LANG 3072 Short Fiction in the Americas

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101791

Coordinator Chris Andrews Opens in new window

Description This subject surveys short fiction written in the Americas in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese during the twentieth century. It examines the history of short fictional genres, theories of their functioning, and the ways in which they register and transmit the various national and regional cultures of the Americas. The subject allows students majoring in Spanish to undertake language-specific assessment tasks (reading original texts in Spanish and writing their essay in Spanish) while other students read the texts and complete their assessment tasks in English.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Literature

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Articulate the key elements and features of a series of representative works of short fiction from the Americas.
  2. Develop an original, closely-argued response to a question about short fiction couched in theoretical or historical terms.
  3. Explain the role of the press and particular prestigious magazines in shaping American short fiction in the twentieth century.
  4. Identify and describe genres of short fiction from the 'micro-story' to the novella, giving an account of their conventions.
  5. Understand the mechanisms by which narrative tension is maintained in short fiction.
  6. Analyze the ways in which short fiction constructs and undoes selves.

Subject Content

Short fiction in the twentieth century:
- The limits of short fiction: how short can It be? where does The novel begin?
- writers, publishers, editors, readers: The periodical press and The short story
- theories of short fiction from The Russian Formalists to Guillermo Martinez
- short fiction and narrative selves
- gender, race and culture in The short story
The texts will be drawn from the following national and regional literatures:
- Argentina
- Brazil
- Mexico
- The French-speaking Carribean
- Canada


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 2,000 words 50 N Individual
Presentation 5 minutes 25 N Individual
Quizzes 2 x 10-minute quizzes 25 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • A course reader containing the essential primary texts will be available.