This course is solely for students who are taking the entire British Literature elective (keuzevakkenpakket).
This course examines short stories produced by authors writing in English from the 1850s to the 1990s, and in particular will explore the representation of nationality, identity, the supernatural, language, money, the family, marriage, romantic love, sexual desire, friendship and art. The course will employ an eclectic theoretical framework to contextualise the works we will discuss, from Freud to Kierkegaard, Arendt to Cavell, Weil to Benjamin. We will also investigate the generic opportunities and limitations of the short story, relate the form to its place in the literary marketplace, and will endeavour to position the works within their cultural and historical context.
This is a truly international course: of the twelve writers studied here, three were born in the USA, two were born in England, one was born in Ireland, one in Scotland, one in what has been called ‘the Polish Ukraine’, one in New Zealand, one in India, one in Denmark, and one in Canada.
This course will extend and deepen the power of students’ literary critical analysis through in-depth consideration of texts.
Students will explore critical debates central to the short story.
The course will also aim to extend the students’ skills in the reading of narrative and the understanding of the relationship of a text to its cultural/social context.
Students will be encouraged to share analytical and critical views on the texts ascribed in class discussion, including, where needed, short presentations, and will focus research skills in the writing of a final essay.
This essay will be on a relevant subject of their own choice within the parameters of the course, and will further extend the students’ critical skills and their ability to produce good, clear writing.
A final exam will test students’ knowledge of the literature of the period, and give them an opportunity to display their insight, their familiarity with the texts, and the range of their critical ideas.
The timetable is available on the BA English website
Mode of instruction
*Independent study ### Course Load
The course load of this course is 140 hours.
hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 24
time for studying the compulsory literature: 80
time to prepare for the exam and/or write a paper (including reading / research): 36
- Essay(s) (50%):
Two essays of 1200 words (25% each); or, one longer essay on a comparative subject (dealing with at least two texts featured on the syllabus) of 2500 words (50%).
The essay/s is/are due in one week after your last class.
• Final Exam (50%)
This exam will feature questions about the literature on the syllabus. The questions are designed to allow students to formulate informative answers based on critical insight into the short story and knowledge of the various important contexts gained during the tutorial discussion and individual study.
Students must retake those parts of the course they fail or that are incomplete.
The final grade is determined by calculating the average grade for the above-mentioned assignment(s) and exam, which is rounded to the nearest half. A final grade below 5,5 (also 5,49) is insufficient. Only when the final grade is insufficient can students resit exam(s) and/or assignments that received below 5,5. The resit grade will replace the original grade.
Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam.
Blackboard will be used for:
making students aware of course information
communication between staff and students
provision of background documents, reading lists, essay questions etc
Herman Melville:Billy Budd and Other Stories (Penguin Classics).
Henry James:Selected Tales (Penguin Classics) (ed. John Lyon).
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Oxford World’s Classics) (ed. Richard Lancelyn Green).
Rudyard Kipling:The Man Who Would Be King (Penguin Classics) (ed. Jan Montefiore).
M. R. James:Collected Ghost Stories (Oxford World’s Classics) (ed. Darryl Jones).
Joseph Conrad:Typhoon, and Other Tales (Oxford World’s Classics) (ed. Cedric Watts).
D. H. Lawrence:Selected Stories (Penguin Classics) (ed. Sue Wilson).
Katherine Mansfield:_ “The Garden Party” and Other Stories_ (Penguin Classics) (ed. Lorna Sage).
Elizabeth Bowen:The Collected Stories (Vintage).
Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen]:Seven Gothic Tales (Penguin).
Flannery O’Connor:Complete Stories (Faber & Faber).
Alice Munro:Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014 (Vintage).
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. Please note that students other than BA English language and culture studies will have to have permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Student administration Van Eyckhof
The required reading for week 1 is: Herman Melville, ‘Benito Cereno’, ‘Bartleby’ and ‘Billy Budd’, in Billy Budd and Other Stories (Penguin Classics).
WEEK ONE: HERMAN MELVILLE’S SHORT FICTION; WEEK TWO: HENRY JAMES’S SHORT FICTION; WEEK THREE: ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE’S THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES; WEEK FOUR: RUDYARD KIPLING’S SHORT STORIES; WEEK FIVE: M. R. JAMES’S GHOST STORIES; WEEK SIX: JOSEPH CONRAD’S SHORT STORIES; WEEK SEVEN: D. H. LAWRENCE’S SHORT STORIES; WEEK EIGHT: KATHERINE MANSFIELD’S THE GARDEN PARTY; WEEK NINE: ELIZABETH BOWEN’S SHORT STORIES; WEEK TEN: ISAK DINESEN [KAREN BLIXEN], SEVEN GOTHIC TALES; WEEK ELEVEN: FLANNERY O’CONNOR’S SHORT STORIES; WEEK TWELVE: ALICE MUNRO’S FAMILY FURNISHINGS: SELECTED STORIES, 1995-2014.