Proseminar: American Short Fiction of the 19th Century

Dozentin: Christina Caupert M.A.
Termin: Fr. 15.45-17.15 Uhr
Raum: 1011

The Short Story enjoys great popularity with many students, and it is a frequently chosen subject in exams. The reasons for this attractiveness range from the texts' thematic and stylistic diversity and their frequently encountered dense atmosphere to their relative shortness, and the reassuring feeling of manageability that may result from this brevity. Nevertheless, the Short Story is not any less complex or easier to understand than other genres. In this seminar, we will trace its development throughout the 19th century, from antecedents such as "sketch" and "tale" to later, more firmly established forms. We will come across different styles and periods, examine some essential examples of the theory and criticism of the short story, and get to know a number of highly renowned American writers, including Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Our goal is to acquire a good basic knowledge of this supposedly "genuine American" genre – please do not underestimate the work that will have to be invested in this seminar.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: Introductory course

Scheinerwerb: timely fulfillment of reading and homework assignments, regular attendance, active participation in class, presentation, term paper

Einführende Lektüre bzw. Textgrundlagen:
The texts will be available from April at the Amerikanistik office (room 4064).