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ENGL 264 - Study of Fiction - Dr. Chase Dimock

Course:Study of Fiction
Professor:Dr. Chase Dimock
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Kiana and Dr. Dimock

Welcome to ENGL 264: Study of Fiction! I am Dr. Chase Dimock and I will be the professor. My dog Kiana will be the Teaching Assistant. This is my 5th year as a full time professor at College of the Canyons. Before coming here, I taught at colleges and universities across the country in Florida, Missouri, and Illinois where I received my PhD in Comparative Literature (hence the University of Illinois shirt!). I was born and raised in the valley and I value the opportunity to give back to the community that gave me so much. Let me get you acquainted with the objectives and expectations of my course.

The purpose of this class is to expose students to a diverse range of important works of fiction. Spanning classics from the 19th century masters like Melville and Tolstoy to contemporary perspectives of writers like Sandra Cisneros and Kazuo Ishiguro, this course is designed to be like a buffet in which students can sample a wide array of themes, forms, and cultural perspectives expressed in fiction from the last 200 years. Along the way, it is my hope that you discover an assortment of diverse writers who speak to you personally and open you up to new ways to view important social issues and human experiences.

Course Description

Here are the course description, learning outcomes, and learning objectives from the course catalog:


Course Description:

Presents selected prose fiction from various writers in Western Civilization. Emphasizes short fiction of the 19th and 20th centuries plus one novel. Through close reading and discussion, students will learn to analyze and interpret prose narratives.


Learning Outcomes:

  1. Apply critical thinking, including multiple critical perspectives and elements of literature, to analyze and interpret fiction.
  2. Evaluate the significance of a fictional work in revealing the complexity of human experience.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Analyze literary elements such as plot structure, character, and narrative point of view in a fictional work to determine how they work together to achieve a theme.
  2. Analyze the author's use of literary devices such as imagery, symbol and irony to reveal character, create tone, and develop theme.
  3. Apply critical theories to examine literary, social, and historical contexts of a work of fiction.
  4. Examine a writer’s style and analyze the elements such as diction and syntax that distinguish it.
  5. Examine the protagonist’s central conflicts and evaluate the relevance of the story’s theme to contemporary life.

What to Expect in this Course

This class will be divided into three units. In the first two, we will read works of short fiction from across different cultures and historical eras that all respond to common themes. In the process, it is my hope that we will learn about how the ways in which we express and conceptualize these topics have evolved over time. By reading the most influential writers of the past and present, we can see both how fiction influenced the way we perceive these topics and how literary conventions were influenced by the cultural imaginary of its eras.

Our third unit will be a student led book club project in which students will be placed in small groups and share their interpretations of their choice of one of the following novels:

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday

The goal of the book club unit is to share your progress through your chosen novel with your peers and assist each other as you produce research for your final essay on a theme of your choice in the novel.


Types of Assessments

Short Responses, Discussion Board Assignments, Exams, Literary Analysis Essays

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

The following textbook is required:

The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, Tenth Edition, by Ann Charters (ISBN:9781319105600 for paperback) (ISBN:9781319194123 for the ebook)


Students will choose one of the following four novels for the book club unit and their final research paper

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (ISBN: 9780679731726)

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (ISBN: 9780307278449)

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (ISBN: 9780446675369)

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday (ISBN: 9780061859977)


Students may use the paper version or ebook version of the textbook. I prefer to have a paper copy so that I am not staring at a screen all day, but I wanted to make an ebook version available for those who prefer it. Make sure to get the latest edition. Older editions may not contain all the readings you need.

Other Relevant Course Information

My Commitment to Student Success

As your professor, my top priority is your success as a student. I understand that all of you enter the classroom from diverse backgrounds with your own sets of challenges and goals. My mission is to help you meet the challenges that the course presents and show you how to integrate the skills and content from class into aiding your broader goals as a student. I know that every student has unique talents and perspectives and it is my hope to provide a forum for you to showcase and develop them in a way that enriches the learning experience of your fellow students. 

I also realize that reading and writing can be difficult for many students and that people learn in different ways and at different paces. While I have to keep the course moving along at a predetermined schedule in order to meet our learning outcomes, I will do what I can to individualize my instruction to meet your needs. If you reach out to me with reasonable requests, I will do my best to meet you where you are. If you are having trouble with the material, or if other circumstances are affecting your studies, please let me help. 

My success as a professor is dependent on your success as a student. I need engaged, motivated, and thoughtful students for my class to become a great learning environment. When you give it your best effort, you in turn enable me to use my most effective teaching techniques. Together we can achieve our full potential in creating an exciting and enlightening learning experience.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

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  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

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Last updated: 05/25/2021 Sub#: 34