This course introduces students to the evolving artistry of the short story in the United States. Designed both for those interested in creative writing and in literary history and criticism, the course focuses on the short story as a synthesis of personal imagination, craft, culture and history. Discussing a wide variety of short stories in relation to theme and social context, we’ll also analyze works in relation to style, tone, characterization, dialogue, point of view, pacing, and evocation of time and place, with the goal of learning to read like a writer. Stories by diverse American writers, including Poe, Twain, Crane, Freeman, Gilman, Wharton, Glaspell, Anderson, Williams, Hemingway, Singer, Bradbury, Baldwin, Malamud, Cheever, Minot, Tan, Yamamoto, Alexie, O'Brien, Woolf, Carver and others. Our schedule will be divided between discussion sessions of assigned short story readings and writing workshops in which class members will read their own writing in small groups. Students will write four creative fiction exercises, a critical journal on assigned stories, and a final writing project in fiction or literary criticism.