Jeremy Shere

11:15a-12:30p TR (25 students) 3 cr., A&H, IW.

The purpose of this course is two-fold: 1) to introduce you to a wide range of fiction in the forms of short stories and novels, and 2) to teach you how to write formal, college-level essays about what youíve read. Great fiction is never only ďaboutĒ one thing or another, but the stories and novels Iíve chosen all deal, albeit in a variety of interesting ways, with issues of human survival, of the will to live, and sometimes to die, under extreme conditions. Throughout our reading and discussion we will return to these issues, from their very personal, specific treatment of individual survival (and failure to survive) in many of the short stories, to broader confrontations of war, cataclysm, and survival in the novels. Regarding the writing component, you will learn how to read closely, gather evidence, develop a thesis, and argue it in a polished, organized, persuasive essay.

The books for the course include (subject to change) the short story anthology Introduction to Literature and the novels The Red Badge of Courage, Badenheim 1939, and The Things They Carried. There will probably be four 1-2 page papers, three 4-6 page papers, several in-class writing assignment, a midterm, and a final exam.