Course Description

ONLINE: The relationship between literature and the time when it was written provides fertile ground for complex questions. To what extent does a piece of literature reflect its historical context? To what extent does literature speak to those who came before and to us today? In this course, we will view — and attempt to answer — these questions through the lens of 20th-century American short fiction. Authors are Susan Glaspell, Jean Toomer, Alexander Godin, Flannery O’Connor and Tim O’Brien. Proceeding chronologically, we will tackle a new story each week; meetings will open with a brief lecture followed by a student-driven discussion of the text at hand. By the course’s end, students will have gained an intimate familiarity with the short story in general, the history of 20th-century American fiction in particular and the complexities of literature that make it an inexhaustibly interesting subject of study. All stories will be taken from the required Updike anthology. | Facilitated discussion.

Max enrollment: 15.

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Section Title
American Short Fiction 1900-2000
Online - Zoom
11:00AM to 12:15PM
Apr 28, 2022 to May 26, 2022
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Required reading:
John Updike (Editor), The Best American Short Stories of the Century (9780395843673)