This course focuses on the representations of teaching and learning in American fiction.  Students will read and with the teacher class discussions will ensue regarding the award-winning* novel A Lesson before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines.  Each of the students will choose from among a list of American short stories with a teaching/learning motif and present and lead discussion of that story which will be assigned reading for all members of the class.  Lectures of similar works of fiction such as the campus novel (Don Delillo’s White Noise, Philip Roth’s Indignation, Louise Erdrich’s The Crown of Columbus or Bernard Malamud’s A New Life) may be referred to.

Choose a story from this list for your in-class presentation:

  • Bynum, Sarah Shun-Lien (2004): “Accomplice” The Best American Short Stories 2004 Boston, Houghton Mifflin: 58-75.
  • Chabon, Michael (1988): “A Model World” In: A Model World and Other Short Stories New York: William Marrow and Company.
  • Clarke, John Henrik (1949): “The Boy Who Painted Christ Black” The Pittsburgh Courier,  (29 January 1949): 17-21.
  • Goldstein, Rebecca (1993): “The Legacy of Raizel Kaidish” In The Oxford Book of Jewish Short Stories. OUP, 1998: 409-422.
  • James, Henry (1982/1892): “The Pupil.” In: Selected Fiction. New York, Penguin.
  • Keyes, Daniel (1959): “Flowers for Algernon” In: The Magazine for Fantasy and Science Fiction (April 1959): 5-30.
  • Lychack, William (1996): “A Stand of Fables” The Best American Short Stories Boston, Houghton Mifflin: 220-225.
  • McKnight, Reginald (1989): “The Kind of Light that Shines on Texas” In: O Henry Prize Stories 1990. New York: Doubleday.
  • Rossner, Judith (1986): “The Unfaithful Father” In New American Short Stories 2 New York, NAL Books: 53-68.
  • Russo, Richard (2007): “Horseman” In: The Best American Short Stories 2007 Boston, Houghton Mifflin: 341-364.
  • Simms, William Gilmore (1829/1991) “Confessions of a Murderer” In Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories New York, Signet: 1-9.