2024 Centenary Muses Spring Study Series

This April we will be reading a series of short stories by many of America's most well-known and accomplished writers, from Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe to Mark Twain and Kate Chopin to Willa Cather and Jack London. The stories range from early in the 19th century to the first quarter of the 20th century, from the period of American Romanticism to the beginning of American Modernism. We'll read a wide range of genres, from romances and domestic dramas to comedies and psychological thrillers, learning why American fiction became key to understanding the American Imagination and helping us understand this culture we call home.


content figure
Dr. Jeff Hendricks

For this series we will be using Great American Short Stories, edited by Paul Negri. Dover Books. ISBN: 0-486-42119-9 (paperback)


April 9: 

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown"
  • Edgar Allan Poe, "The Tell-Tale Heart"
  • Bret Harte, "The Luck of the Roaring Camp"
  • Stephen Crane, "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky"

April 16:

  • Mark Twain, "The Private History of a Campaign that Failed"
  • Sarah Orne Jewett, "A White Heron"
  • Charles Waddell Chestnutt, "The Goophered Grapevine"
  • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, "A New England Nun"

April 23:

  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
  • Henry James, "The Real Thing"
  • Kate Chopin, "A Pair of Silk Stockings"
  • Jack London, "To Build a Fire"
  • Ambrose Bierce, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"

April 30:

  • Theodore Dreiser, "The Lost Phoebe"
  • Willa Cather, "Paul's Case"
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Bernice Bobs Her Hair"
  • Sherwood Anderson, "The Egg"
  • Ernest Hemingway, "The Killers"

Please have the assignment for April 9 read before class.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy The institution does not discriminate in its educational and employment policies against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or on any other basis proscribed by federal, state, or local law.