Department of English

DEPARTMENT OF

English Language and Literature

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English Undergraduate Course Offerings

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 2020-21 academic year are available below. These descriptions provide an idea of the readings and assignments for which students will be responsible.

 


ENGL 100 will not have assigned time slots this year - they will be removed from SOLUS shortly. If you are having difficulty enrolling because the slots conflict with another class, please call 343-363-2140 or email Cynthia Collins at cc98@queensu.ca. Be sure to include your name, student number, and the lecture and tutorial numbers of both the ENGL 100 you wish to enrol in and the conflicting course.


For registration concerns, call 343-363-2140. This line is being monitored Mon-Fri, 8:30-noon and 2-4:30 (EDT). If the line is busy, please leave a short message including your name, telephone number, and 8-digit student ID and your call will be returned as soon as possible.


CWRI 393 & CWRI 496 have been temporarily removed from SOLUS, however, they are still being offered this year. Please email Carolyn Smart (smartc@queensu.ca) for permission to enrol.


 

2020-21 Course Descriptions

100-Level Courses

 

ENGL 100 001/6.0 Introduction to Literary Study: The Elements of Literature

Term: full year

Instructors: Robert G. May The Elements of Literature, Queen's University, Dr. RG 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, drama, literary non-fiction, 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): Evaluation methods will include four Essays and two Examinations. A portion of students’ final grade will also be devoted to Class Participation.

Note: ENGL 100 is a prerequisite for all subsequent ENGL courses. This course is offered in two 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.

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ENGL 100 002/6.0 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.

Synchronous activities: Nothing mandatory. Weekly office hours/group conversations via Zoom, but these are purely optional.

Software: Either Zoom, FeedbackFruits in onQ.

Assignments: Fall term: one short written assignment, one 1500-word essay, 2-hour exam in December (take-home, but written during a scheduled exam time slot). Weekly participation in virtual tutorials, which involve commentary on a posted text and discussion, mostly done through FeedbackFruits.

Note: ENGL 100 is a prerequisite for all subsequent ENGL courses. This course is offered in two 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.

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ENGL 161 001/3.0 Modern Prose Fiction I

Term: fall

Instructors: Adam Cotton

Description: ENGL 161/3.0 and ENGL 162/3.0 are separate courses; however, both courses cohere thematically. 

You may take either ENGL 161/3.0, or 162/3.0, or both. 

Lectures for ENGL 161/3.0 will be conducted on Zoom and lecture notes will be posted on OnQ.

Lectures for ENGL 162/3.0 will be conducted, we hope, in-person, and lecture notes will be posted on OnQ. The lecture hall and meeting times are TBA.

The primary texts for ENGL 161/3.0 are as follows: The Art of the Story, ed. Daniel Halpern; My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, ed. Jeffrey Eugenides; Cracking India, by Bapsi Sidhwa; Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. These texts are available on Amazon or Kindle. 

The primary texts for ENGL 162/3.0 are as follows: The Art of the Story, ed. Daniel Halpern; My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, ed. Jeffrey Eugenides; Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy; The Outsider, by Albert Camus; Bombay Stories, by Saadat Manto. These texts are available on Amazon or Kindle.

Both courses will engage the intellectual concerns of critics and artists such as Plato, Aristotle, Ibn Rušd, Augustine of Hippo, Dante Alighieri, Michelangelo, Mary Wollstonecraft, Oscar Wilde, E. M. Forster, Ezra Pound, George Orwell, George Steiner, Hannah Arendt, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Camille Paglia, Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Frantz Fanon, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, Federico García Lorca, Saadat Manto, Laura Mulvey, Chinua Achebe, Salman Rushdie, Alice Oswald, and Daniyal Mueenuddin. 

All secondary texts, for both courses, will be available on OnQ.

Requirements (subject to change): There shall be two writing assignments and a final, take-home exam for each course.

Note: Enrolment is limited to students not registered in an ENGL Plan. This course cannot be counted toward an ENGL Plan nor used as a prerequisite for upper-year ENGL courses.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above, or permission of the Department.
EXCLUSION:
ENGL 160/6.0

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ENGL 162 001/3.0 Modern Prose Fiction II

Term: winter

Instructors: Adam Cotton

Description: ENGL 161/3.0 and ENGL 162/3.0 are separate courses; however, both courses cohere thematically. 

You may take either ENGL 161/3.0, or 162/3.0, or both. 

Lectures for ENGL 161/3.0 will be conducted on Zoom and lecture notes will be posted on OnQ.

Lectures for ENGL 162/3.0 will be conducted, we hope, in-person, and lecture notes will be posted on OnQ. The lecture hall and meeting times are TBA.

The primary texts for ENGL 161/3.0 are as follows: The Art of the Story, ed. Daniel Halpern; My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, ed. Jeffrey Eugenides; Cracking India, by Bapsi Sidhwa; Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. These texts are available on Amazon or Kindle. 

The primary texts for ENGL 162/3.0 are as follows: The Art of the Story, ed. Daniel Halpern; My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, ed. Jeffrey Eugenides; Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy; The Outsider, by Albert Camus; Bombay Stories, by Saadat Manto. These texts are available on Amazon or Kindle.

Both courses will engage the intellectual concerns of critics and artists such as Plato, Aristotle, Ibn Rušd, Augustine of Hippo, Dante Alighieri, Michelangelo, Mary Wollstonecraft, Oscar Wilde, E. M. Forster, Ezra Pound, George Orwell, George Steiner, Hannah Arendt, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Camille Paglia, Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Frantz Fanon, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, Federico García Lorca, Saadat Manto, Laura Mulvey, Chinua Achebe, Salman Rushdie, Alice Oswald, and Daniyal Mueenuddin. 

All secondary texts, for both courses, will be available on OnQ.

Requirements (subject to change): There shall be two writing assignments and a final, take-home exam for each course.

Note: Enrolment is limited to students not registered in an ENGL Plan. This course cannot be counted toward an ENGL Plan nor used as a prerequisite for upper-year ENGL courses.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above, or permission of the Department.
EXCLUSION:
ENGL 160/6.0

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200-Level Courses

 

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).

The prerequisite for the following courses is Level 2 and above: ENGL 218, ENGL 222, ENGL 231, ENGL 237, ENGL 245, ENGL 274, ENGL 276, ENGL 277, ENGL 296 and ENGL 297. 

The prerequisite for the following courses is ENGL 100: ENGL 200, ENGL 215, ENGL 223, ENGL 259, ENGL 281. 

The prerequisite for ENGL 290 is ENGL 100 and registration in an ENGL Major or Medial. 

 

ENGL 200 001/6.0 History of Literature in English

Term: full year

Instructor: Leslie Ritchie

Description: This course offers an historical survey of literature in English from the British Isles and beyond. Through the study of representative works, the course aims to familiarize students with the characteristics of literary periods from the Middle Ages to the present. Students will learn to identify and describe key authors and texts in the history of literature in English, and identify major genres and literary techniques that have influenced the development of English literature. Students will observe the characteristics of the major periods of English literature and of the literary movements associated with each period, and analyze the role of social and historical contexts in the production, reception and transmission of literature. This foundational course introduces and queries the concept of a literary canon as it traces the historical development of the English language from its origins in Britain to its contemporary role as a global language.

Synchronous activities: one test planned for 3 December during scheduled class slot. Possibly synchronous but recorded / archived video lecture or discussion once a week to supplement the notes and embedded audio recordings.

Software: Either Zoom or Teams, plus Powerpoint. There will be links to streaming video of plays at the library, and other remote-access library resources.

Assignments: 2 essays, 1 in-class test, best 5 of 6 period quizzes, 1 interactive discussion question per term, final exam.

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ENGL 215 001/6.0 Canadian Literature

Term: full year

Instructor: Robert G. MayCanadian Literature, Queen's University, Dr. RG May

Description: ENGL 215 is a survey of English-language Canadian literature from the Confederation period to the present day. Through the study of representative works of Canadian poetry, prose, and drama, students will trace 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, set of traditions, and diversity of subject matter. Works by women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, writers of colour, and Indigenous writers are represented. Authors to be studied include Margaret Atwood, Brad Fraser, Tomson Highway, Basil Johnston, Thomas King, Stephen Leacock, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Mordecai Richler, and others.

Requirements (subject to change): Evaluation methods will include four Essays and two Examinations. A portion of students’ final grade will also be devoted to Class Participation.

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ENGL 218 001/3.0 Introduction to Indigenous Literature in Canada

Term: spring

Instructor: Heather Macfarlane

Description: This course will demonstrate the capacity of literature to confront expectations about Indigenous cultures and experience. We will examine novels, traditional stories, poetry, short stories and plays from various time periods, written by Métis, Inuit and First Nations authors, and examine how each uses distinct aesthetics and literary techniques to create art and express culture and politics. With the 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

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ENGL 222 001/3.0 Selected Women Writers Pre‐1900: Women Writers of the Middle Ages

Term: spring

Instructor: Lourdes Mazlymian

Description: This course will focus on the female writers of the Middle Ages and their works. Despite the Middle Ages being a time period dominated by male writers, a few female writers were able to carve a space for themselves, producing several different kinds of texts, ranging from poetry, hagiography, political and religious treatises, and even a medieval musical drama. In this course, we will engage with all of these different kinds of texts written by medieval women, including the Lais of Marie de France, The Book of Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, as well as works by Hildegard of Bingen and Christine de Pizan. Through the study of such a wide array of texts written by women of the medieval period, this course will explore the ways in which these women writers understood their role in medieval society, as well as the way some of them were influenced by, interacted with, and responded to the rival works of their (often male) contemporaries.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

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ENGL 223 700/3.0 Selected Women Writers Post‐1900 (ASO)

Term: fall

Instructor: Heather Evans

Description: This course presents a survey of English, American, and Canadian women writers of the twentieth century.

There is something terse in the relationship between women and words, a palpable cipher that lives in the works of women writers, much like Marianne Moore’s invocation of “imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” This course seeks to explore the role “real” women have played in the development of literary imagination, history, style, and genre in the twentieth century, as well as how women have used literature and literary study to carve out their own identities as women, professionals, and individuals.  Following the literary traditions of women writers and how they break (masculine) traditions, we will discuss the ways in which women construct the female and the feminine, as well as how they oppose those potential limitations, drawing on poetry, fiction, and drama to recreate, revise, and reimagine “the female” in the modern world.  In her autobiographical novel, HERmoine, H.D. writes that “Words were her plague and words were her redemption,” noting the delicate relationship of female identity and writing as power. This course sees that contradiction and paradox as a methodology—a window into the reason why women write, and why they write as they do—as well as what influence words have had on women (and women on words) in terms of establishing control over the literary representation of the feminine.  The course thus explores representation of women’s bodies—gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and physical objectification—the social and cultural transformations of women’s power, and the formal tools of genre, style, and language women have used to reignite words and literature with their own voice.

Requirements (subject to change): Two essays, online discussion posts, contribution(s) to an online compendium, and a final exam. 

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ENGL 231 001-1/3.0 Special Topics in Genre I – Women of Science Fiction

Term: winter

Instructor: Kelly McDevitt

Description: This course explores the contributions of women writers to the genre of science fiction – from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to the short stories of the pulps, to feminist utopias and beyond. Working against the ‘boys’ club’ reputation of the genre, we will explore the role of women in shaping the conventions of the Science Fiction genre and consider the challenges female SF authors faced in publishing their work. How did female authors overcome these challenges? How did they use the speculative nature of the genre to imagine new gender identities, politics, and social dynamics? What role does SF play in the development of feminist thought? This course will examine Science Fiction stories in their political and historical contexts to address these questions and to explore how they intersect with race, sexuality, and class. Students will become familiar with selections from major literary criticism in the field of science fiction, Gender Studies, and feminist theory. Course readings may include the works of Mary Shelley, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Octavia E. Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, James Tiptree Jr., C. L. Moore, Larissa Lai, Eden Robinson, and Charlie Jane Anders. 

Requirements (subject to change): essays, group activities/participation, exam 

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ENGL 237 001/3.0 Children’s Literature

Term:  winter

Instructor: Alicia Alves

Description: This course surveys the history of children’s literature from the medieval period to the twenty-first century. Additionally, we will examine the magic of children’s literature by looking at constructions of childhood, representations of childhood imagination, and depictions of magical elements. This course also explores the ways that child characters engage with and use magic to navigate their worlds. We will read a variety of texts, which may include fairy tales, poetry, novels, picture books, and film. Some of the texts may include Charles Perrault’s fairy tales, William Blake’s poetry, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.

Requirements (subject to change): essays, short in-class assignments, and a final exam

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ENGL 245 001/3.0  Modern British Poetry and Drama

Term: winter

Instructor: Kyle Joudry

Description: During the opening decades of the twentieth century, British authors confronted a variety of largescale, societal changes. Modern British authors navigated the impact of revolutionary technological advances, debates surrounding various forms of inequality, the rise of political extremes, intellectual attacks on traditional faiths, and a widespread mental health crisis. In this class, we will explore how poets and dramatists responded to the profound changes occurring in their world. The required reading will focus on British-born writers, but we will also consider writers who spent significant portions of their career in Britain. No previous knowledge of modernist poetry and drama is required.

Authors who may be considered include (but are not limited to): T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, H.D., Virginia Woolf, W.H. Auden, George Bernard Shaw, and Mina Loy, among others. 

Requirements (subject to change): attendance, short assignments, a midterm, a final essay, and a final exam. 

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ENGL 259 700/3.0 Global Shakespeare (ASO)

Term: fall

Instructor: Marta Straznicky

Description: A study of the dissemination of Shakespeare’s plays across a range of cultures and sites from the early seventeenth century to the present, with a focus on the development of Shakespeare as a “global” author. Selected plays will be studied in historical context and in geographically diverse adaptations in theatrical, print, and electronic media.

Synchronous activities: None

Software: onQ only

Assignments: 1500-word written essay, 3 discussion forum posts, take-home final exam (2-hour).

Requirements (subject to change): 15% participation; 45% written assignments; 40% final proctored exam.

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ENGL 274 001/3.0  Literature and War

Term: winter

Instructor: Andrew Moffitt

Description: This course examines women’s literary responses to World War One as both civilians and participants in the conflict. As non-combatants, women’s experiences of issues such as trauma, patriotism, and loss offer an alternative perspective of the War that will challenge students’ preconceived understanding of it. The reading list for this course comprises of wartime responses from British and North American writers such as Rebecca West, Edith Wharton, and Vera Brittain but also examine how the cultural memory of World War One has influenced more recent writers and artists such as Pat Barker (Regeneration [1991]), Toni Morrison (Sula [1973]) and film director Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman [2017]). By the end of this course, students will demonstrate an understanding of the war’s literary history as well as broader theories relating to modernism, gender, trauma, and conflict. 

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

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ENGL 276 001/3.0 Literature and the Environment

Term: winter

Instructor: Mitchell Crouse

Description: 

"We're seeing natural disasters happening on every corner of the planet. We're seeing entire communities being decimated by the climate crisis. [...] Our future is a right."
             - Jerome Foster II (Youth Climate Activist)

As the climate crisis heats up (quite literally), governments and multinational corporations continue to deny their impact on the environment and the realities of global climate change despite only 100 corporations being responsible for 71% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Activists, many of them young people and exploited workers, are fed up and are demanding that their voices be heard. They are adding their voices to a long tradition of radical - and sometimes illegal - climate activism.

This course offers an introduction to the still-growing literary tradition of radical climate activist literature. Foundational texts in the field of ecocriticism will be paired with poetry, novels, creative nonfiction, films, and music that represent the fight for our dying planet from a variety of angles, cultures, perspectives, and time periods. From the corporate sabotage of Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones and the science-fiction near-future of Annihilation, we will explore the ways artists and activists have sought to fight for our planet.

Requirements (subject to change): Assessments will address the multimediality of the course and will include a written analysis, an essay, and a final exam.

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ENGL 277 001/3.0 Literature and Gender

Term: winter

Instructor: Jamie Ryan

Description: Women’s sports literature has thus far been an overlooked genre, and so this course is quite possibly the first to exclusively focus on women’s sports literature at the university level. In this course, we will explore women’s sports narratives and what they tell us about the myths surrounding women athletes in popular culture as well as the transformative possibilities of women in sport. We will look at the genre tropes of sports fiction (like masculinity, the American Dream, nostalgia, the sports field as apolitical) and how they are, necessarily, complicated by the intersections of sex, race, gender, sexuality, and class. Students will explore the tensions of translating bodily experience into language, and how athletics are depicted across various mediums and genres such as novels, memoirs, poetry, film, theatre, and graphic novels. We will discuss sports such as soccer, tennis, hockey, basketball, swimming, figure skating, and running by writers like Claudia Rankine, Sarah DeLappe, Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Cara Hedley, and Natalie Diaz. A love or understanding of sport is not a prerequisite for this course. 

Requirements (subject to change): A final essay, short close reading responses, the option for creative assignments, and an exam. 

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ENGL 281 001/3.0 King Arthur: Medieval to Modern

Term: fall

Instructor:  Ruth Wehlau

Description: Arthurian legend has enthralled audiences over a period of more than a thousand years, from its first inception as a legend of British resistance to the Anglo-Saxon invasion up to its current iterations in a multitude of movie and television interpretations. This course will focus primarily on the tradition within Great Britain, beginning with the earliest Welsh texts and examining the development of Arthurian stories and characters through time in different contexts and different genres. Works to be read include selections from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, and T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone. Special attention will be paid to notions of kingship, nation, and gender as represented within Arthurian literature. 

Classes will consist of online lecture notes and a discussion forum.

Synchronous activities: None required, but there will be an optional Zoom discussion group meeting once per week.

Software: Zoom.

Requirements (subject to change): Class participation, Short Written Assignments, Essay, Exam

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ENGL 290 001/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Lyrical Ballads 

Term: fall

Instructor: Mark Jones

Description: Lyrical Ballads (published anonymously by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798, then expanded and reissued under Wordsworth’s name in 1800) is the most famous collection of English poetry to be published in the Romantic period.  Announced as an “experiment” to challenge entrenched critical assumptions, and fitted in 1800 with an aggressively provocative Preface, it still stands as a watershed in modern poetics and has often been used to mark the beginning of British Romanticism.  ENGL 290-001 explores this collection, its artistic purposes, and its reception to introduce critical and generic concepts for the analysis and interpretation of poetry.  So long as in-person meetings are ruled out by the covid crisis, the course will likely meet as a remote seminar, with regular synchronous meetings facilitated by Zoom, Team, or an equivalent platform.  As a seminar in which discussion is almost entirely led by students, the course proceeds on the assumption that good critical discussion depends on knowing what to ask. It seeks, accordingly, to teach critical topics and methods of questioning. The reading list focuses on the best known works of the 1798 and 1800 editions of Lyrical Ballads, from Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” to Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey” and “Michael.”

Synchronous activities: Seminar discussion

Software: Wordpress and email; probably Zoom, possibly Perusall and onQ discussion boards.

Assignments (subject to change): Two essays and a final exam. Seminars via Zoom: students (working singly) will post discussion questions and lead discussion for at least half a class. All students are asked to participate in these discussions and are marked on participation. Students may also be asked to do some interactive reading via Perusall in preparation for each meeting.

Requirements (subject to change): Eighty-percent participation is required to pass.  Other requirements include regular preparation and participation, possible reading quizzes, one individual seminar facilitation, two or three essays (2,500 words total), and a two-hour final exam. 

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ENGL 290 002/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Reading the Novel: Dune

Term: fall

Instructor: Glenn Willmott

Description: This course introduces students to the inner workings of storytelling, and specifically studies ways of interpreting, through literary “close reading,” the art of the novel.  The course will undertake its journey entirely within the prophetic worlds of deserts and stars so influentially imagined by Frank Herbert in Dune (1965) and Dune Messiah (1969).   

Synchronous activities: Weekly synchronous meetings but not mandatory, only optional.

Software: Zoom and Teams.

Assignments: Only written assignments. There are many more small weekly tasks—two kinds of brief entry in a space shared by the class and one in a journal shared only with the instructor. Also, a mid-term analytic exercise and a final paper.

Requirements (subject to change):  Assessment is based mostly on weekly writing along with two short assignments.

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ENGL 290 003/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Reading the Novel: Moby-Dick

Term: fall

Instructor: Glenn Willmott

Description: This course introduces students to the inner workings of storytelling, and specifically studies ways of interpreting, through literary “close reading,” the art of the novel.  In order to do this, we set sail on a long, leisurely voyage with a single, monumental text, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851). 

Synchronous activities: Weekly synchronous meetings but not mandatory, only optional.

Software: Zoom and Teams.

Assignments: Only written assignments. There are many more small weekly tasks—two kinds of brief entry in a space shared by the class and one in a journal shared only with the instructor. Also, a mid-term analytic exercise and a final paper.

Requirements (subject to change): Assessment is based mostly on weekly writing along with two short assignments.

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ENGL 290 001/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach

Term: winter

Instructor: Sam McKegney

Description: “Robinson is good,” writes Gail Anderson-Dargatz, “frighteningly good… She’ll shock you, anger you, tease you… [S]he’ll tickle and slap you with the same hand.” Haisla writer Eden Robinson burst onto the literary scene in the 1990s with her debut novel Monkey Beach, a gripping coming-of-age tale set in the Rocky Mountains along B.C.’s Pacific coast. This majestic yet ruggedly realist story, described by some critics as “Northern” or “Canadian Gothic,” weaves traditional Haisla storytelling together with teenaged angst, magic realism, and dark humour to interrogate contemporary rural life in a Canadian nation shadowed by settler colonial violence. As such, Robinson’s novel provides rich and fertile ground for developing the tools of literary analysis. In this course, we will mobilize techniques of close reading to consider such matters as race, gender, class, sexuality, ecology, cultural exchange, and decolonization, all the while reflecting upon how meaning is generated—and challenged—through language and art. Together, we will dig deeply into the terrain of Robinson’s tale and revel in what we uncover.

Requirements (subject to change): Course requirements are likely to include (an) essay(s), an examination, an oral component, and participation.  

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ENGL 290 002/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – James Joyce’s Ulysses

Term: winter

Instructor: Heather Evans

Description: “There are two kinds of people,” declared a contributor to The Economist, “Those that have read Ulysses, and those that haven’t.”  Since its scandalous publication in 1922, James Joyce’s epic novel, structured around Homer’s Odyssey, has been variously the subject of ground breaking censorship trials, lauded as one of the greatest masterpieces of English literature, condemned as an impossibly difficult novel to read, mocked as a ludicrously overwrought story of a day in the life of its rather ordinary protagonist Leopold Bloom, illustrated by artistic luminaries such as Henri Matisse, made sexy by Eve Arnold’s 1955 photographs of Marilyn Monroe reading the book in a playground, and inspired countless pilgrimages to Dublin and pub crawls through the city.  Named by British actor Stephen Fry as his favourite book, Ulysses, Fry says, is not only a great work of comedy, but it is “the most affirmative book”; “you’ll be astonished by how beautiful it is, and it’s a book like no other that you can return to again and again and again and again.”  As the writer in The Economist asserted, the novel’s “patient readers are marked for life by having read it.”  Without necessarily promising a life-altering experience, our journey through Joyce’s often dark and dingy Dublin and irrepressibly sympathetic exploration of human nature – pimples, warts and all -- will begin with an introduction to Joyce’s Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and will provide opportunity to develop close reading and critical interpretation skills.

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

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ENGL 290 003/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation – Reading Tolkien Reading Beowulf

Term:  winter

Instructor: Ruth Wehlau

Descriptions: As a medievalist, Tolkien borrowed freely from sources he was familiar with, including the Old English language and the epic Beowulf. This course will involve a close reading of Beowulf, as well as an introduction to the style, language and ethos of Old English poetry. We will then consider Tolkien’s own reading of Beowulf, looking at both his critical commentary on the poem, and the influence of Beowulf and the Old English language on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The class will conclude with a study of the second book of the trilogy, The Two Towers, which includes a description of the kingdom of Rohan, a construction based (partly) on the Anglo-Saxons.

Classes will consist of close reading and discussion.

Requirements (subject to change): Class Participation, Short Exercises, Essay, Class Presentation and Report, Exam

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ENGL 296 001/3.0 Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory I

Term: fall

Instructor: Angela Facundo

Description: This course establishes a foundational capacity to read, talk about, and write about critical and literary theory. We will examine the tension between theories of subjectivity and theories of reading as they developed in relation to one another. In this the course, we will study authors who instruct their readers on how to interpret art while arguing about its value, its relation to “truth,” and the role it plays in society. Gradually, we will examine the structures of language itself, how it mediates culture, and how it constitutes the subject. The way we pay attention to literature, the way we organize our understanding of it, impacts the ways in which subjects become intelligible in the world and relate to one another. 
The course begins with the expectation that students will have little to no previous exposure to theory. We will explore not only the contents of the material but also how to read the texts themselves as well as begin to engage theory in their literary analyses. This course will prepare students for the recommended related course in the Winter Term, English 297.

Synchronous activities: Meeting twice a week on Zoom for two 20-minute mini lectures each “class” with break in between (recordings to be posted OnQ for asynchronous access); the second half of each class will involve break-out group activity, facilitated by TAs.

Software: Zoom, Turnitin in onQ, possibly FeedbackFruits in onQ.

Assignments: All written assignments will be “take-home.” There will be breakout group participation and debriefing as we come back from our groups as a class. Open-book mid-term, open-book final exam.

Requirements (subject to change): essays, online attendance and participation, open book, ‘take-home’ final exam. 

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ENGL 297 001/3.0 Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory II

Term:  winter

Instructor:  Angela Facundo

Description: This course builds on a foundational capacity to read, talk about, and write about critical and literary theory. It is recommended but not required for students to have taken the preceding course from the Fall Term, English 296, as we will employ lines of thinking that will have been established so far. In English 297, we will examine how theorists and literary critics question, revise, and even undermine methods of interpretation and theories of language that dominated the field until the second half of the 20th century. We will continue to examine the structures of language itself, how it mediates culture, and how it constitutes the subject, but from different kinds of subject positions and contexts of power. Students will also cultivate their literary analysis skills by devoting more time to put theory into dialogue with literary fiction. 

Requirements (subject to change):  essays, attendance and participation, open book, ‘take-home’ final exam.

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300-Level Courses

 

To take 300-level English courses, one must:

  • be enrolled in an ENGL BAH program (Medial or Major) and
  • have successfully completed ENGL 200/6.0 and ENGL 290/3.0

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 326 001/6.0 Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama

Term: full year

Instructor: Marta Straznicky

Description: This course will approach the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as theatrical texts. We will focus on eight famous plays written for the commercial theatres of early modern London (by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Kyd, Webster, and Middleton), but we will also explore plays written for site-specific performance at court, in streets and marketplaces, and in country homes, some performed and authored by women. We will learn about rehearsal practices, staging conventions, the professional organization of acting companies and their repertory system, the social and economic status of theatregoers, the collaborative relationship between playing companies and the book trade, and the various ways in which non-theatrical institutions such as the monarchy and the church influenced what was and what could be staged in London and elsewhere. A major aim of the course is to help you develop your skills as a reader of plays, to learn, in addition to analyzing such things as character, theme, style, and narrative structure, how to construct historically informed interpretations of theatrical vocabulary, the language of space, and the subjective experience of early modern spectators. 

Synchronous activities: None

Software: onQ only

Assignments: Bi-weekly reading quizzes, 1500-word written essay, 2 discussion forum posts, take-home mid-term (2-hour).

Requirements (subject to change): Coursework will count for 60% of your mark and will include regular close reading exercises and discussion posts, two short essays in the Fall term (1200 words each), and one long essay in Winter term (2500 words). The final exam will count for 40% of your mark.

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

Term: full year

Instructor: Christopher Fanning

Description: This course surveys the variety of writing produced by men and women between 1660 and 1800, paying attention to the development of poetic forms and other characteristic modes of literary expression (e.g., drama, prose fiction, the periodical essay) and exploring the philosophical and social-cultural ideals and realities of the period. Questions to be considered: How did the period itself view literature and literary history? Who should write poetry and what are the appropriate topics and forms of literature? What is the nature of authorship in a print culture? What aesthetic, social and political concerns are reflected in the characteristic discourses of the period—satire, sensibility, and the sublime? 

Synchronous activities: Two or three synchronous events in each term, during one of the scheduled slots. Students will be given study questions in advance, and will be required to participate via chat during a live TEAMS session. A TA will monitor the chat and bring up interesting and useful points from the chat, to include in a live conversation with the instructor. Students’ contributions will be evaluated after the fact in a review of the chat. Session will be recorded and made available on OnQ.

Software: Teams

Assignments: Traditional essays, discussion forum participation, TEAMS session participation (by text), and a final exam.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

EXCLUSION: Students enrolled in ENGL 330 in Fall-Winter 2020–2021 are not permitted to enrol in ENGL 431 in Winter 2021.

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ENGL 340 001/6.0 Romantic Literature

Term: full year

Instructor: Mark Jones

Description:  ENGL 340 is a survey course in English Romantic literature; it emphasizes 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 includes regular lectures but emphasizes individual reading rather than lecture as the primary element in the learning process; to this end, it includes quizzes to ensure participatory reading and supplies study sheets with discussion questions to promote active reading.  So long as in-person meetings are ruled out by the covid crisis, the course will likely meet as a remote classroom, with regular synchronous lecture/discussion sessions facilitated by Zoom, Team, or an equivalent platform.

Synchronous activities: Lecture in brief sections, discussion.

Software: Wordpress and email; probably Zoom, possibly Perusall and onQ discussion boards.

Assignments: Optional diagnostic essay early fall term, plus a required term writing assignment for each of the fall and winter terms. I’m mostly going to flip the classroom, giving primary readings together with study sheets (including contextual info, lecture segments, and discussion questions) each week; I will then use the meeting times mainly for Zoom discussion, but I have to experiment with various tools to discover what works for this. I would like each student to prepare for class by doing three things while reading: answer one of my discussion questions, pose a discussion question of their own, and respond to at least one class-mate’s discussion question. I’m hoping Perusall will work for this, but I may use the discussion board as well or instead. 

Requirements (subject to change): Eighty-percent attendance is required to pass. Other requirements include regular reading and preparation, ten or more reading quizzes, two or more essays (4,500 words total), and a three-hour final exam.

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ENGL 357 001/6.0 19th‐Century British Literature and Visual Culture

Term: full year

Instructor: Heather Evans

Description: “[What] is the use of a book,” muses Alice before her tumble down the rabbit-hole into Wonderland, “without pictures or conversations?”  While Alice may be reflecting specifically on her experiences with books designed for young readers, her question evokes a widespread fascination in nineteenth-century society with book illustrations and other visual media.  The expansion of spaces of exhibition and what Kate Flint refers to as “technologies of spectatorship,” including museums and galleries, periodicals and advertisements, commercial venues, and illustrated journalism, contributed to a burgeoning written commentary designed to educate an increasingly literate, affluent, and democratic readership about how to engage with, interpret, and evaluate what they saw.  Our course will explore the intersections between what was seen and what was said, beginning with a consideration of the tradition of ekphrasis inherited from the Romantics, and moving through poems, novels, short stories, and non-fiction that is variously concerned with what is seen (or in some cases veiled and perilously hidden from view) in nineteenth-century culture.  Throughout the year, our study of poems, short prose, and novels will allow us to investigate the dynamic interplay between literature and visual media, including painting, arts and crafts, sculpture and monuments, book and periodical illustration, advertising, architecture, clothing and interior decor, commodity culture, photography, and the human body as itself an object shaped by and subject to scrutiny, as we endeavour to satisfy our own twenty-first-century fascination with showing, exposing, and viewing ourselves, each other, and our world.  

Requirements (subject to change): Course requirements are likely to include two short essays in the fall term and a longer essay in the winter term, regular attendance and participation, short written assignments and/or online discussion posts.

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ENGL 369 001/6.0 Modern and Contemporary Prose Fiction 

Term: full year

Instructor: Yaël Schlick

Description: This course will focus on the historical dimension of the contemporary novel.  We will explore historical fiction, the novel’s engagement with the problematics of history, and the interplay between the personal and the historical in recent fiction writing.  Works for this course are chosen to represent a broad historical and geographical range, and the historical contexts of works will be studied in detail.  Our international group of authors—from the U.K., South Africa, Argentina, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, Ireland, the U.S., and Nigeria—includes Pat Barker, J.M. Coetzee, Joseph O’Neill, Lloyd Jones, Manuel Puig, Jonathan Safran Foer, John Fowles, Javier Cercas, Jenny Erpenbeck, Deborah Levy and Teju Cole.

Synchronous activities: The entire year will be taught remotely. There will be weekly Teams meetings during one of the scheduled class times (probably Wednesdays). Attendance is optional but strongly encouraged; students unable to attend any of the scheduled meetings should not take this course.

Software: Teams

Assignments: Reading diaries, short assignments/exercises, and term essays (likely one per term). Final exam in April 2021, no December exam.

Requirements (subject to change): Writing assignments and exercises throughout the year that will cover all required works, as well as student contribution to class discussion.

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ENGL 375 001/6.0 American Literature

Term: full year

Instructor: Kristin Moriah

Description: In this survey of American literature from the mid-19th century to the present we will focus on the fiction, essays, drama, and oral traditions that comprise the American literary experience. Using the print and online versions of Keywords for American Cultural Studies as our guide, this section of ENGL 375 introduces recurrent themes in the scope of American literature and culture. Keywords and themes for our course will include abolition, civilization, diaspora, environment, gender, identity, and race.

Requirements (subject to change): Students will read, analyze, and respond critically to texts in class discussions, essays, and a final exam.

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400-Level Courses 

 

4th Year ENGL Majors and Medials

Are you on the list for 4th Year Advanced Course Selection?

If you're a 4th year ENGL Major or Medial and you haven't received an email about ACS,
contact Cynthia Collins at cc98@queensu.ca to be added to the list today!

 

To take 400-level English courses, one must:

  • be enrolled in an ENGL BAH program (Medial or Major) and
  • have successfully completed ENGL 200/6.0 and ENGL 290/3.0.

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 411 001-1/3.0 Topics in Medieval Literature II – Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Term: fall

Instructor: Ruth Wehlau

Description: Written during the social change following the Black Death, Chaucer’s satirical masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, includes tales in a variety of genres, ranging from philosophical romance to bawdy folk tale. This course will involve a reading of a large selection of the tales, examining them individually, but also looking at the overall unity of the text. Areas of special interest include gender, class, and the carnivalesque, as well as the broader Christian themes of the work -- pilgrimage and penance. All tales will be read in Middle English, but students will receive help and instruction in acquiring the skills needed to read and pronounce the language. By the end of the term you should be able to read, understand and pronounce Middle English and you should have a sense of critical issues and historical context surrounding The Canterbury Tales

Classes will involve a blend of synchronous small group discussions and an online discussion forum. Students who cannot meet for synchronous discussion will be accommodated.

Synchronous activities: Required seminar meeting once per week during scheduled class time.

Software: Zoom.

Requirements (subject to change): Class Participation, Presentation, Essay, Exam.

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

Term: winter

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, and The King of Tars. Our aim is to analyze the configuration of these two groups within medieval English literature and to examine the recurring motifs that have allowed these constructions to be passed on over the years.

Classes will involve a blend of synchronous small group discussions and an online discussion forum. Students who cannot meet for synchronous discussion will be accommodated.

Synchronous activities: Required seminar meeting once per week during scheduled class time.

Software: Zoom.

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

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ENGL 421 001-5/3.0 Topics in Renaissance Literature I – Shakespeare and Film: Celluloid Shakespeare

Term: fall

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.  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?  How would concepts of textuality, performance, and adaptation account for shifts from an auratic to a hyperreal Shakespeare? What is the significance of the shifts from blackface to black, manwomanly to womanmanly, and from difference to universalism? 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. 

Synchronous activities: None

Software: Primarily onQ, possibly with podcasts/voice-over slide shows.

Assignments: Weekly discussion forums with specific prompts based on required primary and secondary sources, group seminar presentations that students work on in groups set up in OnQ or via Zoom or Facebook or Google Docs or Teams if they prefer. The final version of the seminar presentation will be posted for response and discussion from the other students.  Major project on adaptation in any form students prefer (conventional essay or a mix of media and performance) submitted individually.

Requirements (subject to change): The proposed remote, asynchronous teaching in the Fall  will result in  inventive forms of assigned participation, group discussion forums, and a major project  in which students can choose between the conventional term paper and a creative hybrid in which they display musical, performance, cinematic, digital, or screenwriting skills to challenge, complement or supplement the adaptations they have encountered.

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

Term: winter

Instructor: Marta Straznicky

Description: This course explores the transformation of Shakespeare’s plays from stage performance to print in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. We will investigate how Shakespeare’s works became printed books, tracing their evolution from manuscript to performance to print publication. The course will focus on three works of Shakespeare that have a particularly interesting or complicated textual history: Hamlet, Henry V, and Pericles. We will study the kinds and uses of manuscript in the theatre (actors’ parts, rehearsal scripts, promptbooks); the printing and publishing trades (licensing and censorship, copyright, the manufacture of books, typography, print formats, bookselling); and early modern reading practics (oral reading, annotation, commonplacing, reading circles, book ownership). You will work closely with digital facsimiles and become familiar with some major research resources for studying the history of the book trade. While focused on Shakespeare and early modern print culture, the methodology and theoretical approach of the course is applicable to any author and any area of literary history. The course is designed to introduce you to Book History as well as to teach you about the specific context in which Shakespeare became a print author. 

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

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ENGL 431 001-3/3.0  Topics in Restoration and 18th‐Century Literature I – Sensibility and the Sublime

Term: winter

Instructor: Christopher Fanning

Description:  The great neoclassical satirists Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift died in 1744 and 1745, respectively.  The passing of these writers, who had defined the forms and standards of literary expression for decades, marked a watershed in English poetry: “For who durst now to poetry pretend?” asked one anonymous writer in 1744.  This course will examine the attempts of later eighteenth-century authors to fill this perceived void on their own terms.  Rather than continue to emulate the traditional ideals of Augustan Rome, authors of the 1740s and subsequent decades sought to cultivate native British traditions, to define themselves against Pope in particular, and to define an aesthetic in tune with human emotion and the natural world, redefining and revaluing concepts of fancy and imagination, reorganizing the canon of English authors, elevating genres such as the lyric (the ode) and the novel.

Authors to be studied may include: Milton, Pope, Addison, Collins, Gray, Burke, Sterne, Mackenzie, Goldsmith, More, Yearsley, Radcliffe.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

EXCLUSION: Students enrolled in ENGL 330 in Fall-Winter 2020–2021 are not permitted to enrol in ENGL 431 in Winter 2021.

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ENGL 441 001-7/3.0 Topics in Romanticism I – Poetry and Poetics of Lord Byron

Term: winter

Instructor: Mark Jones

Description: This section of ENGL 441 is an introductory seminar emphasizing Lord Byron’s unfinished satirical masterpiece, Don Juan (all of which is assigned reading).  But the course begins with a survey of Byron’s earlier achievements in forms including lyric, closet drama, and verse romance.  Emphasis is on close and intertextual reading of Byron’s works in connection with critical topics including the Byronic hero, romantic irony, satire, anti-authoritarianism, nationalism, orientalism, self-fashioning, and the public sphere.  For seminar work, students formulate critical questions and lead class discussion.  If in-person meetings are ruled out by the covid crisis, the course will likely meet as a remote seminar, with regular synchronous meetings facilitated by Zoom, Team, or an equivalent platform.  

Requirements (subject to change):  Eighty-percent attendance is required to pass. Other requirements include regular preparation and participation, one seminar facilitation, one or more essays (2,500 words total), and a two-hour final exam.

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

Term: fall

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): Course requirements will likely include an online seminar presentation, one term paper, regular attendance and participation, and a final exam.  May also include short written assignments and/or online discussion posts.

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ENGL 452 001-7/3.0 Studies in Victorian Literature – Women and Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture 

Term: winter

Instructor: Maggie Berg

Description: Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) proposed that humans are evolved from animals. Most Victorians were horrified that they were “descended from apes,” as they put it. However, Darwin’s discovery also prompted increased concern for animal suffering. Many of the activists for animal rights were women. Perhaps this is because social scientific ideology placed certain human groups lower on a scale of humanness including women, the working classes, children, criminals and racialized others. We will examine literary representations which explore connections between women and animals. We will consider Victorian literature in light of anxieties about the human-animal divide and fear of women’s power. We will read a selection of Darwin’s theories, along with recent theories about the human-animal divide. We will also consider the anti-vivisection debate, which was driven mainly by women, and Victorian scientific theories about the nature of femininity. We will read a selection of Charles Darwin’s work, and novels by Anna Sewell, Anne Brontë, Wilkie Collins, and Virginia Woolf. We will also view and discuss some visual art of the period. 

Requirements (subject to change): Evaluation will be based on short assignments in the form of reflection papers, a seminar presentation (if on campus), a presentation of a visual image, and a final paper.  

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ENGL 461 001-1/3.0 Topics in Modern/Contemporary British Literature I – Literature Between the Wars

Term: fall

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.

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

Term: winter

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

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ENGL 466 002-/3.0 Topics in Modern/Contemporary Canadian Literature I – The Montreal Group

Term: winter

Instructor: Robert G. MayThe Montreal Group, Queen's University, Dr. RG May

Description:  The Montreal Group was an influential coterie of poets associated with McGill University during the interwar years who aimed to introduce a new Modernist sensibility into Canadian poetics. A.J.M. Smith and F.R. Scott were the core members of the group, but it quickly grew to include A.M. Klein, Leon Edel, Robert Finch, and others. Beginning with little magazines such as the Literary Supplement of the McGill Daily (1924-25), the McGill Fortnightly Review (1925-27), and the Canadian Mercury (1928-29), the movement culminated in the publication of New Provinces (1936), the seminal anthology of early Canadian Modernism. This course will trace how the Montreal Group eschewed the outworn Romanticism that had dominated Canadian poetry since the nineteenth century in favour of the broader range of themes, techniques, and complexities of twentieth-century poets such as T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W.H. Auden, and others, towards heralding a Modernist renaissance in Canadian poetics.

Requirements (subject to change): Evaluation methods will include one Essay, one Seminar Presentation, and one Examination. A portion of students’ final grade will also be devoted to Class Participation.

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ENGL 467 001-4/3.0 Topics in Modern/Contemporary Canadian Literature II – The Literary Road Trip

Term: spring

Instructor: Heather Macfarlane

Description: Canada is often characterized by its geography, and its history is one of movement and migration. The road narrative combines both history and geography through movement over land, making it a powerful and significant genre in literature written in Canada. In this course we will examine road trip narratives produced from the 1960s onward in order to demonstrate their nation-building significance in Anglo-Canadian, French-Canadian, Indigenous and diaspora traditions. What characterizes the road genre, and what does it tell us about these communities? We will look at gender, culture, counter-culture, genre, community and nationhood in a series of novels, short stories and films produced by writers from each of the groups in question.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA

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ENGL 476 001-3/3.0 Topics in Postcolonial Literatures – Zombies: A Post/Colonial History

Term: spring

Instructor: Chris Bongie

Description: Zombies are everywhere these days: as Sarah Juliet Lauro puts it in her recent The Transatlantic Zombie: Slavery, Rebellion, and Living Death (2015), “the zombie has been ubiquitous, ‘cultural common coin’… in the past decade.” As Lauro goes on to caution, the figure of the zombie “has been so prevalent in the entertainment of North Americans that the fact that the majority remain unaware of its extraordinary postcolonial significance indicates a surprising (if not malicious) cultural blind spot.” The purpose of this seminar course is to address that blind spot by restoring the walking dead to their original Caribbean context (the Haitian revolution and its aftermath) and then tracing the history of their appropriation by North American popular culture—a history that dates from the time of the U.S. Occupation of Haiti (1915-34). In charting the genealogy of the zombie, we will be guided in great part by Roger Luckhurst’s informative and accessible Zombies: A Cultural History (2015), which we will be reading in its entirety over the course of the semester. After an introductory unit examining “colonial gothic” and the ways in which Haitian culture (and notably, Vaudou) were portrayed in literature from before and during the U.S. Occupation, we will look at specific points of transmission through which, in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s the zombie entered into “our” popular culture, notably through pulp fiction (in magazines such as Weird Tales), films (such as White Zombie and I Walked with a Zombie), and horror comics (such as Voodoo) that helped solidify the myth. After this genealogical journey, we will move on to the present, focusing on a handful of Caribbean novels—such as René Depestre's Hadriana in my Dreams (1988) and Pedro Cabiya’s Wicked Weeds (2016)—that rework the figure of the zombie in ways which contest the racialized assumptions of mainstream North American popular culture: Although we will not have time for in-class study of more familiar manifestations of present-day zombie culture (video games, television serials, literary mash-ups of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies genre, etc.), the course will conclude with group presentations in which students are asked to speak about particular manifestations of contemporary zombie culture.

Requirements (subject to change): quizzes (on Luckhurst’s book); group presentation; 3-hour final examination; some minor homework/in-class assignments; class participation & excellent attendance.

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ENGL 477 001-2/3.0 Topics in Postcolonial Literatures II – Reading African Dis/Ease

Term: winter

Instructor: Sarah Kastner

Description: While race is a social construct and not a biological reality, the social determinants of health have everything to do with race. From nineteenth-century missionaries condemning libidinous ‘heathens’ to twentieth-century segregationists persecuting so-called ‘dirty’ Bantus, and twenty-first century French doctors suggesting the COVID-19 vaccine could be tested on Africans, complex colonial legacies underlie all aspects of wellbeing, health, and medicine in Africa. This timely course investigates the psychology of colonization and the history of biomedical intervention in Africa through a selection of fiction by writers who theorize what it means to tell stories of ill-being as they tell them. 

Requirements (subject to change): TBA 

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ENGL 481 001-5/3.0 Topics in Indigenous Literatures I – Transnational Perspectives

Term: winter

Instructor: Armand Ruffo

Description: The information age has made borders porous. Information cannot be contained. What were once national interests have become transnational. This seminar will examine a selection of contemporary literature by Indigenous authors from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. In considering the themes and aesthetics of these texts in light of cultural and historical specificity, we will look for linkages between them and consider how they “speak to each other” beyond national borders, facilitating and advancing common interests and goals.

Requirements (subject to change): participation, essay, presentation, final exam.

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ENGL 482 001-3/3.0 Topics in Indigenous Literatures II – Contemporary North American Indigenous Literature: Indigenous YA Literature Written in Canada

Term: fall

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 2018. 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, the trauma of the residential school experience, the Sixties and Millennial Scoops, and violence against Indigenous women and girls through resurgence and decolonization. Although all of the novels share certain thematic and structural features, we will pay close attention to nation specific differences.

Synchronous activities: Zoom meetings for class discussion, two guest lectures by invited Indigenous scholars, student presentations

Software: Zoom

Assignments: Short presentations on Zoom, written assignments. Participation (15% of final grade) will consist of six written answers to questions posted on onQ about the primary texts.

Requirements (subject to change): various short writing assignments and a final paper. 

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ENGL 487 001-7/3.0 Group III: Special Topics II – Women's Lives

Term: fall

Instructor: Yaël Schlick

Description: This course will explore women’s autobiographical writing in the 20th and 21st centuries.  We will study the genre of autobiography generally, and examine the issues and challenges that attend women’s autobiographical narratives in particular.  Authors include:  Simone de Beauvoir, Zora Neale Hurston, Marjane Satrapi, Alison Bechdel, Deborah Levy, and Lyn Hejinian.

Synchronous activities: Weekly Teams meetings during one of the scheduled class times. Attendance is optional but strongly encouraged; students unable to attend any of the scheduled meetings should not take this course.

Software: Teams

Assignments: 6 reading diary submissions, 4 short assignments/exercises, and a term essay due at the end of term. No exam.

Requirements (subject to change): Writing assignments and exercises throughout the semester that will cover all required works, as well as student contribution to class discussion.  Students will also be required to write an autobiographical narrative that engages with the concepts studied throughout the semester.

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ENGL 487 001-8/3.0 Group III: Special Topics II – Later British and American Modernisms: c. 1914-1942

Term: winter

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, W.B. Yeats, and Virginia Woolf; we will also consider a 1930s Hollywood film. 

Requirements (subject to change):  TBA

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ENGL 487 002-2/3.0 Group III: Special Topics II – Science Fictional Worlds

Term: winter

Instructor: Glenn Willmott

Description: No doubt, our everyday world is becoming more science fictional than ever, with lives permeated by manufactured environments, with a morally and spiritually bewildering storm of scientific knowledge about nature and about ourselves, and with anxieties that take shape in flourishing dystopias.  How do we live safely, writer Charles Yu has asked, in such a world?  Using science fiction theory as a foundation, we will look at what fantastic, science fictional worlds from around 1900 to the present have to say about our minds, morality, politics, and love.

Requirements (subject to change): TBA 

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ENGL 496 001-4/3.0 Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory I – What is Close Reading? 

Term: fall

Instructor: Angela Facundo

Description: The central distinguishing practice of the English discipline – “close reading” – is far from having a stable definition or method. This course explores the ways that literary scholars have developed and applied theories of “close reading” as they define it. We will examine a series of debates, from the attitude, for example, that the text stands alone, in isolation of its historical moment, to the argument that the text is only understandable from its historical context. We will also study the discipline’s oscillating preference between “surface” and “depth” in interpretive methods. The goal is for students to understand and adopt a more pliable relationship to how we pay close attention to the literary text. 
Students who take this course will have previous exposure to theory, having taken at least an introductory survey and would ideally already own the Norton Anthology of Criticism and Theory. We will be reading a mix of essays, with the opportunity to apply different practices to readings of fiction. 

Synchronous activities: Meeting twice a week on Zoom for two 20-minute mini lectures each “class” with a break in between (recordings to be posted OnQ for asynchronous access), plus break-out group activity and/or student presentations/videos.

Software: Zoom, Turnitin in onQ, FeedbackFruits in onQ, video integration in onQ  as an alternative option for students if they are not comfortable presenting in real time.

Assignments: Shorter, “take-home” written assignments, a term paper, no final exam. There will be breakout group participation, and also presentations/videos (synchronous or asynchronous options—preference will be up to student).

Requirements (subject to change): essays, attendance and participation, presentation.

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ENGL 497 001-2/3.0 Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory II – Queer Theory

Term: winter

Instructor: Angela Facundo

Description: The field of queer theory is a site of hotly contested concepts and politics. Our course explores this hotbed of debate: both the (canonical) history of queer theory’s development as well as its current state. Many theorists grapple with both the definition and agenda of the concept, “queer.” Our course will continue this difficult work by exploring queer theory through a variety of splits: between identity politics and a desire to undo identity, between the masculine and feminine, between psychoanalytic theory and activism. From these ambivalences about how to position “queer” politics, we will explore how the term is situated in relation to a number of conceptual contexts: namely, the drive, discourse, and commodity culture. While, for some scholars, queer theory is an object to think about, for others, it is an object to think with. Finally, we will explore queer theory’s relationship to literary study. Course readings, class discussions, and assignments will train students to articulate and develop difficult and flexible concepts both orally and in writing.

Requirements (subject to change): essays, attendance and participation, presentation.

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ENGL 590 001/3.0 Senior Essay

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

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Creative Writing

 

CWRI 272 001/3.0 Writing Memoir

Term: winter

Instructor: Maram Taibah

Description: A practical course focused on personal storytelling. The student will look at different kinds of memoir and put a set of storytelling and writing skills to practice. There will also be a section about using memoir in the online space. 

Prerequisite: Level 2 or higher.

 

CWRI 295 001/3.0 Creative Writing I (FULL)

Term: winter

Instructor: Carolyn Smart

Description: A practical examination of creative writing skills, focused on the writing workshop. The student may concentrate on short fiction or poetry, or a combination of the two, throughout the term.

Note:  Admission is based on writing samples. Email your student number and a non-rhyming poem or short story, to Carolyn Smart (smartc@queensu.ca). Be sure to identify the course for which you are applying in your email. Early submission is encouraged. The instructor will be accepting submissions until the course is filled. Successful applicants will be notified by the instructor.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor (smartc@queensu.ca).

 

CWRI 295 700/3.0 Creative Writing I (ASO) (FULL)

Term: fall

Instructor: Carolyn Smart

Description: A practical examination of creative writing skills, focused on the writing workshop. The student may concentrate on short fiction or poetry, or a combination of the two, throughout the term.

Note: Admission is based on writing samples. Email your student number and a non-rhyming poem or short story, to Carolyn Smart (smartc@queensu.ca). Be sure to identify the course for which you are applying in your email. Early submission is encouraged. The instructor will be accepting submissions until the course is filled. Successful applicants will be notified by the instructor.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor (smartc@queensu.ca).

 

CWRI 393 001/3.0 Creative Writing in Prose (FULL)

Term: fall

Instructor: Carolyn Smart

Description: A workshop course focusing on the writing and editing of short fiction, novels, and memoir. Students attempt several different approaches to the writing of creative prose, as well as the process of publication in both magazine and book formats.

Note: Admission is based on writing samples. Email your student number and your best short story (length and content determined is up to you), to Carolyn Smart (smartc@queensu.ca). Be sure to identify the course for which you are applying in your email. Early submission is encouraged. The instructor will be accepting submissions until the course is filled. Successful applicants will be notified by the instructor.

Synchronous activities: Discussion of the workshop pieces on hand will make up most of the scheduled class time.

Software: Zoom

Assignments: Four short stories in specific forms submitted directly to the instructor, and four short stories of any form submitted to the full class (and the instructor) for workshop during the term. All students are encouraged to participate in discussion, but if they are uncomfortable talking, they may fully participate through emailed responses to the work at hand only.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor (smartc@queensu.ca).

 

CWRI 394 001/3.0 Intermediate Writing in Poetry

Term: spring

Instructor: Armand Garnet Ruffo

Description: A workshop course in poetry designed for students who have some experience in writing poetry and participating in a writing workshop setting.  The course will focus on the reading, writing and editing of poetry, in which students will attempt several different poetic forms and complete the course with a formal submission for publication.  Students will be encouraged to work on a thematically connected suite of poems.

Prerequisite: CWRI 295/3.0 or permission of the instructor. Permission of the instructor is based on writing samples and a one-page letter describing any relevant experience you may have and why you would like to take this workshop. Early submission is encouraged. The instructor will accept students until the course is filled. Successful applicants will be notified by email. Email 5 to 10 poems and your letter, along with your student number, to Armand Garnet Ruffo (armand.ruffo@queensu.ca).

 

CWRI 496 001/3.0 Advanced Creative Writing

Term: winter

Instructor: Carolyn Smart

Description: This advanced level course is structured entirely around the creative writing workshop with a major component of editing and publication. The concentration is on short fiction and poetry, though memoir and creative non-fiction are options. There is an intensive focus on publication and editing in a class-produced anthology, Lake Effect, published by Upstart Press, a Kingston publisher, and launched at the end of term with a public reading. There will be several guest speakers from the publishing industry, and a formal workshop on performance. 

Prerequisite: In order to apply you must have completed CWRI 293, 294, or 295 and received permission of the instructor.