The program has a three-tier structure. Entering students complete a foundation year, which consists of four core courses designed to develop critical approaches to literature, an historical understanding of the evolution of English literatures, and research and writing skills. 200-level courses cover particular historical periods and literary genres as well as literary theory, film, and creative writing. 300-level courses are seminars with an emphasis on student participation.
English Majors (with the exception of students in the Double Major in Secondary English and Education) should normally (in their second semester) choose from one of four Concentrations:
The Literature Concentration offers a well-rounded education that challenges the student to read a diversity of British, Canadian, American, Irish, Postcolonial, and World literatures. Presentation of the literature of early as well as more recent periods enables students to read texts in context and to understand more fully the ways in which people in different circumstances have organized their thoughts and their lives. In consultation with the chair of the department, students in the Literature Concentration may elect to enter the English Honours program.
The Cultural and Media Studies Concentration is designed to situate literary texts within the cultural and historical conditions in which they were written and in which they continue to be read, to open the study of literature to interdisciplinary approaches, and to examine the literary text within wider cultural productions and aesthetic media, including film, visual art, music, and popular culture. The Film Studies Concentration is designed for those students who wish to develop their critical understanding of the history, theory and criticism of film. Courses provide the opportunity to view, study, and appreciate some of the most important cultural texts of the twentieth century and today.
The Popular Narrative Concentration allows students to study various forms and genres of popular narrative, both fictional and non fictional, in literature, film, journalism, and digital media.
The three Foundation year courses taken by all English Majors and Honours students are:
English 105, “Approaches to Poetry”; English 112, “English Literary Tradition: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance”; and English 113, “English Literary Tradition: The Eighteenth Century to the Present”.
The fourth foundation year course is English 106 for Literature Concentration; English 102 for Film Studies Concentration; English 106 or English 102 for Cultural and Media Studies Concentration and Popular Narrative Concentration.
1) Literature Concentration
Students in the English Major, Literature Concentration, take at least 48 credits in English, including the Foundation year courses (12 credits), twelve additional credits in English Literature before 1900, including 3 credits in non-dramatic literature before 1660 (i.e. at least one of the following: 310, 311, 314, 315, 316, 320, 321, 325), and 24 credits of English electives.
2) Cultural and Media Studies Concentration
Students in the English Major, Cultural and Media Studies Concentration, take at least 48 credits in English, including the Foundation year courses (12 credits), English 235, “Cultural Studies: History, Theory, Practice” (3 credits), five core electives (15 credits) chosen from 110, 114, 115 , 116 [formerly 119], 118, 121, 200 [formerly 301], 201 [formerly 302], 202, 210, 211, 212, 217, 229, 230, 231, 233, 234, 236, 239, 278, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 381, 382, 372, and any 6 additional English courses (18 credits). Students may substitute up to two of the following courses from other disciplines as core electives: Sociology 105, 229, 241, 280, 281, 381; Drama 170, 172, 281, 282, 319; German 370; Philosophy 247; Religion 237; Spanish 333; and History 332, 371.
3) Film Studies Concentration
Students in the English Major, Film Studies Concentration, take at least 48 credits in English, including the Foundation year courses (12 credits), English 235, 289, 291 and Drama 170 (Introduction to Film) (12 credits), and 8 film courses (24 credits) chosen from English 278, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 287, 288, 290, 291, 292, 293, 381, 382. Students may substitute up to two of the following courses from other disciplines as cognates to fulfill the required 21 credits of English film courses: Drama 172, 319, German 370, German 371, History 332, Philosophy 247, Religion 237, Sociology 241, Spanish 333.
4) Popular Narrative Concentration
Students in the English major, Popular Narrative Concentration, take at least 48 credits in English, including:
Foundation year courses (12 credits): English 102 or 106, 105, 112 and 113,
Core courses (3 credits): English 236
Electives (33 credits): Drama 170, 172, English 212, 217, 218, 219, 220, 235, 278, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 359, 375, 381, 382. Six (6) of the required credits in this category may be chosen from the following cognates: Classics 150, Français 287, 290, German 370, 371, History 332, Italian 309, 310,Music 102, Philosophy 247, Religion 237, Sociology 241
5) Double Major: Secondary Education and English
Program requirements for students pursuing a double major in Secondary Education and English may be found under “School of Education” in the Academic Calendar. All questions concerning courses and requirements should be referred to the Chair of the School of Education.
The English Honours program is designed for students who wish to specialize in the study of English Literature, especially with the goal of continuing in English Literature at the graduate level. Students in this program take at least 60 credits in English, including the Foundation year courses (12 credits), at least three credits from each of the following 10 areas (30 credits) listed below, four elective English courses (12 credits), and either the Honours Thesis (6 credits) or two additional English courses from the 200 or 300 level (6 credits) in its place.
1. Anglo-Saxon or Middle English: 310, 311, 314, 315, 316
2. Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century: 223, 224, 320, 321, 325, DRA222
3. Eighteenth Century: 331, 332, 334
4. Romantic: 342, 347, 348
5. Victorian: 254, 255, 350, 351
6. Twentieth-Century British: 250, 251, 360, 361
7. Canadian: 274, 275, 352, 358, 370, 371
8. American: 256, 257, 353, 356, 357, 362
9. Postcolonial: 228, 229, 230, 231, 375
10. Critical Theory: 233, 234, 235, 239, 372
Honours In Film, Media, And Cultural Studies
The Honours in Film, Media, and Cultural Studies is designed for students who wish to specialize in these areas, especially with the goal of continuing to graduate studies.
Students in this program take at least 60 credits in Film, Media, and Cultural Studies, including the Foundation year courses (12 credits), Core Courses (15 credits), five elective courses in Cultural and Media Studies (15 credits) and five elective courses in Film Studies (15 credits), and either the Honours Thesis (6 credits) or two additional courses in Film, Media, or Cultural Studies at the 200 or 300 level (6 credits).
Foundation Year Courses: (12 credits): ENG 102 or 106, 105, 112, 113.
Core Courses: (15 credits): DRA170, ENG 235, 280, 289, 291.
Elective Courses in Cultural and media Studies (15 credits): ENG 228*, 236, 278, 285, 286, 287, 290, 352, 358, 359, 372, 375*. Six of the required credits in this category may be chosen from the following cognates: HIS 371, SOC 105, 229, 381, PHIL 136b
Elective Courses in Film Studies (12 credits): ENG 281, 282, 283, 284, 288, 292, 293, 381, 382, DRA319. Six of the required credits in this category may be chosen from the following cognates: GER 370, HIS 332, ITAL 309, 310, PHI 247, REL 237, SOC 241, SPA318, 333, CLA150, MUS 102.
Honours Essay in Film or Cultural and Media Studies (6 credits): ENG 470.
Any two English courses in Film, Media, or Cultural Studies at the 200 or 300 level (6 credits).
As per Humanities Division guidelines, students must attain an average of 70%, calculated on the best 60 credits in the program (including cognates) in order to graduate with an Honours degree. Students who wish to change to Honours in their third or fourth year are reminded that the easiest entry to the Honours program is through the Literature Concentration Major.
Students in the Honours program and the Major Concentrations in Literature and Education may count Drama courses in English Literature and Education 211 “Introduction to Young Adult Literature” as satisfying English requirements, subject to the approval of the Department. Courses in Classical, French, German, Spanish and Italian literatures, as well as mythology and the Bible may also be considered as cognates. No more than two cognate courses (6 credits) may be counted as part of the English Major or Honours requirements.
Students taking an English Minor complete 24 credits in English, none of which may be cognate courses.
Certificate in Cultural and Media Studies
Description and Objectives:
Since the 1980s both Media and Cultural Studies have gained academic standing as separate but closely connected disciplines. The interdisciplinary Certificate in Cultural and Media Studies, designed to appeal to students with a variety of academic interests, provides an opportunity to study how culture is made, consumed, and experienced through such media as literature, print journalism, the internet, photography, and film . The aim of the program is to combine a theoretical understanding of culture with an ability to appreciate media texts as aesthetic forms engaged with broader cultural issues, everything from childhood, gender, and race, to power and national identity.
Students must take ten courses for a total of 30 credits, choosing their courses from four areas:
I. One Course in Theory (3 credits)
Drama 319 Film Criticism & Theory
English 106 Approaches to Literary Theory
English 234 Contemporary Literary Theory
English 235 Cultural Studies: History, Theory, Practice
English 239 Feminist Literary Theory
English 291 Film Theory
English 372 Studies in Postmodernism
Philosophy 364 Post-Modernism
II. Three or Four Courses in Film/Photography (9 or 12 credits)
Drama 170 Introduction to Film
Drama 172 Canadian Cinema
English 280 Classics of the Post-War Cinema
English 281 The Films of Marlon Brando
English 282 Film Adaptation
English 283 The Documentary Film
English 284 Film Noir
English 288 Crime Pays: The Gangster Film Genre
English 290 The New Journalism
English 292 Studies in National Cinemas: Polish Cinema from WWII to the Present
English 293 Studies in Directors/Actors: The Films of Mike Leigh and Peter Greenway
English 381 The Evolution of the Fairy Tale in Literature and Film
FIH 108 History of Photography
Fine Arts 182 Photography I
Fine arts 296 Photography II
Fine arts 302 Photography III
German 370 Introduction to German Film
German 371 East German Cinema: from Rubble Films to Ostalgie
History 332 The Celluloid Republic
Philosophy 247 Philosophy and Film
Sociology 241 Cinema
Religion 237 Religion and Film
III. Two courses in Media/Communication (6 credits)
English 236 Popular Culture
English 287 Image and Communication
History 371 A History of Communications
Sociology 229 Communications: Gender and Culture
Sociology 280 Interpersonal Communication
Sociology 281 Communications Methods
IV. Three or Four Courses in Writing/Literature/Journalism (9 or 12 credits)
Drama 281 Playwriting I
Drama 282 Playwriting II
English 118 Literature of the Environment
English 121 The Panther’s Gaze: Humans and Animals in Literature
English 200 Creative Writing I: Poetry
English 201 Creative writing II: Prose
English 210 History of Children’s Literature
English 211 Cultural Spaces of Childhood: Investigating Children’s Popular Culture
English 217 Arthurian Tradition
English 228 Introduction to Post-Colonial Literature
English 230 Studies in Postcolonial Literatures: Africa
English 231 Studies in Postcolonial Literatures: The Caribbean
English 278 Science Fiction
English 285 Journalism
English 375 Colonial Narratives
English 286 On-Line Journalism
English 382 Screenwriting
English 102ab Approaches to Media Studies 3-3-0
Through a close examination of the different forms of contemporary culture people are frequently exposed to and consume - movies, TV sitcoms, internet blogs, pop music, and so on - this course considers how our understandings of reality and our perceptions about society and our identities are shaped by the various media that surround us. Informed by both cultural theory and the history of media, this course offers a series of case studies of media texts with the goal of helping students understand the nature and effects of our contemporary media culture.
Offered every winter
English 103 Studies in Comparative Literature: The Novella 3-3-0
This course offers a survey of the novella in European literature with a focus on important themes ranging from foiled love to troubled identity. The course will consider the origins of the novella (Boccaccio, Salernitano etc.) and then examine a variety of works in Italian, German, Danish, French and English literature. Works to be considered include Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde, Mann’s Death in Venice, Dinesan’s Babette’s Feast, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Camus’s The Outsider, Conrad’s Youth, Orwell’s Animal Farm, Calvino’s The Watcher and other selected stories.
English 104ab Approaches to Short Fiction 3-3-0
This course introduces students to the study of fiction through the analysis of short stories and novellas from various literary traditions and historical periods. Stories will be discussed in terms of such aspects of fiction as plot, character, setting, point of view, voice, discourse, tone, symbol, and theme.
Offered every year
English 105ab Approaches to Poetry 3-3-0
This course introduces students to the study of poetry through the analysis of a variety of short poems from different historical periods. Poems will be discussed in terms of their diction, imagery, figures of speech, rhyme, rhythm, metre, tone, speaker, structure, and form. Some attention will be given to interpreting a poem in the context of the poet’s other works, literary tradition, criticism, revisions, history, or culture.
English 106a Approaches to Literary Theory 3-3-0
This course is designed to expand terms of critical thinking and literary analysis through an introduction to contemporary interpretive strategies. We begin by considering what we mean by “literature” and why we study it critically, then open texts to a variety of theoretical perspectives, including semiotics, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, Marxism and cultural theory.
Offered every winter
English 107ab The Irish Short Story 3-3-0
This course examines Irish short fiction from James Joyce to such contemporary writers as Trevor, McCabe, O’Brien and Healy. The themes investigated include “The Troubles” folklore, gender, religion, social structure, exile, art, and the postmodern.
English 108ab The American Short Story 3-3-0
This course examines the development of the short story form in the United States from its beginnings in the work of Irving, Poe, and Hawthorne, through Fitzgerald and Hemingway, up to such contemporary writers as Oates and Barth. Subjects to be examined include the Gothic tradition, the influence of Puritanism, the African-American experience, gender, and madness.
Offered every year
English 110ab English Writers of Quebec 3-3-0
Selected short stories, novels, plays, and poems of such writers as Hugh MacLennan, Mordecai Richler, Brian Moore, Joyce Marshall, Ralph Gustafson, David Fennario, A.M. Klein, F.R. Scott, and Irving Layton will be studied. Such topics as “English- French Relations,” “The Immigrant Experience,” “Male-Female Relationships,” “Class Conflicts,” and “The Jewish Experience” will be examined.
English 111ab Canadian Short Story 3-3-0
This course will examine a wide variety of Canadian short stories, from the late 19th century until the present. The authors studied range from Roberts and Callaghan, to such contemporary writers as Munro, Atwood, Glover, and Vanderhaeghe. The themes to be examined include nature, childhood and family, gender relationships, priorities, old age, the future, and the postmodern.
Offered every year
English 112a English Literary Tradition: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance 3-3-0
An introductory historical survey of major works and genres of British literature from its beginnings to the Restoration. Students will analyze literary works within their historical, social, and cultural contexts. The course emphasizes close reading of individual texts.
Offered every Fall
English 113b English Literary Tradition: The Eighteenth Century to the Present 3-3-0
This course provides an introductory survey of major works and genres of British literature from the Restoration to the end of the Twentieth century. Close reading of individual texts will be informed by analysis of their historical, social, and cultural contexts.
Offered every Winter
English 115ab Women Writers before 1900 3-3-0
A survey of literature in English by women from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the twentieth century in the perspectives of feminist critical theory. The course includes poetry, fiction, and non fictional prose.
English 118 Literature of the Environment 3-3-0
Since the “discovery” of the New World by Europeans, some of our most important literature has taken as its subject the natural environment in which we live: its importance to our sense of self; how we choose to preserve, use, alter, or destroy it; and the impact these things will have on our lives and future. In this course we will read a range of fiction, poetry, criticism, and literary non-fiction by American and Canadian writers treating the relationship of humans to the natural world.
Only offered in the summer
English 121 The Panther’s Gaze: Humans and Animals in Literature 3-3-0
The relationship between humans and animals speaks directly to our understanding of who we are and where we fit into the world. In this course we will read poetry, fiction, and essays that examine how a wide range of writers have explored and defined that relationship: the metaphorical uses to which animals have been put, what of ourselves they are made to reflect back at us, and the very nature of the consciousness that both separates and binds us.
Only offered in the summer.
English 122 Introduction to Russian Literature 3-3-0
This course will introduce students to Russian literature (in translation) through a close reading of a selection of novels, poems and short stories.
Only offered in the spring.
English 200ab Creative writing I: Poetry 3-3-0
A workshop seminar for students interested in writing poetry.
English 201ab Creative writing II: Prose 3-3-0
A workshop seminar for students interested in writing fiction.
English 202ab History of the English Language 3-3-0
A survey of the transformations of the English language from its beginnings to the present studied in the context of the major social, political, and literary developments in English history. The course includes an introduction to basic linguistic concepts as applied to the study of the English language and an overview of Canadian English.
English 210ab History of Children’s Literature 3-3-0
An historical and critical study of children’s literature in English. The course includes an overview of the history of children’s literature and introduces students to the critical analysis of a variety of its genres, including nursery rhymes, folk and fairytales, myths and legends, fables, poetry, and “classic” novels. Some of the issues to be discussed may include didacticism, oral and written discourse, appropriation, the development of special literature for children, and the representation of social issues.
Offered every year.
English 211ab Cultural Spaces of Childhood: Investigating Children’s Popular Culture 3-3-0
Using an interdisciplinary cultural studies approach, this course will examine a wide range of children’s popular culture texts and artefacts. Examples to be analyzed will be drawn from a cross-section of print, media and new media: series fiction, comics, magazines, catalogues, film, television series, CD-ROM and the internet. As well we will explore some instances of material culture (dolls, fashion, trade cards, stickers) and culture spaces of children (bedrooms, albums, cyberspace). While there will be a consideration of ongoing concerns such as media effects, violence, stereotyping, moral panic, and globalization, the position taken regarding children is that they are not cultural dupes but rather active agents who are situated within given contexts.
English 212ab Crime Stories: The Great Detectives 3-3-0
An exploration of the development of narratives dealing with crime and punishment from some of its earliest manifestations as pulp fiction or popular reading to sophisticated modern fiction that continues to dominate the best-seller lists. Assigned texts cover both British and North American crime writing in order to demonstrate the evolution of different conventions and themes of the genre. The course will also explore how detective fiction in particular can reveal or even subvert the dominant ideology and culture of its time and place.
English 214 Contemporary Scottish Literature 3-3-0
In this course we will examine selected novels, short stories, poems and plays written in Scotland during the last fifty years. The course will investigate a national literature partly to determine the unique Scots voice in contemporary works. Areas of discussion will include national characteristics, post-unification and recent history and politics , contemporary economic and social conditions, questions of national identity, religious identity, gender identity, and other, less culture-specific or more ‘universal’ concerns which are common to literary studies.
English 217ab Arthurian Tradition 3-3-0
A survey of the evolution of the mythic romance of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table from its earliest beginnings to modern times. Various works representative of the tradition will be selected from different historical periods and from different media, including film and the visual arts as well as literature.
English 218ab The Gothic Tradition 3-3-0
In this course we shall read representative texts from a wildly popular genre that emerged in the late eighteenth century: the Gothic! Beginning with an examination of the medieval connotations of the term “gothic” and its resonances in 18th, 19th, and 20th century aesthetics, our reading will consider the form, readership, and social vision of various types of gothic literature.
English 219 Popular Narrative: The Graphic Novel 3-3-0
This course will introduce students to the genre of the Graphic novel and will examine visual rhetoric in literature, history, journalism and popular culture. Possible topics include superhero fantasy, gender stereotypes, sexuality, war, racism and drug abuse.
English 220 Popular Narrative: Fantasy 3-3-0
This course will explore the genre of fantasy in literature and film either through study of several works by a particular individual (Tolkien, Pullman) or a theme present in a selection of works by different authors.
English 223b Elizabethan Shakespeare (1590-1603) 3-3-0
Close study of six plays written and performed in the reign of Elizabeth in relation to the theatrical, social, political, and cultural practices of Elizabethan society and the Elizabethan court.
English 224b Jacobean Shakespeare (1603-1614) 3-3-0
Close study of six plays written and performed in the reign of James I in relation to the theatrical, social, political, and cultural practices of Jacobean society and the Jacobean court.
English 228 Introduction to Post-Colonial Literature 3-3-0
This course is an introduction to post colonial literature and theory. We begin with a discussion of what “post-colonial” means to writers of countries formerly colonized by the British before moving into literatures composed by writers from Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, India, Ireland, and the Pacific.
English 233ab The History of Literary Theory 3-3-0
A general history of critical theory from Plato to Sontag, examining the origins and development of various trends in criticism and suggesting their inter-relations. Special attention is paid to Plato, Aristotle, Sidney, Dryden, Johnson, Coleridge, Arnold and Marx.
English 234ab Contemporary Literary Theory 3-3-0
This course explores diverse topics and debates in contemporary literary criticism. The student will examine the assumptions, intentions and rhetoric of representative critical texts and theoretical schools. Practical application of literary theory to texts is emphasized.
Prerequisite: English 106 or permission of the instructor
English 235ab Cultural Studies: History, Theory and Practice 3-3-0
This course is an introduction to the historical development and theoretical methodologies of cultural studies as an interdisciplinary field of academic inquiry. We will investigate the processes by which the “literary text” has been extended to and participates within a broader array of cultural products. We will pay careful attention to the transformations of popular culture into highly commercialized mass culture and to the role of new representational technologies that have effected this change (advertising, film, television, internet, music, etc.), as well as their power to produce beliefs and create identities.
Prerequisite: English 106 or English 234 or permission of instructor
Offered every winter
English 236ab Popular Culture 3-3-0
Avery large portion of contemporary culture is mass culture, and mass culture has generally been disparaged by intellectuals from the early 20th century on. More recently, however, critics have begun to celebrate the utopian possibilities of mass culture, the way that individuals actually put mass cultural products to use, converting mass culture (a culture produced for the masses) into popular culture (a culture used by the people). The tension between these two views of contemporary culture will underpin this course as we examine theories about and practices of popular culture, including advertising, movies, romances and comics, sitcoms and soap operas, stardom and fandom, blogging and online shopping, and pornography.
English 238ab Confessions, Memoirs and Life Writing 3-3-0
This course will begin with the explosion in confessions, memoirs and life writing in the 18th century and then move through later works in the 19th and 20th centuries. As we read these works we will consider how fact and fiction merged in presentations of self to challenge the reader, society and literary genres.
English 239ab Feminist Literary Theory 3-3-0
An introduction to contemporary feminist theory, including feminist literary history, the economic and social conditions of women writers, the connections between gender and genres, the distinguishing characteristics of feminist and women’s reading and writing, and feminist debates about subjectivity.
English 240ab Recent World literature 3-3-0
English 242 Studies in Comparative Literature: World Perspectives on Liberty and Oppression 3-3-0
This course will examine the themes of liberty, tyranny and various forms of oppression as they appear in a selection of Russian, Eastern European, English and post-colonial English literature. The comparative nature of the readings will prompt students to consider ideas central to war, power, political violence, human rights, freedom and law, particularly as they cross national, cultural and racial boundaries. Authors and texts to be considered may include Tolstoy (War and Peace), Dostoevsky (Notes from the Underground), Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago), Kafka (The Trial), Havel (Essays), Huxley (Brave New World), Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-four), Conrad (An Outpost of Progress), V.S. Naipaul (In a Free State), and J.M. Coetzee (The Life and Times of Michael K.)
English 243 Studies in Comparative Literature: The Mythic Journey 3-3-0
This course will involve a comparative study of different journeys in Western literature, beginning in the classical world and stretching across a variety of different works in classical, Italian, Spanish, French and English literature. Works to be considered include Homer’s Odyssey, Virgin’s Aeneid, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Byron’s Don Juan, Voltaire’s Candide, Goethe’s Sorrows of Werther and the Coen brothers’ adaptation of the Homeric journey in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
English 248 Studies in Comparative Literature: Love and Friendship 3-3-0
This course explores different perspectives on love and friendship as presented in Western literature and philosophy. With the classical tripartite division of love (eros, philia, agape) as a helpful critical point of departure, the course will examine classical writers such as Plato, Sappho and Ovid. Excerpts from Augustine’s Confessions and a selection of sonnets by Petrarch, Shakespeare and Browning will also be offered. Other works to be considered include Cervantes’s drama The Siege of Numantia, Goethe’s Elective Affinites, Constant’s Adolphe, Nabokov’s Lolita, Durrell’s Justine and Stoppard’s The Invention of Love.
English 250ab The Modern British Novel: Experiments in Fictional Form 3-3-0
This course examines the way British novelists of the early twentieth century created new fictional forms to explore the interior life of their characters as well as the problems of their day. Novelists such as Conrad, Ford, Woolf, Forster, Lawrence, Huxley, and Waugh will be studied in relation to a variety of topics, including Imperialism, anarchism, the Suffragette movement, the Great War, psychoanalysis, science and technology, the rise of Fascism, and class conflicts.
English 251ab The British Novel After 1930: Darkness Made Visible 3-3-0
This course examines the development of the British novel after the Modernist Period. Novelists such as Greene, Golding, Amis, Murdoch, Fowles, White, and Ishiguro will be studied in relation to a variety of topics, including World War II and the holocaust, the end of Empire, the idea of the hero, the political unconscious, communism, higher education, and gender and identity.
English 252 English-Canadian Literature to the First World War 3-3-0
This course explores Canadian literature from the nineteenth century through to the First World War. Analysis focuses on the development of national identity in relation to various cultural, political, social and historical factors.
English 253 English-Canadian Literature from the First World War to the Present 3-3-0
This course explores Canadian literature from the First World War to the present. Analysis focuses on the aesthetic and cultural developments in English Canada and the impact of international, national, and regional issues.
English 254ab The Early Victorian Novel and the Condition of England 3-3-0
This course examines the way novelists such as the Brontë sisters, Thackeray, Dickens, Gaskell and Trollope represent their moment in history as “the best of times, the worst of times.” The focus will be on how the novel emerged as the dominant literary genre and challenged the Victorian faith in progress.
English 255ab The Late Victorian Novel: Beauty and the Beast 3-3-0
This course examines the way the late Victorian novel responded to the scientific idea of nature while reviving the romance as a fictional form. Novelists such as Eliot, Butler, Collins, Stevenson, Hardy, and Wilde will be studied in relation to a variety of topics: Darwinism and evolution, the Unconscious, Empire, the New Woman, aestheticism, the Dandy, and decadence.
English 256ab The Early Twentieth-Century American Novel: American Dream/American Nightmare 3-3-0
The modern American novel to 1955. Such novelists as Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, West, Steinbeck, Ellison, and Hurston will be studied. Among the topics to be considered: “The American Dream,” religion, society, black-white relations, and war.
English 257ab The Contemporary American Novel: Sex, Religion, Society 3-3-0
The contemporary American novel, 1960 to the present. Such novelists as Updike, Morrison, Auster, Pynchon, Nabokov, Roth, and Doctorow will be studied. among the topics to be considered: religion, the Jewish experience, history and the novel, sexism and the treatment of women, and the “American Dream.”
English 274ab The Early Twentieth-Century Canadian Novel: Garrison and Wilderness 3-3-0
The Canadian novel to 1969. The novelists to be studied include Ostenso, Grove, Callaghan, Ross, Buckler, MacLennan, and Watson. Among the topics to be considered: nature and the land, society, moral values, the treatment of women, the portrait of the artist.
English 275ab The Contemporary Canadian Novel: “The Myths Are My Reality” 3-3-0
The contemporary novel, 1970 to the present. The novelists to be studied include Atwood, Laurence, Munro, Davies, Ondaatje, Hodgins, and Shields. Among the topics to be considered: the role of women, the masculine image, history and myth, sainthood, the portrait of the artist.
English 278ab Science Fiction in Literature and Film 3-3-0
An examination of the futuristic worlds of science fiction as they focus on rather than distract readers from prevalent cultural anxieties and concerns. Students shall consider how science fiction as a symbolist genre variously constructs and deconstructs hegemonic cultural practices within our present digital, networked, information age. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, students shall consider both the history and form of science fiction and some of the theoretical and cultural issues endemic to the genre.
English 280ab Classics of the Post-War Cinema 3-3-0
This course offers a close study of seven film classics, including their literary sources and/or screenplays, from the late 1940’s to the end of the twentieth century. Students will become familiar with all aspects of the filmmaking process, from cinematography, acting styles, lighting, and set design, to musical cues and editing.
English 281ab The Films of Marlon Brando 3-3-0
This course examines the cinematic career of the actor generally considered to be the greatest in the history of American film. Attention will be given to the Stanislavski tradition and Method school of acting, to the political choices Brando made from film to film, to his changing star text, and to the creative influence of the actor as auteur. Films and screenplays to be studied include: A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata! On the Waterfront, One-Eyed Jacks, Burn!, The Godfather, and Last Tango in Paris.
English 282ab Film Adaptation 3-3-0
This course compares the novel and film as narrative arts while examining the dialogue that ensues when film interprets literature. The theory and practice of film adaptation will be studied in relation to some famous novels, both “highbrow” and “popular”, and their cinematic versions.
English 283 The Documentary Film 3-3-0
This course will trace the historical evolution and impact of English language documentary film and video. From John Grierson’s original definition of “the creative treatment of actuality,” documentary has evolved from propaganda to direct cinema/cinéma verité to docudrama. Two important questions will be addressed: Do documentary film and video’s reductive forms of interpreting events truly illuminate our media saturated world? How can studying documentary better help us understand a society dominated by media giants?
Offered in the spring
English 284 Film Noir 3-3-0
Traditionally, film noir is considered more a feeling than a genre, featuring moods of cynicism, darkness and despair. This course will examine noir’s downbeat atmosphere, graphic violence, and complex antiheroes, tracing the genre’s development from its origins in World War II’s pessimism to its contemporary reflections of social corruption and hypocrisy. Classic and neo-noir films will be viewed and analyzed.
Offered in the spring
English 285ab Journalism 3-3-0
This course teaches the basic requirements of reporting and news writing: interviewing, clear writing, critical thinking, accuracy, story organization, news judgment, and ethical considerations. Students will practice writing news and study some examples of good journalism.
English 286ab On-Line Journalism 3-3-0
A hands-on, real-life approach to accurate reporting of local news stories through an on-line newspaper created and maintained by course participants with active supervision/ involvement by the instructor/managing editor. The on-line paper will be a modified collaborative news website: students will generate the news but all copy must be funnelled through the managing editor to maintain accuracy and quality of content.
English 287 Image and Communication 3-3-0
This course will offer an overview of the history of photography, its evolution into art, the invention of moving pictures and the development of propaganda and advertising. Themes will include a study of how images serve as cultural signs, how gender orients ‘the gaze’ in cinema and how images are fundamental to a shared world of entertainment, news and consumerism.
English 288 Crime Pays: The Gangster Film Genre 3-3-0
This course examines the development of the gangster film from the classical cycle of the early 1930s to the present day Sopranos. Films to be studied may include Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, Scarface (Hawks), High Sierra, Bonnie and Clyde, Godfather II, The French Connection, Goodfellas, and Shanghai Triad.
English 289 Film History 3-3-0
This course offers a survey of the technological innovations and aesthetic movements that shaped film production and direction from the 1890’s to the outbreak of World War II. Topics to be studied include: early experiments in photography, the beginnings of narrative cinema, German Expressionism, French Poetic Realism, forms of comedy, Soviet Silent Cinema and the theory of montage, the Hollywood studio and star systems, and the introduction of sound and colour to motion pictures. A wide range of films are studied to acquaint students with the contours of film history to 1939.
English 290 The New Journalism 3-3-0
This class examines a major movement in nonfiction literature that had its genesis in the United States during the 1960s: the “New Journalism,” which brought narrative elements and the writer’s subjectivity to traditional news reportage. Students will analyze pioneering works of the genre, including Truman Capote’s nonfiction novel In Cold Blood, Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Hunter S. Tompson’s Hell’s Angels, and will continue by exploring the so-called “Gonzo” journalism of the 1972 U.S. presidential election (with examples from the films Where the Buffalo Roam and Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas), Dominick Dunne’s reporting on the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, and more recent internet manifestations of the genre. Assignments will include textual analysis and writing subjective news stories.
English 291 Film Theory 3-3-0
This course introduces students to some of the more influential theoretical perspectives that have shaped the viewer’s understanding of film over the past century. The course will begin with the realist-formalist debates of classical theory and proceed to examine the impact of literary criticism, semiotics, feminism, psychoanalysis, and Marxism on contemporary film theory. Films from different genres and national cinemas are used to illustrate the various approaches to interpreting and evaluating cinema.
English 292 Studies in National Cinemas: Polish Cinema from WWII to the Present 3-3-0
From 1945 to 1989, Polish filmmakers worked within a communist-controlled industry, and they were bound either to reflect communist ideology in the subjects and aesthetics of their films or find surreptitious means of eluding communist censorship and control. In this course, we will examine key films by such filmmakers as Andrzej Munk, Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland, and Krzysztof Kieslowski and consider how these filmmakers not only evaded communist control but produced powerful social and political critiques, extending the language of cinema in the process.
English 293 Studies in Directors/Actors: The Films of Mike Leigh and Peter Greenaway 3-3-0
Mike Leigh and Peter Greenaway are two of the most prominent contemporary British filmmakers. Both born during WWII, they share a commitment to exposing the repression (class- and gender-based) and suppressed violence of supposedly civilized life. But while Greenaway’s films are built on tight formal structures and sumptuous visual imagery, Leigh’s films are often viewed as if they are formless and unaesthetic happenings unfolding before the camera. In this course, we will examine five films by each director and consider how the working methods of each contribute to the politics and aesthetics of their work.
English 310ab Anglo-Saxon Studies I: The Heroic Age 3-3-0
An interdisciplinary study of the history, culture, language and literature of Anglo- Saxon England. The course will focus on the reading and interpretation of primary sources in Old English that represent the heroic character of the Germanic tribal society that became a unified English nation. Sources will include a selection of historical and literary texts from the eighth to the eleventh century.
English 311ab Anglo-Saxon Studies II: Conversion and Transformation 3-3-0
An interdisciplinary study of the history, culture, language and literature of Anglo- Saxon England. The course will focus on the reading and interpretation of primary sources in Old English that describe the coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England and the subsequent transformation of an oral, pagan culture to a literate Christian society. Sources will include a selection of historical and literary works from the eighth to the eleventh century.
English 314ab Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales 3-3-0
Travel the pilgrimage road with the master storyteller of medieval England, Geoffrey Chaucer. Meet some of the most famous characters of English literature and read tales that range from high romance and tragedy to low comedy and burlesque. The focus of the course will be on reading The Canterbury Tales in Middle English within their particular literary, social and historical context.
English 315ab Romance and Dream Vision in Medieval England: The Sacred and the Profane 3-3-0
Romance and dream vision represent two of the most significant genres of medieval literature. Both are well represented by major texts in Middle English whose subjects range from sophisticated philosophical and religious themes to social comedy and pure escapism-often all within the same work. The focus of the course will be on reading primary texts in Middle English within their particular literary, social and historical context.
English 316ab Medieval Comedy and Satire: The Festive Voice 3-3-0
According to medieval writers, comedy could be any story that ends happily, a story about ordinary or common people, or simply any text suitable for entertainment at a party. Not surprisingly, a wide range of medieval literature can be included under these terms: parody, burlesque, beast fable, fabliau, political and social satire, and sheer nonsense. What medieval comedy does present is a world upside down where the silent and marginalised can speak, and where political and social boundaries are constantly crossed. This course offers a banquet of some of the great English comic writing of the Middle Ages to be enjoyed in its original language, and within its historical and cultural context.
English 320ab Sixteenth-Century Poetry and Prose: Exploration and Discovery 3-3-0
After nearly a century of civil war, England under the Tudors experienced a period of relative peace and stability and an opportunity for cultural catching up. The writers of the time confronted a broad range of ideas and phenomena associated with the European renaissance and the intensified exploration by Europeans of the world beyond their continent. They needed to think about their relationships to classical civilization, to the peoples and places described by travelers and explorers, and to the other within their midst as mediated by the powerful influence of Petrarch on the ideas and practices associated with the erotic. The course will examine some of the ways in which writers of the sixteenth century both responded to these relationships and shaped them.
English 321ab Seventeenth-Century Poetry and Prose: Civil War and Revolution 3-3-0
The seventeenth century was a period of intense political, social, and religious conflict that finally resulted in the outbreak of civil war. The course will examine some of the ways in which the writers of the period divided themselves according to the large lines of the conflict between parliament and the crown, their contributions to the parties to which they adhered, and their reflections on the divisions that tore their society apart.
English 325ab Milton: From Pastoral to Epic and Tragedy 3-3-0
The course will follow the classically based trajectory of John Milton’s career from his apprenticeship in the low genre of pastoral in Lycidas and Comus to the exalted genres of epic in Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained and tragedy in Samson Agonistes.
English 331ab Eighteenth-Century Poetry: Restoration, Revolution and Order 3-3-0
This course examines how poets from the Restoration in 1660 through to the late 1700s initially reflected social turmoil and unrest but increasingly created a sense of controlled order through the “Augustan” style. Particular attention will be paid to Dryden, Rochester, Finch, Pope, Montagu, Swift and Cowper.
English 332ab 18th-Century Literary Journeys 3-3-0
In this course we shall examine a diverse range of 18th-century texts that have one thing in common: each uses travel as a plot-triggering device. We will begin the course with a reflection on what travel is, what forms it takes, and why we do it. We shall then consider why travel is such a pervasive narrative form in post-Restoration Britain. Among issues to be considered are contemporary debates on human nature and civilization, as well as relationships between scientific, historical, commercial, and colonial discourses in an age of vigorous exploration.
English 334ab Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama: Sex, Politics and Intrigue 3-3-0
This course covers a wide range of English drama from Etheridge through Behn to Sheridan to indicate both the shifting social tastes and the permissiveness of the theatre.
English 342ab Revolution and Romanticism 3-3-0
In this course we will examine the prose writings of the British Romantics from 1789- 1832. Readings will explore a variety of topics generated by the French Revolution and the ensuing period of intense political anxiety and intellectual activity. Works by Paine, Burke, Wollstonecraft and Godwin will be examined.
English 347ab Early Romantic Poetry: Revolutionary Experiments 3-3-0
Poetry of the early Romantic Period (1780-1800) by poets such as Blake, Smith, Robinson, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Williams and Burns. Particular attention will be paid to the social and political role of the poet, poetic form, imagination, inspiration, “masculine” and “feminine” romanticism.
English 348ab Later Romantic Poetry: The Egotistical Sublime 3-3-0
Poetry of the later Romantic period (1800-1832) by poets such as Byron, Baillie, Keats, Shelley, Hemans and Clare. Particular attention will be paid to the social and political role of the poet, poetic form, imagination and inspiration.
English 350ab Early Victorian Poetry and Prose: Faith in an Age of Doubt 3-3-0
This course surveys the way early Victorian poets and prose writers responded to their age as a crisis of faith. The poetry of Tennyson and Browning will be studied in relation to selections from the prose of Macaulay, Mill, Carlyle, Newman, and Ruskin.
English 351ab Late Victorian Poetry and Prose: Against the Grain 3-3-0
This course examines the way late Victorian poets and prose writers overturned many of the cherished assumptions of High Victorianism. The poetry of Arnold, Fitzgerald, the Rossettis, Meredith, and Hardy will be studied in relation to prose writings of Pater, Huxley, Morris, and Wilde
English 352 Canadian Literature and Theories of Globalization 3-3-0
This course will examine the representation of various aspects of globalization in Canadian literature. Analysis may focus on immigration, diaspora formation, experiences of alienation and racism, multiculturalism, evolving conceptualizations of Canadian citizenship, and other related themes. Authors may include Camilla Gibb, Wayson Choy, Nino Ricci, and Michael Ondaatje.
English 353 American Literature and the “New Woman” 3-3-0
The first National Women’s Rights Convention, in Worcester, Massachusetts, was held in 1850: it signalled the emergent figure in popular culture referred to as the “New Woman.” Focusing on American literature, this course will examine the “New woman” in asymmetrical or imbalanced relationships, and analyze how this figure alters notions of reason, convention, race, masculinity, femininity, and family relationships.
English 356ab Early Nineteenth-Century American Literature: In God We Trust? 3-3-0
This course examines the work of American writers from 1820 to 1860, including Irving, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Douglass, Emerson, Thoreau, and Davis. Topics to be investigated include madness, Puritanism, slavery, the situation of women, society, the nature of the universe, the natural world, and expediency versus absolutism.
English 357ab Late Nineteenth-Century American Literature: “America Was Promises” 3-3-0
This course examines the work of American writers from 1860 to 1900, including Crane, Twain, James, Chopin, Whitman, Dickinson, and others. Topics to be investigated include the Civil War, Naturalism, race, Native peoples, the American identity, the situation of women, and insanity.
English 358 Approaches to Indigenous Literary Culture in Canada 3-3-0
This course will examine Indigenous literature in Canada. It will begin by looking at its progression from oral to contemporary written literary forms, and how the latter developed in response to colonial contact. Authors may include Thomas King, Lenore Keeshig Tobias, Eden Robinson, Armand Ruffo, Warren Cariou, and Tomson Highway.
English 359 Approaches to Canadian Culture (Canadian Studies) 3-3-0
This course will examine a range of aesthetic representations (Canadian “wilderness,” historical events, First Nations cultural imagery, and so forth) that are conceived of as indigenous to Canada. These representations, as they have evolved from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, will include the cultural production of Canadian writers, painter, film directors, and musicians in order to demonstrate the (often conflicting) social and political ideological structures from which these artists operated.
English 360ab Modern British Poetry: Making It New 3-3-0
This course examines how Hardy, Yeats, Owen, Sassoon, and Eliot tried to modernize poetry in the early years of the twentieth century. Their poetry will be studied in relation to such topics as the First World War, Imagism, Symbolism, Georgian poetry, literary tradition, pessimism, and the decline of religion.
English 361ab British Poetry After 1930: Explorations in Identity 3-3-0
This course surveys the post-modern development of British poetry. Auden, Lewis, Spender, Macneice, Thomas, Larkin, and Hughes will be studied in relation to such topics as the Depression, Communism, Futurism, neo-Romanticism, the Second World War, post-colonialism, and violence.
English 362ab Twentieth-Century American Poetry: Learning the American Language 3-3-0
The poetry of the early and mid-twentieth century. Expatriation and the research of American voices, languages, and cultures. Relationships between poetry and the other arts.
English 370ab Canadian Poetry: from Confederation to the Sixties 3-3-0
This course examines the work of Canadian poets from the 1880’s until the 1960’s, including Lampman, Scott, Pratt, Birney, Layton, Livesay, Gustafson, Page and others. Topics to be investigated include Nature, Native peoples, industrialization, Modernism, society, sex and gender, the artist, and spirituality.
English 371ab Contemporary Canadian Poetry: “A Violent Duality” 3-3-0
This course examines the work of Canadian poets from 1960 until the present, including such writers as Purdy, Nowlan, Webb, Jones, Cohen, Atwood, Lane, Kroetsch, and Ondaatje. Topics to be investigated include Nature, duality, working-class life, process, order versus chaos, negativity, Native peoples, sexuality, science, postmodernism.
English 372 Studies in Postmodernism 3-3-0
In this course we will explore topics, debates, and aesthetic manifestations of what Jean-François Lyotard terms “the postmodern condition." We shall consider the philosophical and political origins and meanings of postmodernism, how we use the term to articulate contemporary cultural conditions and concerns, and how these efforts constitute a “poetics” of postmodernism suggestive of indeterminacy, fragmentation, decanonization, and hybridization. Our reading includes foundational texts on postmodernist theory and case studies drawn from postmodernist literature.
Prerequisites: Any one of English 106, 233, 234, 235, 239 or permission of the instructor
English 375 Colonial Narratives 3-3-0
In this course we will examine the narration of colonial experiences in various world and historical contexts. Our reading will range from the nineteenth century imperial fictions of Rudyard Kipling and Henry Rider Haggard to a selection of postcolonial texts dealing with the cultural impact and legacy of British imperialism in the Caribbean, India, Kenya, Nigeria and Ireland. Our discussions will be informed by readings in postcolonial theory.
English 381 The Evolution of the Fairy Tale in Literature and Film 3-3-0
This course will investigate how one kind of text, the fairy tale, a genre appropriated from the oral culture of peasants, has been modified and reworked to suit a wide range of other cultural contexts. By investigating both the production and reception of fairy tales - within the literary culture of the court of Louis XIV and of 19th century England, in the folklore movements of 19th century Germany and Britain, in children’s culture from the late 19th century to the present, throughout American movie culture in the 20th century, and within late-20th century feminist circles - we will see how this genre so focused on the image of metamorphosis has itself been transformed and used in radically liberating or deeply repressive ways.
English 382 Screenwriting 3-3-0
This course introduces students to the art and techniques of screenwriting for a variety of contexts and genres, such as feature films and television drama. Through critical analysis of existing screenplays and the shows and films that derive from them, students will gain an understanding of the narrative and stylistic conventions of screenwriting and will apply their understanding in the development of their own creative projects.
English 460ab Senior Seminar 3-3-0
Advanced studies on a special topic.
English 470 Honours Essay 6-1-0
An individual project on an area or author selected by the student in consultation with the department.