Module Identifier EN34520  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Peter T Barry  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours Seminar. (10 x 2 hrs)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 essays (2,500 words each)100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should typically be able to:
- discuss the subject coherently;
- write about the subject in a well-structured and well argued manner;
- have added to their knowledge of the corpus of American literature;
- have developed their powers of critical analysis.

Brief description

This module is divided into four 'blocks', comprising an initial two-week block introducing the antecedents of the short story, and identifying two major lines of development, the 'supra-natural, and the 'natural'. This is followed by a three week 'generic' block which looks at three major options in the development of the short story proper. The two remaining blocks focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries respectively.


- to introduce students to the short story as a literary genre, with special reference to the development of the form in the United States;
- to enable students to appreciate the distinctive features of this genre, particularly the fact that the short story has its own compositional characteristics and is not simply an abbreviated or compressed novel;
- to explore a range of diverse reading strategies and compare their merits and capabilities in practice.


The American Short Story and its Antecedents
1. Types and Definitions of the Short Story: Myths, Legends, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Character Sketches, Parables, Exempla
2. Washington Irving, The Sketchbook of Washington Irving (World's Classics)

The American Short Story, Nineteenth Century
3. Edgar Allan Poe, Selected Tales ed. Julian Symons (World's Classics)
4. Lecture on the Short Story Genre and Narratological approaches to short fiction.
5. Henry James, Daisy Miller and Other Stories, ed. Jean Gooder (World's Classics)
6. Four Stories by American Women: Rebecca Harding Davis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sarah Orme Jewett, Edith Wharton (Penguin)

The American Short Story, Twentieth Century
7. Hemingway, The First Forty Nine Stories (Arrow)
8. Cont.
9. Richard Ford, ed., The Granta Book of the American Short Story (1997)
10. Cont.


This module is at CQFW Level 6