The American Short Story

In this course we will examine a selection of American short stories from the earliest days to the present in an effort to understand how writers used this genre to capture, define and complicate a sense of the American identity, as it has evolved over the last three centuries.  We will also consider the genre of the short story itself, how it works as fiction to capture character and theme in a small space.

Because this is a writing intensive course, papers will be designed and evaluated as analytical arguments, i.e. papers that explore and demonstrate interesting ideas in a clear, organized and articulate way.  We will spend class time learning how to do that effectively in ways that produce strong papers, no matter what the discipline.

Course Requirements

  • Three 5-page papers
  • In-Class writing assignments
  • Final exam

Required Texts (available at the UH-Manoa Bookstore)

  • The Oxford Book of American Short Stories