The full syllabus is available here: syllabus.pdf.


Readings are to be completed by the day they are listed under and brought to class in print format. When commonplace-book entries are due, they are to be posted by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 6.

  • Introduction.

Monday, September 11. Elevating fiction.

  • James, “The Middle Years.”

Wednesday, September 13.

  • James, “The Middle Years.”
  • James, “The Art of Fiction.”
  • Woolf, “Modern Fiction.”

Monday, September 18.

  • Woolf, Monday or Tuesday, selections:
    • “A Haunted House.”
    • “Monday or Tuesday.”
    • “The Mark on the Wall.”

Wednesday, September 20.

  • Woolf, “The Death of the Moth.”
  • Woolf, “Street Haunting.”
  • Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, chap. 3.

Monday, September 25.

  • Joyce, Portrait, chap. 1–2.

Wednesday, September 27.

  • Joyce, Portrait, chap. 1–3.

Monday, October 2.

  • Joyce, Portrait, complete.

Wednesday, October 4.

  • Joyce, Portrait, complete.

Monday, October 9.

  • Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, through 104.

Wednesday, October 11.

  • Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, through 155.

Monday, October 16.

  • Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, complete.

  • Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, selections:
    • “A Scandal in Bohemia.”
    • “The Red-Headed League.”
    • “The Engineer’s Thumb.”

(Friday, October 20.)

  • Paper 1 due.

Monday, October 23.

  • Sayers, Whose Body?, at least through chap. 5.

Wednesday, October 25.

  • Sayers, Whose Body?

Monday, October 30.

  • Hammett, The Maltese Falcon, at least through chap. 13.
  • (Last day to withdraw with a “W.”)

Wednesday, November 1.

  • Hammett, The Maltese Falcon, complete.
  • Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder.”
  • Hammett, “Suggestions to Detective Story Writers” (optional).

Monday, November 6. Contesting racial convention.

  • Toomer, Cane.

Wednesday, November 8.

  • Toomer, Cane.

Monday, November 13.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes.

Wednesday, November 15.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes.

Monday, November 20.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes.

(Wednesday, November 22. Friday classes meet.)

Monday, November 27. Globalizing literary English.

  • Tagore, “The Postmaster.”

Wednesday, November 29.

  • Tagore, “The Hungry Stones.”

Monday, December 4.

  • Anand, Untouchable.

Wednesday, December 6.

  • Anand, Untouchable.

(Friday, December 8.)

  • Paper 2 due.

Monday, December 11.

  • R.K. Narayan, selected stories (first publication date in parentheses):

    • “Father’s Help” (1942)
    • “Out of Business” (1942)
    • “Attila” (1942)
    • “The Axe” (1942)
    • “Forty-five a Month” (1943)
    • “Engine Trouble” (1943)
    • “Fellow-Feeling” (1944)
    • “Gateman’s Gift” (1944)
    • “An Astrologer’s Day” (1944)
    • “Lawley Road” (1956)

Wednesday, December 13.

  • Narayan, continued.
  • Course conclusion.

December 22. Final exam due at 3 p.m.

The final exam is a take-home. It will be due at the end of the scheduled exam time for the course and may be submitted electronically on Sakai only. Late exams will result in a failing grade for the course.


  • Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin, 1935. isbn: 9780140183955. At the bookstore.

  • Chandler, Raymond. “The Simple Art of Murder.” Atlantic Monthly, November 1944. Available on Sakai.

  • Conan Doyle, Arthur. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 1892. Reprint, Dover, 2009. isbn: 9780486474915. At the bookstore. Other printed Sherlock Holmes collections are fine, so long as they include the assigned stories.

  • Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage, 1990. isbn: 9780679732259. At the bookstore.

  • Hammett, Dashiell. “Suggestions to Detective Story Writers.” In Crime Stories and Other Writings, 914–16. New York: Library of America, 2001. Available on Sakai.

  • _________. The Maltese Falcon. 1929. New York: Vintage, 1957. isbn: 9780679722649. At the bookstore.

  • Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. 1937. New York: Harper Perennial, 2013. isbn: 9780060838676. At the bookstore.

  • James, Henry. “The Art of Fiction.” In Partial Portraits. New York: Macmillan, 1894. Internet Archive. Available on Sakai.

  • _________. “The Middle Years.” Scribner’s 13, no. 4 (April 1893): 609–20. Available on Sakai.

  • Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Edited by Jeri Johnson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. isbn: 9780199536443. At the bookstore. Online texts are bad.

  • Narayan, R.K. Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin, 2006. isbn: 9780143039655. Recommended; at the bookstore. An alternate text, lacking one story, is available on Sakai.

  • Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 2009. isbn: 9780486473628. At the bookstore. There is also a Harper edition (same text, different pagination).

  • Tagore, Rabindranath. “The Hungry Stones.” In Hungry Stones and Other Stories. London: Macmillan, 1916. Hathitrust. Available on Sakai.

  • _________. “The Postmaster.” In Mashi, and Other Stories. London: Macmillan, 1918. Hathitrust. Available on Sakai.

  • Toomer, Jean. Cane. 1923. New York: Liveright, 2011. isbn: 9780871402103. At the bookstore.

  • Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. In “A Room of One’s Own” and “Three Guineas.” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Excerpt on Sakai.

  • _________. “Modern Fiction.” In The Common Reader, 146–54. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, 1925. Available on Sakai.

  • _________. Monday or Tuesday: And Other Short Stories. London: Hogarth, 1921. HathiTrust. Excerpts on Sakai.

  • _________. “Street Haunting.” In The Death of the Moth and Other Essays. Available on Sakai.

  • _________. “The Death of the Moth.” In The Death of the Moth and Other Essays. Available on Sakai.

  • _________. The Death of the Moth and Other Essays. Orlando: Harcourt Brace, 1942. Excerpts on Sakai.