In this seminar, we will discuss short stories, one of the most popular and characteristic U.S. American literary genres. Going back to a long tradition of short narratives, the short story gained momentum in the 19th century with increasing literacy, the development of literary journals and the mass circulation of texts. It is in this context that pioneers like Edgar Allen Poe started to theoretically institutionalize the form by formulating formal and stylistic criteria that should be indicative for the genre's further development. Tracing the short story's genealogy in the United States, we will read and critically discuss exemplary texts by "classical" short story authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Stephen Crane, and Herman Melville as well as 20th century authors writing from increasingly diverse positions such as James Baldwin, Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Adichie, Sandra Cisneros, or Junot Díaz and examine how the texts deal with individual and collective consciousness, border experiences and different forms of crisis. The seminar will further engage with theoretical approaches to the short story.
Teilnahmevoraussetzungen, notwendige Vorkenntnisse
Edgar Allen Poe, "The Philosophy of Composition", 1846 (will be provided at the "Lernraum" of the ekkV) for preparation
Edgar Allen Poe, "The Philosophy of Composition", 1846 (will be provided at the "Lernraum" of the ekkV)
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