D-Level Course Topics

Students in a seminar course

D-level courses provide opportunities for more sophisticated study and are founded on discussion-based learning, and they require some independent work on the part of the student. These courses are generally restricted in enrolment and focus on seminar discussion. You need to complete any two C-level courses in English before taking a D-level.

If you are pursuing an English Specialist or Major, you will need to take one or more D-level courses to graduate. You shouldn't necessarily wait until your fourth year of study to embark on a D-level -- you might be ready earlier, especially if you have taken a C-level course in a similar topic or thread.

Most D-level seminars are "topics" or "studies" courses, meaning that the focus, approach, and texts may change significantly from year to year. Below you will find the current descriptions of this year's D-level courses, including the specific area(s) of focus. You should always double-check the Registrar's Calendar for information about pre-requisites or recommended preparation. We also encourage you to talk to professors about D-level options and expectations.


Click here to preview Winter 2022 seminars.

Note that some of our D-level options run as yearlong courses: click here to explore them.



ENGD89 Topics in the Victorian Period ☀️

Instructor: TBC

Topics vary from year to year and might include Victorian children's literature; city and country in Victorian literature; science and nature in Victorian writing; aestheticism and decadence; or steampunk.

Note: Pre-1900 course



ENGD03 Topics in Contemporary Literary Theory?

Instructor: Karina Vernon

A study of selected topics in recent literary theory. Emphasis may be placed on the oeuvre of a particular theorist or on the impact of a given theoretical movement; in either case, the relation of theory to literary critical practice will be considered , as will the claims made by theory across a range of aesthetic and political discourses and in response to real world demands. Recommended for students planning to pursue graduate study in English literature.


ENGD48 Studies in Major Victorian Writers?

Instructor: Christine Bolus-Reichert

Advanced study of a selected Victorian writer or small group of writers. The course will pursue the development of a single author's work over the course of his or her entire career or it may focus on a small group of thematically or historically related writers.

Pre-1900 course


ENGD59 Topics in American Poetry ?

Instructor: Neal Dolan

This seminar will usually provide advanced intensive study of a selected American poet each term, following the development of the author's work over the course of his or her entire career. It may also focus on a small group of thematically or historically related poets.


ENGD71 Studies in Arab North-American Literature?

Instructor: Maria Assif

A study of Arab North-American writers from the twentieth century to the present. Surveying one hundred years of Arab North-American literature, this course will examine issues of gender, identity, assimilation, and diaspora in poetry, novels, short stories, autobiographies and nonfiction.


ENGD95 Creative Writing as a Profession?

Instructor: Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

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).



ENGD14 Topics in Early Modern English Literature ❄️

Instructor: Urvashi Chakravarty

An advanced inquiry into critical questions relating to the development of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature and culture. Focus may include the intensive study of an author, genre, or body of work.

Note: Pre-1900 course


ENGD31 Medieval Afterlives❄️

Instructor: Kara Gaston

Medieval authors answer the question “what happens after we die?” in great detail. This course surveys medieval representations of heaven, hell, and the afterlife. Texts under discussion will include: Dante’s Inferno, with its creative punishments; the Book of Muhammad’s Ladder, an adaptation of Islamic tradition for Christian readers; the otherworldly visions of female mystics such as Julian of Norwich; and Pearl, the story of a father who meets his daughter in heaven and immediately starts bickering with her. Throughout we will consider the political, spiritual, and creative significance of writing about the afterlife.


ENGD50 Fake Friends and Artifical Intelligence❄️

Instructor: Marlene Goldman

This course will explore the portrayal of the human-robot relationship in conjunction with biblical and classical myths. The topic is timely in view of the pressing and increasingly uncanny facets of non-divine, non-biological creation that attend the real-world production and marketing of social robots. While the course looks back to early literary accounts of robots in the 1960s, it concentrates on works written in or after the 1990s. The course aims to analyze how a particular narrative treatment of the robot-human relationship potentially alters our understanding of its mythical intertext and, by extension, notions of divinity, humanity, gender, animality, disability, and relations of kinship and care.


ENGD52 Cinema: The Auteur Theory ❄️

Instructor: Sara Saljoughi

An exploration of the genesis of auteur theory. By focusing on a particular director such as Jane Campion, Kubrick, John Ford, Cronenberg, Chaplin, Egoyan, Bergman, Godard, Kurosawa, Sembene, or Bertolucci, we will trace the extent to which a director's vision can be traced through their body of work.


ENGD53 Studies in Popular Genres ❄️

Instructor: Andrew DuBois

Advanced study of a genre or genres not typically categorized as “literature”, including different theoretical approaches and/or the historical development of a genre.


ENGD62 Topics in Postcolonial Literature and Film❄️

Instructor: SJ Sindu (Sinduja Sathiyaseelan)

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.



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.


ENGD02 Teaching Academic Writing: Theories, Methods and Service Learning ?❄️

Instructor: Maria Assif

This yearlong course explores the theories and practices of teaching academic writing, mostly in middle and secondary school contexts as well as university writing instruction and/or tutoring in writing. Through its 60-hour service-learning component, the course also provides student educators the practical opportunities for the planning and delivering of these instruction techniques in different teaching contexts. This is a great opportunity for students looking for practical applications to theoretical concepts, teaching-related opportunities in Canada and abroad, and courses aligned with the upcoming joint program in English and Teaching (2020-2021). Students in ENGD02 will gain an inter-disciplinary approach to writing and a service-learning component that helps foster connections with the larger community.

If you're considering a career in teaching, you might also want to check into the Combined Degree Program with OISE's Master of Teaching.


ENGD98 Senior Essay & Capstone Seminar ?❄️

Instructor: Yulia Ryzhik

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. This course is strongly recommended if you're thinking about pursuing graduate studies in English.

In addition to workshops and peer review, students will have the opportunity to work individually with the instructor and with a faculty supervisor in their chosen research area.

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