Canadian Literature

ENGL 215/6.0


A survey of Canadian literature in English from its beginnings to the contemporary period. Readings will include poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, as well as novels from various eras; authors to be studied may include Moodie, Atwood, Klein, Richler, Callaghan, Ondaatje, Laurence, Munro, Brand, and King.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify representative authors and texts in Canadian literature from the Confederation period to the present day.
  2. Identify and describe major genres and literary techniques that have influenced the development of Canadian literature.
  3. Describe the development of Canadian literature from its origins as an outgrowth of British literature to its establishment as a discrete national literature with its own distinct voice and set of traditions.
  4. Formulate sustained and logical arguments that build on textual evidence and manifest themselves in a variety of written forms, such as expository essays, encyclopaedia articles, and online discussion forums.


Summer (May–July) 2024
Course Dates
Exam Dates (if applicable)
Delivery Mode


45% - Essays (x4) 
20% - Discussion Forums (x4) 
5% - Quizzes (x5) 
30% - 3hr Proctored Final Examination

**Evaluation subject to change**

Live Sessions

This course has optional live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities). Please consult the Timeline in the first week of class.

Proctored Exams

If a student is enrolled in ONLY online courses (section 700), they may choose either of the following options to write the exam:

  • Write the final exam online: you will write in onQ with Examity proctoring. A $100 online exam fee will be charged to your SOLUS account.  
  • Write the final exam in-person: you will write on Queen’s campus in Kingston. You will not be charged an extra fee to write on campus. 

If a student is enrolled in ANY in-person courses (section 001, 002, etc), you MUST write all your final exams in-person on Queen’s campus, including for an online course. You may not choose to write your exams online. 

Location and Timing of Final Exams

Once the exam schedule has been finalized the exam date will be posted on your SOLUS account. The exam dates for each Term are listed in the Academic Calendar. Student exam schedules for the Fall Term are posted via SOLUS immediately prior to the Thanksgiving holiday; for the Winter Term they are posted on the Friday before Reading Week, and for the Summer Term they are individually noted on the Arts and Science Online syllabi. Students should delay finalizing any travel plans until after the examination schedule has been posted. Exams will not be moved or deferred to accommodate employment, travel/holiday plans or flight reservations. 

Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

Required Textbook

  • Atwood, Margaret. The Edible Woman. 1969.
  • Fraser, Brad. Poor Super Man. 1995.
  • Highway, Tomson. Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. 1989.
  • Johnson, Basil. Moose Meat and Wild Rice. 1978.
  • King, Thomas. Green Grass, Running Water. 1993.
  • Leacock, Stephen. Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. 1912.
  • Lecker, Robert, ed. Open Country: Canadian Poetry in English. 2008.
  • MacDonald, Ann-Marie. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). 1988.
  • Richler, Mordecai. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. 1959.
  • Scott, Duncan Campbell. In the Village of Viger. 1896.

Recommended Textbooks

  • Cuddon, Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory 

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 10 hours per week (120 hours total) on the course.