New course with Prof Mary McCay: The American Short Story

Professor Mary McCay

Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November, 2021

Carmelite Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin 2, from 10am to 5pm

Tuition: 300 euro

To book or for more information, please email clairekeeganfictionclinic@gmail.com

The short story has been a staple of American literature since the American Revolution. Charles Brockden Brown, the first American to earn his living writing of strange phenomena and political conflict, wrote “Somnambulism” in 1805. Shortly after, Washington Irving popularized the form with “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” both of which created iconic American characters. Since then, American writers have been changing the form, testing its limits. And questioning what America really means. During this weekend, we will look at a series of short stories, examine the forms, critique the contexts, and understand the many variations of the short story in America.

Reading List

Classic American Renaissance Tales

“My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” Nathaniel Hawthorne (1832)

“Bartleby the Scrivener,” Herman Melville (1853)

The Harlem Renaissance

“Blood Burning Moon,” Jean Toomer (1923)

“Story in Harlem Slang,” Zora Neale Hurston (1942)

Money ad Manhood

“A Diamond as Big as the Ritz,” F. Scott Fitzgerald (1927)

“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” Ernest Hemingway (1933)

Faces of the Thirties

“Theft,” Katherine Anne Porter (1930)

“Here We Are,” Dorothy Parker (1931)

African American Writing and Civil Rights

“Sonny’s Blues,” James Baldwin (1957)

“Everyday Use,” Alice Walker (1973)

New American Classics

“Where I’m Calling From,” Raymond Carver (1983)

“Brokeback Mountain,” Annie Proulx (1997)

Mary McCay, Professor Emerita, has taught several weekend seminars in Ireland, including Southern Writers and W.B. Yeats. During the pandemic, she taught three Zoom classes to Claire Keegan’s groups: African American Voices, James Joyce, and Feminist Writings. Mary McCay was Claire Keegan’s advisor and professor during her time at Loyola University and is responsible for her introduction to and initial studies of literature. She is vaccinated and will be in Ireland in November to meet with students interested in the American Short Story.