Current Courses

Click HERE for 2019 Fall Courses

 For advice regarding course selection and program requirements, please contact Undergraduate Coordinator, Susan Calanza, at susan.calanza@utoronto.ca.

 

❄️WINTER 2020 COURSES❄️  

Click for...

A-Level Courses

B-Level Courses

C-Level Courses

D-Level Courses

 

❄️WINTER 2020 A-LEVEL COURSES ❄️

A-level courses are meant to offer a wide-ranging introduction to the fundamentals of studying English. They are good starting places because they are intended to prepare you for any of the major or minor programs we offer, but you can also begin with B-level courses that fit your interests or schedule.

 

ENGA01 What Is Literature? ❄️

Instructor: TBC

This course introduces the fundamentals of studying English at the university level, and builds the skills needed to successfully navigate English degree programs as well as a liberal arts education more broadly. Students will learn how to read texts closely and think critically; they will practice presenting their ideas in a clear, supported way; they will be exposed to a variety of texts in different forms and genres; and they will gain a working familiarity with in-discipline terminology and methodologies. Moreover, the course is an opportunity to explore the power exercised by literature on all levels of society, from the individual and personal to the political and global.

 

ENGA02 Critical Writing About Literature ❄️

Course Convener: Maria Assif

Intensive training in critical writing about literature. Students learn essay-writing skills (explication; organization and argumentation; research techniques; bibliographies and MLA-style citation) necessary for the study of English at the university level through group workshops, multiple short papers, and a major research-based paper. This is not a grammar course; students are expected to enter with solid English literacy skills.

Note: Conducted in sections of 25 students

 

ENGA11 Literature and Film for Our Time: Dawn of the Digital ❄️

Instructor: Garry Leonard

Building on ENGA10H3, this course considers how literature and film responds to the artistic, cultural, and technological changes of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

 

❄️WINTER 2020 B-LEVEL COURSES ❄️

B-level courses are intended to offer an introduction to particular areas of study in English, typically based on region, time period, genre, or theme. None of the B-level offerings have pre-requisites, and all are pitched at an introductory level. You should feel free to take B-level classes at any stage of your degree.

 

ENGB04 How to Read a Poem ❄️

Instructor: Andrew Dubois

An introduction to the understanding of poetry in English. By close reading of a wide range of poems from a variety of traditions, students will learn how poets use the resources of patterned language to communicate with readers in uniquely rich and powerful ways.

 

ENGB14 Twentieth-Century Drama ❄️

Instructor: Matthew Jones

A study of major plays and playwrights of the twentieth century. This international survey might include turn-of-the-century works by Wilde or Shaw; mid-century drama by Beckett, O'Neill, Albee, or Miller; and later twentieth-century plays by Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill, Peter Shaffer, August Wilson, Tomson Highway, David Hwang, or Athol Fugard.

 

ENGB28 Charting Literary History II ❄️

Instructor: Yulia Ryzhik

An introduction to the historical and cultural developments that have impacted the study of literature in English from 1700 to our contemporary moment. This course will familiarize students with the eighteenth century, Romanticism, the Victorian period, Modernism, and Postmodernism, and will attend to the significance of postcolonial and world literatures in shaping the notions of literary history and the literary “canon.”

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGB32 Shakespeare in Context I ❄️

Instructor: Urvashi Chakravarty

An introduction to the poetry and plays of William Shakespeare, this course situates his works in the literary, social and political contexts of early modern England. The main emphasis will be on close readings of Shakespeare's sonnets and plays, to be supplemented by classical, medieval, and renaissance prose and poetry upon which Shakespeare drew.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGB38 The Graphic Novel ❄️

Instructor: Daniel Tysdal

A study of extended narratives in the comic book form. This course combines formal analysis of narrative artwork with an interrogation of social, political, and cultural issues in this popular literary form. Works to be studied may include graphic novels, comic book series, and comic book short story or poetry collections.

 

ENGB39 Tolkien’s Middle Ages ❄️

Instructor: Kara Gaston

This course considers the relationship between modern fantasy and medieval literature through the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. A professor of medieval literature at Oxford, Tolkien used his academic research to develop the mythology, language, and literature of Middle Earth. This course will survey both Tolkien's writing, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the medieval poetry that inspired it, from Old English heroic epic to Welsh folklore. Throughout, we will consider how and why the middle ages offer such compelling material for 20th and 21st century fantasy.

 

ENGB60 Creative Writing: Poetry I ❄️

Instructor: TBC

An introduction to the writing of poetry. This course will provide an introduction to the writing of poetry through workshop sessions. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGB61 Creative Writing: Fiction I ❄️

Instructor: Catriona Wright

An introduction to the writing of fiction. This course will provide an introduction to the writing of short fiction through workshop sessions. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGB75 Cinema and Modernity I ❄️

Instructor: Deirdre Flynn

An investigation of film genres such as melodrama, film noir, and the western from 1895 to the present alongside examples of twentieth-century prose and poetry. We will look at the creation of an ideological space and of new mythologies that helped organize the experience of modern life.

 

❄️WINTER 2020 C-LEVEL COURSES❄️

Note that as a result of the curriculum changes enacted in 2018, the pre-requisite for most C-level courses is any 6.0 university credits. Some classes will have additional restrictions or recommended preparation — make sure you check the Calendar for specific details.

 

ENGC08 Special Topics in Creative Writing I ❄️

Instructor: SJ Sindu (Sinduja Sathiyaseelan)

Topic: Writing Queer and Trans Voices

This class will explore queer and trans literature from the perspective of writers, using fundamental queer and trans theory as a framework. What does it mean to write queer and trans characters? Are queer and trans narratives different from other narratives? How do you write characters with identities you don't share? 

This multi-genre creative writing course will encourage interdisciplinary practice, experiential adventuring, and rigorous theoretical reflection through readings, exercises, field trips, projects, etc. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGC11 Poetry and Popular Culture ❄️

Instructor: Andrew Dubois

Poetry is often seen as distant from daily life. We will instead see how poetry is crucial in popular culture, which in turn impacts poetry. We will read such popular poets as Ginsberg and Plath, look at poetry in film, and consider song lyrics as a form of popular poetry.

 

ENGC12 Individualism and Community in American Literature ❄️

Instructor: Neal Dolan

In a letter to a young poet struggling to reconcile his creative aspirations with the more mundane responsibilities of maintaining a job and supporting a family, the German poet Rilke famously advised him to “live the conflicts”. This course is about a painful conflict that has been “lived” in the United States since its beginnings. It is a conflict, ultimately, between two conceptions of the self. In most societies for most of human history before the modern era, it seems, the self was defined principally in terms of its inherited attachments and obligations to specific groups (especially families), places, traditions, and social roles. In the modern era in the West, under the influence of Protestantism, the Enlightenment, science and technology, capitalism, and liberal political institutions, the self has come to be defined differently -- as a kind of unattached essential core, an inherently autonomous and rational and solitary essence possessed by nature of “rights” that protect it to some extent from the impositions of family, society, and inherited circumstances.

As a function of its original Protestant religious orientation and its founding political and economic philosophy, American culture is officially committed to the latter, modern, “liberal” conception of the self.  But this commitment sits uneasily in relation to the deep inherited communal affiliations of a wide range of individuals.  Many immigrants, for example, have sought to maintain traditional values and identities against the pressure of liberal modernity. Many “modern” Americans have found themselves bound by powerful residual communal ties even as they have sought to assert and celebrate an emancipated liberal selfhood. This course examines this multi-dimensional conflict as it is reflected in a selection of (mostly canonical) American literary works from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

Some Key Texts:
Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
Herman Melville, Billy Budd
Emily Dickinson, poems
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony

 

ENGC23 Fantasy & The Fantastic in Literature & The Other Arts ❄️

Instructor: Christine Bolus-Reichert

A study of fantasy and the fantastic from 1800 to the present. Students will consider various theories of the fantastic in order to chart the complex genealogy of modern fantasy across a wide array of literary genres (fairy tales, poems, short stories, romances, and novels) and visual arts (painting, architecture, comics, and film).

 

ENGC27 Drama: Comedy ❄️

Instructor: Laura Jane Wey

An historical exploration of comedy as a major form of dramatic expression. Comedy, like its more august counterpart tragedy, has been subjected to centuries of theoretical deliberation about its form and function. In this course, we will read representative works of dramatic comedy and consider how different ages have developed their own unique forms of comedy.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC33 Deceit, Dissent, and the English Civil Wars, 1603-1660 ❄️

Instructor: Yulia Ryzhik

This course focuses on poetry, prose, and drama written in England between the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603 and the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, in a cultural milieu that was as rich in literary achievement as it was intellectually and politically votile. These tumultuous years, which witnessed the outbreak of the Civil Wars, the execution of King Charles I, and the establishment of a republic in England, also produced some of the most innovative works in English literature. Primary attention will be given to the evolution of literary forms and genres and to the polemical work done by literary texts to challenge structural, stylistic, and social conventions. We will focus on the close analysis of texts by writers such as Francis Bacon, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Aemilia Lanyer, Mary Wroth, George Herbert, Thomas Hobbes, Margaret Cavendish, Andrew Marvell, and John Milton, among others. As we read, we will examine how these writers grappled with fascinating questions about scientific investigaiton, the relationship between God and humanity, and the nature of introspection and self-understanding, and contributed to seventeenth-century debates concerning personal and political sovereignty, censorship, religious toleration, gender and social hierarchies, nationhood, and race.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC38 Novel Genres: Fiction, Journalism, News, and Autobiography, 1640-1750 ❄️

Instructor: Anne Milne

The novel as a literary genre isn’t a given: it was invented and cobbled together from a myriad of disparate literary and popular forms. If you are intrigued by this, hop on and take a ride with us into what is probably the grooviest of all historical literary periods: The Restoration and early eighteenth century. We’ve got revolution, great fires, syphilis, smallpox, plagues, parties, story-telling sultans, cuckolds, and old-skool rappers, all rockin’ to the beat of Grand Master George Friedrich. Can you Handel it? Despite an early start time in the middle of a twenty-first-century Scarborough winter, we will be walking (mostly indoors), making (mostly writing for the web & 3D printing), performing (Restoration comedy, anyone?) reading and writing (it is, after all, an academic English course on the early, early novel): Milton, Bunyan, Pepys, Dryden, Defoe, Behn, Wycherley, Haywood, Pope, Swift, Montagu, Arabian Nights, Hogarth, and much more…(though not really too much more: it won’t wear you out or anything…).

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC48 Satire ❄️

Instructor: Yulia Ryzhik

An investigation of the literatures and theories of the unthinkable, the reformist, the iconoclastic, and the provocative. Satire can be conservative or subversive, corrective or anarchic. This course will address a range of satire and its theories. Writers range from Juvenal, Horace, Lucian, Erasmus, Donne, Jonson, Rochester, Dryden, Swift, Pope, Gay, Haywood, and Behn to Pynchon, Nabokov and Atwood.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC79 Above and Beyond: Superheroes in Fiction and Film ❄️

Instructor: Sonja Nikkila

This course will explore the literary history and evolution of the superhero, from its roots in the works of thinkers such as Thomas Carlyle and Friedrich Nietzsche to the wartime birth of the modern comic book superhero to the contemporary pop culture dominance of transmedia experiments like the “universes” created by Marvel and DC. We will explore the superhero in various media, from prose to comics to film and television, and we will track the superhero alongside societal and cultural changes from the late 19th century to the present.

 

ENGC80 Modernist Narrative ❄️

Instructor: Deirdre Flynn

Advanced study of a crucial period for the development of new forms of narrative and the beginnings of formal narrative theory, in the context of accelerating modernity.

 

ENGC86 Creative Writing: Poetry II ❄️

Instructor: Daniel Tysdal

An intensive study of the writing of poetry through a selected theme, topic, or author. The course will undertake its study through discussions, readings, and workshop sessions. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGC87 Creative Writing: Fiction II ❄️

Instructor: Daniel Tysdal

An intensive study of the writing of fiction through a selected theme, topic, or author. The course will undertake its study through discussions, readings, and workshop sessions. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGC90 Topics in Classical Myth and Literature ❄️

Instructor: Laura Jane Wey

This course pursues the in-depth study of a small set of myths. We will explore how a myth or mythological figure is rendered in a range of literary texts ancient and modern, and examine each text as both an individual work of art and a strand that makes up the fabric of each given myth.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC92 Film Theory ❄️

Instructor: Alice Maurice

An introduction to the major theorists and schools of thought in the history of film theory, from the early 20th century to our contemporary moment. What is our relationship to the screen? How do movies affect our self-image? How can we think about the power and politics of the moving image? We will think about these questions and others by watching movies in conjunction with theoretical texts touching on the major approaches to film theory over the last century.

 

❄️WINTER 2020 D-LEVEL COURSES ❄️

D-level courses are smaller, more intensive explorations of a specific topic or theme. The seminar-style format means that emphasis is placed on discussion, and there is a greater expectation of independent and self-driven work. Make sure to check the Calendar for pre-requisite and recommended preparation information.

 

ENGD05 Diasporic-Indigenous Relations on Turtle Island ❄️

Instructor: Karina Vernon

In this course we consider the possibilities opened up by literature for thinking about the historical and ongoing relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on the northern part of Turtle Island (the Iroquois, Anishinabek and Lenape name for North America). How does literature written by both diasporic and Indigenous writers call upon readers to act, identify, empathize and become responsible to history, to relating, and to what effect? Students will have the opportunity to consider how literature can help address histories of colonial violence by helping us to think differently about questions about land, justice, memory, community, the environment, and the future of living together, in greater balance, on Turtle Island.

 

ENGD19 Theoretical Approaches to Early Modern English Literature & Culture: Early Modern Sexualities ❄️

Instructor: Urvashi Chakravarty

What does it mean to speak of (a) 'sexuality,' and what might it mean to think of sexualities as historically constructed, shaped, or prohibited? What is the relationship of 'sexuality' to desire, practice, embodiment, or identity? In this course, we shall read a number of early modern texts alongside critical work on gender, sexuality, and queer theory to address a series of questions: how our understandings of gender, sexuality, and queerness historically constructed and contested? How do we (re-) conceive of the role of acts or identities in articulating gendered, embodied, and/or sexualized selves? How do we ensure that we are reading intersectionally in our lines of inquiry? How might the field of early modern studies not only respond to but also inform work in sexuality studies? And how might these questions cast new light on matters of race, nation, empire, and colonialism; religion and theology; the environment and ecocriticism; class and capitalism; family and kinship? 

Course Features: Readings in early modern literature will include works by Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Donne; we shall also read foundational and current critical work in gender, sexuality, queer, and trans studies.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGD29 Chaucer's Early Works ❄️

Instructor: Kara Gaston

Advanced study of Chaucer’s early writings, from The Book of the Duchess to Troilus and Criseyde. Consisting of dream visions, fantastic journeys, and historical fictions, these works all push beyond the boundaries of everyday experience, depicting everything from the lifestyles of ancient Trojans to a flight through the stars. This course will explore the forms and literary genres that Chaucer uses to mediate between the everyday and the extraordinary. We will also consider related problems in literary theory and criticism, considering how scholars bridge the gap between our own time and the medieval past.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGD48 Studies in Major Victorian Writers ❄️

Instructor: Sonja Nikkila

In this seminar we will be diving into Charlotte Brontë's most famous novel, and then pushing it through the looking-glass as we investigate how different adaptations offer us different reflections on the themes, questions, and problems contained in the original 1847 text. We will explore how Jane Eyre has been translated into television and film, and also how other authors have responded to the "poor, plain, obscure and little" governess in their own works. The seminar format will encourage students to develop, discuss, and ultimately present their own ideas about how to "read" and "re-read" Jane Eyre.

Readings: Jane Eyre, alongside a selection of 20th century and contemporary re-visions, including the Gothic Rebecca (by Du Maurier / Hitchcock), Jasper Fforde's madcap alternate reality detective novel The Eyre Affair, Patricia Park's Re Jane (the tale of a biracial Korean-American growing up in Queens in the 1980s), a neo-Victorian riff on British Imperial identity and Sikh culture in Jane Steele (by Lindsday Faye), and Sharon Shinn's full-fledged off-planet science fiction retelling, Jenna Starborn.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGD60 Topics in American Prose ❄️

Instructor: Neal Dolan

Scholarship Kids: Self-formation through Literacy in 20th-Century American Memoirs, Novels, and Short Stories

Many prominent American writers of the twentieth century were the first person in their families, over many generations, to acquire advanced literacy. This experience, as documented in a range of remarkable memoirs, novels, and stories published unto the present, has been represented as vastly liberating, but also often acutely painful. It seems to entail both an exhilarating expansion of horizons and a difficult uprooting. In this course we will read a selection of such works in an effort to further our understanding of the affectively ambivalent process of socialization into the modern American-liberal symbolic. We will be especially interested in depictions of what Habermas calls “context shattering” – crisis moments in which the achievement of advanced literacy causes the “spellbinding authority” of long-established traditions to be demystified, destabilized, and perhaps transcended. Habermas argues that such “shatterings” are necessary stages in a forward path towards real human moral and political progress. We will ask whether these works support Habermas’s outlook. May we read the dis-embedded selves painfully achieved and powerfully described in these American bildungs-narratives as figures of human enlightenment and emancipation? Might these works thus provide secondary symbolic orientation and cohesion for members of dispersed, individualistic, liberal communities no longer gripped and bound by archaic solidarities?

Readings will include:

Richard Wright, Black Boy (1937) - memoir
James Baldwin, “Notes of a Native Son” (1955) - essay
Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman (1957; 2015) - short novel, first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird
Henry Louis Gates, Colored People (1994) - short memoir
James Farrell, My Days of Anger (1943) or a couple of short stories, or Young Lonigan
Alice McDermott, After This (2006) - novel
from Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory (1983) - short memoir
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina (1992) - memoir
Tara Westover, Educated (2018) - memoir
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian (2009) - novel

 

ENGD91 Avant-Garde Cinema ❄️

Instructor: Garry Leonard

An exploration of Avant-Garde cinema from the earliest experiments of German Expressionism and Surrealism to our own time. The emphasis will be on cinema as an art form aware of its own uniqueness, and determined to discover new ways to exploit the full potential of the “cinematic."

 

ENGD95 Creative Writing as a Profession ❄️

Instructor: SJ Sindu (Sinduja Sathiyaseelan)

A practical introduction to the tools, skills and knowledge-base required to publish in the digital age and to sustain a professional creative writing career. Topics include: the publishing landscape, pitching creative work, and employment avenues for creative writers. Will also include a workshop component (open to all genres).

 

YEAR-LONG D-LEVEL COURSES

ENGD26 Independent Studies: Creative Writing: Poetry
ENGD27 Independent Studies in Creative Writing: Prose
ENGD28 Independent Studies in Creative Writing: Special Topics

The three creative writing independent study courses are taught by creative writing faculty — please see the Calendar for enrollment requirements and procedures.

 

ENGD98 Senior Essay & Capstone Seminar

Instructor: Sonja Nikkila

An intensive year-long seminar that supports students in the development of a major independent scholarly project. Drawing on workshops and peer review, bi-monthly seminar meetings will introduce students to advanced research methodologies in English and will provide an important framework for students as they develop their individual senior essays.

Note: Depending on the subject area of the senior essay, this course can be counted towards the Pre-1900 requirement. Also, please see the Calendar for enrollment requirements and procedures.

🍁FALL 2019 COURSES 🍁

Click for...

A-Level Courses

B-Level Courses

C-Level Courses

D-Level Courses

 

🍁FALL 2019 A-LEVEL COURSES 🍁

A-level courses are meant to offer a wide-ranging introduction to the fundamentals of studying English. They are good starting places because they are intended to prepare you for any of the major or minor programs we offer, but you can also begin with B-level courses that fit your interests or schedule.

 

ENGA01 What Is Literature? 🍁

Instructor: Sonja Nikkila

This course introduces the fundamentals of studying English at the university level, and builds the skills needed to successfully navigate English degree programs as well as a liberal arts education more broadly. Students will learn how to read texts closely and think critically; they will practice presenting their ideas in a clear, supported way; they will be exposed to a variety of texts in different forms and genres; and they will gain a working familiarity with in-discipline terminology and methodologies. Moreover, the course is an opportunity to explore the power exercised by literature on all levels of society, from the individual and personal to the political and global.

 

ENGA02 Critical Writing About Literature 🍁

Course Convener: Maria Assif

Intensive training in critical writing about literature. Students learn essay-writing skills (explication; organization and argumentation; research techniques; bibliographies and MLA-style citation) necessary for the study of English at the university level through group workshops, multiple short papers, and a major research-based paper. This is not a grammar course; students are expected to enter with solid English literacy skills.

Note: Conducted in sections of 25 students

 

ENGA10 Literature & Film for Our Time: Visions & Revisions 🍁

Instructor: Garry Leonard

An exploration of how literature and film reflect the artistic and cultural concerns that shaped the twentieth century.

 

🍁FALL 2019 B-LEVEL COURSES🍁

B-level courses are intended to offer an introduction to particular areas of study in English, typically based on region, time period, genre, or theme. None of the B-level offerings have pre-requisites, and all are pitched at an introductory level. You should feel free to take B-level classes at any stage of your degree.

 

ENGB06 Canadian Literature to 1900 🍁

Instructor: Karina Vernon

A study of Canadian literature from pre-contact to 1900. This course explores the literatures of the "contact zone", from Indigenous oral and orature, to European journals of exploration and discovery, to the works of pioneer settlers, to the writing of the post-Confederation period.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGB17 Contemporary Literature from the Caribbean 🍁

Instructor: Neil Ten Kortenaar

Much of the finest writing today is by writers who live in or who come from parts of the world other than Britain or North America.  The English-speaking Caribbean, for instance, has produced two Nobel Prize winners (Derek Walcott and V.S. Naipaul), and Dany Laferrière was elected a member of the Académie française. The fact that people of African and Indian (and other) ancestry in the Caribbean write literature in English but also in French and Spanish is the result of the European imperial refashioning and remapping of the globe over the course of centuries. English is the mother tongue of all but one of the writers on this course and of their readers, but it is also a reminder of a painful history of slavery and colonialism.  The Caribbean was the earliest part of the world to suffer European colonialism, and has suffered it the longest.

How can English (or French) and the conventions of literature borrowed from Europe be made to represent a world and an experience very different from Europe?  What adjustments (or subversions) have to be made to indigenize the language and the literature?  How does a writer champion a culture that has been disparaged by the colonizer and at the same time criticize a sordid social and political reality?  Since the English that is spoken in the Caribbean is very different from the standard language of the British literary tradition learned in school, a major concern of the course will be the creative ways writers in the Caribbean inflect language in the direction of orality.

Texts (in the order in which they will be studied):

Paula Burnett, ed., The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in English

V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad), Miguel Street

Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua), Annie John

Nalo Hopkinson (Trinidad/Jamaica), Midnight Robber

Dany Laferrière (Haiti), The Enigma of the Return

Marlon James (Jamaica), A Brief History of Seven Killings
 

 

ENGB25 The Canadian Short Story 🍁

Instructor: Marlene Goldman

A study of the Canadian short story. This course traces the development of the Canadian short story, examining narrative techniques, thematic concerns, and innovations that captivate writers and readers alike.

 

ENGB27 Charting Literary History I 🍁

Instructor: Urvashi Chakravarty

An introduction to the historical and cultural developments that have shaped the study of literature in English before 1700. Focusing on the medieval, early modern, and Restoration periods, this course will examine the notions of literary history and the literary “canon” and explore how contemporary critical approaches impact our readings of literature in English in specific historical and cultural settings.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGB30 Classical Myth & Literature 🍁

Instructor: Laura Jane Wey

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with Greek and Latin mythology. Readings will include classical materials as well as imporatnt literary texts in English that retell classical myths.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGB35 Children’s Literature 🍁

Instructor: Christine Bolus-Reichert

An introduction to children's literature. This course will locate children's literature within the history of social attitudes to children and in terms of such topics as authorial creativity, race, class, gender, and nationhood.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGB60 Creative Writing: Poetry I 🍁

Instructor: Daniel Tysdal

An introduction to the writing of poetry. This course will provide an introduction to the writing of poetry through workshop sessions. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGB61 Creative Writing: Fiction I 🍁

Instructor: SJ Sindu (Sinduja Sathiyaseelan)

An introduction to the writing of fiction. This course will provide an introduction to the writing of short fiction through workshop sessions. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGB70 How to Read a Film 🍁

Instructor: Alice Maurice

An introduction to the critical study of cinema, including films from a broad range of genres, countries, and eras, as well as readings representing the major critical approaches to cinema that have developed over the past century.

 

ENGB74 The Body in Literature & Film 🍁

Instructor: Garry Leonard

An interdisciplinary, trans-medial exploration of 'the body' in art, film, photography, literature and popular culture. This course is a 'continuation' of sorts of A10/11. We will consider how bodies are written and/or visualized so as to be configured as:
- “feminine” or “masculine,”
- heroic or cowardly
- normal, neurotic, hysterical, psychotic, perverse
- beautiful or monstrous
- legitimate or illegitimate
- 'black' or 'white'
- healthy or symptomatic
- erotic or pornographic
- nude or naked
- appropriate or obscene
- lower, middle or upper class
- white collar or blue collar
- laborer or manager
- refugee, immigrant, terrorist, citizen

As a girdle advertisement in 1950 put it, 'Your body is what you are given. Your figure is what you make of it.' The graphic artist Barbara Kruger put it another way: "Your body is a battleground." Or, as I put it, YOUR BODY IS A CONTESTED SITE FOR COMPETING DISCOURSES.

In the spirit of A10/11, the class is 'transmedial'--fiction, poetry, film, Art, advertising, video games, social media. In various cultural artefacts, from popular culture to 'high' Art, our age of modernity is represented by such movements as: impressionism, post-impressionism, modernism, surrealism, etc. What these quite distinct movements all have in common is a crisis in how to legitimate one form of “reality” over another, in order to justify various systems of domination. The primary source for the legitimation of these systems is any consistent configuration of mind/body and faith/desire.

Politics, Economics, Law and Religion--for better or worse-- also use the body as a focal point How are anxiety, depression, faith and despair markers of where our body ends and other bodies begin? Where self-confidence or self-hatred withers away or thrives? Modernist writers, artists, sculptors and film makers sometimes seek to claim the body as a site of legitimacy, having lost formerly transcendent points of reference that once stabilized various modes of signification. To the question “what is real about reality,” the answer returns, “The body.” But, in fact, the body must also be understood as a contested site for competing discourses. What is the nexus point between the physical and the fiscal? Between one’s bottom... and the bottom line? How does the body, and the way it suffers and enjoys, express 'symptomatically' unspoken (or unspeakable) concerns about the way modernity has profound, often hidden costs, at the personal level, even as it is made to appear more and more astonishing and progressive on the technological and global level.

Note: Class meeting time will include "viewing time" for films when necessary
 

 

🍁FALL 2019 C-LEVEL COURSES 🍁

Note that as a result of the curriculum changes enacted in 2018, the pre-requisite for most C-level courses is any 6.0 university credits. Some classes will have additional restrictions or recommended preparation — make sure you check the Calendar for specific details.

 

ENGC02 Major Canadian Authors 🍁

Instructor: Marlene Goldman

An examination of three or more Canadian writers. This course will draw together selected major writers of Canadian fiction or of other forms. Topics vary from year to year and might include a focused study of major women writers; major racialized and ethnicized writers such as African-Canadian or Indigenous writers; major writers of a particular regional or urban location or of a specific literary period.

 

ENGC04 Creative Writing: Screenwriting 🍁

Instructor: Daniel Tysdal

An introduction to the craft of screenwriting undertaken through discussions, readings, and workshop sessions. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGC10 Studies in Shakespeare 🍁

Instructor: Laura Jane Wey

An in-depth study of selected plays from Shakespeare's dramatic corpus combined with an introduction to the critical debates within Shakespeare studies. Students will gain a richer understanding of Shakespeare's texts and their critical reception.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC15 Introduction to Theory & Criticism 🍁

Instructor: Andrew Dubois

A study of selected topics in literary criticism. Schools of criticism and critical methodologies such as New Criticism, structuralism, poststructuralism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism will be covered, both to give students a roughly century-wide survey of the field and to provide them with a range of models applicable to their own critical work as writers and thinkers. Recommended for students planning to pursue graduate study in English literature.

 

ENGC25 Victorian Poetry & Prose 🍁

Instructor: Christine Bolus-Reichert

An introduction to the poetry and nonfiction prose of the Victorian period, 1837-1901. Representative authors are studied in the context of a culture in transition, in which questions about democracy, social inequality, the rights of women, national identity, imperialism, and science and religion are prominent.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC29 Chaucer 🍁

Instructor: Kara Gaston

Selections from The Canterbury Tales and other works by the greatest English writer before Shakespeare. In studying Chaucer's medieval masterpiece, students will encounter a variety of tales and tellers, with subject matter that ranges from broad and bawdy humour through subtle social satire to moral fable.

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC35 Imagined Communities in Early Modern England, 1500-1700 🍁

Cancelled for 2019 Fall

 

ENGC42 Romanticism 🍁

Instructor: Anne Milne

This course introduces students to British writers of the Romantic period (roughly 1770 to 1830). We will be particularly attentive to the context within which Romantic writers lived and worked -- a period of intense social, cultural, and political change. We will acknowledge important institutions and cultural phenomena that developed and became entrenched during this period, such as capitalism and consumerism. We will also focus our attention on rights discourses, the French Revolution, nature & aesthetics, poetics, and the gothic mode -- especially as these are reflected in literary texts. As a group, we will also consider why Romanticism's cultural and political legacy has been so enduring and try to develop our own answer(s) the the question, "What is Romanticism?"

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGC56 Literature & Media: From Page to Screen 🍁

Instructor: Deirdre Flynn

Topic: Harnessing the Healing Power of Stories: Symbolically Working Over-Out-Through Intergenerational Trauma, and Working Toward Intergenerational Resilience

In this class we will explore the way stories help people work over, work out, and work through historic, cultural, and intergenerational trauma, while, at the same time, helping them cultivate interegenerational resilience. In particular, it will consider how the recursive process (mining the non-linear, recurring process) of recreating, repeating, reading, altering, adapting, representing, viewing, and recasting stories enables people to metabolize dissonance, recover awareness, cultivate compassion, and integrate insight. These are four key stages in the process of healing from intergenerational trauma, developing cultural resilience, and disrupting future transmission.

 

ENGC59 Geography and Regionalism in Literature 🍁

Instructor: Anne Milne

This course introduces students to ecocriticism (the study of the relationship between literature and environment). The course is loosely structured around several focused topics: Sustainability, Resilience, Natural and Unnatural Disasters, Diversity and Discomfort, Public and Private Spaces, Nostalgia, Activism. This course is largely experiential. We will do some eating and we will spend quite a bit of time outdoors walking around especially during the first six weeks of the course.

 

ENGC75 Freaks and Geeks: Children in Contemporary Film and Media 🍁

Instructor: Alice Maurice

This course will look at the depiction of childhood and youth in contemporary film and television, especially focusing on films that feature exceptional, difficult, or magical children. The course will explore how popular culture represents children and teens, and how these films reflect cultural anxieties about parenting, childhood, technology, reproduction, disability and generational change. Films and television shows may include: Mommy, The Babadook, Boyhood, Girlhood, A Quiet Place, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Shining, Looper, Elephant, Ready Player One, Stranger Things, Chappie, Take Shelter, and Moonlight.

 

ENGC87 Creative Writing: Fiction II 🍁

Instructors: Daniel Tysdal & SJ Sindu (Sinduja Sathiyaseelan)

An intensive study of the writing of fiction through a selected theme, topic, or author. The course will undertake its study through discussions, readings, and workshop sessions. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

 🍁FALL 2019 D-LEVEL COURSES 🍁

D-level courses are smaller, more intensive explorations of a specific topic or theme. The seminar-style format means that emphasis is placed on discussion, and there is a greater expectation of independent and self-driven work. Make sure to check the Calendar for pre-requisite and recommended preparation information.

 

ENGD07 Studies in Postmodern Poetry 🍁

Instructor: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Topic: Poetics as Research

What is the relationship between poetry and research? Working in the university, we often have to negotiate a weird separation between creative and academic work. It’s easy to convince a prof to read your essay about a poem, but what about a poem that’s an essay? Or a data set? Or an archival investigation? Can poetry do research? The short answer is an unqualified YES! Poetry has a long history as an investigative tool or method. In this class, we will read a constellation of poets who use research as a compositional strategy. For these poets, poetry provides a set of formal tools that allow them to do research in ways different than journalistic or academic prose. Poetry allows a different kind of material attention to historical narratives, to archival documents, to local spaces, to personal experience, and to the materiality of language itself. In other words, poetry does research otherwise.

Each week we will think through an investigative stance that is exemplified by the book we’ll read together. These stances all constitute tendencies within 20th and 21st century avant-garde and experimental poetics in North America and, together, we’ll build an understanding of the histories of those tendencies – the discussions and debates, the flare-ups and flame wars. The tendencies we’ll dig into include documentary poetry, site-specificity, auto-poetry, conceptual writing, critical theory, treating language as information, activist poetics, and lots more.

Readings include Muriel Rukeyser, Charles Olson, Bernadette Mayer, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Erín Moure, M. Nourbese Philip, Jordan Abel, Mark Nowak, Claudia Rankine, Cheena Marie Lo, and Jordan Scott.

 

ENGD14 Topics in Early Modern English Literature and Culture 🍁

Instructor: Yulia Ryzhik

Topic: Shakespeare and Satire

We will read several of Shakespeare's plays in the context of early modern satirical traditions, their sources, influences, and afterlives. To what extent did Shakespeare engage with contemporary debates over the form and function of satire--particularly the fashionable formal verse satire, with its cultivated harshness and obscenity? How do his plays compare with the more overtly satirical dramas of his contemporaries and rivals? We will consider satire from a theoretical perspective, especially in relation to hierarchies of class, race, and gender, and will interrogate the ability (or inability) of satire to address social injustice. Through plays such as As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida, Othello, King Lear, and Timon of Athens, we will see how Shakespeare puts diverse satirical modes into conversation and develops his own satirical strategies. 

Note: Pre-1900 course

 

ENGD22 Special Topics in Creative Writing II 🍁

Instructor: Alyx Dellamonica

This multi-genre creative writing course, designed around a specific theme or topic, will encourage interdisciplinary practice, experiential adventuring, and rigorous theoretical reflection through readings, exercises, field trips, projects, etc. Admission by portfolio.

Note: Please be sure to check the Calendar for enrollment limits and requirements.

 

ENGD62 Topics in Postcolonial Literature and Film 🍁

Instructor: Sara Saljoughi

An exploration of multicultural perspectives on issues of power, perception, and identity as revealed in representations of imperialism and colonialism from the early twentieth century to the present.

 

ENGD84 Canadian Writing in the 21st Century 🍁

Instructor: SJ Sindu (Sinduja Sathiyaseelan)

An analysis of features of Canadian writing at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century. This course will consider such topics as changing themes and sensibilities, canonical challenges, and millennial and apocalyptic themes associated with the end of the twentieth century.

 

YEAR-LONG D-LEVEL COURSES

ENGD26 Independent Studies: Creative Writing: Poetry
ENGD27 Independent Studies in Creative Writing: Prose
ENGD28 Independent Studies in Creative Writing: Special Topics

The three creative writing independent study courses are taught by creative writing faculty — please see the Calendar for enrollment requirements and procedures.

 

ENGD98 Senior Essay & Capstone Seminar

Instructor: Sonja Nikkila

An intensive year-long seminar that supports students in the development of a major independent scholarly project. Drawing on workshops and peer review, bi-monthly seminar meetings will introduce students to advanced research methodologies in English and will provide an important framework for students as they develop their individual senior essays.

Note: Depending on the subject area of the senior essay, this course can be counted towards the Pre-1900 requirement. Also, please see the Calendar for enrollment requirements and procedures.