ENGL 320:  Introduction to the Short Story

Fall 1997

Lyman Baker, Instructor

Course Schedule:

Readings, Writing Assignments, and Exams

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Schedule of Assignments


25 Aug (M):  Introduction to the course.  I will distribute a memo explaining how to get a university computer account and how to access the course materials available through the WorldWideWeb.

27 Aug (W): Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour."  Work through this in the light of the Study Guide to the story. You should also have read the description of the Goals and Methods of the course, and reflected on whether this is a course that suits your needs and interests, and proceeds from assumptions you are willing to grant.

29 Aug (F):  Remarks by Chopin's biographer, Emily Toth.  Bring Writing Assignment #1 with you to class.  Have read the remarks on Reason and Objectivity in Interpretation.

1 Sept (M):  NO CLASS -- Labor Day.

3 Sep (M):  Franz Kafka, "A Hunger Artist."  Be sure to work through this in the light of the Study Guide to the story.

5 Sep (F):  Further discussion of Kafka's story.  Writing Assignment #2 is due at the beginning of class.

8 Sep (M):  Frank O'Connor, "First Confession."  Writing Assignment #3 is due at the beginning of class.

10 Sep (W):  Sherwood Anderson, "I'm a Fool." Writing Assignment #4 is due at the beginning of class.  Regardless of whether you elect to do this writing assignment, you should print out a copy of the Study Guide for this story to have on hand during your re-readings.

12 Sep (F):  Showing in class of Noel Black and Ron Cowen's film version of I'm a Fool.

15 Sep (M):  Discussion of differences between Anderson's story and Cowen's film adaptation of it.

17 Sep (W):  Katherine Anne Porter, "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall."  There is a Study Guide on this story.  Writing Assignment #5 is due at the beginning of class.

19 Sep (F):  Showing in class of Randa Haines and Corinne Jacker's film version of The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.

22 Sep (M):  Have read for discussion Joan Givner's remarks on the biographical context of Porter's story.

24 Sep (W):  Leo Tolstoy, "The Death of Ivan Ilych" (in Tolstoy, KSOS). Writing Assignment #6 is due at the beginning of class. (Reminder:  if you don't do this writing assignment, you must do both of the 2 remaining assignments on the longer pieces -- on Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" and Conrad's "Heart of Darkness.")

26 Sep (F):  Further discussion of Tolstoy's novella.

29 Sep (M):  Review for Exam# 1.

1 Oct (W):  EXAM #1.  The assignment for the out-of-class essay portion of the exam, and the prep sheet for the in-class portion will be posted for your perusal five days before the exam.

3 Oct (F):  Shirley Jackson, "The Lottery."  Writing Assignment #7 is due at the beginning of class.

6 Oct (M):  Further discussion of Jackson's story.

8 Oct (W):  Further discussion of Jackson's story.  There will be an optional writing assignment on this story given out in class, and due at the beginning of the following class session.

10 Oct (F):  Further discussion of Jackson's story.  There will be a third optional writing assignment on this story spelled out in class, and due at the beginning of the following class session.

13 Oct (M):  Showing in class of Peter Werner and Horton Foote's film Barn Burning, based on William Faulkner's story.

15 Oct (W):  William Faulkner, "Barn Burning."  There is a Study Guide to this story.  Writing Assignment #8 is due at the beginning of class.

17 Oct (F):  More on Faulkner's story.

20 Oct (M):  Heinrich Böll, "The Balek Scales" (in the Coursepak.  [For info on where to obtain the Coursepak, see Texts for the Course.)  There is a Study Guide to this story.  Writing Assignment #9 is due at the beginning of class.

22 Oct (W):  Further discussion of Böll's story.

24 Oct (F):  Ursula K. LeGuin, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" (in the Coursepak).  There is a Study Guide to this Story. Writing Assignment #10 is due at the beginning of class.

27 Oct (M):  Further discussion of LeGuin's story.

29 Oct (F):  Alice Walker, "Everyday Use."  Writing Assignment #11 is due at the beginning of class.

31 Oct (F):  Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener.  There is a Study Guide to this story.  Writing Assignment #12 is due at the beginning of class.  (Reminder:  To earn the full complement of 40 possible points on the writing assignments, you need to write on 2 of the 3 longer pieces.  This is one.  One has already passed [Tolstoy's Death of Ivan Ilych.]  Only one remains after this:  Conrad's Heart of Darkness.)

3 Nov (M):  Further discussion of Melville's novella.

5 Nov (W):  EXAM #2.

7 Nov (F):  Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal."  Download this from our Web site.  There is a Study Guide to this reading, together with a set of Notes that clarify references in the reading that are likely to be obscure to the modern reader.  (The Study Guide also includes links, which you should pursue, to a biographical sketch of Swift and to a discussion of conditions in 18th-Century Ireland that gave rise to "A Modest Proposal.")  Writing Assignment #13 is due at the beginning of class.

10 Nov (M):  Further discussion of how Swift's mock essay works.

12 Nov (W):  Mark Twain, "King Leopold's Soliloquy" (in the Coursepak).  There is a Study Guide to this fiction.  Writing Assignment #14 is due at the beginning of class.

14 Nov (F):  Further discussion of Twain's ironic soliloquy.

17 Nov (M):  Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.  (For info on where to find this story, see Texts for the Course.)  There is a Study Guide to this story.  Writing Assignment #15 is due at the beginning of class.

19 Nov (W):  Further discussion of Conrad's novella.

21 Nov (F):  Serio Ramírez, "Charles Atlas Also Dies" (in the Coursepak).  There is a Study Guide to this story.  Writing Assignment # 16 is due at the beginning of class.

24 Nov (M):  Jorge Luis Borges, "The Garden of Forking Paths" (in the Coursepak).  There is a Study Guide to this story.  Writing Assignment # 17 is due at the beginning of class.

26 Nov (W) and 28 Nov (F):  NO CLASS -- Thanksgiving Vacation.

1 Dec (M):  Further discussion of Borges' story.

3 Dec (W):  John Barth, "Night-Sea Journey" (in the Coursepak).   Writing Assignment # 18 is due at the beginning of class.

5 Dec (F):  Stanley Elkin, "The Conventional Wisdom" (in the Coursepak).  Writing Assignment #19 is due at the beginning of class.

8 Dec (M):  Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger.  (For a reminder of where to obtain the text for this, see the Texts for the Course.)  There is a Study Guide to this story, which also serves as the prep sheet to the in-class alternative to the out-of-class portion of the Final Exam. Writing Assignment # is due at the beginning of class.

10 Dec (W):  Further discussion of The Mysterious Stranger.

12 Dec (F):  Review for the Final Exam.

FINAL EXAMINATION.  The final will take place in our regular classroom, Eisenhower16.  Students in either section will have the choice of attending either of the final exam session scheduled for L. Baker's two sections, which are:

Wednesday, 17 December, 11:50 am -1:40 pm
   and
Friday, 19 Decamber, 4:10pm - 6:00 pm

Everyone is required to tak an in-class final exam during the first 50 minutes of the scheduled final exam session. Beyond that, you will have the option of submitting an out-of-class essay (the sort of thing that was required as part of the first 2 exams of the course) OR of taking an additional in-class section of the final, during the second 50-minute portion of the final exam period in which they appear for the obligatory part of the in-class exam.  The assignment for the out-of-class essay portion, and the prep sheet for the in-class portions -- the required in-class part and the optional alternative to the out-of-class portion -- will be posted for your perusal five days before the first of the final sessions scheduled, as listed above.  The out-of-class essay and the in-class alternative to it will both focus on Twain's The Mysterious Stranger.  The in-class portion of the final required of all students will cover the remaining stories taken up since Exam #2.


    Return to the Course Home Page (English 320:  Introduction to the Short Story).


  Suggestions are welcome.  Please send your comments to lyman@ksu.edu .

     Contents copyright © 1997 by Lyman A. Baker

Permission is granted for non-commercial educational use; all other rights reserved.

  This page last updated 16 October 1997.