Module Identifier EN34520  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Luke A Thurston  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 10 x 2 hour seminars  
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:

1. discuss the subject coherently;

2. write about the subject in a well-structured and well argued manner;

3. have added to their knowledge of the corpus of American literature;

4. have developed their powers of critical analysis.


This module aims:

1. to introduce students to the short story as a literary genre, with special reference to the development of the form in the United States;

2. 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;

3. to explore a range of diverse reading strategies and compare their merits and capabilities in practice.

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.



Week 1 What is a short story?

Week 2 Edgar Allan Poe, Selected Tales ed. J. Symons (World's Classics)

Week 3 Henry James, Daisy Miller & Other Stories ed. J. Gooder (World's Classics)

Week 4 Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome (Oxford)

Week 5 Eudora Welty, Complete Short Stories (Harvest)

Week 6 James Baldwin, Going to Meet the Man (Penguin)

Week 7 Film of Ethan Frome

Week 8 John Cheever, Joyce Carol Oates in Richard Ford, ed., The Granta Book of the American Short Story (1997)

Week 9 Donald Barthelme, Robert Coover in Ford (1997)

Week 10 Raymond Carver, Jayne Anne Phillips in Ford (1997)   

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Wharton, Edith (1999) Ethan Frome Cambridge 0-521-64529-8
Welty, Eudora (1983) Collected Short Stories Penguin 0-14-009318-4
Baldwin, James Going to Meet the Man Penguin
Edgar Allan Poe (ed. Julian Symons) (1980) Selected Tales Oxford World's Classics
Henry James (ed. Jean Gooder) (1998) Daisy Miller and Other Stories Oxford World's Classics
Richard Ford (ed.) (1998) The Granta Book of the American Short Story Granta Books


This module is at CQFW Level 6