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The first theorist of the short story, Edgar Allan Poe, famously defined the form as something one might peruse at a single sitting. Like a poem, thought Poe, the story ought to achieve a 'unity of effect or impression', a kind of transient but intense excitement. Henry James saw in the form's brevity the 'science of control'; and while some readers enthused about the form's commitment to the moment, the event, the epiphany, others saw only a symptom of cultural fragmentation. This course examines the history and characteristics of the short story as it has been developed in the European and American traditions. More specifically, the course focuses on the relationship of the short story to some of the most persuasive ideas of modernity. Students will have an opportunity to read and place in context such greats of the form as Anton Chekov, Mark Twain, Nikolai Gogol, Poe, Flannery O'Connor, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Alice Munro and David Foster Wallace. As the course progresses we will make our way through movements such as romanticism, modernism and postmodernism - all of which define themselves in relation to modernity - concluding with a selection of some of the most exciting new writers working in America.
Learning OutcomesTo advance the research and oral communication skills of studentsTo develop skills in textual and contextual reading and writingTo historicise the development of the short story form in Europe and AmericaTo further students’ engagement with some of the major writers in the literature of Europe and AmericaTo encourage independent, critical thinking and research
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
The recommended text for this course is 'The Short Story and Its Writer' (9th or 10th edition) by Anne Charters. (NB. Most of the stories covered in the course can be found in this book. As UBS doesn't stock this title students are advised to source a copy for themselves.)(Image: "Edgar Allan Poe", licensed under public domain.)
Domestic fee $1,905.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Humanities and Creative Arts