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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Michael W Adams

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1973, The University of Texas at Austin

Associate Professor, University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor
Michael W Adams

Contact

Biography

Director, Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program

Associate Director, James A. Michener Center for Writers

Columnist, Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit

Novelist: Blind Man's Bluff; Anniversaries in the Blood 

Interests

Legal writing; history of Western thought; the Bible as literature; the modern short story; the modern American novel.

E 348 • The Short Story

35780 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 206
show description

Instructor:  Adams, M

Unique #:  35780

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), or 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: The focus of this course is beauty and, consequently, the techniques used by short story writers to achieve it. Beauty, as I define it, means that the technique of a story matches what it comprehends. In this sense, one cannot separate the telling of the story from the story itself. Although we will review the various critical approaches to short fiction, the emphasis will always be upon the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the story-teller. We will read a minimum of three short stories per class. At three times during the semester, we will pause over several works by one writer--this semester, it will be Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and Flannery O’Connor. The first half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to sharpen our contact with the human condition, even, perhaps, to make us more empathetic individuals. The second half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to make us think about the human condition and the nature of being itself. Though obviously these two emphases are not mutually exclusive, our discussions will vary from reflections on one’s personal experience to intellectual assumptions about one’s meaning in life—be it religious, philosophical, existential, etc.

Texts: Fiction 100, ed. James H. Pickering, 11th edition; Everything that Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor; Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson.

Requirements & Grading: Attendance is required. Unexcused absence results in a deduction of three points off the final grade—for each unexcused absence. Class discussion is highly valued. In many ways, this is the heart of the class, for it’s by this means that we share insights into the art of a fine story and insights into the human condition—especially our own. These discussions will be open, frank, and respectful. The discussion grade accounts for 10% of the final grade. This is based not on the number of times you contribute but on the quality of your insights and your willingness to share your thoughts. A careful reading of each story for each class is highly valued. To this end, pop quizzes will constitute 15% of your final grade. You must come to class fully prepared each class meeting. The quizzes will be over the readings due for that day. If you miss a quiz due to an excused absence, you must come by my office within one week from the missed class and take an oral quiz. If you’ve missed class with an excused absence for more than one day, you must, upon your return, arrange a time to make up any missed quizzes. These quizzes will result in a grade of pass or fail. If you score from 70-100, you will receive a pass in the grade book, which cannot be averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. If you score lower than a 70, that grade will be recorded in the grade book and averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. This protects the integrity and goal of the pop quizzes—to determine how prepared you were for class NOT knowing whether you would be given a quiz.

If you miss a quiz due to an unexcused absence, you will not be given a chance to make it up. A zero will be recorded in the grade book.

Requirements and Assignments: You will write five analytical essays (5-8 pages). These will be averaged together and constitute 75% of your final grade. The first essay may be dropped for the final averaging. You will be given the opportunity to revise. There will be some peer reading of each other’s work. The peer editing will include the following: For the first essay, each of you will bring five additional copies to class. I will distribute these to your classmates. Your classmates will edit, comment, and evaluate your essay. If, during the semester, I think it would be valuable for you to see the response of other students to your written work, I’ll ask for a clean copy to distribute. We’ll discuss the students’ responses in my office. Each student reads and comments on multiple essays, and also provides specific revision suggestions.

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. Please note: to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 89.999.

A = 90 – above; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69.

Plagiarism: DON’T take a chance. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. I will go over this the first day of class, but every student should go to the following website to get a full account: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/scholdis_plagiarism.php

E 348 • 20th-Century Short Story

35805 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 800am-900am PAR 308
show description

Instructor:  Adams, M            Areas:  III / U

Unique #:  35805            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Fall 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The focus of this course is beauty and, consequently, the techniques used by short story writers to achieve it. Beauty, as I define it, means that the technique of a story matches what it comprehends. In this sense, one cannot separate the telling of the story from the story itself. Although we will review the various critical approaches to short fiction, the emphasis will always be upon the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the story-teller. We will read a minimum of three short stories per class. At three times during the semester, we will pause over several works by one writer--this semester, it will be Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and Flannery O’Connor. The first half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to sharpen our contact with the human condition, even, perhaps, to make us more empathetic individuals. The second half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to make us think about the human condition and the nature of being itself. Though obviously these two emphases are not mutually exclusive, our discussions will vary from reflections on one’s personal experience to intellectual assumptions about one’s meaning in life—be it religious, philosophical, existential, etc.

Texts: Fiction 100, ed. James H. Pickering, 11th edition; Everything that Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor; Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson.

Requirements & Grading: Attendance is required. Unexcused absence results in a deduction of three points off the final grade—for each unexcused absence. Class discussion is highly valued. In many ways, this is the heart of the class, for it’s by this means that we share insights into the art of a fine story and insights into the human condition—especially our own. These discussions will be open, frank, and respectful. The discussion grade accounts for 10% of the final grade. This is based not on the number of times you contribute but on the quality of your insights and your willingness to share your thoughts. A careful reading of each story for each class is highly valued. To this end, pop quizzes will constitute 15% of your final grade. You must come to class fully prepared each class meeting. The quizzes will be over the readings due for that day. If you miss a quiz due to an excused absence, you must come by my office within one week from the missed class and take an oral quiz. If you’ve missed class with an excused absence for more than one day, you must, upon your return, arrange a time to make up any missed quizzes. These quizzes will result in a grade of pass or fail. If you score from 70-100, you will receive a pass in the grade book, which cannot be averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. If you score lower than a 70, that grade will be recorded in the grade book and averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. This protects the integrity and goal of the pop quizzes—to determine how prepared you were for class NOT knowing whether you would be given a quiz.

If you miss a quiz due to an unexcused absence, you will not be given a chance to make it up. A zero will be recorded in the grade book.

Requirements and Assignments: You will write five analytical essays (5-8 pages). These will be averaged together and constitute 75% of your final grade. The first essay may be dropped for the final averaging. You will be given the opportunity to revise. There will be some peer reading of each other’s work. The peer editing will include the following: For the first essay, each of you will bring five additional copies to class. I will distribute these to your classmates. Your classmates will edit, comment, and evaluate your essay. If, during the semester, I think it would be valuable for you to see the response of other students to your written work, I’ll ask for a clean copy to distribute. We’ll discuss the students’ responses in my office. Each student reads and comments on multiple essays, and also provides specific revision suggestions.

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. Please note: to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 89.999.

A = 90 – above; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69.

Plagiarism: DON’T take a chance. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. I will go over this the first day of class, but every student should go to the following website to get a full account: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/scholdis_plagiarism.php

E F348 • 20th-Century Short Story

83550 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am SZB 416
show description

Instructor:  Adams, M            Areas:  III / U

Unique #:  83550            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Summer 2013, first session            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The focus of this course is beauty and, consequently, the techniques used by short story writers to achieve it. Beauty, as I define it, means that the technique of a story matches what it comprehends. In this sense, one cannot separate the telling of the story from the story itself. Although we will review the various critical approaches to short fiction, the emphasis will always be upon the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the story-teller. We will read a minimum of three short stories per class. At three times during the semester, we will pause over several works by one writer--this semester, it will be Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor. The first half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to sharpen our contact with the human condition, even, perhaps, to make us more empathetic individuals. The second half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to make us think about the human condition and the nature of being itself. Though obviously these two emphases are not mutually exclusive, our discussions will vary from reflections on one’s personal experience to intellectual assumptions about one’s meaning in life—be it religious, philosophical, existential, etc.

Texts: Fiction 100, ed. James H. Pickering, 11th edition; Everything that Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor;  

Requirements & Grading: Attendance is required. Unexcused absence results in a deduction of three points off the final grade—for each unexcused absence. Class discussion is highly valued. In many ways, this is the heart of the class, for it’s by this means that we share insights into the art of a fine story and insights into the human condition—especially our own. These discussions will be open, frank, and respectful. The discussion grade accounts for 10% of the final grade. This is based not on the number of times you contribute but on the quality of your insights and your willingness to share your thoughts. A careful reading of each story for each class is highly valued. To this end, pop quizzes will constitute 15% of your final grade. You must come to class fully prepared each class meeting. The quizzes will be over the readings due for that day. If you miss a quiz due to an excused absence, you must come by my office within one week from the missed class and take an oral quiz. If you’ve missed class with an excused absence for more than one day, you must, upon your return, arrange a time to make up any missed quizzes. These quizzes will result in a grade of pass or fail. If you score from 70-100, you will receive a pass in the grade book, which cannot be averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. If you score lower than a 70, that grade will be recorded in the grade book and averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. This protects the integrity and goal of the pop quizzes—to determine how prepared you were for class NOT knowing whether you would be given a quiz.

If you miss a quiz due to an unexcused absence, you will not be given a chance to make it up. A zero will be recorded in the grade book.

You will write three major analytical essays (4-8 pages). These will be averaged together and constitute 70% of your final grade. You will write two short response essays (2-3 pages). This will be averaged together and constitute 10% of your final grade. Regular pop quizzes will be added together and constitute 10% of your final grade. I will give a discussion grade sometime (unannounced) during the semester. This will constitute 10% of your final grade.

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. Please note: to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 89.999.

A = 90 – above; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69.

Plagiarism: DON’T take a chance. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. I will go over this the first day of class, but every student should go to the following website to get a full account: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/scholdis_plagiarism.php

E 350E • Clascl/Sriptl Bckgrnd Of Lit

35490 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 300pm-430pm CBA 4.336
(also listed as LAH 350 )
show description

Instructor:  Adams, M            Areas:  II / D

Unique #:  35490            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  English Honors

Cross-lists:  LAH 350            Computer Instruction:  n/a

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

The subject of each class meeting may be determined from the assigned reading for the day (see course schedule). The instructor retains the right to vary this syllabus.

Description: The intellectual and cultural foundation of what we call the Western Mind has its origin within the ideas and literary and artistic forms established centuries ago by Greek and Judeo-Christian traditions. This course will explore those ideas and those literary forms as they continue to manifest themselves both singularly and as a complex union responsible for creating the psychological and aesthetic tension in important modern writers. Singularly we find the mental atmosphere established by the Judeo-Christian notions of monotheism, linear time, a sacred text of laws, Judgment Day, Hell and Heaven, Original Sin, a god of history, Satan, salvation, etc., found in literary forms like psalms, folk tales, etiological stories, prophetic poetry, lamentations, extended narratives, character sketches, gospels, and epistles. And we find the mental atmosphere of Greek notions of intellectual freedom, skepticism, Stoicism, democracy, philosophical inquiry, destiny, glory, honor, hospitality, fate, the heroic, etc., found in literary forms like tragedy, odes, the Sapphic, the elegy, the epic, philosophic tracts, and satire. But perhaps most important, we see prevalently in the modern mind a blending of these two mental atmospheres that have created some of our finest stories, plays, and poems as they encapsulate what some have called the sadness of sophistication tempered by the mercy of the imagination—“Need is not quite belief.”

            This exploration will take us back and forth from biblical and Greek and Roman literary texts to contemporary versions or rethinkings. Aeschylus’ Orestia; Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra; the gospel of Mark and Pars Lagerkvist’s Barabbas; the biblical Lamentations and Anne Sexton’s The Jesus Papers; Ecclesiastes and Nathaniel West’s Miss Lonelyhearts; the biblical Job and Archibald MacLeish’s poetic drama J.B., the Garden of Eden story and Paul Valéry’s Sketch of the Serpent, and so on. In essence, this comparative look at ancient and modern literary devices, and the ideas they literally contain, is a study of the creative mind’s response to the mystery of being alive.

Readings selected from the following list: Large selections from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; Sophocles’ Antigone; Aeschylus’ Orestia; Euripides’ Medea; Horace and Juvenal’s satires; the odes of Pindar, Horace, Catullus, W. H. Auden, Laurence Binyon, Alan Tate, Robert Lowell, Robert Creely, Bernadette Mayer; Sappho’s poetic fragments and the modern Sapphic by Anne Carson, John Frederick Nims, Ezra Pound; elegies of Mimnermus, Propertius, Tyrtaeus, Ovid, Catullus, Jerico Brown, Robert Lowel, A. E. Housman, W. H. Auden, Paul Celan, Rainer Maria Rilke; the Old Testament (the historical books—Genesis, Exodus, etc.—Psalms; the Prophets; Wisdom literature—Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, etc.; selections from the Apocrapha, especially Enoch; the New Testament—the Gospels, Paul’s Letters, Acts, Revelation; Petronius’ Satyricon; selections from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca; brief selections from the pre-Socratic philosophers; the Persian Avesta; Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts; Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son; short stories by Flannery O’Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, James Joyce, Raymond Carver, Tim O’Brien, Anton Chekov, William Faulkner, and others; Hesiod’s Works and Days ; Archibald MacLeish’s poetic drama J.B.; Par Lagerkvist’s Barabbas; Anne Sexton’s “The Jesus Papers.”

Grading Policy: Attendance is required. Unexcused absence results in a deduction of three points off the final grade—for each unexcused absence. Class discussion is highly valued. In many ways, this is the heart of the class, for it’s by this means that we share insights into the art of a fine story and insights into the human condition—especially our own. These discussions will be open, frank, and respectful. The discussion grade accounts for 10% of the final grade. This is based not on the number of times you contribute but on the quality of your insights and your willingness to share your thoughts. A careful reading of each story for each class is highly valued. To this end, pop quizzes will constitute 15% of your final grade. You must come to class fully prepared each class meeting. The quizzes will be over the readings due for that day. If you miss a quiz due to an excused absence, you must come by my office within one week from the missed class and take an oral quiz. If you’ve missed class with an excused absence for more than one day, you must, upon your return, arrange a time to make up any missed quizzes. These quizzes will result in a grade of pass or fail. If you score from 70-100, you will receive a pass in the grade book, which cannot be averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. If you score lower than a 70, that grade will be recorded in the grade book and averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. This protects the integrity and goal of the pop quizzes—to determine how prepared you were for class NOT knowing whether you would be given a quiz.

If you miss a quiz due to an unexcused absence, you will not be given a chance to make it up. A zero will be recorded in the grade book.

Requirements and Assignments: You will write five analytical essays (4-8 pages). These will be averaged together and constitute 75% of your final grade. You will be given the opportunity to revise the first essay for a grade by improving the presentation and addressing errors in grammar and punctuation. You will not be allowed to add content to your analysis unless approved by me. Those who need help with your writing will meet with me regularly during the semester. I encourage regular visits for every student in order to discuss both the content of the course and ways to improve your writing. As indicated above, quizzes will make up 15% of your final grade, class discussion 10%.

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. Please note: to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 89.999.

A = 90 – above; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69.

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.

Provisional Schedule (subject to change upon notice by the instructor)

To be determined

Instructor’s name:  Michael Adams, Calhoun 316. Office hours MW 4:30-6

E S348 • 20th-Century Short Story

83870 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am PAR 105
show description

Instructor:  Adams, M            Areas:  III / U

Unique #:  83870            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Summer 2012, second session            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The focus of this course is beauty and, consequently, the techniques used by short story writers to achieve it. Beauty, as I define it, means that the technique of a story matches what it comprehends. In this sense, one cannot separate the telling of the story from the story itself. Although we will review the various critical approaches to short fiction, the emphasis will always be upon the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the story-teller. We will read a minimum of three short stories per class. At three times during the semester, we will pause over several works by one writer--this semester, it will be Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor. The first half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to sharpen our contact with the human condition, even, perhaps, to make us more empathetic individuals. The second half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to make us think about the human condition and the nature of being itself. Though obviously these two emphases are not mutually exclusive, our discussions will vary from reflections on one’s personal experience to intellectual assumptions about one’s meaning in life—be it religious, philosophical, existential, etc.

Texts: Fiction 100, ed. James H. Pickering, 11th edition; Everything that Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor;  

Requirements & Grading: Attendance is required. Unexcused absence results in a deduction of three points off the final grade—for each unexcused absence. Class discussion is highly valued. In many ways, this is the heart of the class, for it’s by this means that we share insights into the art of a fine story and insights into the human condition—especially our own. These discussions will be open, frank, and respectful. The discussion grade accounts for 10% of the final grade. This is based not on the number of times you contribute but on the quality of your insights and your willingness to share your thoughts. A careful reading of each story for each class is highly valued. To this end, pop quizzes will constitute 15% of your final grade. You must come to class fully prepared each class meeting. The quizzes will be over the readings due for that day. If you miss a quiz due to an excused absence, you must come by my office within one week from the missed class and take an oral quiz. If you’ve missed class with an excused absence for more than one day, you must, upon your return, arrange a time to make up any missed quizzes. These quizzes will result in a grade of pass or fail. If you score from 70-100, you will receive a pass in the grade book, which cannot be averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. If you score lower than a 70, that grade will be recorded in the grade book and averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. This protects the integrity and goal of the pop quizzes—to determine how prepared you were for class NOT knowing whether you would be given a quiz.

If you miss a quiz due to an unexcused absence, you will not be given a chance to make it up. A zero will be recorded in the grade book.

You will write three major analytical essays (4-8 pages). These will be averaged together and constitute 70% of your final grade. You will write two short response essays (2-3 pages). This will be averaged together and constitute 10% of your final grade. Regular pop quizzes will be added together and constitute 10% of your final grade. I will give a discussion grade sometime (unannounced) during the semester. This will constitute 10% of your final grade.

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. Please note: to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 89.999.

A = 90 – above; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69.

Plagiarism: DON’T take a chance. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. I will go over this the first day of class, but every student should go to the following website to get a full account: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/scholdis_plagiarism.php

E 348 • 20th-Century Short Story

35310 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 204
show description

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Description: The focus of this course is beauty and, consequently, the techniques used by short story writers to achieve it. Beauty, as I define it, means that the technique of a story matches what it comprehends. In this sense, one cannot separate the telling of the story from the story itself. Although we will review the various critical approaches to short fiction, the emphasis will always be upon the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the story-teller. We will read a minimum of three short stories per class. At three times during the semester, we will pause over several works by one writer--this semester, it will be Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and Flannery O’Connor. The first half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to sharpen our contact with the human condition, even, perhaps, to make us more empathetic individuals. The second half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to make us think about the human condition and the nature of being itself. Though obviously these two emphases are not mutually exclusive, our discussions will vary from reflections on one’s personal experience to intellectual assumptions about one’s meaning in life—be it religious, philosophical, existential, etc.

Texts: Fiction 100, ed. James H. Pickering, 11th edition; Everything that Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor; Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson.

Requirements & Grading: Attendance is required. Unexcused absence results in a deduction of three points off the final grade—for each unexcused absence. Class discussion is highly valued. In many ways, this is the heart of the class, for it’s by this means that we share insights into the art of a fine story and insights into the human condition—especially our own. These discussions will be open, frank, and respectful. The discussion grade accounts for 10% of the final grade. This is based not on the number of times you contribute but on the quality of your insights and your willingness to share your thoughts. A careful reading of each story for each class is highly valued. To this end, pop quizzes will constitute 15% of your final grade. You must come to class fully prepared each class meeting. The quizzes will be over the readings due for that day. If you miss a quiz due to an excused absence, you must come by my office within one week from the missed class and take an oral quiz. If you’ve missed class with an excused absence for more than one day, you must, upon your return, arrange a time to make up any missed quizzes. These quizzes will result in a grade of pass or fail. If you score from 70-100, you will receive a pass in the grade book, which cannot be averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. If you score lower than a 70, that grade will be recorded in the grade book and averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. This protects the integrity and goal of the pop quizzes—to determine how prepared you were for class NOT knowing whether you would be given a quiz.

If you miss a quiz due to an unexcused absence, you will not be given a chance to make it up. A zero will be recorded in the grade book.

Requirements and Assignments: You will write five analytical essays (5-8 pages). These will be averaged together and constitute 75% of your final grade. The first essay may be dropped for the final averaging. You will be given the opportunity to revise. There will be some peer reading of each other’s work. The peer editing will include the following: For the first essay, each of you will bring five additional copies to class. I will distribute these to your classmates. Your classmates will edit, comment, and evaluate your essay. If, during the semester, I think it would be valuable for you to see the response of other students to your written work, I’ll ask for a clean copy to distribute. We’ll discuss the students’ responses in my office. Each student reads and comments on multiple essays, and also provides specific revision suggestions.

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. Please note: to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 89.999.

A = 90 – above; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69.

Plagiarism: DON’T take a chance. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. I will go over this the first day of class, but every student should go to the following website to get a full account: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/scholdis_plagiarism.php

E 348 • 20th-Century Short Story

34665 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 304
show description

Course Description:

The focus of this course is beauty and, consequently, the techniques used by short story writers to achieve it. Beauty, as I define it, means that the technique of a story matches what it comprehends. In this sense, one cannot separate the telling of the story from the story itself. Although we will review the various critical approaches to short fiction, the emphasis will always be upon the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the story-teller. We will read a minimum of three short stories per class. At three times during the semester, we will pause over several works by one writer--this semester, it will be Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and Flannery O’Connor. The first half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to sharpen our contact with the human condition, even, perhaps, to make us more empathetic individuals. The second half of the course will center on writers whose mission is to make us think about the human condition and the nature of being itself. Though obviously these two emphases are not mutually exclusive, our discussions will vary from reflections on one’s personal experience to intellectual assumptions about one’s meaning in life—be it religious, philosophical, existential, etc.

Texts:

Fiction 100, ed. James H. Pickering, 11th edition; Everything that Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor; Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson.

Grading:

Attendance is required. Unexcused absence results in a deduction of three points off the final grade—for each unexcused absence. Class discussion is highly valued. In many ways, this is the heart of the class, for it’s by this means that we share insights into the art of a fine story and insights into the human condition—especially our own. These discussions will be open, frank, and respectful. The discussion grade accounts for 10% of the final grade. This is based not on the number of times you contribute but on the quality of your insights and your willingness to share your thoughts. A careful reading of each story for each class is highly valued. To this end, pop quizzes will constitute 15% of your final grade. You must come to class fully prepared each class meeting. The quizzes will be over the readings due for that day. If you miss a quiz due to an excused absence, you must come by my office within one week from the missed class and take an oral quiz. If you’ve missed class with an excused absence for more than one day, you must, upon your return, arrange a time to make up any missed quizzes. These quizzes will result in a grade of pass or fail. If you score from 70-100, you will receive a pass in the grade book, which cannot be averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. If you score lower than a 70, that grade will be recorded in the grade book and averaged into your final pop-quiz grade. This protects the integrity and goal of the pop quizzes—to determine how prepared you were for class NOT knowing whether you would be given a quiz. If you miss a quiz due to an unexcused absence, you will not be given a chance to make it up. A zero will be recorded in the grade book.

Requirements and Assignments: You will write five analytical essays (5-8 pages). These will be averaged together and constitute 75% of your final grade. The first essay may be dropped for the final averaging. You will be given the opportunity to revise. There will be some peer reading of each other’s work. The peer editing will include the following: For the first essay, each of you will bring five additional copies to class. I will distribute these to your classmates. Your classmates will edit, comment, and evaluate your essay. If, during the semester, I think it would be valuable for you to see the response of other students to your written work, I’ll ask for a clean copy to distribute. We’ll discuss the students’ responses in my office. Each student reads and comments on multiple essays, and also provides specific revision suggestions.

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. Please note: to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 89.999.

A = 90 – above; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69.

Plagiarism: DON’T take a chance. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. I will go over this the first day of class, but every student should go to the following website to get a full account: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/scholdis_plagiarism.php

Prerequisites:

Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing. 

E 348 • 20th-Century Short Story-W

35120 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 105
show description

TBD

Awards & Honors

  • Academy of Distinguished Teachers
  • President Associate's Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Liberal Arts Council Teaching Award
  • Dad's Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship
  • Eyes of Texas Award
  • Elected to Texas Institute of Letters
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