In this class, we will read short stories by African American women writers. These texts will be our common ground as we learn to think deeply and write precisely about fiction in general and the short story form in particular. We will study each story with attention to its specific formal strategies, thematic concerns, and political, historical, and literary contexts. This means we will read for, discuss, and write about textual details such as voice, structure, character, syntax, and imagery; ways that our authors navigate ideas about race, gender, sexuality, ability, and class; and the relationship of each text to the African American literary tradition. This class requires substantial reading, at least 8-10 pages of writing, and vigorous participation.
This course counts toward the Core Education group requirement in Arts & Letters.
The course counts as a lower-division elective for the English Minor and for the English Major, but only one Introduction to Literature course (ENG 104, 105, 106) may be used toward requirements for the major or minor.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.