2000-4000 Level Courses
On this page, you'll find our 2000-4000 level course offerings for the upcoming semesters, as well as specific topics for 2000-4000 level courses being offered in the upcoming semester. English courses at the 2000 level are accessible to all students who have completed six first-year English course credits (or their equivalent). English courses at the 3000 and 4000 level are accessible to students who meet the prerequisite(s) for the courses. For more information about the Bachelor of Arts in English Major and Minor programs click here.
Summer 2024: 2000-4000 Level Courses
*These courses are subject to change and additional courses may be added.
ENGL 2341 Science Fiction and Fantasy (Robert Pasquini)
ENGL 2355 Literary Classics on Film (Kegan Doyle)
ENGL 2316 English Literature: 14th to 18th Centuries (John Rupert)
ENGL 3321 Renaissance Drama (N.P. Kennedy)
ENGL 3303 Canadian Poetry (Mark Cochrane)
ENGL 3305 Film Theory (Kelly Doyle)
ENGL 3309 Literature of the United States: 1945-Present (Steve Weber)
ENGL 3370 Life Writing (Unita Ahdifard)
ENGL 4401 Topics in Canadian Literature (Greg Chan)
Spring 2024: 2000-4000 Level Courses
*These courses are subject to change and additional courses may be added.
ENGL 2250 Approaches to Literary Study (Kris Singh)
In this course, we will analyze Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber. This Afrofuturist novel depicts the maturation of Tan-Tan, who was born on the planet Toussaint. It invites readers to think about how artificial intelligence relates to knowledge production, how language relates to colonial power, how past revolutionaries relate to imagined futures, and how performance relates to gender and sexuality. In pursuing these and other complexities of Midnight Robber, students will develop and practice key reading strategies while exploring and applying a variety of critical approaches.
ENGL 2317 English Literature : 18th to 20th Centuries (Deb Blenkhorn)
How can the literature of the past help us to understand today's world? Join us as we examine and respond to representative literary works in English from the past three centuries within their sociocultural contexts.
ENGL 2320 Studies in Poetry (John Rupert)
Join me on a journey into the otherworld of the supernatural. Our excursion through my chamber of horrors will begin with poems that take us into the spirit world beyond the realms of life and death, the realm of ghosts and demons. Next, our journey will take us to the unhallowed damps of the grave, where vampires threaten body and soul, even sanity itself! Warning: holy relics and talismans strongly recommended for this course!
ENGL 2345 The Graphic Novel and Comic Book Literature (Gavin Paul)
This course will survey a diverse range of graphic novels from the past few decades, applying a thematic focus of “Heroes and Ghosts.” We will develop a skill set for reading literature that is becoming increasingly sophisticated not only in its formal presentation, but also in its representations of history, subjectivity, and memory. From familiar super-heroes to poignant memoirs, what kinds of distinctive spaces do comics create for social critique, imaginative narratives, and personal expression? You’ve been reading words and pictures your whole life—let’s find out what they can really do.
ENGL 3300 Critical Theory (Kelly Doyle)
Critical Theory is not abstract; rather, it is a mode of enquiry that resonates in everyday life and works towards practical goals for societal transformation. According to Horkheimer, a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as a “liberating … influence”, and works “to create a world which satisfies the needs and powers of” human beings. In this class, we will explore theoretical frameworks such as Feminist Theory, Postcolonial Theory, Critical Animal Studies and others to reveal, critique, and challenge dominant ideologies and power structures in culture and society.
ENGL 3302 Canadian Prose in English from 1900 (Cara Hedley)
What does literature tell us about the development of a nation and its mythologies? What voices are included, and which are left out? In this course, we will study the changes and developments in Canadian prose in English from 1900 to the present, exploring major figures, historical and literary periods, and themes. The texts included in this course represent a diverse range of voices and stories, revealing the complexities, problems, and potential of Canadian prose literature. As we explore these issues, students will learn how to read prose closely and critically with consideration of various critical perspectives and social and historical contexts, to identify genre conventions within prose fiction, and to organize and effectively communicate their ideas through writing lessons and assignments.
ENGL 3315 Studies In Chaucer (N.P. Kennedy)
This course is intended to provide students with a depth of understanding of the thought and the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, one of the profoundest thinkers of his age—even though “he wore his learning very lightly”—and one of the greatest poets of any age. It is thus intended to add to students’ mental furniture, and help them to grow, themselves, as thinkers—and as writers. Coming to terms with his art will require a substantial amount of reading—both of what Chaucer wrote and of what others have written about him. Anyone with a love of literature should, however, find that there is much pleasure in reading Chaucer—and that cultivating a knowledge of his art is worth the difficulty.
ENGL 3328 Romantic Poetry and Poets (Lindsey Seatter)
Romantic Poetry: An Albatross, Ozymandias, and a Lady with some Painted Flowers walk into a KPU classroom…Do you want to know what happens next? Then join ENGL 3328 for a voyage through Romantic poetry. In this course, we will examine literary coteries, study poetry circulation, and discuss how the voices of Romantic poets shaped individual and national identities in a period of rapid and inescapable social change. We will read works from the brilliant minds of the “Big 6”—Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Shelley, Byron, and Keats—alongside a rich selection of powerful women writers.
ENGL 3331 Young Adult Literature (Heather Cyr)
Angst, Love, and Banned Books: In this class, we will study a range of texts to understand how Young Adult Literature has developed into today's forward-looking, massively popular, and often-controversial publishing category. We’ll read and respond to works in different forms (such as graphic novels, verse novels, short stories, and film) and genres (such as Dystopia, Romance, and Fantasy). Among other topics, we will explore the roles of book banning, empowerment, protest, fandoms, diversity, representation, social justice, and adolescent agency in coming-of-age narratives from the last several decades. This special section of ENGL3331 will be a part of a COIL project with our partner school AUAS. Students will have the opportunity to work with counterparts in an Education program in Amsterdam to reflect upon how we may read and teach YA Literature in international contexts. While we will share our knowledge in group activities, course work will be assessed separately.
ENGL 3351 Studies in Modernism (Paul Ohler)
Studies in Modernism will examine aspects of the international literary response to the experiences and values of life in the first decades of the twentieth century, a time of technological advances, social change, and shifting values. The course will center on the “crisis of representation” as an organizing principle for considering the movement's intellectual and historical currents and the experiments with form undertaken by modernist writers.
ENGL 3355 Modern and Contemporary Drama (Dale Tracy)
Making the Future: What does it mean to make thought-provoking art, a post-apocalyptic community, or a sentient robot? What does it mean to make anything? We will consider questions about making through texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries written for dramatic performance. Focusing on how the past makes the present that we can shape toward good futures (or not), this course will pay special attention to creative action coming up against or eliciting the destructive forces of injustice or disaster.
ENGL 3365 Hollywood Cinema (Paul Tyndall)
In this course we will study the history of Hollywood Cinema from the silent era to the present day, paying particular attention to the way that the films produced in Hollywood have both shaped and been shaped by the tumultuous history of the United States during the 20th and 21st centuries. In addition, we will consider how specific film genres have been used to explore this history. Among the many movies we will discuss in class are early silent films like The Great Train Robbery and The Birth of a Nation, as well as classic romantic comedies like It Happened One Night and Bringing Up Baby. In addition, we will discuss some of the most important films from the 1960s and 70s, including The Graduate, Easy Rider, Taxi Driver and The Conversation, and contemporary classics like Brokeback Mountain, Moonlight, Get Out, Joker, and The Power of the Dog.
ENGL 4700 Special Topics in Literature (Robert Dearle)
The Literature of the Anthropocene: Initially proposed to signify a new stage in the geological history of the Earth, the term Anthropocene (“the age of humans”) has spread beyond the Earth Sciences to include works of art and literature that respond to the unsettling recognition that humans are transforming the planet, its ecosystems, and its life forms in disturbing ways. In this section of English 4700, we will explore the Anthropocene concept, its controversies, its possibilities, and its use in literature and literary studies. We will also read a selection of contemporary narratives that engage with the present of the Anthropocene and imagine its possible futures.
Fall 2023: 2000-4000 Level Courses
*These courses are subject to change.
ENGL 2301 Canadian Literature (TBA)
What does literature tell us about the development of a nation and its mythologies? What voices are included, and which are left out? In this course, we will study Canadian literature from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries in a variety of genres, exploring major figures, historical and literary periods, and themes. The texts included in this course represent a diverse range of voices and stories, revealing the complexities, problems, and potential of Canadian literature.
ENGL 2305 World Literature (Gillian Bright)
English 2305 offers a broad introduction to the study of world literature, giving students the opportunity to engage with literary and cultural texts in English (or translation) beyond the Euro-American canon. Although the course will briefly touch on some theoretical ideas that are fundamental to world literature, the majority of our readings and conversations will be focused on the ideas and cultural knowledge each literary text represents. By reading literature from across the world, we will deepen our understanding of our own communities, observing ways that the local and the global inform, deepen, and sustain each other.
ENGL 2316 English Literature: 14th to 18th Centuries (Leanne MacDonald)
Romance and Rebellion: Whether they are sorting out the emotional melodrama of King Arthur’s court or explaining exactly why we should all start eating human babies, writers have long experimented with different forms of expression in their struggle to represent that which can be very difficult to say. For some, that difficulty may come from the indescribable nature of deeply held passions; for others, there may simply be material consequences for speaking truth to power. In this class, we will investigate the approaches that writers from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century have taken to finding new ways to say the unsayable. In doing so, we will encounter a broad selection of literary works that have shaped the course of English literature.
ENGL 2342 Folklore and Fairy Tales Across Cultures (Brian Swail)
Fairy Tales and Folklore Across Cultures: When we are utterly enthralled by a story (on the page or in the latest Marvel movie) we may be taken back to the feeling we had on first hearing a fairy tale or folk tale. These genres are frequently thought of as naïve or childish, yet some very sophisticated contemporary writers continue to produce them. In this class we will seek to go beyond surface readings and examine the fundamental appeal, as well as the nuance and complexity, that lies within.
ENGL 3304 Canadian Drama (Dale Tracy)
Act One, Scene One.
A classroom at KPU Surrey, in the near future (Fall 2023).
THE INSTRUCTOR: We are here to explore the border between art and reality. In this course, we’ll approach that border from two directions. First, we’ll think about plays that call attention to their own artifice. We’ll wonder about what it means for a play to know it is a play, we’ll go down the rabbit hole of a play-within-a-play, and we’ll stop suspending our disbelief when characters break the fourth wall by talking right to us. Second, we’ll think about plays that recreate historical reality or a real person’s life. We’ll wonder about what it means for real bodies on stage to play roles, we’ll interpret a biographical play’s interpretation of a person’s life, and we’ll think about real historical events as they exist in the new context of plays written in Canada.
YOU: “Here’s my idea! …”
The next line of dialogue is unknown—for now. THE INSTRUCTOR can’t wait for your ideas!
ENGL 3305 Film Theory (Paul Tyndall)
Most of us have grown up watching movies, and we have internalized a huge amount of knowledge about mainstream cinema. But few people reflect on film as an art form or communication technology. In this course, we will do just that as we read some of the major theoretical statements in the history of film theory and apply their insights to representative films from the silent period to the present day. Though most of the readings on the syllabus are relatively brief, several present complex and subtle arguments. Together we will be unpacking these arguments and considering their usefulness for making sense of film as a form of visual storytelling.
ENGL 3313 Major Authors: Jane Austen (Lindsey Seatter)
The Complete Fictional Works of Jane Austen. This offering of ENGL 3313 focuses on the complete fictional works of Jane Austen—from her parodic and epistolary beginnings to her developed novel canon and culminating with her unfinished manuscript. The course aims to capture the incredible depth and breadth of Austen’s writing as well as its integral place in the evolution of British fiction.
ENGL 3320 Studies in Shakespeare (N.P. Kennedy) - Online
Shakespeare versus Marlowe. One of the ideas that exercised people’s imaginations in the Renaissance was what they called “emulation”—competitive imitation. How do you become truly excellent at something? By trying to spot someone who is already truly excellent—and being even better. Shakespeare became Shakespeare by trying to be a better Marlowe than Marlowe. They handled similar themes, ideas and even characters in some of the plays that they wrote—though each, of course, handled them differently in different plays. Let us explore some of those different plays—as a way of gaining greater knowledge, of sharpening interpretative and persuasive skills, and perhaps even enjoying some of the pleasure that plays offer.
ENGL 3323 Seventeeth-Century British Literature (Gavin Paul)
This course will examine a diverse range of prose, poetry, and drama, with a particular focus on how major works of early modern literature sought to converse with, shape, respond to—that is, order—the dynamic world around them. Guided by close, historically-informed readings, our explorations will range from vast, impossible places (Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene), to smaller-scale, intimate worlds built in sonnet sequences by Philip Sidney and William Shakespeare. As we map the ways in which early modern literature was utilized as a space for social, moral, and philosophical inquiry, our readings will consider the following: expressions of religious anxieties and controversies (including works by John Donne, Aemelia Lanyer, and Andrew Marvell); matters of genre, form, and imitation; the logistics of patronage and publication; the transmission of social memory; the gendering of political power; the horrifying physical and mental trauma caused by the plague. The primary goal throughout will be to hone critical reading and writing skills.
ENGL 3330 Studies in Children's Literature (Heather Cyr)
Children’s Fantasy: Have you ever been convinced that there is a magical land in the back of the wardrobe? Wondered whether a singing nanny might appear on the East Wind? Thought about setting adrift on a living island? In this course, we will focus on fantasy literature for children from the last century, asking why fantasy and the imagination are so closely associated with books for children, how fantastic stories can uniquely challenge children or give them solace, and why so many of these stories are cherished by readers again and again. ENGL2430 not required. Bring your own wands!
ENGL 3332 Victorian Poetry and Prose (Robert Pasquini)
Victorian Natures. Students will study Victorian poetry and non-fiction that collectively illuminate the preoccupations, conflicts, and beliefs of a variety of Victorian artists, writers, and thinkers. In Fall 2023, students will examine Victorian Natures. The topic refers to the multifarious environments of the natural world, but it also brings to light what Victorians considered as being natural or unnatural, especially as such discussions related to ideas of class, empire, gender, or race. Victorian Natures traverses through cultivated and wild landscapes, revealing along the way the fierce struggle to exist in London, gender battles in Victorian households, contested boundaries of empire, as well as the articulation and lived experience of queerness.
ENGL 3345 Diasporic Literatures (Kris Singh)
Diasporic Literatures: In this course, we will study the Black Atlantic. The Black Atlantic is a framework that allows us to avoid assuming that literature must be categorized by nation: the Atlantic is an alternative space of cultural production. With this framework, we will engage with diasporic literatures that connect Africa, North America, the Caribbean, and England. Diaspora is a term that suggests both dispersal from an original location and unification via shared traditions, rites, beliefs, or languages. Reading diasporic literatures, we will explore multiple definitions of home and belonging, interrogate various forms of displacement, and study traditions of defiance.
ENGL 3352 The British Novel, 1900 to 1945 (Robert Dearle)
In English 3352 we will read five novels that offer various perspectives on life, culture, and art in England during the transformational period 1900-1945. Topics include empire, class, revolutionary movements, women’s roles, sex and sexualities, and--not least--the question of finding meaning in the modern world.
ENGL 4409 Topics in Literature of the United States (Paul Ohler)
This course studies novels and short stories by the American writer Edith Wharton (1862-1937). Wharton wrote forty books across multiple genres, including the classic novels The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence, the latter of which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1921. The course will also introduce students to Wharton’s network of literary friends and their influence on her fiction, her work with periodicals, such as Scribner’s Magazine, as well as principles of archival research.
Summer 2023: 2000-4000 Level Courses
*These courses are subject to change.
ENGL 2309 Literature of the United States of America (Steve Weber)
Cultural Revolutions: Throughout the last 175 years, America has experienced a number of cultural revolutions, of which American literature has been a defining product. While studying some of the major authors of this period, students will investigate some of the radical changes American culture has undergone.
ENGL 2330 Studies in Drama (N.P. Kennedy) - Online
Studies In Drama: the British Theatre, Medieval to Modern. British drama—from the miracle and mystery plays of the Middle ages up to the modern era—represents a treasure trove of ways of thinking about and responding to life. One aim of this course is to familiarize students with a few works of art that are representative of that treasure trove, and thus add to their intellectual horizons. Deeper understanding should foster greater pleasure. Another aim is to help students continue to grow both as thinkers and as writers.
ENGL 2350 Critical Studies in Film (Kegan Doyle)
“I don’t dream at night, I dream at day, I dream all day; I’m dreaming for a living.” (Steven Spielberg) In this course, we will focus on film as an art and as a cultural phenomenon. We will study how films get made and examine the impact they have on the self and on society. We will also learn innovative new ways to read films. Our particular focus will be on films, from Hollywood and elsewhere, about outsiders, misfits, and underdogs. As well as writing analyses and reflections, students will have the option of pursuing creative projects. Films to be discussed include Juno, Goodfellas, Children of Men, Roma, Jaws, Parasite, The White Tiger, Little Miss Sunshine, and I,Tonya.
ENGL 3317 Readings in the History of Ideas (Robert Pasquini)
In ENGL 3317, students will study the idea of extinction and how it has shaped our culture, imagination, and intellectual history since its conceptualization in the 19th century. We first explore the idea’s roots in natural history, its entanglement with eugenics, and, further, its infiltration of our everyday lives in this present age of accelerated species loss. The topic has long permeated our discussions and narratives about activism, capitalism, genocide, and otherness, as will be shown in primary sources from a range of writers and historical periods including fiction, poetry, essays, correspondence, films, and music videos.
ENGL 3321 English Renaissance Drama, Excluding Shakespeare (Gavin Paul)
Early Modern Tragedy – Our goal is to explore matters of authorship, spectatorship, popular culture, as well as textual and theatrical production. Above all, we will attend to important questions raised by developments in the tragic form itself: How do the living remember the dead? What do tragic heroes suggest about human agency? What is the attraction of witnessing violence and suffering on stage?
ENGL 3350 Literature on Film (Greg Chan)
The Hitchcockian Cinematic Universe: No Western director rivals Alfred Hitchcock, whose acclaim as a foundational figure in the history of cinema has positioned him as “The Master of Suspense.” Spanning over 50 feature films, his filmography is a master class in transgressive artistry. Iconic films like Psycho, Rear Window, Rebecca, Vertigo, The Lady Vanishes, Rope, and The Birds demonstrate the Hitchcockian approach: “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.” At the same time, these works showcase Hitchcock’s deftness as a filmmaker adapting literary texts—from pulp fiction to Gothic classics—into Hollywood films with a subversive edge. In this course, students will investigate how film adaptation theory informs Alfred Hitchcock’s engagement with German expressionism, montage, auteurism, psychoanalysis, spectatorship, and voyeurism. Be warned: there are no return trips from the Hitchcockian Cinematic Universe.
ENGL 3380 Popular Writing and Culture (Kelly Doyle) - Online
Why is horror such a pervasive and compelling genre in the popular culture of the past as well as the present, despite the ongoing desire of many to dismiss it as 'low art'? Why do we consume narratives that elicit disgust, horror, and fear? We will examine literature and media from a variety of time periods by horror authors from Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King to address this question. Learn how works of horror demonstrate a unique capacity to reinforce or criticize the social, political, and cultural norms of their times, how the narratives are produced and consumed by the public, and the potential productive role these works play or played in calling the ostracization and demonization of sexual, racial, and even animal 'others' into question via a number of theoretical frameworks.
ENGL 4420 Topics in British Literature (Leanne MacDonald)
Within the few manuscripts survive from the earliest period of English writing, you’ll find stories of Viking battles, genderqueer saints, and the exploits of a travelling monster-hunter named Beowulf. You’ll also find the vengeful curse of a ghostly woman and riddle-hoards full of talking animals and dirty jokes. In this class, we will explore these texts and more as we investigate the origins of what we now call “British Literature.”
While we’ll be engaging these texts in modern English translation, we will also explore the connections between early medieval English as an almost unrecognizable Germanic dialect and English’s current form as a global language spoken by over a billion people. We’ll also consider the politics of translation and the complicated legacy of Old English literature and culture in the twenty-first century.
Spring 2023: 2000-4000 Level Courses
*These courses are subject to change.
ENGL 2200 Foundations of Western Literature (In Person) - Gavin Paul
Dangerous Knowledge, Dangerous Journeys. This course will explore some of the enduring pathways of Western storytelling. From Homer’s Odyssey to stories in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and from Icelandic sagas to the end of The Road, we will consider the influential myths and legends that continue to shape literature and popular culture. Humans have always dared to push the limits of their knowledge, but at what cost?
ENGL 2315 The Comic Voice (Online Synch) - N.P. Kennedy
Why would one person mock another? Out of affection? Spite? To ridicule tired ideas or incompetent art? To attack injustice or evil? For the grim joy of hurting other people? One aim of this course is to familiarize students with a number of comic works of art—or to deepen their familiarity with them, and thus add to their intellectual horizons. Deeper understanding should foster greater pleasure, so the course will try to live up to the claim, repeated over and over, from ancient Rome to Vaudeville, “to entertain and to edify.” Another great aim of the course is to help students continue to grow in strength and clarity as thinkers and as writers.
ENGL 2317 English Literature: 18th to 20th Centuries (In Person) - Gillian Bright
Students will study representative works of English literature from the 18th to 20th centuries within their social, cultural, political, historical, aesthetic, and/or religious contexts. We will ask how these various contexts have impacted the literary arts. How, for instance, did the massive industrialization of the eighteenth century impact poets’ concerns about nature, or about an individual’s place in a rapidly changing environment? How did an increasing awareness of social inequity find its way into nineteenth century fiction? How did twentieth century writers adapt literary forms as a means of coping with a fractured world, torn by war, colonization, and secularism? These questions ultimately direct us to understand how literature both mirrors the world of its time and inserts new meaning into the contemporary imagination.
ENGL 2340 Studies in Fiction (In Person) - Jennifer Williams
Students will study various fictional forms. They will study works from a wide variety of genres such as romance, realism, science fiction or fantasy, the mystery or gothic novel, the modern, postmodern, or cyberpunk novel, drawn from different times and different socio-cultural contexts.
ENGL 3300 Critical Theory (In Person) - Paul Ohler
ENGL 3300 introduces students to debates that have persisted for more than 2000 years among philosophers, writers, and critics over the following kinds of questions: What is the nature, function, and value of literature? How can we deal objectively with literary art? How can readers gain greater access to the richness and complexity of literary texts? What do we mean when we speak of the “beauty” of a literary work? Does literary language differ from ordinary language? The course emphasizes the continuity of key ideas in the history of criticism, as well as the gradual displacement of concepts such as “greatness,” and “beauty” Beginning with Aristotle's Poetics, the course will consider these questions in the context of key works of literary theory and criticism.
ENGL 3301 19th-Century Canadian Literature in English (In Person) - Jennifer Hardwick
Cultivating Canada: Stories that Build Nations: The 19th Century was a time of change, violence, growth, alliance, and transition that came to define the the territories we now call Canada. Through a close engagement with key literary texts and historical documents, we will examine competing identities, values, and goals associated with the establishment of Canada, and explore how founding mythologies continue to impact us today.
ENGL 3309 Literature of the United States:1945 to the Present (Online Synch) - Joakim Nilsson
Escape Routes: What would you do if the American Dream--a good career, marriage, a home full of shiny things--proves empty and oppressive? Can you change the system from inside, or change yourself while remaining inside the system, and if not, what does an effective escape look like? In ENGL 3309, we will explore a variety of novels, short stories, and films that portray characters escaping from social norms involving race, class, gender, sexuality, and mainstream models of success defined by consumerism.
ENGL 3311 Shakespearean Afterlives (Blended Synch) - Paul Tyndall
In this course, we will study the diverse ways that Shakespeare’s poems and plays continue to speak to contemporary audiences through adaptations and appropriations in film, television, literature and the visual arts. In addition to exploring the relationship between the original Shakespearean texts and their many afterlives, we will also consider what is involved in translating his work from one medium or art form to another, and the unique place that Shakespeare continues to occupy in world literature and popular culture. This course will be offered partially online.
ENGL3325 Eighteenth-Century British Literature (In Person) - Heather Ladd
This course is an in-depth survey of the literature produced in the British in the long eighteenth century (1688-1815). To navigate this culturally dynamic period, we will use the anchoring concepts of satire and sensibility: two modes of Enlightenment expression that seem to war for prominence over the decades of our course. Our goal will be to refine our understanding of the long eighteenth century by explaining and reconciling this central “conflict” between literary ideals in a period that straddles both the Age of Reason and the Age of Sensibility. The expansive nature of this survey will allow us to chart the development and progression of many forms, genres, and themes within the period. As we examine a selection of works of poetry, prose, and drama, we will likewise learn about the political, social, and intellectual context out of which these texts emerged. Representative authors on this course include Aphra Behn, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and Ann Radcliffe.
ENGL 3331 Young Adult Literature (Online Synch) - Heather Cyr
Angst, Love, and Banned Books: In this class, we will study a range of texts to understand how Young Adult Literature has developed into today's forward-looking, massively popular, and often-controversial publishing category. We’ll discuss genre, the bildungsroman, the “hypercanon,” and representation in YA Lit by reading and responding to works in different forms (such as graphic novels, verse novels, music, and film) and genres (such as Dystopia, Romance, and Fantasy). Among other topics, we will explore the roles of book banning, empowerment, protest, fandoms, social justice, and adolescent agency in and upon coming-of-age narratives from the last several decades.
ENGL 3340 Cross-Cultural World Literature (In Person) - Kris Singh
On what do we rely to make sense of the world? In this course, we will study contemporary writing that explores how colonialism and resistance of colonialism produce borders, identities, and narratives that shape our sense of the world today. We will consider how World Literature as a field differs from national and regional frameworks of literary engagement, and we will investigate how this field relates to comparative literature and postcolonial literature. Our particular focus will be the oppressive and resistive powers of language. We will be attentive to language as an instrument of empire while also examining how we distort, break, and adapt language to our benefit.
ENGL 3370 Life Writing (In Person) - Dale Tracy
Living Well: What does it mean to tell a true story? How does art help us to express who we are and what we know? How completely can we know ourselves? In this course, we will engage these questions that life writing raises about the relationship between art and life, focussing on how life writing uses creative self-reflection to explore ways that we might live well together. The texts we will read consider various and intersecting kinds of living well: physical wellness, mental health, community wellbeing, and just social and political structures. Here’s our key question: What kind of knowledge about living well does life writing give us?
ENGL 4350 Topics in Film Studies (In Person) - Kelly Doyle
The Evolution of the Zombie in Horror Film: The cannibalistic zombie figure that plagues the cultural imaginary owes its existence to film; unlike other canonical monsters that originate in Europe and the UK, thanks to George A. Romero's The Night of the Living Dead (1968) the zombie is Americacentric and uniquely filmic in origin. Tracing the emergence of zombie films from the oldest (White Zombie, 1932), to the politically and socially charged contributions of Romero, to the zombie renaissance post 9/11, students will learn how and why this figure in film has evolved from slow to fast, from slave to cannibal, and from human to monster as a mediation on the social and political climate of the times in which this figure manifests using a variety of theoretical perspectives.
Fall 2022 2000-4000 Level Courses
*These courses are subject to change.
ENGL 2316 - English Literary Tradition: 14th to 18th Centuries - Gavin Paul
Voyages, Wanderings, and Imagined Worlds: The Individual and Society. This course will trace the ways in which English literature from the 14th to 18th centuries negotiated private and public experiences. Our readings will take us from the heroic ideals of chivalric romance to colonial encounters with exotic societies and figures, from the solitary challenges and rewards of travel and exploration to the nuances of social hierarchies and individual responsibilities as imagined societies are brought to life on the page. As we move from the oral traditions of poetry to the early forms of the novel, we will consider literature as a burgeoning technology capable of representing and engaging human consciousness—in isolation and within social networks.
ENGL 2341 - Science Fiction & Fantasy - Robert Pasquini
Aliens and Invasions. Although we do cover actual alien invasions in this course, we also treat aliens and invasions more broadly, meaning that our course texts often articulate concerns regarding belonging, diaspora, otherness, or power, too. No matter what manifestation of aliens or invasions we encounter, students will see how authors use these common tropes and metaphors to criticize their own circumstances or to reimagine their threatened futures. Along the way, students will learn to identify and write about genre conventions from a variety of critical perspectives while learning about the development of Science Fiction and Fantasy from the 1890s to today.
ENGL 2355 - Literary Classics on Film - Paul Tyndall
In this course, we will explore the relationship between literature and film, examining what is involved in translating works from one medium to one another. We will also consider what makes a film or literary work “a classic.” Readings for the course will include Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and two short stories adapted for film, Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain” and Sherman Alexie’s “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona.”
ENGL 2430 - Children's Literature - Heather Cyr
Place and Space in 100 Years of Children's Literature. Children’s Literature is a broad and diverse genre that ranges from picture books and pedagogical texts to fairy tales and young adult literature, but each one of these books takes us on a journey through unique places and spaces. In this class, we’ll sail away to Treasure Island, ramble through Terabithia, visit fertile Californian valleys, and swing by a camp for demigods as we explore a century of the genre to identify the development of literature for children as well as current critical and popular concerns. We’ll ask ourselves who makes children’s books, how changing ideas of childhood have influenced the literature we classify as children’s, and how child characters interact with the places and spaces of the stories they inhabit.
ENGL 3306 - Literature of the United States: Beginnings to 1865 - Paul Ohler
Students will study the literature of the United States in English from its beginnings to 1865, focusing on themes and issues related to the developing nation. Students will study works in the following genres: histories and autobiographies, sermons, pamphlets and treatises, letters and addresses, essays, novels, and stories.
ENGL 3313 - Major Authors: Richard Wright and James Baldwin - Joakim Nilsson
Richard Wright and James Baldwin. This course will focus on Richard Wright and James Baldwin, two influential African American writers who explored the impact of racism in America. Influenced by Marxism and Existentialism, Wright used emotional language to tell powerful stories about the brutal effects of racism on the African American psyche. Choosing a more subtle style of writing in both his fiction and non-fiction prose, James Baldwin was often criticized for his unwillingness to simply, and unquestioningly, choose a side; he instead tried to understand and articulate the complexity of race relations in America, while also addressing issues of gender and sexuality.
ENGL 3323 - Seventeenth-Century British Literature - John Rupert
This course will focus on the Black Arts of witchcraft and ritual magic in 17th-century Britain, and on their treatment in the literature and art of the period. Specifically, we will focus on the representation of Satan in portions of John Milton's Paradise Lost, and on the treatment of the black arts in William Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Tempest, in John Ford's The Witch of Edmonton, and in Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus. Our study will be illuminated by consideration of several types of contextual material: condemnatory treatises, historical accounts and critical analyses, and readings in occult ritual and philosophy.
ENGL 3328 - Romantic Poetry and Poetics - Kiran Clements
In this course, we consider Romanticism, not only as a period of history, but as a particular attitude towards humans, ideas and the world as it manifests itself in the literature, art and philosophy of the age.
ENGL 3356 - Modern and Contemporary Poetry - Paul Tyndall
In this course we will study modern and contemporary poetry of witness, i.e. poetry that bears witness to the social, political and cultural upheavals of the 20th and 21st centuries. This includes the poetry of WWI and WWII, the poetry and song of the civil rights movement, and First Nations poetry devoted to redressing the historical injustices associated with colonialism and the residential school system in Canada.
ENGL 3360 - Writing Women/Women Writing - Ranjini Mendis
In this fully asynchronous course, we will read literature by and about women, focusing mainly on postcolonial women's writing. Basing our study on the premise that no text is a disembodied text and that there is "danger of a single story" (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), we will examine issues of identity, social expectations, and roles, as well as the intersectionality of gender, race, and class in literary selections.. Students will have many opportunities to respond through informal reader-response forums as well as formal assignments.
ENGL 3390 - Indigenous Narratives, Oral and Written - Jennifer Hardwick
Indigenous stories have the power to teach, heal, build relationships, and transform. This course will explore the social, cultural, and political roles of Indigenous storytelling through a close engagement with literary texts, oral narratives, and new media. Topics of discussion will include de/colonization, gender, history, resistance, representation, and self-determination.
ENGL 4401 - Topics in Canadian Literature in English: Diasporic Writing in Canada - Kris Singh
Diasporic Writing in Canada. In this course, we seek to understand the identities, narratives, and relationships that comprise Canada by reading texts like David Chariandy’s Soucouyant, Kaie Kellough’s Dominoes at the Crossroads, and Souvankham Thammavongsa’s How to Pronounce Knife. We will investigate the term “diaspora” and its applicability to Canadian literature in order to delve into these writers’ definitions of home, thoughts on belonging, and assessments of nostalgia. While our focus will be on contemporary Canadian writing, we will situate these works in longer histories of immigration and colonialism in Canada.
ENGL 4700 - Special Topics in Literature: Imagined Otherwheres - N.P. Kennedy - Online, synchronous
Imagined Otherwheres. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—the so-called “age of exploration,” might as well be called “the age of imagining otherwheres.” The “other”—other places, other people, other experiences—could be imagined in ways that would shrivel the heart of anyone familiar with the last few centuries of human experience—as in the case of the eloquent but horrifying sermon that John Donne preached before members of the Virginia Company, urging them, as a sacred duty, to go forth and take the land from people who had “proved” themselves “unworthy” to possess it. Other imaginings of the other, like Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, are rather more favourable. An imagined otherwhere could be used a sort of thought experiment, a means of attempting to imagine a better society, as in the case of More’s Utopia, or one could attempt to “other” the very social system of which one was a part oneself, striving to better understand it, as in the case of Thomas Hobbes and Leviathan. Imagined otherwheres do not need to be geographical; they can be mythological, as in the case of Milton’s imagining of Hell, nostalgic, part of the heartsick incarnation in verse of a way of life that seems lost forever, in the case of some of Herbert’s verse, or purely fantastical, as in the case of Donne’s imagining of the backside of the moon. On one level, this course should be thought of as further training in the skills that used to be lumped together under the umbrella term “rhetoric”: greater skill and confidence in interpreting texts, greater skill and confidence in expounding one’s interpretations, and greater skill and confidence in persuading fellow human beings to share those interpretations. On another level, it is intended to offer personal enrichment: to introduce (or re-introduce) students to works and ideas that have added to the mental life of educated speakers of English for the last few centuries. Finally, it is my very great hope that our contemplating these works of literature together will bring you pleasure—what Chaucer would have called “solas” (solace).
Summer 2022 2000-4000 Level Courses
*These courses are subject to change.
ENGL 2320 - Studies in Poetry - Mark Cochrane
Students will study the relationship between form and meaning in a variety of poems, and the social, intellectual, and historical influences on those poems. They will study the traditions, conventions, and elements of different poetic forms drawn from different times and socio-cultural contexts.
ENGL 2330 - Studies in Drama: The British Theatre, Medieval to Modern - N. P. Kennedy (Online Synchronous)
British drama—from the miracle and mystery plays of the Middle ages up to the modern era—represents s a vast treasure trove of ways of thinking about and responding to life—truly, what one might call “riches beyond the dreams of avarice.” One aim of this course is to familiarize students with a number of dramatic works of art that are representative of different styles and different kinds of British drama drawn from and responding to different ways of looking at and of responding to life—or to deepen their familiarity with them, and thus add to their intellectual horizons. Deeper understanding should foster greater pleasure, so the course will try to live up to the claim, repeated over and over, from ancient Rome to Vaudeville, “of entertaining and edifying.” Another great aim of the course is to help students continue to grow in strength and clarity as thinkers and as writers.
ENGL3305 - Film Theory - Kelly Doyle
Students will study select topics chosen from the history of film theory, which may include but are not restricted to the following: formalism, structuralism/semiotics, auteur theory, feminist/psychoanlytic approaches to spectatorship, post-colonial theory, queer theory. Students will view films and learn to apply critical and theoretical perspectives to the analysis of select films from the silent era to the present day.
ENGL 3315 - Studies in Chaucer - Leanne McDonald
In the latter half of the fourteenth century, Geoffrey Chaucer was living through the lingering aftermath of a global pandemic that still hadn’t ended. His first major work was written as a consolation for the loss of a loved one to the disease, and his most famous later work, The Canterbury Tales, portrays a group of people on a journey to the shrine of a saint who was believed to help the sick. Along the way, they pass the time by telling each other stories that include themes that may be all too familiar to modern readers, such as grief, dark humour, the scapegoating of marginalized people, and the political upheaval caused by post-pandemic labour disputes. In this class, we will engage with Chaucer’s work and reflect on the ways in which our 2022 vantage point helps modern readers connect with certain aspects of Chaucer’s pandemic experience for the first time in generations.
ENGL 3336 - The Victorian Novel 1837-1900: Popular Genres - Robert Pasquini
This course explores the popular genres of the Victorian novel. We move from the “sensation” novel to the historical novel to understand the development of three-volume novels, then we examine the genres that rapidly gained popularity in periodicals like crime, Gothic, or science fiction. In doing so, we determine the formal features, thematic preoccupations, and cultural contexts of Victorian fiction, as well as the period’s enduring impact on today’s arts and literature.
ENGL 3380 - Popular Writing and Culture: Heroes and History: The Graphic Novel in Popular Culture - Gavin Paul
The hero retains a prominent position within the human imagination, shaping the ideals and aspirations at both the individual and cultural level. Our work will focus on variations of the hero in graphic novels of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, positioning our readings within the cultural currents these works respond to and help form. The many figures we will examine include: the “grim and gritty” version of the super-hero that ascended to prominence at the height of the Cold War; the war journalist confronting their own subjective position in the stories they report; the autobiographical self as heroic subject; the dark shadow of the anti-hero in historical fiction.
ENGL 4409 - Topics in Literature of the United States: Beats, Hippies, and New/Gonzo Journalists: Predecessors to American Postmodernism - Steve Weber
Both the literature of the Beat Generation and New/Gonzo Journalism influenced a generation of hippies and civil rights activists, therefore having broad implications for 20th-century American history and culture. After studying authors like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Diane di Prima, Amiri Baraka, Joan Didion, and Hunter S. Thompson, this course will conclude with a consideration of how these two literary movements laid the groundwork for a much broader and more prolonged literary movement—American postmodernism. While looking at works by authors such as Ishmael Reed and Thomas Pynchon, we will investigate how American postmodernism is a product of the beats, the hippies, the civil rights movement, and the New/Gonzo Journalists.
Spring 2022 2000-4000 Level Courses
*These courses are subject to change.
ENGL 2200 - Foundations of Western Literature - Robert Dearle
Got Myth? In this course we will explore some of the myths, stories, and legends that have informed, influenced, and inspired English and European literature and culture. Our journey will begin with Classical mythology, proceed to stories from the Judaeo-Christian tradition, and end with Norse mythology. As we proceed, we will explore how these stories have been received, retold, and reinterpreted by writers from the renaissance to the present in works of literature as well as in the products of popular culture.
ENGL 2317 - Literature in Transition: From the 18th Century to Today - Deborah Blenkhorn
How can the literature of the past help us to understand today's world? Discover incisive answers as we examine and respond to representative literary works in English from the past three centuries within their sociocultural contexts.
ENGL 2350 - Critical Studies in Film - Kegan Doyle
In this course, we will focus on film as an art and as a cultural phenomenon. We will study how films get made and examine the impact they have on the self and society as a whole. We will also learn innovative new ways to “read” films. Our particular focus will be on films, from Hollywood and elsewhere, about outsiders, misfits, and underdogs. As well as writing analyses and reflections, students will have the option of pursuing creative projects. Films to be discussed include Taxi Driver, Little Miss Sunshine, and Parasite.
ENGL 3330 - Studies in Children's Literature: Children's Fantasy - Heather Cyr
Have you ever been convinced that there is a magical land in the back of the wardrobe? Wondered whether you might be invited to a magical school or confronted by a creature straight from your imagination? In this course, we will focus on fantasy literature for children from the last century, asking why fantasy and the imagination are so closely associated with books for children, how fantastic stories can uniquely challenge children or give them solace, and why so many of these stories are cherished by readers again and again. ENGL2430 not required. Bring your own wands!
ENGL 3301 - Cultivating Canada: Stories That Build Nations - Jennifer Hardwick
The 19th Century was a time of change, violence, growth, alliance, and transition that came to define the the territories we now call Canada. Through a close engagement with key literary texts and historical documents, we will examine competing identities, values, and goals associated with the establishment of Canada, and explore how founding mythologies continue to impact us today.
ENGL 3308 - U.S. Literature (1910-1945) - Paul Ohler
ENGL 3308 will study U.S. literature of the period 1910-1945. Topics will include literature of the Progressive Era, Modernism, and the Harlem Renaissance.
ENGL 3320 - Studies in Shakespeare: Reading Shakespeare's Shadows - Gavin Paul
A "shadow" meant many things to Shakespeare and his contemporaries: in addition to our familiar sense of darkness or shade, the word could refer to an image, illusion or imitation. It could also denote a spirit or ghost. Not surprisingly, then, it was conventional to refer to stage players as "shadows." This course will explore the grounds covered by these various senses of "shadow": through close, historically-informed readings, we will attend to the multivalence of actors' bodies, tracking the ways in which printed plays can and cannot encode for the nuances of performance.
ENGL 3345 - Diasporic Literatures: Place, Memory, and Identity - Gillian Bright
What is the relationship between place, memory, and identity? For those who leave their homes for new lands, how are these three concepts tested? As a field of inquiry, diaspora studies focus on issues of identity and identification across a range of cultural and national encounters. In this course, we will examine some of the diverse voices that emerge from the complex entanglements between space and self.
ENGL3358 - British Fiction since 1945 - Paul Ohler
English 3358 surveys the British novel since 1945. Students will explore depictions of post-war life in novels by Muriel Spark and Kingsley Amis. Our study of novels by John Fowles, Graham Swift, and Zadie Smith will focus on their representations of cultural contexts and their postmodern narratives. The course will also examine issues such as shifting gender relations, and the experiences of immigrants in Britain.
ENGL 3365 - Hollywood Cinema - Paul Tyndall
In this course we will study the history and development of Hollywood Cinema from the silent era to the present day, with particular attention on the diverse ways that film has both reflected and shaped modern American society. We will also consider important social, cultural, economic, and technological developments that have influenced Hollywood Cinema, as well as classic and contemporary films by a wide range of filmmakers.
ENGL 4700 - 19th-Century Hauntings: British and American Gothic Fiction - Kim Larsen
Family secrets and haunted mansions; deviant sexuality; ghosts and atavistic monsters; mental illness, murder, and addiction; slavery and racialized violence – come join us as we explore the dark and dangerous undercurrents of 19th-century British and American cultures. As we work through an assortment of gothic stories and novels across the transatlantic divide, we’ll reflect in particular on the gothic tropes of inheritance and the uncanny return of the repressed, considering the ways in which dominant cultures are haunted by the illicit desires, injustices, anxieties, and obsessions of the past and present. In so doing, we’ll also contemplate the ways in which these gothic hauntings persist in our own 21st-century world.
NOTE: Students may take a 4000 level English topics course for credit more than once during their English degree if the topic is different.