Department of English

DEPARTMENT OF

English Language and Literature

site header

English Undergraduate Course Offerings

 

ENGL 100 Open for enrolment!
1st year students may now enrol in ENGL 100

Each year Queen’s English offers a variety of courses and approaches from which you can choose, whether you are building your degree program or looking for an intriguing elective.

Descriptions of the courses to be offered in the 2019-20 academic year are available below. These descriptions provide an idea of the readings and assignments for which students will be responsible.

 

NEW COURSE! Look for it in SOLUS under English Studies
ENGX 287 001/3.0 Unsettling Kingston/Ka’tarohkwi

Term: fall

Instructor: Laura Murray

Description: In this interdisciplinary course, students will be introduced to the Indigenous and treaty history of the place now known as Kingston, and invited to reckon with or imagine present-day implications of those histories. Visitors will allow us to understand the continuing inhabitation of this land by Mohawk, Mississauga, and Algonquin people. We will read documents and literature from earlier centuries, and also commentary and literature from today. We will grapple with the concept of ‘treaty’ as understood by Indigenous commentators and legal scholars. We will explore the meaning of ‘territory’ through walking through Kingston’s natural landscapes, built landscapes, and commemorative landscapes. We will reflect on the relationship between our particular family history and the materials we encounter in the course. This is an unusual, challenging, and creative course: it provides a foundation for living in Canada today and in future.

No prerequisites: the course is open to all undergraduate students in Year 2 and above.

Requirements (subject to change): attendance & participation, journal, test, final project.

 

2019-20 Course Descriptions

100-Level Courses 2019-20

 

ENGL 100 001/6.0 Introduction to Literary Study

Term: full year

Instructors: Scott-Morgan Straker

Description: This course introduces students to the university-level study of literature. By the end of it, students should be able to form clear answers to the following questions: what is literature, and what is it for? Why do we study it? What do literary critics do when they study texts, and how does what they do differ from casual reading? Are some interpretations more valid than others, and how do we make that assessment? We will devote roughly equal time to each of the three major forms of writing—poetry, prose, and drama—reading short selections from mostly contemporary authors from around the world. The course will be organized thematically: each week we will focus on a genre, or a rhetorical device, or a constituent element of literary texts, to explore some of the techniques used by writers to make meaning. It will focus on the terminology that critics use to speak precisely and accurately about literary effects and techniques. It will also offer training in academic writing, fostering clear expression and organization of ideas, effective use of evidence, and responsible documentation of sources.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

Note: ENGL 100 is a prerequisite for all subsequent ENGL courses. This course is offered in three sections, each involving two lectures and one tutorial per week. Students must enrol in the same section and the same tutorial for the entire year. Enrolment preference is given to first-year students.  Also offered as an online course; first-year on-campus Arts students are excluded from the online section.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 100 002/6.0 Introduction to Literary Study

Term: full year

Instructors: Robert G. May

Description: J.A. Cuddon, editor of the renowned Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, defines genre as “a kind, type, or class of literature,” recognizable through its distinctive attributes and features. One way readers can come to a deeper understanding about a work of literature is by seeing it as part of a larger genre, and by assessing how it adheres to—or departs from—those defining characteristics. All genres have discrete elements, which enable readers to subject a work to a close reading and analysis, and to unpack its various layers of meaning. Many genres have sub-genres or even sub-sub-genres, which allow readers to explore a work with increasing levels of sensitivity, and to communicate those ideas to others in a coherent way. This course will introduce students to four main literary genres: short fiction, long fiction, drama, and poetry. It will impart a vocabulary and taxonomy for analysing literature, and it will construct a framework that emphasizes effective writing, critical thinking, and close reading. By doing so, this course will provide students with a sense of the richness and variety of literature, and it will equip them with the reading and writing skills they need for further English studies.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

Note: ENGL 100 is a prerequisite for all subsequent ENGL courses. This course is offered in three sections, each involving two lectures and one tutorial per week. Students must enrol in the same section and the same tutorial for the entire year. Enrolment preference is given to first-year students.  Also offered as an online course; first-year on-campus Arts students are excluded from the online section.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 100 003/6.0 Introduction to Literary Study

Term: full year

Instructors:  Glenn Willmott

Description: This course introduces students of literary study by weaving back and forth between the great classics of Western literary tradition and celebrated works by authors writing in English today.  We will study a wide variety of genres in poetry and prose, with some attention to drama, from biblical and ancient Greek literature to the present.  Along the way we will explore themes of humanity, youth, and compassion.  This course is dedicated to cultivating essay writing skills with professional grammar and style, and to providing students with a set of literary terms and critical techniques as foundations for further literary study.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

Note: ENGL 100 is a prerequisite for all subsequent ENGL courses. This course is offered in three sections, each involving two lectures and one tutorial per week. Students must enrol in the same section and the same tutorial for the entire year. Enrolment preference is given to first-year students.  Also offered as an online course; first-year on-campus Arts students are excluded from the online section.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 160/6.0 Modern Prose Fiction

Term: full year

Instructors: Adam Cotton

Description:

“Stella cold, cold, the coldness of hell.”—Cynthia Ozick, “The Shall”

“He says that he will never die.”—Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

“For someone given a correct education, their product is grace.”—Plato, The Republic

ENGL 160 investigates the coldness, intensity, grace and haunting failure of the modern, literary imagination.

The enchantments of violence, evil, catastrophe, dynamism, God, love, sex, and death will invite us to confront the following: do the themes, issues and forms of modern letters humanize or dehumanize? Is canonical writing a necessary condition for logos, or chaos?

We will study and analyze an array of genres and modes—crime, detective, historical, western, elegiac, romance, mythopoeia, magical realism, realism, thriller, folk horror, the love letter, comedy and tragedy.
The analytical aspects of the lectures will pay particular attention to syntax, punctuation, tone, pace, plot, diction, dialogue, metaphor, irony, and conceit.

The theoretical components of the class will engage the intellectual concerns of Hannah Arendt, Northrop Frye, Iris Murdoch, George Orwell, Ezra Pound, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roger Scruton, George Steiner, Susan Sontag, James Wood, and Slavoj Žižek.

We will occasionally discuss modern architecture, painting, photography, sculpture, film and music in order to contextualize the cultural conditions of the literature—Ludwig Hilberseimer’s Study for Ideal City, David Hockney’s designs for Tristan un Isolde, Anselm Kiefer’s Sulamith, Jean Luc Godard’s Contempt, Louis Malle’s Au revoir les enfants, Federico Fellini’s Roma, Abel Gance’s J’acusse, Deepa Mehta’s Earth, Werner Herzog’s Signs of Life, Peter Bogdanovich’s Daisy Miller, and the photography of Lore Krüger, Man Ray, and Robert Capa.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

Note: This course is intended for the non-major and does not contribute to an ENGL degree. Enrolment is limited to students not registered in an ENGL Plan, and preference is given to upper-year students. This course may not be used as a foundation for an ENGL Plan or a prerequisite for upper-year ENGL courses.

Exclusion: No more than 6.0 units from ENGL 100/6.0, ENGL 110/6.0, ENGL 112/6.0, ENGL 160/6.0.

-top of page-

200-Level Courses 2019-20

 

The prerequisite for ENGL 200–299 is a minimum grade of C in ENGL 100/6.0. Note that courses at the 200 level have limited enrolments. Students registered in an English plan applying to take these courses have priority over those applying to take them as electives.

Registration in a Major or Medial English plan is a prerequisite of the ENGL 290 seminar course. The format of all other 200-level courses is lecture and discussion. These non-required 200-level courses are subdivided into broad Surveys (English 201–229) and courses in genre (230–249), authors in context (250–269), issues and themes (270–289), and theory and criticism (291–299). Grading is shared between instructors and teaching assistants.

 

 

ENGL 200 001/6.0 History of Literature in English

Term: full year

Instructor: Christopher Fanning

Description: An historical survey of literature from the British Isles and beyond. Through the study of representative works, the course aims to familiarize students with the characteristics of literary periods—their forms and concerns—from the Middle Ages to the present. In addition to studying formal conventions and innovations, we will pay particular attention to the construction of explanatory narratives (e.g., national history; the Christian story of temptation, fall and redemption) and systems of order (of the self, society and the cosmos) as well as ideas about the purpose of literature and the role of the writer.  Authors studied will include: Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Alexander Pope, Jane Austen, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Tom Stoppard.

Requirements (subject to change): Essays, focused short assignments, quizzes, and a two-hour exam at the end of each term.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 200 002/6.0 History of Literature in English

Term: full year

Instructor: Scott-Morgan Straker

Description: This course is a survey of literature written in English from the Middle Ages to the present. Authors studied will include Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Alexander Pope, Jane Austen, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Virginia Woolf, Muriel Spark, and Carlyn Zwarenstein.

Requirements (subject to change): The grade will be based on essays, class participation, a series of unannounced quizzes, and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 215 001/6.0 Canadian Literature

Term: full year

Instructor: Heather Macfarlane

Description: Canada is home to a long and rich variety of literary traditions, making it impossible to speak of one Canadian literature. In order to determine what Canadian Literatures are, and how they influence our perception of Canada, we will examine both the similarities and differences between various communities’ literatures, as well as the contexts in which they were written. No literature exists in isolation, and this course will examine how the texts intersect and enter into dialogue with one another. Starting with examples of traditional Indigenous literatures, we will look at novels, short stories, plays, poetry, songs and films from many communities, regions and historical periods with the goal of demonstrating the impact of literature on our understanding of diverse and shared experiences.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

-top of page-

 

ENGL 218 001/3.0 Introduction to Indigenous Literatures in Canada (Principal's Dream Course)

Term: winter

Instructor: Heather Macfarlane

Description: This course will demonstrate the capacity of literature to confront expectations about Indigenous cultures and experience. We will examine Indigenous novels, traditional stories, poetry, short stories and plays from various time periods, written by Métis, Inuit and First Nations authors. Lectures and visiting speakers will open avenues for meaningful engagement, and demonstrate the importance of literature and aesthetics to educate and mobilize. With a goal of developing a broader understanding of the powerful anti-colonial sentiment at the core of Indigenous cultural production, the course will also consider the texts in the light of Indigenous-authored criticism. Participants will examine textual and theoretical approaches to topics such as colonialism and resistance, storytelling and orality, traditional and contemporary stories, land and language, residential schools and “reconciliation,” sexuality and gender, spirituality, community and nationhood. The course will also consider the role that Indigenous literatures play in shaping both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perceptions of identity.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

-top of page-

 

ENGL 234 001/3.0 The Short Story in English - “The Great American Short Story:” Critiquing America in 10-30 Pages

Term:  fall

Instructor: Nevena Martinovic

Description: This course will examine how the short story is uniquely positioned to critique and comment on American experiences. We will consider the ever-evolving and intersectional representations of American identity. We will investigate how the short story genre can get to the heart of contemporary American life and deliver eloquent, but direct critiques of historical situations and issues concerning race, sex, class, gender and identity. We will be working with The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (2ndEd) edited by Joyce Carol Oates.

Requirements (subject to change): essays, in-class short assignments, and a two-hour exam at the end of the term.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 237 001/3.0 Children’s Literature

Term: fall

Instructor: Lin Young

Description: This course charts the evolution of children’s literature from the medieval period to the current day. Students will study a wide variety of texts written for young readers, including but not limited to novels, short stories, picture books, poetry, animated film, and comics. How does children’s literature work to simultaneously embrace play, wonder and adventure alongside more ‘adult themes’ such as race, class, gender, environmental anxiety, or sexuality? Balancing wonder and horror, fun and instruction, social commentary and escapist fantasy, this course examines the various forms and functions of literature aimed at or featuring children. Texts may include: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, Diana Wynne-Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991), Langston Hughes’ First Book of Jazz, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and the poetry of William Blake, Rita Joe, Joy Kagawa, James Berry, T.S. Eliot, and/or Gwendolyn Brooks.

Requirements (subject to change): 2 essays, in class responses and activities, and one final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 238 001/3.0 Comics and Graphic Novels

Term: winter

Instructor: Heather Evans

Description: Our course will explore the history of comics and sequential art from its ostensible roots to the present.  While we will examine single panel cartoons, comic strips, stories about superheroes, and bandes dessinées, and we will consider the important roles played by mid and late twentieth-century writers such as Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, and Chester Brown, the focus of our course will be on graphic novels of recent decades by diverse authors such as Art Spiegelman, Joe Sacco, Alison Bechdel, Craig Thompson, and Guy Delisle.  Grounding our study in critical close reading and analysis of the dynamic relationship between text and image, and taking inspiration from Marshall McLuhan’s assertion that “the medium is the message,” we will explore ways that comics entertain, inform, challenge, confront, and provoke the reader as they tell stories, preserve knowledge, convey history, memorialize, and transform trauma and other troubling experiences into visual form.  Ultimately, our course will demonstrate the potential for comics to cultivate the reader’s appreciation of aesthetics, artistic and technical skills, and concise, economical writing; and to invite the reader’s critical engagement with diverse socio-political issues such as economics, agency, authority, race, ethnicity, identity, gender, sexuality, wellness, illness, abuse, violence, and genocide.

Requirements (subject to change): One or two analytical, argumentative essays, regular attendance and active participation, and a final exam.  Short in-class written and/or online discussion forum activities may also be required.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 271 001-9/3.0 Issues and Themes: Special Topics I – Writing from "Other" Worlds

Term: winter

Instructor: Asha Varadharajan

Description: This course will serve as a snappy and provocative introduction to anglophone and anti-colonial cultural expression from around the world. We will read poetry, short fiction, essays, travelogues and manifestos; sample lyrics and music; listen to and gaze upon sound and image; encounter new media and other forms of the virtual; and revel in comedy and performance.  The works we will explore contend with ecology and economy; language, culture and society; body, psyche, and spirit.  Some of the works will consider the mutation of the postcolonial into the global, the diasporic, and the cosmopolitan while others might ponder the mutations of identities that inhabit those conditions such as creole, mimic, and hybrid.  While colonialism has no doubt left violence and suffering in its wake, our "authors" exude joy, cheek, danger, and sex appeal.  Some of the canonical figures featured on our course might include Derek Walcott, Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Judith Wright, Janet Frame, Patrick White, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Henry Handel Richardson, W.B. Sebald, Bruce Chatwin, Mulk Raj Anand, Anita Desai, Hanif Kureishi, Mohsin Hamid, Es'kia Mphahlele, Nadine Gordimer, Amos Tutuola, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Joy Harjo, Louise Erdrich, and Madeleine Thien. 

Requirements (subject to change): Grades will be based on assigned and voluntary participation, two short essays (one focuses on form and the other on content with a research component), and a final exam without an essay component.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 273 001/3.0 Literature and the Fantastic – the Boundaries of the Human

Term: winter

Instructor: Ruth Wehlau

Description: This course surveys texts from different places and periods that deal with fantastic or imaginary creatures—monsters, fairies, and beasts—investigating how such creatures help us think about what it means to be human. We will read poetry, novels and stories from the medieval to the modern, by writers such as Marie de France, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Ursula K. Le Guin, Angela Carter, H. G. Wells, and Andre Alexis, all of whom experiment with humanoid characters or animals, thereby asking us to consider both the potential and the limits of humanness.

Classes will consist of lectures and both in-class and online discussion. 

Requirements (subject to change): Quizzes, Essay, Exam

-top of page-

 

ENGL 277 001/3.0 Literature and Gender – “Women in the American Horror Novel”

Term: winter

Instructor:  Katie Turcotte

Description: In this course we will explore how horror allows for authors to engage with the horrifying reality of the female experience in 20th and 21st century America. This course will familiarize students with the conventions and features of the American horror genre and how they are used to explore the topics of age, religion, race, and mental illness through the lens of gender. Students will also be introduced to some feminist theory in this course. Texts will include Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Henry Farrell’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, R.L. Stine’s The Wrong Number, Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost, and Grady Hendrix’s Horrorstör.

Requirements (subject to change): essays, short in-class assignments, and a two-hour exam at the end of term

-top of page-

 

ENGL 284 001/3.0 Issues and Themes in Canadian Literature I: Literature and Nationhood

Term: fall

Instructor:  Andrew Law

Description:  This course will study Canadian Literature with a focus on the way that literature has been used both to establish and to question the nation and its national identity. What kind of country is Canada? What does it mean to be Canadian? What makes Canada unique or different from the rest of the world? How do literary depictions of Canada serve to define or characterize Canada as a nation? This course will look at how writing in and about Canada has attempted to describe, create, limit, critique, or otherwise define the nation itself. Course readings will include works by authors such as Sarah Jeanette Duncan, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Tomson Highway, Jordan Abel, and Dionne Brand.

Requirements (subject to change): Essays, in class activities, and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 290 001/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Charles Dickens’s Bleak House 

Term: fall

Instructor: Heather Evans

Description:  In 1946 Geoffrey Tillotson described Bleak House as “the finest literary work the nineteenth century produced in England.”  While Tillotson’s claim may be debateable, according to Harry Blamires in 1987, “there is now something close to critical agreement that Bleak House is Dickens’s most complex and memorable single achievement.”  What the critical assessment of the novel is in the twenty-first century is ours to discover as we work our way through what is certainly one of, if not the longest of Dickens’s novels, a work that famously immortalized the infamously impenetrable and seemingly unresolvable legal case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, raised the spectre of spontaneous human combustion in the popular imagination of the nineteenth century, inaugurated the genre of the detective novel, and introduced readers to a tremendous cast of colourful characters who are variously mad, macabre, morose, and magnificent.  We will begin our study of Dickens’s work by considering short selections from Sketches by Boz that demonstrate on a small scale the empathy and keen observation of the people and architecture (social and physical) of Victorian England that Dickens brought on a much grander scale to Bleak House.  Our study will then take us step by step through the nineteen monthly parts of the original serial publication of the novel in 1852-53.  Our journey through Dickens’s often dark and deplorably dingy London and his irrepressibly sympathetic exploration of human fallibility will provide opportunity to develop close reading, research, and critical interpretation skills.

Requirements (subject to change):  One essay, a final exam, regular attendance and active class participation, and a seminar presentation; may include short written assignments.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 290 001/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Reading Sterne’s Tristram Shandy 

Term: winter

Instructor: Christopher Fanning

Description:  “Nothing odd will do long. Tristram Shandy did not last.”—Samuel Johnson

From its first publication in installments between 1759 and 1767, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman has been considered a challenge—or an affront—to literary expectations and decorums.  Appearing after the major developments in the novel made by Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding in the 1740s, Laurence Sterne’s work appears to participate in this genre, and yet violates its principles of coherence—especially plot expectations.  Instead, the book appeals to a variety of alternate forms, including Swiftian satire, the encyclopedia, and the ephemeral media of popular celebrity.  Because of its unconventional allegiances, much of Tristram Shandy itself is about reading and writing (and even printing and publishing): it is an early and radical example of metafiction—the self-reflexive text par excellenceTristram Shandy has understandably attracted a robust tradition of literary criticism, which this course aims to explore alongside a close reading of “this book of books.”

This course offers a close reading of the nine volumes of Tristram Shandy in the context of critical statements on the book.

Course goals: to develop skills in literary analysis, researching, assessing and applying criticism, expressing ideas about literature in written and oral formats.

Text: the Norton Critical Edition of Tristram Shandy (ed., Judith Hawley, 2018); online resources.

Requirements (subject to change):  class participation, a presentation, a short essay on a passage, a longer final essay, including an annotated bibliography, a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 290 002/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Keats’s Last Volume

Term: fall

Instructor: Mark Jones

Description:  Keats published three volumes of poetry before he died at 25. The first two were cruelly panned by reviewers. The last was Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems—at once a parting gift and a declaration of arrival. The poems in this volume are remarkable not only for their power but also for their generous thematic and generic range, from the titular verse romances to the epic fragment Hyperion to a cycle of “rondeaus” and the great odes. This section of 290 reads the whole volume, focusing both on individual poems and on the integrity of the collection. It introduces critical terms and concepts for the study of poetry and practices of literary questioning and discussion.  For seminar work, students are asked not to give presentations but to formulate critical questions and lead discussion.

Requirements (subject to change):  Eighty-percent attendance, regular preparation and participation, occasional reading quizzes, one seminar facilitation, one or more essays (2,500 words total), and a two-hour final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 290 002/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Jane Eyre and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Term: winter

Instructor: Laura Murray

Description: Jane Eyre (1847), a British novel about a governess in love with her boss, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), the true story of an enslaved woman’s struggle to free herself from a sexually-abusive master, wouldn’t at first seem to have much in common. And yet, in this course we will explore the possibility that they may illuminate each other in all sorts of ways. ENGL 290 is a seminar course with discussion as its heart; a key goal of the course and its great pleasure for me as a teacher is for students to develop their own critical voices and abilities. Topics for discussion will include genre (fiction v. autobiography), gender and sexuality, race and colonialism, and social and cultural history. We will read scholarship on both these works and also some literary theory to ground our study. I look forward to exploring these two fascinating works with you.

Requirements (subject to change): attendance & participation, quizzes & close reading exercises, debate, essay.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 290 003/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – The Matter of Britain: Malory’s Morte Darthur

Term: fall

Instructor: Ruth Wehlau

Description:  Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, written near the end of the 15th century, tells the story of King Arthur, and of the rise and fall of his kingdom. Filled with tales of adventure, romance, and chivalry, and featuring characters such as Lancelot, Guenevere, Gawain, Mordred, and Morgan le Fay, the Morte Darthur marks both the culmination of medieval English Arthurian tradition and a point of origin for later interpretations of the tradition. The first two thirds of the course will revolve around close readings of selections from the Morte, while the latter third will investigate T. H. White’s interpretation of Malory in two novels from his tetrology, The Once and Future King.

Classes will consist of close-reading and discussion.

Requirements (subject to change): Class participation, Close-reading exercise, Oral presentation, Research report, Essay, and Exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 290 003/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Reading Elizabeth Bishop

Term:  winter

Instructor: Yaël Schlick

Descriptions: Though our focus will be on Elizabeth Bishop’s poems, and though we will devote the majority of our time to a close reading of them, we will also use Bishop as a means of entering into discussions about gender and travel, about the nature of the self and of the animal world. We’ll explore her depiction of specific places (Key West, Brazil, Nova Scotia), situate her in the world of 1950s and 60s America when the confessional lyric began to dominate the poetry scene, and explore how our own contemporary moment appraises and treats her writings.  In short, Elizabeth Bishop will be our entry point to gaining close reading skills, exploring issues central to our own concerns today, and understanding the multiple interpretive possibilities that a writer’s works offer readers.

Requirements (subject to change): Attendance and participation, quizzes, a class presentation with a written component, four writing assignments, and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 293 001/3.0 Introductory Approaches to Cultural Studies

Term: winter

Instructor: Glenn Willmott

Description: Can you relate to a cynical private eye in a trenchcoat or a thirsty vampire in love?  Or is swinging through the jungle, dodging spears, more your thing?  Would you rather live in Riverdale or on Mars?  Does immersing yourself in the pleasures of popular culture lull you into zombie mode, or does it ignite challenging feelings and ideas?  This course will explore the world of popular culture as a world of escapist dreams as well as of covert transgressions that play with the experience of capitalism, postmodernism, sex and gender, race, and globalization.  The syllabus is built around prose critical readings that introduce these angles of approach in Cultural Studies, which we will apply to traditions of pulp fiction and comics—e.g. love romance, jungle adventure, high school life, sorcery fantasy, horror, noir crime, and science fiction.  Some texts we will study are Archie, Fullmetal Alchemist, Twilight, and Trouble Is My Business; one text will be chosen by student nomination and vote.

Requirements (subject to change): Assessment for the course will emphasize creative in equal proportion to critical writing assignments (prepare to write your own fan fiction), along with a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 294 001/3.0 Cultural Studies: Theory into Practice - Adolescent Identity

Term:  fall

Instructor:  Alice Drysdale

Description:  This course seeks to explore the turbulent process of self-identity construction during adolescent as represented in literature and other media, combining an exploration of primary texts about adolescence with critical discourse and a framework of theory built upon current psychological understandings of adolescence. We will also be drawing in fan-response to the primary texts for a view on the cultural impact of the varying representations. This course approaches the topic of Adolescent Self-Identity from a literature-focused but nonetheless interdisciplinary perspective. Primary texts may include novels The Hate U Give, Divergent, and Looking for Alaska, the graphic novel Honor Girl, the video game Life is Strange, and films.

Requirements (subject to change):  May include essays (written, with a possible video-essay option), in-class responses, and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGX 287 001/3.0 Unsettling Kingston/Ka’tarohkwi

Term: fall

Instructor: Laura Murray

Description: In this interdisciplinary course, students will be introduced to the Indigenous and treaty history of the place now known as Kingston, and invited to reckon with or imagine present-day implications of those histories. Visitors will allow us to understand the continuing inhabitation of this land by Mohawk, Mississauga, and Algonquin people. We will read documents and literature from earlier centuries, and also commentary and literature from today. We will grapple with the concept of ‘treaty’ as understood by Indigenous commentators and legal scholars. We will explore the meaning of ‘territory’ through walking through Kingston’s natural landscapes, built landscapes, and commemorative landscapes. We will reflect on the relationship between our particular family history and the materials we encounter in the course. This is an unusual, challenging, and creative course: it provides a foundation for living in Canada today and in future.

No prerequisites: the course is open to all undergraduate students in Year 2 and above. Look for ENGX 287 in SOLUS under English Studies.

Requirements (subject to change): attendance & participation, journal, test, final project.

-top of page-

 

300-Level Courses 2019-20

 

To take 300-level English courses, one must:

  • be enrolled in an ENGL BAH program (Medial or Major),
  • have successfully completed ENGL 200/6.0 and ENGL 290/3.0, and
  • have obtained a minimum GPA of 2.4 in all previous ENGL units.

Minors with a minimum grade of B+ in at least 18.0 previous ENGL units may take 6.0 units at the 300 level, if space permits. Note that courses at the 300-level have limited enrolments. Students registered in an English Plan applying to take these courses as Core courses have priority over those applying to take them as Option courses.

 

 

ENGL 312 001/6.0 Literatures and Cultures of the Medieval World

Term: full year

Instructor: Margaret Pappano

Description: This course introduces students to major pieces of literature and literary and cultural currents of the high and late Middle Ages, surveying a variety of influential genres such as epic, romance, history, hagiography, lyric, fabliau, dream vision, drama, and tale collection. It also introduces students to important critical paradigms that serve to illuminate medieval texts. While the course incorporates material from across Western Europe, it includes a special focus on England in order to investigate how England’s literary culture developed in relation to wider European trends. Students will be introduced to reading Middle English texts in their original language. The course also includes translated texts from Persian and Arabic in order to explore the dynamic literary exchange between Europe and the Islamicate literary cultures of the Mediterranean. Authors and texts include Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Rumi, The Arabian Nights.

Requirements (subject to change): short written assignments, two – three essays, final exam. 

-top of page-

 

ENGL 330 001/6.0 Restoration and 18th-Century Literature (1660-1790)

Term: full year

Instructor: Leslie Ritchie

Description:  In this course, we will consider such literary developments as the rise of the novel, the prevalence of periodicals, the popularity of poetry, and the passion for plays amongst Britons during the period known as the long eighteenth century. Our multi-genre literature survey will proceed chronologically and thematically, pausing to consider such key concepts as Augustanism, wit, decorum, the occasional, the pastoral, the eidolon, and various social and cultural developments of the era.   

Requirements (subject to change): Essay 1 (20%): A list of topics will be handed out in class for this 1500-word essay. Epistolary Assignment (15%): For this assignment, you will write a familiar letter based on models from the period, including those by Samuel Richardson. Essay 2 (25%): A list of topics will be handed out in class for this 2000-word essay. Final Exam (40%): This exam will cover material from both terms.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 340 001/6.0 Romantic Literature

Term: full year

Instructor: Mark Jones

Description:  ENGL 340 is a survey course in English Romantic literature, emphasizing poetry and poetics. It divides roughly by generations:  fall term focuses on Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Austen, winter term on Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, and Keats. The course emphasizes individual reading rather than lecture as the primary part of the learning process, and to this end it includes quizzes to ensure participatory reading and supplies study sheets with discussion questions to encourage and assist active reading.

Requirements (subject to change): Eighty-percent attendance, regular reading and preparation, ten or more reading quizzes, two or more essays (2,500 words total), and a three-hour final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 349 001/6.0 19th-Century Transatlantic Literature

Term: full year

Instructor: Chris Bongie

Description: Transatlantic literary studies asks us to think beyond traditional nation-centric approaches to the study of literature; rather than focus solely on “British” literature or “American” literature, as if they were separate entities, a transatlantic approach considers cultural production in the United Kingdom and the United States (and, more broadly, Europe and the Americas) in terms of intimate connections. In this lecture course, we will be criss-crossing the nineteenth-century Atlantic world in order to explore some of these transnational connections. A variety of genres will be considered (including non-fictional prose), but the predominant focus will be on the development of the novel from the Romantic era to the end of the Victorian period. We will be concentrating on four pairs of novels, most of which, but not all, were written by “British” and “American” authors: in the first semester, Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (1814) and Victor Hugo’s Bug-Jargal (1826; France), followed by Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) and Martin Delany’s Blake (1861); in the second semester, George Eliot’s Adam Bede (1859) and Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady (1881), followed by Machado de Assis’s Dom Casmurro (1899; Brazil) and Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo (1904). The three main goals of the course are: 1) to introduce you to the burgeoning field of nineteenth-century transatlantic studies and its boundary-crossing perspectives; 2) to enhance your understanding of the novel as a genre, in general, and as the dominant form of nineteenth-century literary expression, in particular; 3) to provide you with in-depth exposure to a select number of literary concepts that are vital to an understanding of nineteenth-century fiction (notably, melodrama, realism, and modernism), as well as to a few of the historical contexts that were central in shaping transatlantic cultural production over the course of the century (notably, the abolition of slavery, with a particular focus on the Caribbean, and the spread of imperialism, with a special emphasis on Latin America). Note: several of the classes may be conducted as seminars, depending on course enrollment.

Requirements (subject to change): one 8-10 page essay; several 2-3 page papers; a 3-hour final examination; class participation & excellent attendance.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 375 001/6.0 American Literature

Term: full year

Instructor: Yaël Schlick

Description: This survey of 20th and 21st-century American literature will consist of a semester of prose fiction and a semester of poetry. The first half of the prose section of the course, which I have titled “Looking In”, will examine works of fiction that explore American society and culture.  Authors in this section include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Marilynne Robinson, and Jeffrey Eugenides.  The second half of the prose section of the course—under the heading “Looking Out”—will include works by American authors that focus on regions outside the U.S. or highlight the immigrant roots of Americans.  Authors in this section include Henry James, James Baldwin, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Joseph O’Neill. In the poetry section of the course we will study works by Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery, and Natasha Trethewey and then turn to The Best American Poetry 2018 to get a snapshot of the contemporary poetic moment.  

Requirements (subject to change): Attendance and participation, three writing assignments, a class presentation, two quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 380 001/6.0 Literature & Culture in Canada: Racism, Islamophobia, and Violence against Indigenous People in Contemporary YA Novels

Term: full year

Instructor: Petra Fachinger

Description: Over the last two decades, young adult fiction has been offering increasingly complex narrative representations of adolescent identity in a Canada that has become more and more ethnically and racially diverse and that needs to work toward reconciliation and decolonization. In this course, we will examine a range of YA novels for their representation of racism, Islamophobia, and violence against Indigenous people. Do the texts do justice to the complexity of the issues that they address? How do they attempt to assist the (teenage) reader to develop cultural, social, and emotional competence and promote critical reflection and social justice activism? What distinguishes YA fiction from literature written for adults? Why and how do certain texts have crossover appeal? How does the author’s choice of genre (contemporary realism, fantasy, graphic novel, dystopian novel) affect the discussion of specific issues? What role can Indigenous YA fiction play in response to the Calls to Action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada? To help them answer these questions students will be exposed to a variety of critical approaches to YAL, including critical race, anti-Islamophobia education, queer and transgender theory, and Indigenous criticism.

Requirements (subject to change): Quizzes, in-class presentations, and a variety of writing assignments.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 389 001/6.0 Context North America: Context Turtle Island – Gender and Resurgence in Contemporary Indigenous Literatures

Term: full year

Instructor: Sam McKegney

Description:  In her pathclearing work As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance, Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg author Leanne Betasamosake Simpson asks, “How do we ensure every Indigenous body, honored and sacred knows respect in their bones?” Context Turtle Island pursues this question through a rigorous survey of diverse forms of contemporary Indigenous literary art from throughout what has come to be known as North America. Recognizing the borders separating provinces, states, territories, and countries as colonial simulations imposed on Indigenous nations, and yet alert to the significant differences among resultant political contexts, this course looks at a variety of literary works by First Nations, Native American, Métis, and Inuit artists in their cultural, political, territorial, and generic complexity. The course will mobilize Indigenous Feminist Theory, Queer & Two-Spirit Theory, and Indigenous Masculinities Theory to track various forms of Indigenous Resurgence through the lens of gender. We will analyze poetry, prose, film, song, theatre, performance, and other forms of narrative art by artists like Daniel Heath Justice, Eden Robinson, Gregory Scofield, Linda Hogan, Anthony Apakark Thrasher, Leanne Simpson, Billy-Ray Belcourt and others.

Requirements (subject to change): Assessment is likely to include two short essays in the Fall term and a longer essay in the Winter term, submitted in stages, and a final examination. Participation will also be assessed in some capacity and, depending on enrolment, there may be opportunities for work presented orally.

-top of page-

400-Level Courses 2019-20

 

To take 400-level English courses, one must:

  • be enrolled in an ENGL BAH program (Medial or Major),
  • have successfully completed ENGL 200/6.0 and ENGL 290/3.0, and
  • have obtained a minimum GPA of 2.4 in all previous ENGL units.

Minors with a minimum grade of B+ in at least 18.0 previous ENGL units may take 6.0 units at the 300 level, if space permits. Note that courses at the 400-level have limited enrolments. Students registered in an English Plan applying to take these courses as Core courses have priority over those applying to take them as Option courses.

You may take these courses more than once provided that the topics are different, and all versions that you take will count toward your program and toward your GPA. The same is not true of non-repeatable courses: only one version of non-repeatable courses may count toward your program and GPA. If you have any questions about which courses are repeatable, or about how repeatable courses work, contact the Undergraduate Chair.

 

ENGL 411 001-7/3.0 Topics in Medieval Literature II – The Imaginary Other: Jews and Muslims in Medieval English Literature

Term: fall

Instructor: Ruth Wehlau

Description:   This course investigates a darker side of the medieval imaginary through an examination of the parodic, and often grotesque, portrayals of Jews and Muslims found in some medieval English texts. Although there were few Muslims and Jews in England during the later Middle Ages, portrayals of these groups functioned like medieval memes, constructing both groups as racial and religious others and laying the groundwork for images still circulating today. We will read plays and romances that deal with both these groups, including the Croxton Play of the Sacrament, Chaucer’s Prioresse’s Tale, The Siege of Jerusalem, Mandeville’s Travels, The Sowdane of Babylone, and The King of Tars, as well as earlier narratives associated with Robert of Bury and William of Norwich. Our aim is to investigate the ways in which these two groups were configured as others and to analyze the recurring motifs that allowed that construction to be passed on over the years.

Classes will consist of close reading and discussion.

Requirements (subject to change):  Class participation, Oral presentation, Research report, Essay, Exam

-top of page-

 

ENGL 411 001-4/3.0 Topics in Medieval Literature II – Premodern Gender and Sexuality

Term: winter

Instructor: Margaret Pappano

Description:  This course will explore premodern constructions of gender and sexuality, seeking to locate both continuities and discontinuities with modern conceptions and practices. While labels such as “gay,” “genderqueer,” “transgendered” did not exist in the Middle Ages, medieval people imagined and engaged in types of gender shifting that help us to understand the necessity for labile terminology to describe identities linked with gendered and sexual practices and indeed to think about the ways that sexual practices may not be linked with specific identities at all. Including material from both Christian and Islamic traditions, this course explores how various aspects of medieval culture, such as marriage, celibacy, imitatio Christi, crossdressing, knighthood, class hierarchy, and courtly practices shaped notions of gender and sexuality. Though examining theological, medical, and legal writings, moral guidebooks, chronicles, artwork, and literary works, this course will engage texts from the early to late Middle Ages in dialogue with theoretical and historiographical writing to attempt to articulate specificities of the medieval sex/gender system.

Requirements (subject to change): regular attendance and participation, two-three short essays, oral presentation, research paper, final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 421 001-2/3.0 Topics in Renaissance Literature I – Shakespeare & Print Culture

Term: winter

Instructor: Marta Straznicky

Description:   This course will explore the publication, dissemination, and readership of Shakespeare’s plays in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Approaching Shakespeare’s texts as material books, we will learn about the early modern book trade, the production and circulation of print material in the period, literacy and readership, and the relationships among performance, script, actor’s part, and printed play.  Our focus will be on plays that have a particularly interesting or complicated textual history:  Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, and King Lear, but there will be an opportunity to explore any of Shakespeare’s texts in depth.

Requirements (subject to change):  Assignments will include several short research exercises, an in-class test of a factual nature, a 15-minute presentation, a research essay developed from the presentation, and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 421 002-5/3.0 Topics in Renaissance Literature I – Shakespeare & Film: Celluloid Shakespeare 

Term: winter

Instructor: Asha Varadharajan

Description:   Laurence Olivier described Shakespeare's plays as "frustrated cinema."  Olivier's quip will guide our encounter with international cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare's plays.  Our aim is to comprehend why the Bard, like the Force, is always with us, traversing the divide between geographies and histories, and between elite and popular imaginations.

We will examine the theory and practice of adaptation in order to determine how and why the films of our choice adapt, revere, flip, translate, convert, perform, and deterritorialize Shakespeare's plays.  What happens in the shift from page to stage to screen and from word to image?  What is the significance of the shifts from blackface to black, manwomanly to womanmanly, and from difference to universalism?

Time is unlikely to permit detailed consideration of more than 4 plays and their film versions: Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night or The Tempest.  Please note that this selection is subject to change. However,  the consideration of the multiple facets of adaptation will necessitate exposure to a range of international appropriations of Shakespeare's plays as well as Shakespeare's presence in television, new media, music, and so on.  Students will be encouraged, for their final projects, to delve into adaptations other than the required texts such as Kurosawa's treatment of Lear and Macbeth, Merchant and Ivory's Shakespeare Wallah, or television serials such as Deadwood.  

Requirements (subject to change):  Grades will be based on voluntary and assigned participation, research paper (multi-media projects encouraged), and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 422 001-5/3.0 Topics in Renaissance Literature I – “Shakespeare’s Problem Plays”

Term: fall

Instructor: Elizabeth Hanson

Description: “Problem play” was a designation that an early 20th century critic gave to certain of Shakespeare’s plays that reminded him of the plays of nineteenth century playwrights such a Henrik Ibsen.  These plays engaged with contemporary social problems in a manner that defied generic classification, thus undermining the force of mythic undercurrents that genres carry.  In the “problem play” an apparent urgent social focus or relevance forces itself on our attention. In this course we will engage in a slow and careful reading of four plays that function this way in our moment: Measure for Measure (sexual harassment and assault), Merchant of Venice (anti-semitism and homo-eroticism), Othello (racism and gender-based environment) and Troilus and Cressida (sexual dysphoria of all kinds).  Our approach will be both to confront the way these plays handle these startlingly “relevant” issues, and to recognize the challenge they pose to the provincialism of the present. 

Requirements (subject to change): In addition to the plays, students will read a lot of literary criticism as well as materials for historical and theoretical context.  The final project will be the performance of a scene, and a paper reflecting on the process.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 431 001-4/3.0 Topics in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature – Story in the 18th Century

Term: fall

Instructor: Leslie Ritchie

Description: While the short story is a genre often considered to have begun in the nineteenth century, this course considers the short narrative, the tale, and the concept of ‘story’ as they emerged in Britain in the eighteenth century. Readings will include scholarly articles concerning key texts and relevant critical theory concerning genre; as well as selected tales from eighteenth-century periodicals, and selections from The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, and The Children’s and Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Requirements (subject to change): Course requirements will include an oral seminar (25%); a research essay on an original topic, including references to secondary sources (30%); participation in discussion (15%); and an exam (30%). You will be required to use the editions specified by the instructor in the course outline. Please be advised that speaking in front of a group is a crucial part of a senior honours seminar.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 441 001-1/3.0 Topics in Romanticism I – Poetry and Poetics of Wordsworth

Term: winter

Instructor: Mark Jones

Description: ENGL 441-001-1 is an introductory seminar in William Wordsworth’s poetry and poetics. Wordsworth’s oeuvre is so large that selectivity is essential, and this course samples three areas: the radical experimental poetics of Lyrical Ballads (1798-1800); the 1805 Prelude, sometimes read as “autobiographical epic”; and the more mainstream poetic achievements of Poems in Two Volumes (1807).  Key topics to be explored include Wordsworth’s “commonplace poetics” and his turn toward mental activity, such as interpreting and valuing, as poetic subject-matter.  For seminar work, students are asked not to give presentations but to formulate critical questions and lead discussion.

Requirements (subject to change):  Eighty-percent attendance, regular preparation and participation, occasional reading quizzes, one seminar facilitation, one or more essays (2,500 words total), and a two-hour final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 446 001-5/3.0 Topics in Literature and the Americas – Before Harlem: Nineteenth-Century African American Literature

Term: fall

Instructor: Kristin Moriah

Description: In this course, we will analyze African American literature from the long nineteenth century. We will find that the seeds of twentieth-century movements like the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and Afro-Futurism were first planted here. Our reading list will include work by major figures like Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass as well as less frequently considered writers like John Marrant and Pauline Hopkins. Our investigation will encompass non-canonical texts so that we can develop a richer sense of African American literary culture during the period. We will also engage with a wide range of scholarly criticism.

Requirements (subject to change): Attendance and Participation, Midterm Exam, Final Research Essay 

-top of page-

 

ENGL 446 001-3/3.0 Topics in Literatures of the Americas I – 19th Century New York in Print

Term: winter

Instructor: Laura Murray Laura Murray

Description: This course will take us to streets, mansions, slums, and theatres in a city of extremes in the 1840s and 1850s. In the two decades before the Civil War, New York City experienced a demographic, cultural, economic, and media explosion. The first half of the course focuses on newspapers: via online archives we will read the New York Herald as well as antislavery, temperance, and “flash” papers. Through a creative assignment, students will reflect on differences and similarities with today’s media landscapes and political discourses. After Reading Week the course will take a literary turn: authors will include Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Fanny Fern, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglass. All in all, the course will interest budding journalists, pop culture nerds, New York buffs, and people interested in cities, immigration, or social justice movements.

Requirements (subject to change): participation, newspaper assignment, quizzes, final essay.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 451 001-5/3.0 Topics in Victorian Literature I – Fainting Women and Freak Shows: the Representation of Deviant Bodies in Victorian Literature and Culture

Term: fall

Instructor: Maggie Berg

Description: This course will examine the representation of the differently abled in Victorian literature and culture. At a transitional time in the history of difference—when British society was concerned to link normativity to the health and future of the nation — mid- to late-nineteenth-century texts explore anxieties around deviant bodies. This course will examine representations of so-called abnormal bodies in literary texts, in light of both current disability theory and of various contemporary “scientific” and cultural texts. Topics may include: hysteria, blindness, “madness,” “freak” shows – including that of the “Hottentot Venus”-- and physical deformity, in relation to issues of Victorian gender and nation.

Literary texts will likely include: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss; Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton, In addition we will read selections from: ed. Lennard Davis, The Disability Studies Reader, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Staring; Robert McRuer, Crip Theory; Cynthia Eagle Russett, Sexual Science, among others. We will also consider (the perils of) visual representations of deviant bodies.

Requirements (subject to change): Evaluation will be based on participation 10%; a seminar presentation 25%;  a presentation of a visual image 10%; a proposal for a term paper 10%; and a term paper 45%.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 451 001-1/3.0 Topics in Victorian Literature I – Nineteenth-Century Gastronomy and Food in Victorian Literature: At Table with the Victorians

Term: winter

Instructor: Heather Evans

Description: This course will offer an introduction to the history and literature of nineteenth-century gastronomy, the art of fine dining.  Treating the long nineteenth century as a grand literary banquet, we will whet our appetites on gastronomic treatises by writers such as Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de la Reynière, William Kitchiner, Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, and Thomas Walker, and nibble our way through tasty essays, fiction, and poems penned by both epicurean and abstemious writers such as Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, Lewis Carroll, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Sarah Grand.  Along the way, we will snack on Victorian cookbooks and stir up issues such as vegetarianism, famine, the emergence of the restaurant, women cooks, tippling, temperance, and the importance of tea.

Requirements (subject to change): One seminar presentation, one term paper, active participation, and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 452 001-5/3.0 Studies in Victorian Literature – Victorian Vampires

Term: fall

Instructor: Sally Brooke Cameron

Description: “The blood is the life!” ― Bram Stoker, Dracula

The nineteenth-century was a period of social and economic instability, and the border-bending nosfuratu seemed the perfect embodiment of the period’s fears—as well as its forbidden desires. This course will look at both the range among, and legacy of, vampire narratives.  We will begin with Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819) on the link between the monster and romance, and then we will move onto to the popular penny dreadfuls’ Varney the Vampire (1845-47). Selections from Karl Marx’s Capital (1867) will help us to understand the parasitic figure as a metaphor for a new capitalist economy, while Le Fanu's Carmilla (1872) will lead us to a discussion of the vampire and unrestrained libidinal appetites. We will also study iconic texts such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), which link vampirism with both the old world aristocracy and new world technologies of mechanical reproduction. We will finish the course with a unit on adaptation, looking at the monster’s neo-Victorian legacy in film (Bram Stoker’s Dracula [1992]), television (True Blood), and comics (American Vampire). In small groups, students will also produce their own graphic novel-style interpretation of one of the short stories, which they will then present to the class. The final research paper gives students the opportunity to analyze one of the assigned texts in relationship to ongoing themes, such as nationhood, race and empire, consumption and consumerism, sexual self-discipline, or gender dissidence.

Requirements (subject to change): regular participation, keyword quizzes, group project on graphic interpretation, group presentation, and a final research paper.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 452 001-6/3.0 Studies in Victorian Literature – Victorian Children’s Adventure Fiction

Term: winter

Instructor: Sally Brooke Cameron

Description: This course will look at Victorian children’s literature on adventure and self-development through exploration and conquest. The definition of childhood was in a state of flux throughout the Victorian period. A series of political reforms, including child labour laws and Education Acts, gradually helped bring about the concept of youth as a state of innocence worthy of protection and nurturing; yet, as argued by scholars such as Phillipe Ariès (Centuries of Childhood [1979]) and Laura Peters (Orphan Texts [2000]), many evangelical thinkers and social reformers felt that children were made better through challenge and that adventure and adversity were essential to the child’s moral and spiritual salvation. We will look at a range of texts interested in theories of child education (in spirit and body) through adventure. We will look at texts that explore the idea of children’s development through global exploration (RM Ballantyne’s Coral Island and RL Stevenson’s Treasure Island), empire-building (Rudyard Kiplin’s Kim), and even settler colonialism in Canada (Ballantyne’s Dusty Diamonds).

We will also look at how gender and empire intertwine in short adventure stories by H. Rider Haggard (“A Tale of Three Lions”), H.G. Wells (“Aepyornis Island”), and Joseph Conrad (“The Lagoon”). We will look at how adventure is marketed to young boys in serial publications (The Boy’s Own Paper) and scouting manuals (Scouting for Boys), and we will also look at the role of magazines in propagating youth migration as building both character and empire (Waifs and Strays and TJ Barnardo’s The Children’s Treasury & Ups and Downs). And adventure is not just for boys! We will also discuss adventure readings for girls (Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Susan Warner’s The Wide, Wide World, and The Girl’s Own Paper). Throughout the course, students will keep a “travel journal” of the texts and key terms. The group presentation and research paper give students the opportunity to present on one of the assigned readings in relationship to ongoing themes such as gender and empire, travel and identity formation, or child labour and home(land).

Requirements (subject to change): regular participation, keyword quizzes, a “travel journal,” a group presentation, and a final research paper.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 461 001-1/3.0 Topics in Modern/Contemporary British Literature I – Literature Between the Wars: Elegies and Memoirs of the First World War and the Spanish Civil War

Term: winter

Instructor: Patricia Rae

Description: This seminar will concentrate on an important strain in the literature and culture in Britain between the First and Second World Wars (1919-1939). Its focus will be on examples of the elegy and the memoir, two important genres in an era marked by a “boom in sorrow” (W.H. Auden.)  
 
In the first half of the course, we’ll think about the discourses of consolation deployed during the First World War and in its aftermath, starting with some poetic elegies. We’ll then turn to some poetic anti-elegies whose aim is to disrupt or prevent consolation. We’ll then turn to two famous war memoirs by Siegfried Sassoon and Vera Brittain, once again asking how these texts process, and model a response to, loss.  In the course of our discussions we’ll study certain key concepts for the study of elegy, mourning, memory (both personal and collective), public monuments, and commemorative ceremonies.
 
In the second half of the term, we’ll begin asking questions about what happened to the consolatory (and anti-consolatory) discourses of World War I as the 1930s progressed and Fascism became a mounting threat in Europe. In this context, we’ll focus mainly on some poems and memoirs from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), a conflict widely regarded as a dress-rehearsal for the world-wide confrontation with Fascism in World War II. This conflict was a very different one from World War I – for British volunteers who supported the Spanish Government, a cause not recognized by their own government back at home. Looking at a parallel set of texts to those we’ve looked at from World War I, including two more war memoirs by male and female writers (George Orwell and Nan Green), we’ll ask what difference it makes to these texts that the cause was an “unofficial” one. Our study of this war’s writings will culminate in a wider reflection on war and “collective memory”: on the institutions that reinforce the memory of certain wars and not others.

Requirements (subject to change): One group seminar, one research paper, final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 466 001-7/3.0 Topics in Modern/Contemporary Canadian Literature I – Diaspora Writing in Toronto

Term: fall

Instructor: Heather Macfarlane

Description: Diaspora literature refers to works by authors who have left their ancestral homelands, voluntarily or otherwise, to make their homes elsewhere. As the most culturally diverse city in the world, Toronto is home to many diaspora writers who examine, directly or indirectly, the relationships of their respective communities with the urban Canadian community and landscape they encounter. Using Toronto as a platform from which to examine the similarities and differences between the texts and the experiences of the various authors or narrators in question, this course will study questions of displacement and cultural belonging. We will also consider what some refer to as Indigenous diaspora literature—works by Indigenous authors who have been displaced from their traditional territories within what we call Canada.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

-top of page-

 

ENGL 471 001-2/3.0 Topics in Modern/Contemporary American Literature I – The Lower Frequencies: Race, Sound and African American Literature

Term: winter

Instructor: Kristin Moriah

Description:

“Through the experience of creating and making a podcast, I was allowed to create a voice for myself which is heard throughout the Queen’s community. This unique opportunity allowed me to use the format of a podcast to better understand and express my own interests. Through the assignment I felt I really got to use my voice to show my love for literature.” 
-- A Former ENGL 471 Student

This course challenges students to “listen to” twentieth-century African American literature. Students will analyze the work of major literary figures like Ralph Ellison, Ann Petry, and Richard Wright and consider the way sound and music impacted Black writers during the Golden Age of Radio and beyond. Traversing the sonic color line, students will develop sophisticated understandings of black aesthetics, literature, and politics. No prior knowledge of African American literature or experience working with sound technology is required. As part of their final project, students will develop a podcast which will be broadcast on CFRC: https://podcast.cfrc.ca/lower-frequencies-african-american-literature-across-the-sonic-line/

Requirements (subject to change): Attendance and Participation, Literary Podcast; Final Exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 482 001-3/3.0 Topics in Indigenous Literatures II – Contemporary North American Indigenous Literature: From Slash to the Marrow Thieves: Indigenous YA Literature Written in Canada

Term: winter

Instructor: Petra Fachinger

Description: In this seminar we will discuss a range of YA novels by Indigenous authors of various backgrounds written in Canada between 1985 and 2017. These novels feature adolescent experiences and have appeal to teenage readers. As we will see, Indigenous YA literature deviates from the generic conventions in that the protagonist’s coming of age is represented as a communal experience. Among other things, the texts are concerned with how Indigenous individuals and communities can heal from ongoing colonization and the traumas of residential schools, the Sixties and Millennial Scoops, and missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit and trans people through resurgence, reclamation, and decolonization. Although all of the novels share certain features, we will pay close attention to nation specific differences. We may include texts by Jeannette Armstrong, Lee Maracle, Ruby Slipperjack, Drew Hayden Taylor, Richard Van Camp, Cherie Dimaline, Katherena Vermette, and Melanie Florence. Class visits by Indigenous scholars and local community members will open doors to meaningful engagement with the course materials.

Requirements (subject to change): Quizzes, in-class presentations, and a final seminar paper.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 486 001-3/3.0 Group III Special Topics I – The Graphic Novel: Visualizing History and Bearing Witness to Trauma

Term: fall

Instructor: Heather Evans

Description: “It is rare for a new genre to appear in any art form,” remarks Stephen E. Tabachnick in an essay on pedagogy, yet “[with] the emergence of the graphic or comic book novel, precisely that phenomenon has been happening before the excited gaze of [readers] of both literature and the visual arts.”  This course will provide students with an opportunity to explore and to apply to this relatively new literary form the close reading and critical analytical skills they have become accustomed to applying to more familiar genres.  Framed loosely by a consideration of the history of the genre, we will interrogate the relationships between the graphic novel and other forms of sequential art.  Given that the development of the graphic novel by writers such as Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, and Alan Moore has coincided with growing representation in literature of troubling social phenomena, our course will especially focus on ways that the genre gives voice to personal trauma such as mental illness, sexual abuse, and loss, and bears witness to such cultural trauma as racism, revolution, war, and genocide. 

Requirements (subject to change): One seminar presentation, one term paper, active participation and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 486 002-7/3.0 Group III Special Topics I – Modernisms c. 1880-1920

Term: fall

Instructor: Gabrielle McIntire

Description: This course will explore the question of what it meant to write the “modern” in British and American poetry and fiction from late Victorianism and the fin-de-siècle through the early years of the First World War. Through refining our skills in close and careful reading we will query shifting understandings and representations of culture, race, psychology, aesthetics, technology, feminisms, and sexualities. We will be encountering literature by a range of writers such as Emily Dickinson, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Matthew Arnold, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, W.E.B. du Bois, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and T.S. Eliot, and we will look briefly at artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Wassily Kandinsky. 

Requirements (subject to change): In-class solo presentation; in-class group presentation; engaged participation; possible short quizzes; final essay.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 486 003-6/3.0 Group III Special Topics I – Travel Writing

Term: fall

Instructor: Yaël Schlick

Description: Travelogues seem rife with disappointment.  “Great God!” wrote the explorer Robert F. Scott in his diary upon reaching the South Pole, “this is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without the reward of priority.” Of her disaster journey to Kastelli, Crete, Martha Gellhorn writes:  “I was seized by the idea of this book [Travels with Myself and Another] while sitting on a rotten little beach at the western tip of Crete, flanked by a waterlogged shoe and a rusty potty.  Around me, the litter of our species.”

Such de-idealized descriptions of travel experience make one wonder why we travel at all, why so many of us abandon the comforts of home in order to visit distant places. This course on twentieth century travel writing will tackle such issues, exploring the value and effects of travel.  We will also examine the shifts and changes in the writing of travel narratives as a genre, the boundary between travel writing and fiction, the political potential of the travelogue, and the relevance of gender to travel and travel writing.  Writers studied will likely include Emily Carr, J.M. Synge, Martha Gellhorn, Robin Davidson, Julio Cortázar & Carol Dunlop, Sara Wheeler, and Geoff Dyer. A coursepack of readings on the genre of travel writing and on tourism will guide our interpretations of these travel narratives.

Requirements (subject to change): Attendance and participation, a class presentation with a written component, a required but ungraded assignment early in the term, a term essay, and a final exam.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 487 001-6/3.0 Group III: Special Topics II – British and American Modernisms: c. 1914-1942

Term: fall

Instructor: Gabrielle McIntire

Description: By the mid-1910s what we have come to know as literary modernisms were well underway and reaching a mature phase precisely as the First World War was beginning. With the nineteenth century and its legacy of Victorian mores receding quickly, writers were more determined than ever to experiment with literary forms, styles, and subjects to reinvigorate aesthetic goals in efforts to “make it new”—to borrow Ezra Pound’s famous phrase. Together we will explore the question of what it meant to write both “modernism” and “modernity” in British and American poetry and fiction during these three momentous decades between the wars. We will refine our close reading skills, become sharper critical readers of both fiction and poetry, and pay careful attention to genre and poetics as we simultaneously consider important shifts in culture, race, psychology, and gender. Writers studied will likely include T.S. Eliot, Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Nella Larsen, W.B. Yeats, and Virginia Woolf; we will also consider a 1930s Hollywood film.

Requirements (subject to change):  In-class solo presentation; in-class group presentation; engaged participation; possible short quizzes; final essay.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 489 001-2/3.0 Group III: Special Topics IV – Canadian Hockey Literature

Term: fall

Instructor: Sam McKegney

Description: The game of hockey has a steady grip on the Canadian national imaginary. According to literary scholar Jason Blake, “hockey envelops us like second-hand smoke, and, some would argue, it is just as dangerous because it beclouds other cultural options or more serious issues” (4). The game has been conceived as a breeding ground for social cohesion and civic virtue, as a source of national unity and pride, and, in poet Richard Harrison’s words, as a tool with which to make meaning out of winter. Yet the dominant mythologies that paint hockey as binding Canadians both to each other and to the landscape they/we inhabit serve simultaneously to entrench often problematic paradigms of gender, sexuality, race, and language that exclude as well as include. This course interrogates the role of hockey in supporting and disrupting discourses of Canadian nationhood; it examines how depictions of the country’s national winter sport serve to police Canadian identity by characterizing certain behaviours and traits as licit and desirable and others as illicit and aberrant. We will consider topics like gender, sexuality, nationalism, embodiment, play, mentorship, economics, regionalism, environmentalism, militarism, and violence by studying novels, poetry, life-writings, media representations, song lyrics, and films in which hockey plays a significant role.

Requirements (subject to change): Assignments may include essays, oral presentations, and an exam. Works by authors like Roy MacGregor, Lynn Coady, Richard Wagamese, and Matt Robinson will be studied throughout the term.

-top of page-

 

ENGL 590 001/3.0 Senior Essay

For details please see ENGL 590/3.0: Senior Essay.

-top of page-

 

Online Courses Summer 2019

ENGL 100 700/6.0 Introduction to Literary Study (CDS)

Term: summer

Instructor: Robert May

Description: This English course introduces you to the four main literary genres: fiction, poetry, drama, and the essay. It is also designed to improve your writing skills, and to develop your knowledge of literary terms and critical techniques as a foundation for further literary study. Why study literary genre? “We need poems and stories and novels and plays, as well as essays,” replies the great American writer Scott Russell Sanders. “Each genre offers us paths through the dark woods of this life, and we need all the paths we can find.”

Requirements (subject to change): Essay 1, 10%; Essay 2, 10%; Essay 3, 10%; Essay 4, 10%; Close Reading Forums, 20%; 1 Live Online Symposium, 10%; Final Proctored Exam, 30%

-top of page-

 

ENGL 215 700/6.0 Canadian Literature (CDS)

Term: summer

Instructor: Robert May

Description: 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.

Requirements (subject to change): Online Discussions 20%; 4 Essays (10% each) 40%; Micropedia Article 5%; Symposium 5%; Proctored Final Exam 30%. **Evaluation subject to change**

-top of page-

 

ENGL 237 700/6.0 Children’s Literature (CDS)

Term: summer

Instructor: Heather Evans

Description: This course takes as its focus the history of children's literature in Britain from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, with an emphasis on nineteenth-century works for children.

The first half of the course concentrates on texts included in the anthology From Instruction to Delight and on John Bunyan's seventeenth-century allegory The Pilgrim's Progress, and is designed to survey the development of a literature shaped specifically for children from its beginnings to the Golden Age of the nursery in the mid-nineteenth century.

The second half of the course will explore one dominant genre in children's literature of the twentieth century: fantasy. Central to our study will be an examination of the construction of childhood across the centuries, consideration of the intersections and relationships between literature, politics, philosophy, commerce, religion, economics, art, and other cultural sites, and an investigation of the dynamic between literature written for adult audiences and books read by children.

As we work through our course we will interrogate hackneyed clichés and popular assumptions such as that the primary function of books read by children (past or present) is to stimulate the imagination of the child, that children's literature is simplistic, conservative, or moral, and that children are naturally sweet, innocent little angels.

Requirements (subject to change): 1 short formal comparative, argumentative essay 15%; 3 online Discussion Forum (onQ) exercises 10%; 1 formal comparative, argumentative essay 25%; Final Proctored Exam 50%

-top of page-