Time: 10:00-12:00, 1:00-2:00
Office Hours:
Home Page:
Technical Information
Course Level: 100
Course Number: 176
Course Capacity: 18
Course Website:

Crafting the American Short Story is a Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies class taught by Matthew Schmidt.

This course satisfies Division I requirements.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the evolving artistry of the short story in the United States. Designed both for those interested in creative writing and in literary history and criticism, the course focuses on the short story as a synthesis of personal imagination, craft, culture and history. Discussing a wide variety of short stories in relation to theme and social context, we?ll also analyze works in relation to style, tone, characterization, dialogue, point of view, pacing, and evocation of time and place, with the goal of learning to read like a writer. Students will be required to keep a journal of short critical responses on the stories assigned for each class; complete several short creative writing exercises; develop and complete a final writing project in the form of either an original short story or an extended critical essay. Each class session will be divided between discussions and writing workshops devoted to final projects. Stories by Poe, Twain, Chopin, Porter, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Toomer, O'Connor, Singer, Bradbury, Baldwin, Cheever, Mukherjee, Tan, Leavitt, O'Brien, Erdrich and others.

Learning Goals

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