2017-2018 English Course Descriptions

NOTE: The course descriptions on this webpage are subject to change at the course instructors’ discretion; they are intended to give students choosing courses a clearer idea of the reading material and the kinds of assignments they might expect in each course.

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Second Year Courses | Third Year Courses | Fourth Year Courses

FIRST YEAR

Course Title: How to Read Critically

Course Code: ENG101H5F

Instructor: Liza Blake

Course Description: This course teaches students how to read critically – that is, how to read at the university level. Do you get nervous when a professor asks you to pay attention to a poem’s meter? Do you want to figure out what close reading is, and how to do it like a professional? Are you yearning for explicit training in how to read texts like a professor? Then this is the course for you. The class serves as an introduction to a wide range and variety of methods for literary and textual analysis, giving students a set of interpretive tools they can use to analyze texts in English classes and beyond. Emphasis will be on developing close, attentive reading skills as ways of thinking not just about, but with and through texts, and on deploying these skills effectively in essays and discussions.

The course is designed to help students learn the foundational reading skills that will serve as the basis of future class discussions and papers at higher levels of the major; this class is therefore is particularly recommended to students considering a Specialist, Major, or a Minor in English.

Selected Major Readings: Reading list still under construction, but possible texts for analysis include: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”; Jorge Luis Borges, “The Garden of Forking Paths”; Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine; (from) Ovid, Metamorphoses; Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale; (from) John Milton, Paradise Lost; Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games; Memento (film); poetry of Audre Lorde; Genesis

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBD

Method of Instruction: lecture, discussion, in-class working groups

Method of Evaluation: short weekly assignments targeting building specific skills; occasional announced quizzes; paper; final exam

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Course Title: Narrative: Literature and the Story

Course Code: ENG110Y5Y

Instructor: Daniela Janes

Course Description: In this course, we will study a diverse group of texts that reflect and give shape to the human experience through narrative. Throughout the year, we will analyze the formal elements of the texts we encounter, and we will examine the ways texts respond to their own historical moment. In our readings, we will encounter a variety of genres, including novels, novellas, and short stories; poetic narratives, such as ballads and dramatic monologues; the medical case study; autobiographical narrative; and film. The goal of this course is to develop students’ understanding of English as a discipline of study, to build students’ knowledge of literary terms and methodologies, and to foster skills in critical reading and writing as preparation for further studies in literature and other disciplines.

Selected Major Readings: Henry James, The Turn of the Screw; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave; other shorter texts to be included as part of a custom course reader. Students will also view Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBD

Method of Instruction: Lectures (2 hours per week) and tutorials (1 hour per week)

Method of Evaluation: Several writing assignments which will include close readings and essays, tests, a final exam, and tutorial participation.

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Course Title: Traditions of Theatre and Drama

Course Code: ENG121H5F

Instructor: Holger Syme

Course Description: This class introduces students to some of the key moments in the history of Western theatre. We will read a selection of plays ranging from Ancient Greek tragedies to works of social realism from the late nineteenth century, and study the theatrical contexts for which these scripts were written: the kinds of theatres they were acted in, the performance styles they take for granted, the audience attitudes they anticipate. But we will pay equal attention to the life of these canonical works from the distant past in more recent theatre history, asking how old plays remain vital in modern theatre and what it means to stage a text from a different historical era on a modern stage. Screenings of recordings of five modern productions will be arranged. A key goal of this course will be to familiarize students with the basic techniques of analyzing written drama and its staged performances.

Selected Major Readings: Aeschylus, Agamemnon; Euripides, Medea; The York Play of the Crucifixion; Shakespeare, Macbeth; Molière, Tartuffe; Lessing, Emilia Galotti; Ibsen, A Doll’s House.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Aeschylus, Agamemnon; Euripides, Medea; The York Play of the Crucifixion

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion-based tutorial

Method of Evaluation: Regular in-class quizzes; three short papers; informed participation; final exam.

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Course Title: Modern and Contemporary Theatre and Drama

Course Code: ENG122H5S

Instructor: Jacob Gallagher-Ross

Course Description: Picking up where DRE121 left off, this course is an introduction to selected plays, aesthetic theories, and performance techniques from the late nineteenth century to (roughly) the present. We’ll watch theatre artists contend with the dominant philosophical ideas, aesthetic values, and socio-political realities of their time, as they attempt to create artworks capable of responding to—or even creating—a modern world. While doing so, they transformed the molecular structure of theatre, pulling apart traditional ways of understanding narrative, illusion, and character—destroying the old, to make way for the new.

Selected Major Readings: A range of modern and contemporary plays, manifestos, and contextual materials.

First Three Texts to be Studied: Ibsen, A Doll's House, TBA

Method of Instruction: Lecture, class discussion, discussion and performance-based tutorial sessions

Method of Evaluation: Midterm and final exams, two short papers, performance project, class participation.

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Course Code: ENG140Y5Y

Instructor: Raji Soni

Course Description: What is a world? Both ancient and contemporary, this question conjures others: Why world in the singular rather than worlds? Or, why not worlds within or against worlds? In what sense are these questions literary? What precisely are worlds to literature? What is literature to worlds? Is there a mutual capture between worlds and how we imagine them? Such questions, like worlds and like literatures, have a history. During the Cold War, we referred to First World, Second World, Third World, and a Fourth World within all three. Today, we often streamline Four Worlds into a twofold image of Global North and Global South. Of course, we knew all along that the Four Worlds were grounded by one globe, and thus by one planet. Yet now, under processes called globalization, the globe appears to be fully accessible “on our computers.” Think of Twitter, finance capital, stock exchanges, satellite imaging, and 24-hour media cycles, but also of Google Translate and its convenient perils. Nevertheless, if for us the globe is all-too accessible on our computers, then we’re obliged to admit that “No one lives there.” In a world or in worlds, on the other hand, it’s always a matter of where, how, and why one lives and dies. Literature indeed wants to fathom such worldly and otherworldly subjects. So, then, what is a world? In different ways, we’ll ponder this question while reading essays, plays, poetry, novels, novellas, short fiction, and media from the following regions, extending from WWII to our own decade: Caribbean, North Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Western Europe, North America, South Asia, and East Asia. We’ll explore genres where in literatures and worlds both capture and escape one another. We’ll not take for granted the representative aspect of works we study. Skills of literary reading, in sociohistorical contexts, shall ground us.

Selected Major Readings: Aimé Césaire, A Season in the Congo; Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Ambiguous Adventure; Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions; James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain; Dionne Brand, Land to Light On; Shani Mootoo, Cereus Blooms at Night; Amitav Ghosh, The Shadow Lines; Mohsin Hamid, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia; Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red; Haruki Murakami, after the quake: stories; Samuel Beckett, Endgame; other texts from Frantz Fanon, Mahasweta Devi, and Samuel Beckett.

First Three Texts to be Studied: Goethe, passages on Weltliteratur; Marx and Engels, Preamble and Chapter I in The Communist Manifesto; Spivak: "What Time Is It on the Clock of the World?"

Method of Instruction: Lecture, class discussion, tutorial sessions.

Method of Evaluation: Close reading exercise, two essays, final exam, class participation.

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SECOND YEAR


Course Title: Reading Poetry

Course Code: ENG201Y5Y

Instructor: Brent Wood

Course Description: We will study a diverse range of poetry in English from the age of Shakespeare to the late twentieth century. Basic elements of poetry will be explored early: rhythm, repetition, diction, metaphor, imagery, intertextuality. We will then travel through the canon of Anglo-American poetry from the Elizabethan period to the second World War. The course concludes with more recent work by Canadian and American poets from various cultural backgrounds, with a focus on female writers. Students will be required to study instructional material in the textbook in addition to the poems themselves. Memorization, discussion, and the reading of poems aloud are integral components of the course.

Selected Major Readings:Arp/Johnson. Perrine's Sound and Sense : An Introduction to Poetry, 14th Edition

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Poetic rudiments in the first half of Perrine’s Sound and Sense.

Method of Instruction: Lecture, discussion

Method of Evaluation: Essay, regular short assignments, class participation, midterm and final exams.

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Course Title: British Literature: Medieval to 18th Century

Course Code: ENG202Y5Y

Instructor: Chester Scoville (F) / Chris Koenig-Woodyard (S)

Course Description: A historical survey of eight centuries of literature in the British Isles. We will be studying major writers in their contexts, and exploring how the history of ideas intertwines with the history of literary forms and genres. Topics will include the development and techniques of literarty form over time; changing attitudes about gender and relationships; attitudes about the foreign and unknown; the relationship of civilization to the natural world; and the changing face of social class. Texts/authors studied will include Beowulf, Marie de France, Chaucer, Herrick, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Behn, Pope, Johnson, Burney.

Selected Major Readings: All readings will be taken from The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, volumes 1, 2, and 3.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Bede, Beowulf, Marie de France

Method of Instruction: Lecture/discussion, with tutorials and group work.

Method of Evaluation: Two major essays, handed in first as proposals and then as first drafts and subsequently revised; two in-class tests; participation; writers' journal.

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Course Title: British Literature: Romantic to Contemporary

Course Code: ENG203Y5Y

Instructor: Chris Koenig-Woodyard

Course Description: A survey of influential texts that have shaped the British literary heritage, covering poetry, drama, and prose from the Romantic period (1789-1832) to the 21st century. The course is intended to: (1) familiarize students with selected major works of the history of British literature; (2) expand interpretative skills through a range of comparative and cultural studies approaches; and (3) focus on honing close reading, and critical writing and thinking skills. All three serve to help with other courses, to broaden your historical sense of literature, and to polish critical and interpretative skills.

Selected Major Readings: All readings will be taken from The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, volumes 4, 5, and 6. Further texts will include Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway​; David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks; Alan Moore, V for Vendetta.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Browning, “My Last Duchess”; Eminem, “Stan”

Method of Instruction: Lecture, discussion, group work.

Method of Evaluation: Essay, test, and final exam.

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Course Title: Rhetoric

Course Code: ENG205H5F

Instructor: Chester Scoville

Course Description: An introduction to the major concepts and theories of rhetoric from the ancient world to the present day. We will explore the roots of rhetoric in Athenian political culture, trace its development through Roman law and medieval religion and literature, and consider some of its modern and postmodern varieties. Along the way, we will see the centrality in Western thought of the study and practice of persuasive speech and writing, and its relationship to politics, science, history, literature, and more.

Selected Major Readings: We will be reading both theoretical and pedagogical texts from Ancient Greece to the present day, as well as literary and political examples of rhetoric in action from Shakespeare to King.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Dissoi Logoi, Aristotle, Bitzer

Method of Instruction: The course will take place in an Active Learning Classroom; as such group work and discussion will be its primary component of instruction.

Method of Evaluation: Participation; group project; short weekly writing assignments; midterm test; final essay.

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Course Title: The Canadian Short Story

Course Code: ENG215H5F

Instructor: Brent Wood

Course Description: We will study a selection of short fiction from across the Canadian cultural landscape from the First World War up to the present. Our aim will be to develop an understanding of the techniques of narrative perspective, style, characterization, irony and suspense within a wide range of contexts while attending to the stories’ commentary on the psychology of human relationships.

Selected Major Readings : Course Reader

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: King, Leacock, Gallant

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: Essay, exam, participation

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Course Title: Shakespeare

Course Code: ENG220Y5Y

Instructor: Holger Syme

Course Description: This course will focus on Shakespeare’s dramatic works. We will read a broad selection of 11 plays, ranging across the decades of his playwriting career and across all major genres. Lectures will situate the plays in their historical moment, with particular attention to questions of gender and sexuality, governance and rule, and justice and the law. We will also spend a good deal of time coming to terms with (and discovering the pleasures of) Shakespeare’s deliberately difficult language, both in lecture and in weekly discussion-based tutorials. And we will explore at length the function of these texts as scripts for live performance — a function that sometimes seems at odds with the intricacy of their poetry.

Selected Major Readings : Titus Andronicus, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, Measure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest.
The recommended text for this class is The Norton Shakespeare, Third Edition (2016). Other editions may be acceptable, though you should consult with the instructor; using an annotated text is a requirement.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Titus Andronicus, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion-based tutorial

Method of Evaluation: Regular in-class quizzes; two short papers (one close reading, one performance review); two mid-length papers (literally analysis); informed participation.

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Course Title: Comics and the Graphic Novel

Course Code: ENG235H5S

Instructor: Chester Scoville

Course Description: The graphic novel, comic books, sequential art – whatever its name, this popular but long-marginalized art form has been rapidly gaining cultural respectability. Over the past twenty years, artists and writers in this medium have departed from its traditional subject matter to create graphic autobiographies, journalism, political analyses, philosophical arguments, and histories, as well as revisiting, critiquing, and reinventing such familiar subjects as magic, science fiction, and the superhero. This course will examine the range of the current graphic novel, focusing on the medium’s rhetoric, narration, and socio-political range.

Selected Major Readings: We will be reading such alternative graphic texts as Meags Fitzgerald's Long Red Hair and Seth’s George Sprott, as well as some mainstream comics such as G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel. We will also use such resources as Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics as theoretical and historical background.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied:
McCloud, Understanding Comics
Seth, George Sprott
Fitzgerald, Long Red Hair

Method of Instruction: Lecture/discussion

Method of Evaluation: Participation; short reflective writing assignments; mid-term test; final essay; final exam.

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Course Title: Science Fiction

Course Code: ENG237H5F

Instructor: Chester Scoville

Course Description: Science fiction is one of the most distinctive genres of the past century; this course will consider science fiction both as literature and as a cultural response to our technological age. Special consideration will be given in this course to science fiction’s treatment of the ethical and political implications of new technologies and discoveries. We will spend some time looking at science fiction’s manifestations in film and television, but will focus on the novel and short story as its primary intellectual vehicle.

Selected Major Readings: Most readings will be taken from The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction; we will also read H. G. Wells's The Time Machine, and one contemporary novel yet to be determined.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Wells, Verne, Asimov

Method of Instruction: Lecture/discussion, with some group work

Method of Evaluation: One final essay, to be written and developed in stages throughout the course; one mid-term test; participation; final exam.

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Course Title: Fantasy Literature

Course Code: ENG238H5F

Instructor: Chris Koenig-Woodyard

Course Description: This course explores fantasy literature from a variety of theoretical approaches. As we read novels that treat the magical, the supernatural, epic, fairy tales, and magic realism, we will be interested in intersections between fantasy and a wide range of themes: gender and sexuality, culture, politics, philosophy, and race—to name a few.

Selected Major Readings: J. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit; Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games; Graham Joyce, Some Kind of Fairy Tale; J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Marjorie Liu, Monstress (trade paperbacks 1 & 2); readings posted to the PORTAL or in a course pack.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Beowulf, The Hobbit, The Hunger Games

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion.

Method of Evaluation: Essays (with a creative writing option), tests, and exam.

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Course Title: Horror Literature

Course Code: ENG239H5S

Instructor: Chris Koenig-Woodyard

Course Description: This course explores horror literature. We are particularly interested in the monstrous—monsters and monstrosity, especially vampires and zombies.

Selected Major Readings: Stoker, Dracula (broadview edition); Richard Matheson, I am Legend; Stephenie Meyer, Twilight; Stephen King, Misery; Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead (the comic book); readings posted to the PORTAL and in a course pack.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Gillman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”; Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”; Stoker, Dracula.

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion.

Method of Evaluation: Essays (with a creative writing option), tests, and exam.

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Course Title: American Literature

Course Code: ENG250Y5Y

Instructor: Avery Slater

Course Description: This course is a survey in American Literature from the 19th through the 21th centuries. While the focus will be on fiction from these periods, we will also turn our attention to poetry, nonfiction, photography, literary essays, and creative journalism. A broad theme connecting our year’s readings will be the changing ways through which literary “locations”— cities, territories, utopias, nations, borderlands, streets, suburbs, or the natural world—play a role in the creation of personal identity, community, and plural modes of belonging. We will think about how, in the American context, the politics of place (geographical, ecological, historical, national) has both informed and challenged the way American literature imagines democracy and diversity. Major literary periods covered will range from Transcendentalism to the American Gothic, from regionalism to cosmopolitanism, from to realism and naturalism, and from modernism to postmodernism and the contemporary.

Selected Major Readings: "Democratic Vistas" and Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman); Souls of Black Folk (W.E.B. DuBois); Cannery Row (John Steinbeck); O Pioneers! (Willa Cather); Cane (Jean Toomer); The Bridge (Hart Crane); Dispatches (Michael Herr); A Street in Bronzeville (Gwendolyn Brooks); House on Mango Street (Sandra Cisneros); Edwidge Danticat (The Dewbreaker)

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: The Prairie (James Fenimore Cooper), “Fall of the House of Usher” (Edgar Allan Poe); Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Harriet Jacobs)

Method of Instruction: lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: Short writing assignments, two essays, midterm test, final exam, active participation

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Course Title: Literature and Environmental Criticism

Course Code: ENG259H5F

Instructor: Avery Slater

Course Description: In this course we will examine 20th and 21st century approaches to the problematic concept of “progress” within the framework of globalization. Drawing on fiction, poetry, films, and other texts from around the world, we will consider these works from two related angles. First, how have advances in science and technology helped to redefine the way that social or historic progress is understood? Second, how has growing concern for environmental degradation redirected earlier notions of technology’s limitless benefits? This course will provide an introduction to the many ways in which these questions have been approached from diverse cultural and national perspectives. Keeping in mind the ways that colonial histories and globalization inform the contemporary ecological movement worldwide, this course will encourage students to develop their own original arguments and analyses concerning these problems. This course will emphasize a comparative approach to the global entanglement of ecological, technological, and cultural questions.

Selected Major Readings: The Hungry Tide (Amitav Ghosh); Drought (J.G. Ballard); "The Bear" (William Faulkner); Under the Feet of Jesus (Helena Viramontes)

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Time Machine (H.G. Wells); Potiki (Patricia Grace); The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (Luis Sepulveda)

Method of Instruction: lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: two short papers (40%); student presentation (10%); in-class exercises (10%); final paper (40%)

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Course Title: Queer Writing

Course Code: ENG269H5F

Instructor: Daniel Wright

Course Description: Our theme for this semester, inspired by the title of an essay by the queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, will be "Queer and Now." The history of writing by and about queer sexualities and gender identities is centuries long, but in this course we'll focus on contemporary fiction in English, in order to see what queer writing looks like in the twenty-first century. We'll supplement these readings in fiction with some important texts in philosophy and queer theory, from Plato to Sedgwick to Sara Ahmed, in order to help us situate the "now" in a longer tradition of queer thought. Among our central questions, we'll ask: how are sexualities and gender identities shaped by writing and literary representation? How useful is "queer" as an umbrella-term that attempts to group together a variety of different experiences and identities? What happens when queer identity goes global, intersecting with questions of race, ethnicity, and diaspora? Because of our focus on the contemporary, the course will be organized not by historical chronology, but by diversity, featuring an array of queer voices from around the world. Our theoretical reading will help us to attend to a number of questions, concepts, and problems that have shaped the field of queer writing and thinking: trauma and repair; queer time, queer histories, and queer futures; feelings, affects, and emotions; sex positivity; pride and shame.

Selected Major Readings: Primary readings will likely be selected from among the following:
Dionne Brand, In Another Place, Not Here (1996)
Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet (1998)
Alexander Chee, Edinburgh (2001)
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty (2004)
Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (2007)
------, Are You My Mother? (2012)
Shyam Selvadurai, The Hungry Ghosts (2013)
Casey Plett, A Safe Girl to Love (2014)
Chinelo Okparanta, Under the Udala Trees (2015)
Jia Qing Wilson-Yang, Small Beauty (2016)
Garth Greenwell, What Belongs to You (2016)
Darryl Pinckney, Black Deutschland (2016)
Rabih Alameddine, The Angel of History (2016)

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBD

Method of Instruction: a combination of lecture and class discussion

Method of Evaluation: essay assignments and class participation

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Course Title: Fanfiction

Course Code: ENG276H5S

Instructor: Siobhan O'Flynn

Course Description: OTP? Slash? Fan—ing? Darkfic? Mary Sue? Fanfiction is more than alive and well in 2017-2018 and we’re going to dive into the wild imaginings of passionate devotees of some of this generation’s fave characters and storyworlds! We’ll look at the extending story-verses spun out from the fictional worlds of Austen, Conan Doyle, Rowling, and Lucas, to name a few. We’ll consider fan creativity within the context of critical perspectives drawn from fan studies, adaptation theory, transmedia studies, affect theory, and gender, sexuality, and critical race studies. We’ll look to market and industry factors, and, of course, we will write fanfiction. Be prepared! SHIPPERS GONNA SHIP!

Selected Major Readings: TBD

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBD

Method of Instruction: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD

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Course Title:: Writing and Resistance: Decolonizing Literature

Course Code: ENG273H5S

Instructor: Stanka Radovic

Course Description: Postcolonial literature, emerging in the second half of 20th century, often focuses on the idea of giving voice to the cultures and histories that have been silenced by European colonialism. Salman Rushdie describes this as the postcolonial authors’ effort of “writing back to the centre” in order to decolonize literature itself. In this course, we will focus on the postcolonial writers’ reaction to the hierarchical and discriminatory depictions of the non-European “Other” (the savage, slave, subaltern, or alien). We will look closely at various examples of postcolonial fiction and non-fiction in order to understand how and why non-European authors developed literary opposition and resistance to the overt and covert forms of European cultural imperialism.

Selected Major Readings: Robert Young, Empire, Colony, Postcolony; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place; J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for Barbarians; Bessie Head, Maru; Janet Frame, Living in the Maniototo; Mudrooroo, Doctor Wooreddy’s Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Robert Young, Empire, Colony, Postcolony; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place; J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for Barbarians.

Method of Instruction: Lectures and seminar discussions.

Method of Evaluation: Class participation, oral presentations, essays.

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Course Title: Indigenous Literature

Course Code: ENG274H5S

Instructor: Daniela Janes

Course Description: In Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015), the TRC authors argue that “History plays an important role in reconciliation; to build for the future, Canadians must look to, and learn from, the past” (8). This course invites students to participate in the work of reconciliation by building their knowledge of the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and by reading the vibrant and innovative work of contemporary writers from Canada’s First Nations. Our reading list for this course is diverse, encompassing authors of various tribal identities and including a range of genres such as songs, poetry, fiction, drama and Indigenous-authored literary criticism from the nineteenth century to the present. In addition to a careful attention to historical contexts, this course engages with issues of identity, language, representation and power; spirituality and culture; place, the environment, and landscape; and geographical and political borders. We will also explore formal and theoretical questions relating to orature, historiography, representation, and textual and political resistance, and build a framework of critical approaches, including postcolonialism/decolonization, feminism and ecocriticism.

Selected Major Readings: Selections from An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, Fourth Edition (Ed. Daniel David Moses, Terry Goldie, and Armand Garnet Ruffo); Pauline Johnson-Tekahionwake, Collected Poems and Selected Prose; Tomson Highway, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing; Daniel David Moses, Almighty Voice and His Wife; Thomas King, Truth and Bright Water; Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Maracle, “The First Words”; Adams, “The Basis of Racism”; Cardinal, “A Canadian What the Hell It’s All About” (An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English).

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion.

Method of Evaluation: in-class exercises, two tests, two essays, informed participation.

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Course Title:: Video Games

Course Code: ENG279H5S

Instructor: Lawrence Switzky

Course Description: Video games can contain or present stories. But thinking of games as narratives like short stories, novels, plays, or films might distract us from the expressive possibilities of gaming that are not shared by other media: the creation of a rule-bound world that responds dynamically to a player’s actions, for instance. This course will consider how some novels and plays work like games, how games have evolved complex and often non-verbal means of conveying narratives, and whether narrative in fiction, theatre and film can or should be a model for storytelling in games. We will examine both literature and video games as forms of “critical play” as well as how the fundamental categories of literary experience—plot, character, setting, description, focalization, genre—have been reinvented in digital game storytelling.

This course will introduce students to the field of game studies, approaches to games as stories (narratology) and as simulations and rule sets (ludology), player agency, gaming and metafiction, the remediation of films by games and games by films, “persuasive” games and news games, and recent debates about ethics, violence, and diversity in games. Students will play a variety of games, from Twine and Flash games to indie games to AAA games, and will construct a short work of interactive fiction using online tools.

Readings: Essays will be made available online and will include selections from gaming theorists Espen Aarseth, Ian Bogost, Mia Consalvo, Gonzalo Frasca, Jesper Juul, Jane McGonigal, Janet Murray, and Miguel Sicart.

Short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, Donald Barthelme, and David Foster Wallace and story-making machines by Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec will be made available on the course website. We will also read Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days and Jennifer Haley’s play Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom.

Films:
Tom Tywker (dir.), film Run Lola Run (1998); Joe Cornish (dir.), Attack the Block (2011).

Games:
Most games will be available for free online through links from Blackboard. Students should have access to a desktop or laptop (PC or Mac), though designated gaming laptops will also be available for short-term loan from the UTM Library. Games will be available across platforms and several will be available for purchase from digital distribution services such as Steam, GOG, and Humble Bundle.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Espen Aarseth, “The Book and the Labyrinth”; J. L. Borges, “The Garden of Forking Paths”; Janet Murray, “Agency” from Hamlet on the Holodeck

First Three Games to be Played: Mazapán, “You Have to Burn the Rope”; Molleindustria, “Every Day the Same Dream”; Sam Barlow, “Aisle”

Method of Instruction: Lecture, discussion, multi-media presentations, in-class gaming

Method of Evaluation: Attendance and participation; two blog posts; story-machine assignment; short paper; narrative game/interactive fiction and brief analytical essay

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Course Title: Creative Writing

Course Code: ENG289H5S

Instructor: Erin Soros

Course Description: Students will read and write across the genres of poetry, the essay and the short story, exploring form through close analysis, exercises, and workshopping of student work. Open to any student interested in literary writing as a field in itself and in dialogue with other disciplines.

Selected Major Readings: TBA

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBA

Method of Instruction: brief lectures, seminar discussion and workshop

Method of Evaluation: short exercises (5%); nonfiction essay (25%); short story (25%); series of poems (25%); written response to student work (5%); class participation (15%)

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THIRD YEAR

Course Title: Making Love in the Sixteenth Century

Course Code: ENG301H5S

Instructor: Liza Blake

Course Description: Reading sixteenth-century literature (poetry written from the age of Henry VIII – he of the many beheaded wives – to the age of Queen Elizabeth I) means reading a great deal of love poetry. This is the age of the sonnet, of the Petrarchan lyric, of John Donne’s love poems. But as we will see in this course, love poetry was frequently about much more than love: it was about patronage, politics, immigration, exile, selling books, nature, God, redefining “Englishness”, the status of women, poetry itself. In the sixteenth century literary texts make love: they construct a weird new idea of love, an idea that was frequently modified and contested, an idea that shapes the way literature, especially poetry, is written for centuries after.

Together we will follow the changing constructions of love in the sixteenth century, starting with Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, passing through the anthologizer and publisher Richard Tottel, and moving to the great explosion of love poetry in the Elizabethan court, including the sonnets and poems of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Walter Raleigh, Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney Herbert, Edmund Spenser, Mary Wroth, and Elizabeth I herself. Along the way we will read authors whose works define love in radical and new ways, including the secretive love narratives of George Gascoigne, the wild romances of Robert Greene, the foundational transformative love of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the erotic satirical love of John Donne, John Marston, Thomas Nashe, and others. By the end of the course students will have had a thorough introduction to the major authors of the sixteenth century.

Selected Major Readings: poetry and prose of Wyatt, Surrey, Elizabeth I, Raleigh, Wroth, and others, including Tottel’s Miscellany, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Spenser’s Amoretti, Gascoigne’s The Tale of F.J., Donne’s Songs and Sonnets, Marlowe’s Hero and Leander, Marston’s Metamorphosis of Pygmalion’s Image, Nashe’s “Choise of Valentines”.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: poetry of Wyatt and Surrey; scenes from The Tudors (TV series)

Method of Instruction: lecture, discussion

Method of Evaluation: close reading paper, final paper, class presentation, three substantial quizzes

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Course Title: Women Writers before Austen

Course Code: ENG307H5S

Instructor: Liza Blake

Course Description: Though women wrote a great number and variety of poetic, fictional, and dramatic texts in the early modern period, few actually appear in grand surveys of British literature, and only in the past couple decades have they been taken seriously at all as writers or thinkers. This class corrects that omission. We will read a wide range of writing by women from the English Renaissance. Many women wrote explicitly on female rights, addressing from the inside the querelle des femmes or the “question of women”: their rights, their relationships to men, their abilities to reign as queen (as did Mary I and then Elizabeth I in the second half of the sixteenth century), what the story of Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden is really about. We will read many works on women by women, alongside foundational works of feminist criticism about early modern texts (for example, Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”; Joan Kelley’s “Did Women Have a Renaissance?”), as well as more recent feminist approaches.

However, we will also grant women the right to be as interested in a range of topics as their male counterparts. We will therefore also read, for example, Anne Askew’s fierce political and religious beliefs that got her burned as a heretic; Aemelia Lanyer and Mary Sidney Herbert, on class and patronage; Katherine Philips on the metaphysics of friendship; Lucy Hutchinson on atoms and the chaotic universe; Margaret Cavendish’s imaginary journeys to other, scientific worlds; Hester Pulter’s poetic fantasies of being completely annihilated by God; and the critiques of racism in Elizabeth Cary and Aphra Behn’s dramatic works.

Selected Major Readings: Poetic, narrative, and dramatic works of Anne Askew, Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary Sidney Herbert, Mary Wroth, Aemelia Lanyer, Elizabeth Cary, Katherine Philips, Margaret Cavendish, Lucy Hutchinson, Hester Pulter, and Aphra Behn.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Margaret Cavendish, prefatory materials and poems from Poems and Fancies; Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own”; Joan Kelley, “Did Women Have a Renaissance?”

Method of Instruction: lecture, discussion

Method of Evaluation: editing women writers project; “How Many Feminisms?” response paper; three quizzes; final paper

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Course Title: Romantic Poetry and Prose

Course Code: ENG308Y5Y

Instructor: Daniel White (F) / Terry Robinson (S)

Course Description: This course provides a general survey of the poetry and prose of the British Romantic period (roughly from 1780 to 1830). You will thus become familiar with the astonishing literary output of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, the canonical Romantic poets to whom we owe many of our assumptions about the nature of poetry, the imagination, and artistic creativity. The literature of this period, however, also draws our attention to the revolutions that gave birth to our modern political order, the movement to abolish the slave trade, the advent of feminist thought and the emergence of women writers as a major cultural force, and the radical experiments with form through which numerous writers responded to the colonial enterprise. We will explore these aspects of Romantic culture through an intense encounter with both canonical and non-canonical works, written in a wide range of genres and styles.

Selected Major Readings: Poetry and prose by A.L. Barbauld, W. Blake, E. Burke, Byron, S.T. Coleridge, W. Cowper, W. Godwin, J. Keats, H. More, M. Robinson, P.B. and M. Shelley, C. Smith, M. Wollstonecraft, and W. Wordsworth

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Selections by John Locke, Edmund Burke, William Gilpin, to be followed by poems of sensibility (by Hannah More, Helen Maria Williams, William Cowper)

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: First term: two close-reading exercises (5% each), two tests (10% each), term paper (20%) Second term: two poetry reports (7.5% each), one test (15%), term paper (20%)

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Course Title: Global Literature in the Middle Ages

Course Code: ENG312H5S

Instructor: Jessica Lockhart

Course Description: How do medieval texts from different cultures and historical situations conceive of the world or take up a place in it? Alternatively, what connections are made possible by thinking of a love poem from Heian Japan, the Persian epic Shahnameh, the Italian Decameron, or the 1001 Nights within a multicultural, and even a planetary history? And what meaning (if any) should the term ‘medieval’ have in a global literary context? In this course we will consider case studies with different ways of approaching a global Middle Ages. Drawing on the Norton Anthology of World Literature (Volume B) with an optional field trip to Toronto’s Aga Khan and Royal Ontario Museums, we will examine travel narratives, epics, story collections and lyric poems of the period c.500–1500 from the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. We will explore medieval literature as what Moretti calls a ‘planetary system’, and wonder what we might learn about our own world from medieval texts themselves.

Selected Major Readings: All readings will be taken from The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Volume B. Readings may include excerpts from Shahnameh; The Thousand and One Nights; Boccaccio’s Decameron; travel narratives by Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, and The Book of John Mandeville; Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji; and a selection of short pieces translated from Arabic, Hebrew, and Sanskrit lyrics, Tang poetry, Heian court poems; troubadour poetry.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Selections from The Book of John Mandeville; Ibn Battuta’s Travels; Marco Polo’s The Diversity of the World.

Method of Instruction: Lecture/discussion.

Method of Evaluation: active participation (10%); short written reflections (10%); close reading paper (15%); research essay or final project (30%); final exam (35%).

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Course Title: Frankenstein's Reading

Course Code: ENG315H5F

Instructor: Daniel White

Course Description: Anyone who reads Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and considers how the Creature acquires language -- by reading and by overhearing reading -- will immediately be struck by the sheer intertextual energy of the novel. In this course, we will first read Frankenstein. Then we will read everything the Creature reads in Frankenstein, along with other works that Shelley weaves into her tale. Then we will read Frankenstein again.

Selected Major Readings: Selections from or the entirety of Milton's Paradise Lost, Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, Volney's The Ruins of Empires, Plutarch's Lives, Genesis, Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Wollstonecraft's The Wrongs of Woman: or Maria, Percy Shelley's “Mont Blanc,” and Byron's Manfred

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Frankenstein, Genesis, Paradise Lost

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: Two tests (25% each), one term paper (40%), class participation (10%)

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Course Title: Jane Austen and her Contemporaries

Course Code: ENG323H5F

Instructor: Chris Koenig-Woodyard

Course Description: A study of selected novels (and fiction) by Austen and her contemporaries as Lewis, Radcliffe, Godwin, Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Edgeworth, Scott, and Shelley, in the context of the complex literary, social, and political relationships of that time.

Selected Major Readings: Austen, Northanger Abbey; Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Austen, Mansfield Park; Austen, Emma; Shelley, Frankenstein​. **NOTE: These editions are from the publisher broadview and are bundled together at a discounted price — available only at the UTM bookstore.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Austen, Northanger Abbey; Lewis, The Monk.

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion.

Method of Evaluation: Essay, test, and exam.

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Course Title: The Victorian Novel

Course Code: ENG325H5F

Instructor: Daniel Wright

Course Description: Victorian novels are filled with ordinary people confronting ordinary problems: growing up, loving (and maybe marrying), working, dying, thinking, and living ethically. Over the past two centuries, readers and critics alike have often wondered why we find such novels so appealing--when we escape into a book, why would we want to find a world very much like our own? We might say that we owe the fullest development of this kind of reading practice, in which we become absorbed with the ordinary lives of fictional people--sometimes for the comfortable pleasure of familiarity and identification, sometimes for the difficult but strengthening experience of identifying with unfamiliar people and past historical moments--to the legacy of the Victorian era, in which the realist novel (the novel that portrays the world “as it really is”) came to dominate popular literary culture. In this course, we’ll survey five of the major novels of nineteenth-century Britain, with a focus on how they deploy (and often bend, defy, or experiment with) the aesthetic conventions of realism.

Selected Major Readings:
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1860-61)
George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871-72)
George Gissing, New Grub Street (1891)
Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Brontë, Dickens, Eliot

Method of Instruction: a combination of lecture and class discussion

Method of Evaluation: essay assignments and class participation

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Course Title:: Medieval Drama

Course Code: ENG330H5S

Instructor: Chester Scoville

Course Description: The drama of the late Middle Ages in England is among the most sophisticated forms of pre-modern cultural expression. Drawing from the common religious culture of the medieval period as well as from the localized conditions of its production, medieval drama gives us a rare glimpse of the full range of lived experiences of its time and place. Its study is endlessly shifting and surprising, as modern scholars, actors, and audiences interpret and reinterpret the few remaining fragments of what was once a much more populated field. This course will give students an introduction to the some of its major texts and to the scholarly and dramaturgical issues that surround them.

Selected Major Readings : All readings will be taken from The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Drama.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Quem Quaeritis tropes; Hrotsvitha; The Play of Adam

Method of Instruction:: Lecture/discussion

Method of Evaluation:: Short written reflections; midterm test; final essay; participation.

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Course Title:: Global Modernism

Course Code: ENG333H5S

Instructor: J Daniel Elam

Course Description: Modernism is often used to describe a literary movement that takes place across the UK and Europe between World War I and World War I. This movement is often marked by literary experimentation, abstraction, and a concern for the intersection between philosophy and literature. More recently, scholars from Africa, South Asia, and East Asia have argued for the importance of viewing contemporary writing from these regions as equally “modernist” and equally provocative experiments in prose style and similar concerns with the relationship between politics and aesthetics. This course will explore the literary movement called “modernism” as it took place around the world in the first half of the twentieth-century. We will read novels and philosophical texts from various “modernist” movements from Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. We will also ask: what is the importance of this label “modernism”: does it describe literary experimentation? Does it describe a particular historical moment?
We will examine novels, short stories, and film.

Selected Major Readings :
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable
Nella Larsen, Passing
Lu Xun, The Real Story of Ah-Q (selections)
Yi T'aejun, Eastern Sentiments (selections)
Sergei Eisenstein (dir), Battleship Potemkin
Thomas Mofolo, Chaka

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBA

Method of Instruction:: Lecture & discussion

Method of Evaluation:: Midterm paper, final paper, blog posts, classroom participation

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Course Title:: Restoration and 18th-C Drama

Course Code: ENG337H5S

Instructor: Terry Robinson

Course Description: In this course, we will explore the arc of British dramatic literature, as it extends from the Restoration through the Georgian Era. We will examine a range of plays in a variety of genres (comedy, tragedy, farce, ballad opera, closet drama) by authors as diverse as Wycherley, Behn, Dryden, Steele, Gay, Lillo, Garrick, Sheridan, and Inchbald. In the process, we will consider how these dramas resonate with and comment upon intersecting concerns of gender, economics, politics, and national identity. We will also become familiar with theatre history, including the advent of women performers, the age’s most famous (and infamous) actors, the Licensing Act, the popularization of Shakespeare, the aural and spectacular effects of changing theatre construction, and critical controversies. While the principal mode of investigation will involve analysis of the plays, we will also pay close attention to the material conditions of performance, as theatres grew from makeshift spaces for the social elite to vast, purpose-built venues able to accommodate thousands of spectators. Central to the course, then, is the notion that these plays are meant to be performed. Overall, we will gain an appreciation for and insight into the brilliant, sensuous, and ever-shifting world of long eighteenth-century theatre.

Selected Major Readings: Dramas from The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama. Concise Edition. Ed. J. Douglas Canfield and Maja-Lisa von Sneidern. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied:
Aphra Behn, The Rover; or the Banished Caviliers (1677)
Richard Steele, The Conscious Lovers (1722)
John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera (1728)

Method of Instruction:: Lecture and discussion.

Method of Evaluation:: May include informed participation, quizzes or a test, a short essay, and a term paper.

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Course Title:: Modern Drama: Later Twentieth Century to the Present

Course Code: ENG341H5F

Instructor: Lawrence Switzky

Course Description: This course surveys British, American and Anglophone drama in a dizzyingly changing world, from 1945 to 2017. We will focus in particular on how plays from this era pair radically different registers of experience: the mundane present and the eventful past; the protected world of domestic interiors and the outer world of catastrophic events; the consoling promises of love and the utopian promises of science. We will approach plays as texts that can be read and as blueprints for events in time and space. We will also examine the influence of social and political developments on dramatic form and content, from the Cold War and the atomic age through the sexual revolution, from post-colonialism through the AIDS crisis to the technologically mediated culture of today. Assignments will encourage both critical and creative engagements with these plays.

The movements and topics we will consider include: American realism and the memory play; the Theatre of the Absurd and its philosophical foundations; the Angry Young Men; tragedies of sympathy and comedies of menace; plays as games and sets of rules; the uses and abuses of violence on stage; In‐Yer‐Face theatre; plays about nation, race, gender, and heritage; and the representation of global experience in the compact medium of theatre. Plays will be selected from major works by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, John Osborne, Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee, Adrienne Kennedy, Harold Pinter, Athol Fugard, Caryl Churchill, Tom Stoppard, Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner, Sarah Kane, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

Selected Major Readings: Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire; Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman; John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Samuel Beckett, Endgame, “Play,” “Act without Words II”; Edward Albee, “The Zoo Story”; Adrienne Kennedy, “Funnyhouse of a Negro”; Harold Pinter, The Homecoming; Tom Stoppard, Arcadia; Athol Fugard, Boesman and Lena; Caryl Churchill, Top Girls; Sam Shepard, True West; Tony Kushner, Angels in America; Sarah Kane, Blasted; Brendan Jacobs-Jenkins, An Octoroon. Many of these plays will be made available online through Blackboard.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Williams, Miller, Osborne

Method of Instruction:: Lectures, discussions, multi-media presentations and screenings

Method of Evaluation:: Attendance and participation (10%); two short exams (15% each, 30% total); “play mapping” exercise (10%); performance project and short reflection paper (15%); final paper (30%)

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Course Title: Victorian Poetry

Course Code: ENG345H5S

Instructor: Daniel Wright

Course Description: In this course we'll survey the poetry of the Victorian era, with a special focus on lyric poetry, in order to understand its complexity, its variety, and its avant-garde modernity. As we encounter the work of the major Victorian poets, we’ll pursue several broad questions: In a historical period dominated by the very long novel and its massive social scope, how does the lyric poem—a genre of brevity and individual interiority—persist, and why? How does poetry in English begin to function as a global discourse in the Victorian period, from South Asian poets writing under colonial rule to Edward FitzGerald's enormously popular English translation of the medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyam? How do Victorian poets imagine and construct the long literary history of lyric that precedes them, from the enormous influence of Sappho to the more immediate precedent of the Romantic poets? We’ll find that while Victorian poets took part in this long lyric tradition, they also mounted a critique of the fundamental assumptions of the genre: assumptions about the transparency of the self to others; about the communication of affective and contemplative experience; about the individual and her embeddedness in, or disconnection from, the social and natural world; about moral virtues such as sincerity, authenticity, consistency, and self-examination; and about sexuality, erotic life, and the expressiveness of the body.

Selected Major Readings: Poets may include Alfred Tennyson; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Robert Browning; Matthew Arnold; Augusta Webster; Edward FitzGerald; Christina Rossetti; Dante Gabriel Rossetti; A. C. Swinburne; George Meredith; William Morris; Gerard Manley Hopkins; Toru Dutt; Amy Levy; Oscar Wilde; Michael Field; Thomas Hardy; and Sarojini Naidu

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBD

Method of Instruction: a combination of lecture and class discussion

Method of Evaluation: essay assignments and class participation

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Course Title: Poetic Ruptures: Approaches to Contemporary Verse

Course Code: ENG349H5S

Instructor: Avery Slater

Course Description: This course will investigate the global evolution of a poetry concerned with ecology and the nonhuman world in the twentieth and twenty-first century. We will focus on poetry’s attempts to create and use language in ways that enable surprising and innovative modes of relation: between human and nonhuman beings, living and nonliving worlds, science and art, history and imagination. The poetry and essays we will read in this course represent a variety of attempts to bridge the boundary lines dividing worlds: “settled” and “wild,” resources and waste, human and nonhuman, language and matter. What might we discover in poetry that transgresses these boundaries, addressing the human as well as the nonhuman world? All readings for the course will be in English, including some materials in translation from other languages. We will thus also give thought to the ecological significance of translation—in literature as well as through virtual “translations” of life-worlds, bodies, and habitats.

Selected Major Readings: Derek Walcott, Erin Mouré, Duane Niatum, Lucile Clifton, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Arthur Sze, W.S. Merwin

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Rain in the Trees (W.S. Merwin), The Antilles (Derek Walcott), The Wild Iris (Louise Glück)

Method of Instruction: lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: two short essays (40%); student presentations (10%); in-class exercises (10%); final paper (40%)

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Course Title:: Poetry and Modernism

Course Code: ENG350H5F

Instructor: Richard Greene

Course Description: This course will examine British, American and Irish poets who represent aspects of the modernist movement: Hopkins, Yeats, Frost, Pound, Sitwell, Eliot, Stevens, and “H.D.” While considerable attention will be paid to broad developments in literary history, the chief focus of the course will be on the reading of individual poems. It is hoped that students will learn not merely to discuss modern poetry in terms of theme and technique, but that they will learn to enjoy it.

Selected Major Readings: Selections from: Jahan Ramazani et al., eds. The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, 3rd ed. Volume 1: Modern Poetry.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Hopkins, Yeats, and Frost

Method of Instruction:: Lectures and discussion.

Method of Evaluation: Three in-class essays (50%) and one term paper (50%).

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Course Title: Canadian Drama

Course Code: ENG352H5F

Instructor: Daniela Janes

Course Description: In this course we will read a selection of Canadian drama across its history, paying attention to the material conditions of production as well as formal developments and stylistic innovations. Students will be exposed to a variety of forms and genres, including radio plays and closet dramas, satires and farces, musicals and dramas, tragedies and tragicomedies, and through our eclectic readings will be given a sense of the shape and development of Canadian theatre.

Selected Major Readings: Students will read a variety of plays, ranging from one-act plays to more substantial works. The course reader covers nineteenth- and twentieth-century plays, including works by Nicholas Flood Davin, Sarah Anne Curzon, Merrill Denison, Herman Voaden, Len Peterson, and Lister Sinclair. Other readings will be drawn from Jerry Wasserman, ed., Modern Canadian Plays, Vol. 1 (5th Edition). Playwrights to be studied include George Ryga, Michel Tremblay, David French, John Gray, Sharon Pollock, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Tomson Highway.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Plays by Davin, Curzon, Denison (course reader).

Method of Instruction:: Lecture and discussion.

Method of Evaluation: in-class exercises (5%), essay proposal and annotated bibliography (10%), essay (35%), two tests (40%), informed participation (10%).

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Course Title:: Canadian Fiction

Course Code: ENG353Y5Y

Instructor: Colin Hill

Course Description: An exploration of some of Canada’s best modern and contemporary fiction, with a focus on the development of the Canadian novel. We will discuss texts by a diverse assortment of writers who engage the cultural conditions of Canada from the late nineteenth century to the present. Topics will include, but are not limited to, modernism, realism, urban/rural tensions, the artist figure, gender, Canadian postmodernism and postcolonialism, multiculturalism, psychological and spiritual self-discovery, various “schools” of Canadian literary theory, and Canadian social, cultural, and national identity.

Selected Major Readings (tentative): James DeMille, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder; Irene Baird, Waste Heritage; Sinclair Ross, As For Me and My House; Hugh MacLennan, Two Solitudes; Elizabeth Smart, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept; Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers; Margaret Atwood, Surfacing; Margaret Laurence, The Diviners; Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion; Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy; Alice Munro, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Camilla Gibb, Sweetness in the Belly

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: DeMille, Baird, Ross

Method of Instruction:: Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: Mid-term test, Final Exam, two essays, participation, informal group projects

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Course Title: Special Topics in Canadian Literature: Leonard Cohen and Contemporary Canadian Poetry

Course Code: ENG358H5S

Instructor: Brent Wood

Course Description: We will study the poems and songs of Leonard Cohen, the most widely successful literary artist ever to emerge from Canada, with close attention to their details and their contemporary contexts. Our aim will be to develop an understanding and appreciation of Cohen’s craft, his historical place, and his relationships with Irving Layton and Joni Mitchell.

Selected Major Readings:
Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs by Leonard Cohen
I’m Your Man: the Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: poems from Let Us Compare Mythologies and The Spice Box of Earth

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: Essay, exam, participation

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Course Title: Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Course Code: ENG363Y5Y

Instructor: Melissa Gniadek (F), Geoff Hamilton (S)

Course Description: The nineteenth century was a period of tremendous change for the United States as territorial expansion, industrialization, and urbanization altered the geography, economics, and politics of the nation. In the middle of the century, the American Civil War posed a threat to the nation’s very existence, but the tensions at the heart of the war began much earlier and their aftershocks continued to reverberate in the post-war period. In this course we will explore how these concerns are reflected in the literature of the period. We will read widely across a range of canonical and lesser-known texts, considering these historical contexts as we probe important subgenres of nineteenth-century literature including sensation and sentiment. We will trace aspects of these literary traditions as they appear across a variety of texts, including slave narratives, essays, short stories, poetry, and novels. In the process, we will gain an understanding of major literary periods and movements across the period between the American Revolution and the beginning of the twentieth century. Authors read over the course of the year may include Charles Brockden Brown, Hannah Foster, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, George Lippard, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Francis Harper, Charles Chesnutt, and Theodore Dreiser.

Selected Major Readings:
Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly or, Memoirs of a Sleepwalker.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables.
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick.
Hannah W. Foster, The Coquette.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly.
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie, Penguin Classics.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied:
Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly
Harriet Prescott Spofford, “Circumstance”
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (excerpts)

Method of Instruction:Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: Short writing assignments, essays, active participation.

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Course Title: Special Topic in American Literature (Work: Literary Labor)

Course Code: ENG366H5F

Instructor: Melissa Gniadek

Course Description: Work. We’re always doing it. We often talk about it. “I have to work on this paper.” “I have to go to work.” Noun or verb, the word implies some kind of activity done to achieve some kind of result, but the nature of that activity and that result can be quite varied. What did work look like in the past? How have authors talked about and represented work? In this course we will consider such questions with a focus on nineteenth-century American literature, though we’ll also glance toward earlier and later periods of American literature. We’ll consider how ideas about work, including the work of writing, changed during the nineteenth century. We’ll consider how ideas about labor intersected with ideas about race and gender during this period. And we’ll consider how various forms of writing do (or do not) lend themselves to different representations of labor. Along the way we’ll necessarily think about our own relationship to various kinds of work and the conversations taking place about work in our contemporary moment.

Selected Major Readings:
Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” and “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids”
Rebecca Harding Davis, “Life in the Iron Mills”
Fanny Fern (Sara Payson Willis), Ruth Hall
Eliza Potter, A Hairdresser's Experience in High Life
Louisa May Alcott, short stories
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied:
George Saunders, “Pastoralia”
Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”
Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer (excerpts)
Rebecca Harding Davis, “Life in the Iron Mills”

Method of Instruction:Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: Short writing assignments, essays, active participation.

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Course Title: Global Literatures in English

Course Code: ENG370H5S

Instructor: Stanka Radovic

Course Description: We are often told that we now life in an era of globalization. The second half of 20th century is marked by a historical shift from the local and national to the global and multicultural understanding of the world. In this course, we shall examine what it means to think of the world as “global” and how the histories of exploration, colonialism and tourism have contributed to the idea that the world is a network of connected cultural practices. We will look at some aspects of postcolonial, transnational and globalization discourses through relevant theoretical and literary texts. Our goal is to understand how the time and space we live in are shaped by the process of globalization and its related discourses of postcolonialism and transnationalism. All of these discourses challenge the idea of simple and firmly grounded identity in favour of our multiple, complex and often fragmented relation to the global world. Our readings will focus on the problems of migration, travel and tourism, multilingualism and fragmented identity in contemporary literature.

Selected Major Readings: Manfred B. Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction; Rohinton Mistry, “Squatter”; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place; Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker; Xiaolu Guo, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers; Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Manfred B. Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction; Rohinton Mistry, “Squatter”; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place

Method of Instruction:: Lecture, class discussions

Method of Evaluation: Class participation, oral presentations, essays.

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Course Title: Rotten English

Course Code: ENG371H5F

Instructor: Daniel Elam

Course Description: When we talk about ‘English’ we tend to only think of a single, global language. On the contrary, many writers and thinkers have argued that there are multiple Englishes -- especially from countries that emerged from colonial rule. In this course, we will read books in ‘Global Englishes’, ‘Rotten Englishes’, and ‘Bad Englishes’, focusing especially on texts from South Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, as well as Scottish-, Irish-, and Welsh-English hybrids that have emerged in the twentieth century (and before). We will account for what might be called ‘comparative global Anglophone literature’ as or in relationship to postcolonial literature. We will discuss the politics of ‘proper English’ as well as the politics of ‘Rotten English’. The course will serve both as an introduction to postcolonial literature, but with a focus on ‘English’ (and the British Empire) as its basis.

Selected Major Readings:
Dohra Ahmed (ed.), Rotten English
Ken Saro-Wiwa, Sozaboy
Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Junot Díaz, This is how you Lose Her

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Rihanna
James Baldwin
Kamau Braithwaite

Method of Instruction:: Lecture & discussion

Method of Evaluation: Midterm paper, final paper, blog posts, classroom participation

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Course Title: Literature and Human Rights

Course Code: ENG371H5S

Instructor: Erin Soros

Course Description: An exploration of world literature in relation to human rights. Students will study declarative documents, essays on human rights, and corresponding poetry and fiction, exploring productive dialogues and tensions between the language of rights and the language of literature.

Selected Major Readings: TBA

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBA

Method of Instruction:: brief lectures, seminar discussion, small groups

Method of Evaluation: Short seminar presentation (20%); mid-term take-home exam (25%); research paper (40%); participation (15%)

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Course Title: The Digital Text

Course Code: ENG381H5S

Instructor: Siobhan O'Flynn

Course Description: Digital technologies are changing both the material form of the book in the popularization of e-books and iBooks and the methods whereby we can study texts. The increasing availability of free and sometimes open source digital platforms, analytical, mark-up, and visualization tools make it possible to identify trends and patterns in large data sets or in individual texts that can, for example, give surprising insights into the concerns of specific cultural periods or of individual authors, and track marked shifts over time. By playing with new tools, students will have the opportunity to consider the impact of our increasing reliance on digital archives and databases for research in primary and secondary sources. Questions we will discuss are:

  • What might the impact of digital technologies be on academic studies in the future?
  • How can new tools enhance our understanding of past works and inform present analytical practices?
  • What is gained and what is overlooked when research focuses on quantitative measures and what Franco Moretti has termed ‘distant reading’ as a method of analysis that "allows you to focus on units that are much smaller or much larger than the text: devices, themes, tropes – or genres and systems”?

Playing with new multimodal and interactive iBooks, games, and storytelling platforms, we will explore cutting edge narrative projects and reflect on what might constitute the digital text of the (near) future. What changes for the reader when texts become interactive and participatory? What disruptive technologies are driving these new forms?

Recognizing that the practice of Digital Literary Studies is rapidly evolving with the development of new tools and new methodological approaches, the course will focus on four main areas of inquiry: Debates, Tools, Disruptions, and Emergent Forms. Throughout the course, students will:

  • read key critical essays and online dialogues between experts currently shaping the field of Digital Humanities and Digital Literary Studies;
  • engage with innovative digital projects, new digital-born textual forms (hypertext, webcomics, i-books, and videogames), and platforms (social media, participatory storytelling, and others TBD);
  • explore new creative and analytical tools (eg. text encoding, word clouds, Voyant);
  • participate in a collaborative class experiment in the creation & publication of an online interactive text(s).
  • make story games; twitter bots; geolocate data… & play

No technical background is required though students should expect to be active online on a variety of social media platforms.

Selected Major Readings: TBA

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: McLuhan; Shirky; Sandstrom.

Method of Instruction: Lecture; discussion; workshop; lab instruction; tutorial.

Method of Evaluation:  Short assignments; short essays; class digital text project; exam.

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Course Title: Literature & Psychoanalysis

Course Code: ENG384H5S

Instructor: Image indicates that adjacent link to the right opens a new window Mari Ruti

Course Description: An introduction to psychoanalysis for students of literature, this course considers major psychoanalytic ideas through close readings of selected texts by Freud and related thinkers. The course also considers applications of Freud by examining a selection of literary texts and films that engage psychoanalytic theory. Themes of special interest include the uncanny, identity formation, the repetition compulsion, the return of the repressed, love, loss, mourning, melancholia, fetishism, the “male gaze,” the “mirror stage” (Lacan), trauma, abjection, mortification, creativity, and sublimation. We will also pay particular attention to the textual unconscious, and the symptomatic residue that this unconscious generates. We will be doing deconstructive reading with a Freudian twist, looking for what sticks out, signifies in excess, glides from view, resists containment, doesn’t fit, or seems to fit too well in the texts and films under scrutiny. In the process, we will also learn what a sophisticated grasp on Freudian theory can contribute to our understanding of everyday life, particularly to what is difficult or painful about this life.

Selected Major Readings:
Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny
E. T. A. Hoffmann, The Tales of Hoffmann
David Henry Hwang, M Butterfly
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
In addition, a number of shorter essays will be assigned.

First Three Texts/Authors to be Studied: Freud, Hoffmann, Hwang

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation:
2 in-class tests: 25%
5-7 page paper: 40%
Class discussion: 10%

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Course Title:: Creative Writing

Course Code: ENG389Y5Y

Instructor: Richard Greene

Course Description: A workshop in writing fiction and poetry. Students will be expected to write poetry (in strict forms and free verse) and narrative prose. They will submit their work on a regular basis for group discussion. Admission to the course is limited. Students should submit a 10-page portfolio of their best creative writing (not academic essays) to the professor in advance of registration, and he will choose those most likely to benefit from the work-shop.

Selected Major Readings: William Strunk and E.B White, The Elements of Style.
David Lodge, The Art of Fiction.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: The Elements of Style

Method of Instruction:: Seminar and discussion.

Method of Evaluation: Tests and small assignments, 20%; journal, 20%; class participation, 10%; portfolio submitted at the end of the course, 50%.

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FOURTH YEAR

Course Title: Theory as Autobiography

Course Code: ENG416H5S

Instructor: Mari Ruti

Course Description: This course examines a longstanding but recently reanimated genre that critics such as Maggie Nelson are calling “autotheory”: a combination of theoretical (or philosophical) reflection and autobiography. After examining four “classics” of autotheory––Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo, Walter Benjamin’s Reflections, Roland Barthes’s The Mourning Diary, and Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick¬¬––the course focuses on six hybrid texts published between 2013 and 2016: Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be: A Novel from Life; Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist: Essays; Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me; Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts; Ben Lerner, 10:04: A Novel; and Diane Enns, Love in the Dark: Philosophy by Another Name. Some of the latter, such as Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be, lean toward theoretical autofiction, whereas others, such as Diane Enns’s Love in the Dark, represent autobiographical philosophy. However, what unites all of the texts studied in this seminar is a preoccupation with the ways in which theory informs autobiography (and vice versa).

Selected Major Readings:
Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is
Walter Benjamin, Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings
Roland Barthes, The Mourning Diary
Chris Kraus, I Love Dick
Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be: A Novel from Life
Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist: Essays
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts
Ben Lerner, 10:04: A Novel
Diane Enns, Love in the Dark: Philosophy by Another Name .

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied:
Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is
Walter Benjamin, Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings
Roland Barthes, The Mourning Diary

Method of Instruction: Seminar discussion.

Method of Evaluation:
Seminar participation: 20%
Paper Proposal: 20%
20-page Final Paper: 60%

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Course Title: Canadian and Indigenous Literatures:Multiculturalism and Canadian Literature

Course Code: ENG424H5F

Instructor: Colin Hill

Course Description: This course will explore the representation of multicultural experience and identities in Canadian literature, and issues affecting the production and reception of “ethnic” Canadian writing, through a reading of texts by writers such as Pauline Johnson, A. M. Klein, Roy Kiyooka, Joy Kogawa, Wayson Choy, Evelyn Lau, David Bezmozgos, Austin Clarke, Makeda Silvera, Shyam Selvadurai, Judy Fong Bates, Rohinton Mistry, Neil Bissoondath, Thomas King, and others. Our seminars will consider creative and critical texts by a diverse selection of Canadian writers in various relevant critical, cultural, social, theoretical, and political contexts. Topics for discussion will include but are not limited to multiculturalism as a government policy, canonization, the “material production” of Canadian literature, gender, racism, postcolonialism, and how recent multicultural writing in Canada presents a challenge to established notions of our national literature. Students will be expected to attend regularly and to complete readings thoughtfully and on time. Students are also required to participate in the seminar discussions.

Selected Major Readings: Selections from Making a Difference: An Anthology of Ethnic Canadian Writing, (ed. Smaro Kamboureli) and 2 or 3 novels, TBA.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: TBA

Method of Instruction: Seminar discussion; short lecture segments; student seminar presentations.

Method of Evaluation: Short seminar presentation (20%); mid-term writing assignment (25%); research paper (40%); participation (15%).

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Course Title:: American and Transnational Literatures: Postcolonial Magical Realism

Course Code: ENG436H5F

Instructor: Stanka Radovic

Course Description: In this seminar, we will explore the origins and meaning of “magic(al) realism” within postcolonial literary tradition. “Magic realism” is a visual and literary style that challenges our usual expectations about reality and its representation. In postcolonial literature, this style serves to address political and ethical questions that postcolonial nations must face in the aftermath of their liberation from the European colonizer. Issues of spatial occupation and liberation, social justice, individual and communal identity, revenge and haunting, traumatic past and collective memory, political upheaval and utopian future are all part of this literary style. In order to examine the significance of these topics in postcolonial literature, we will read literary and theoretical texts that foreground the uneasy marriage between reality and imagination in the context of political inequality.

Selected Major Readings: Maggie Ann Bowers, Magic(al) Realism; Sigmund Freud “The Uncanny”; Rosario Ferré, “The Youngest Doll”; Jorge Luis Borges, “The Secret Miracle”; Robert J.C. Young Empire, Colony, Postcolony; Salman Rushdie Shame; Toni Morrison Beloved, Bessie Head Maru; Patrick Chamoiseau, Solibo Magnificent.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Maggie Ann Bowers, Magic(al) Realism; Sigmund Freud “The Uncanny”; Rosario Ferré, “The Youngest Doll”.

Method of Instruction:: Lectures and class discussion.

Method of Evaluation: Class participation, oral presentations and essays.

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Course Title: Medieval Literature and the Rise of White Nationalism

Course Code: ENG460H5S

Instructor: Alexandra Gillespie

Course Description: In this course we will reflect on and investigate responses to the fact that, to quote scholar Sierra Lomuto, some medievalists “imagine the Middle Ages—as does much of our popular culture—as a space of whiteness.” The course will involve reading two texts that are foundational for early English literary studies - Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - alongside other medieval works that raise questions about racial and national identities; key works in critical race theory; and recent facebook posts, news articles, tweets, and academic studies that discuss the way that fictions about the medieval past have been co-opted by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, from the Charles Martel Society to the Klu Klux Klan. How can medieval and early English literary studies be a space to think about, and even challenge and transform, contested modern ideas about race, religion, and ethnicity?

Selected Major Readings: Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, ed. and trans. J.R.R. Tolkien; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ed. and trans. James Winney.

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Beowulf; selected readings from recent media (to be supplied by instructor).

Method of Instruction: Seminar.

Method of Evaluation: Weekly responses to reading; essay outline; essay.

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Course Title: This Changes Everything: From Romanticism to Trump, Brexit, and Beyond

Course Code: ENG463H5F

Instructor: Daniel White

Course Description: What can we learn about our world today by studying the past, and what can we learn about the past by confronting our present? The Romantic era (roughly 1780-1830) and our own are marked by eerie parallels and radical divergences. Liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, populism, cosmopolitanism, free-market capitalism, feminism, technophilia, and technophobia all have deep roots in the Romantic period. In 1781, James Watt patented the modern steam engine, ushering in the industrial revolution. In 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer (by some measures far less powerful than the phone in your pocket) defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov, heralding what we now call the digital revolution, the vast acceleration of information technology, automation, and artificial intelligence. In 1789, the revolutionary Assembly of France issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and soon thereafter (in 1792-93), France became a republic and executed its king and queen; in 1815, following the Terror, the Revolutionary Wars, and the rise and fall of Napoleon, the conservative Congress of Vienna restored the old borders and monarchies of the ancien régime, the old order. 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall; 1993, the founding of the EU; 2008, the US election of Barack Obama. September 11, 2001; 2014, the BJP; 2016-17, Trump, Brexit, Syria, Erdogan. Some of these events may mean little to you, while some may mean a lot. But each society, theirs and ours, saw itself (both rightly and wrongly) as undergoing unimaginable breaks from the past. In fact, all of these changes were profoundly imaginable: just as we are called to understand the watersheds of our world, Romantic writers responded to the sudden and dramatic turning points of theirs. Focusing on politics and technology, in this discussion-based seminar we will range across Romantic literature in order to come to terms with the startling continuities and discontinuities between a particular past, our present, and possible futures.

Selected Major Readings: Burke, Wollstonecraft, Paine, Adam Smith, Wordsworth, Hazlitt, Barbauld, P.B. Shelley, Mary Shelley, Byron

First Three Texts / Authors to be Studied: Burke, Wollstonecraft, Paine

Method of Instruction: Seminar discussion

Method of Evaluation: Two tests (20% each), one 8-10 pp. term paper (40%), participation (20%)

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