ENGL 4430/Spring 2023
Exploring the Diversity of the 20th Century Short Story: A Global Perspective
Welcome to “Topics in World Literature: The Short Story”! In this fully online course, we will focus on the development and diversity of the short story as a literary form during the 20th century. We will read and discuss a range of short stories from different cultural and linguistic traditions, examining how these works reflect and shape the societies in which they were written.
Through our readings, discussions, and writing assignments, we will consider the various formal and thematic elements that make the short story a unique and powerful literary form. We will also examine the ways in which the short story has evolved over time, and how it has been used to address a wide range of social, political, and personal issues.
In addition to our core readings, students will have the opportunity to discover and engage with contemporary short fiction from around the world through supplementary readings and multimedia resources. By the end of the course, students will have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the short story as a global literary genre.
The document you’re reading is your syllabus. Everything you need for this class is on this page and linked off of it. Bookmark it now and return here if you get lost or confused. Use the tabs above to navigate to the various sections of the syllabus.
Before you begin, take a moment and familiarize yourself with the general resources I have for students. All of these may be found in the “For Students” menu at the top of the page, or you can just begin on the student start page. These pages are designed to help you succeed in this class. While you may not read everything, you should know what’s available if you need it.
Please read this document and those it links to carefully at the beginning of the semester. There is much information to process, and it can be somewhat daunting — especially if you read cursorily. If you are confused, do your best to work through it by (re)reading this document carefully and completely, searching this site, or consulting the FAQ. I promise, there is an answer to your question. If all else fails, you may contact me. Trust yourself to follow directions and find the answers. Be careful and deliberate.
This online course will probably be unlike any college course you have ever taken. It is designed to let you — the students — discover and create your own knowledge. If you’ve not taken an online course before, you will essentially be teaching yourself with my guidance. I’m assuming, since you’re taking this class online, that you are comfortable with working by yourself, are confident in your ability to take risks and try new approaches, are fine with making some mistakes, do not need the constant reassurance of an authority figure, and have a basic Internet literacy. Please enter with an open mind.
If you are uncomfortable making decisions, researching your own answers, working consistently on your own, making mistakes, teaching yourself, or get frustrated easily, you may be more comfortable in a traditional, face-to-face section of this course.
- ↑ While you may certainly choose to print it—we will do our best to follow the schedule hereon—it may change during the course of the semester due to unforeseen circumstances. Should this occur, I will let you know in class and via an announcement on the class forum, but ultimately, this online document has the final say—not a printed one.
- ↑ You might, too, follow links by opening them in browser tabs—click the link by holding the ⌘ Command on a Mac or Ctrl on a PC—so you can easily return to where you left off.
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