Skip to main content

Potential disruption to SkyTrain services - Dec 7, 6:45PM

KPU Surrey Campus

You are here

English Department News


KPU English Graduates 2019     


KPU English Graduates 2019


KPU English Graduates 2019   


 KPU English Graduates 2019


KPU English Graduates 2019


"Challenging Toxic Masculinity and Relationship Violence: A Feminist Killjoy Approach"

“To kill joy is to open a life, to make room for life, to make room for possibility, for chance.”  

 - Sara Ahmed 

Toxic masculinity has become pervasive in our society. It is indicative of broader sociocultural issues, and perpetuates through popular culture and media: films, television shows, music, and advertisements. This talk will use examples from popular culture and media as a jumping-off point to discuss how toxic masculinity leads to violence against women and other marginalized groups, opening to a dialogue about the ways in which intersectional feminism might play a role in disrupting heteropatriarchy family and social structures. I seek to identify central questions, rather than propose concrete answers, to explore how these questions might lead us in our quest to reinvigorate the understanding of gender-based violence: What role can feminism/s play in combating relationship violence? How do we move beyond the established gender norms and create a culture of safety and respect? The issues are too complex and there is really no one answer fits all here, but asking the right questions will allow for us to together explore solutions and to see our socio-academic work and collective contributions to social justice in ways that are not clear or evident in the absence of feminist interventions.  ​


See more details about the event here: 

Register for the event here:



Along with 1001 Steps Theatre SocietyKPU students and faculty are staging a modern-day, corporate, comic grotesque adaptation of Shakespeare's King  Lear by Fred Ribkoff (KPU English/IDEA) and Paul Tyndall (KPU English) entitled LEAR INC.: ALL OR NOTHING at The Cultch (Vancouver East Cultural Centre) Historic Theatre on September 17th and 18th at 7pm. The play features current and former KPU students Chantele Franz (co-director), Justin Spurr (Edgar), Tessa Kennedy (Regan), and Stephanie Davies (Cordelia), as well as a host of talented cast and crew, including two Surrey high school students. 


You can book tickets on The Cultch website:

The Cultch's Historic Theatre is a beautiful venue with a full cyclorama (a huge screen) and LEAR INC. utilizes striking imagery and surreal video to compliment and complicate action and dialogue adapted to our contemporary world.


                                    LEAR INC: Act 1, Scene 1


Thursday, March 28th from 12 to 12:45pm AND Friday, March 29th from 7 to 7:45pm


For more information contact:


Lear Inc.

Dr. Asma Sayed - March 19, Surrey Boardroom (Cedar 2110), 12-1pm

On Tuesday, March 19, the English Department's Asma Sayed will give a talk entitled "'I Am a Tandoori Chicken; Swallow Me with a Glass of Alcohol': Female Objectification in Bollywood Films." 

Her talk argues that the depiction of female objectification and sexual violence against women in Bollywood films is indicative of broader socio-cultural issues and rape culture more generally. Taking examples from post-1970s Hindi films, this presentation will open a discussion about the role of popular culture in either upholding or disrupting patriarchal social structures. At the intersection of the fields of Film Studies, Feminist Cultural Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, this talk will be of interest to faculty, staff, and students, as well as cinema lovers generally. 

Asma Sayed Arts Speaker Series

Challenging Toxic Masculinities: A Dialogue - Friday, March 15, 6 - 7:30pm

Challenging Toxic Masculinities

Congratulations to KPU's Dr. Gavin Paul on his new collection of essays, The Coward

The Coward - Gavin Paul

In this collection of personal essays, Gavin Paul explores a range of topics, including fatherhood, gun control, terrorism, death, imagination, the heroic models of perseverance offered to him by his grandparents, and a quiet longing for the past that is "all around you, just out of reach." Above all, Paul seeks to understand the pains and pleasures of a life devoted to reading. From recollections of the formative books of his childhood, to reflections on reading outdoors and the unique wonders of rereading, to memories of his daughter reading for the very first time, these essays recognize that reading's great gift is also its curse: "it is always, in its essence, an act of solitude." Beginning with a haunting dream of murderous obsession and ending with an image of familial love, the collection thus seeks, in Paul's words, "to both celebrate my solitude and attempt to overcome it."

Pick up a copy today! 

Join KDocs and the KSA for the screening of  "The True Cost" on Monday, March 4!

Docs - The True Cost

Department of English Award Recipients Announced!

We are delighted to announce the recipients of this year's award recipients. Congratulations to all three scholars:

  • Georgia Milligan Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in English:  Talitha Schellenberg ($1,000)

  • Dr. Sue Ann Cairns Memorial Award:  Shauna Remin ($1,000)

  • Dorothy Cyr Award: Kathleen Ehman ($1,000)

New Upper Level Courses Announced for 2019 - 2020!

Visit the Department's Second-Year and Upper-Level English page to see the listings of upcoming courses!

Visiting Speakers!

Poet Brian Bartlett, recently retired faculty member from Saint Mary's University and editor of The Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan (2017), will give a reading of his animal-related poetry from 11:30 AM -12:50 PM on October 31, 2018 in Andrew Bartlett’s 1204 classroom (Richmond campus, Room 2525). In the afternoon from 3:00 – 3:50 PM, Brian will present a brief reading of his food-related poetry followed by an informal conversation about the project of editing Nowlan’s work in Shelley Boyd’s ENGL 4401 seminar (Surrey campus, Cedar 2005). Both talks are open to the KPU community. 

On November 7, 2018, poet and visual artist Andrea Alexon, author of Broken Teapots (FREDA, 1997), will be speaking on post-traumatic stress and personal and political abuse, and will be reading some of her newest poems that emerge out of such experiences. This talk, hosted by Dr. Fred Ribkoff and scheduled to coincide with English 3370: Life Writing (course title: Trauma and Survival), will take place from 10:00 - 11:20 a.m. in Fir 328 and is open to the KPU community.

Pageturners Event - October 29!

Pageturners event

Visiting Speaker - Dr. Mark Olyan - October 17!

On October 17, 2018, Dr. Mark Olyan, an archivist from McGill University’s Living Testimonies Project, will speak from 10:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. about the Canadian (NFB) Holocaust documentary film Memorandum, and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. about survivor testimony housed at McGill University. This talk, hosted by Dr. Fred Ribkoff and scheduled to coincide with English 3370: Life Writing (course title: Trauma and Survival), will take place in Fir 328 and will be open to the KPU community.

Don't miss Dr. Jennifer Hardwick's Speaker Series Talk! - Thursday, October 11

Dr. Jennifer Hardwick - Speaker Series


The Training of the Shrew is at the Vancouver Fringe Festival!

The Training of the Shrew

Come to the Granville Island Picnic Pavilion to enjoy this production of The Training of the Shrew, featuring Dr. Fred Ribkoff (producer, co-director, actor) and Dr. Paul Tyndall (actor), as well as current KPU students Stephanie Davies (English), Justin Spurr, Zach Allan, and Joseph Beland (all actors) and former KPU students Jay Reedy (actor) and John Rowell (co-director, graduated in English from KPU, now finished his Masters in English at SFU). 

KPU students Stephanie Davies as Tranio and Joseph Beland at the Ring Guy.jpg Recent KPU graduate Jay Reedy as The Jazz Man

 Baptista Minola

Paul Tyndall the Ring Announcer. current student Justin Spurr as Grumi

Images above:

KPU students Stephanie Davies as Tranio and Joseph Beland as the Ring Guy; recent KPU graduate Jay Reedy as the Jazz Man; Dr. Fred Ribkoff as Baptista Minola; Dr. Paul Tyndall as the Ring Announcer; and current student Justin Spurr as Grumio.

Pageturners Book Club - Join Us!

Join the Kwantlen Pageturners as we discuss our Summer Semester Book: Artemis, by Andy Weir.

Come if you've read the book, and come if you haven't read the book!

Tuesday (July 24) at 6pm, OR Thursday (July 26) at 6pm, in the front seating area of the Library.

Pageturners 2018 Book

"Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first."

1200-Level Topics Announced for Fall 2018!

Fall 2018 1200-level Courses

Fall 2018 1200-level Courses

Congratulations to our most recent graduates!

English Graduates 2018

Our 2018 English Graduates are Prabhjot Bhamra, Joseph Chan, Chantelle Coleman, Mathew Cruickshank, Nicole Dichuk, Lynn Doan, Piper Greekas, Elizabeth Hann, Benito Hobson-Dimas, Gurpreet Hundal, Shannen Johnson-Barker, Ashton Mantle, Emma Parhar, Krista Reed, Viola Resuli, Jaskirn Shergill, Simran Sidhu, Emma Wilson, SariAnne Yao, Danika Yeng, and Jackie Young.  

English Graduates 2018
(Above: English graduates Mathew Cruikshank and Nicole Dichuk)

2018 English Graduates

(Above: Emma Wilson, Viola Resuli, Heather Cyr, Piper Greekas, Nicole Dichuk)

Announcing New Fall 2018 Courses!


Writing 1100 - Reading and Writing for University


English 2301 - Canadian Literature in English


English 2316 - 14th to 18th Centuries


English2430 - Children's Literature


English 3306 - Literature of the United States, Beginnings to 1865


English 3340 - Cross-Cultural World Literature


English 3352 - The British Novel, 1900 - 1945


English 3356 - Modern and Contemporary Poetry


English 3370 - Life Writing


English 4401 - Topics in Canadian Literature - Restaurant Narratives


Is the book ALWAYS better than the movie? Let's find out!

The Kwantlen Pageturners are holding an event next Monday (Feb 26th) from 4pm-8pm. Since our last "Books vs Movie" night was successful, we're going to have another one! This time we're going to be discussing "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone".

Page Turners - Harry Potter

Exciting Guest Lecture from Actor Bob Frazer!

Please join us for a lecture by award-winning actor and director Bob Frazer. Bob will discuss his development as an actor and give insight into how he prepares for and plays a role, focussing on his experience of performing Macbeth

Topic: "Acting Shakespeare"

When: Wednesday, March 14th

Where: Cedar 1205 B

Bob Frazer as Richard III at Bard on the Beach`

*NEW* Summer 2018 Topics for English 1202 and 1204 courses

Summer 2018 1202 and 1204 courses

*NEW* Summer 2018 Topics for English 2000-4000 level courses

In addition to the course descriptions in the KPU Calendar, some instructors provide more information on the topic they will cover in their course. NOTE:  This list is subject to change without notice.

Summer 2018 Upper Level Courses


ENGL 2350- Critical Studies in Film     Greg Chan

Read any good films lately? Introducing students to film as a narrative art form, this course investigates how lighting, editing, camera angles, and costume/set/sound design drive cinematic storytelling. For formal analysis, the class will screen select films—including Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver—that represent cinema’s history and sociopolitical influence.

English 2350 - Critical Studies in Film


ENGL 3309- Literature of the United States: 1945 to the Present      Joakim Nilsson

Conformity and Rebellion in the 1950s—While the 1950s are often remembered nostalgically as a time of conformity and social stability in America, we will explore, through literature and film, how many of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s had their roots in the 1950s.

Literature of the United States: 1945 to the Present

ENGL 3310- Literature in Translation     Asma Sayed

Let’s go on a literary tour around the world! In this course we will study literature from Argentina, China, France, Greece, India, Iran, Japan, and Mesopotamia. The texts, studied in English translation, will reflect on diverse cultures and literary traditions in a global context.​

English 3310 - Literature in Translation

ENGL 3321- English Renaissance Drama, Excluding Shakespeare      N. P. Kennedy

Shakespeare was a genius, but far from being all alone in the dark—he lived in an age of brilliant playwrights—who knew, imitated, collaborated with, competed with, and sometimes even ridiculed each other.  Discover the rivals of Shakespeare.

English 3321 - English Renaissance Drama Excluding Shakespeare

ENGL 3390- Indigenous Narratives, Oral and Written      Jennifer Hardwick

This course will explore the social, cultural, and political roles of Indigenous storytelling on Turtle Island (North America) through a close engagement with literary texts, oral narratives, and new media (including film, tweets, blog posts, and visual art). Topics of discussion will include de/colonization, gender, history, resistance, representation, and self-determination.

English 3390 - Indigenous Narratives

Is the book ALWAYS better than the movie? Let's find out!

KPU's student group, the Pageturner's Club, invites you to...

Pageturners Event

Come join us while we watch "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and try to figure out which did it better: the book or the movie?

November 16th, 4 - 7pm

Movie starts at 4:30pm

KSA Multipurpose Room (Birch 250)

Spring 2018 Courses are now live!

Get ready for registration with the English Department's upcoming courses. Find descriptions for Spring 2018 topics for ENGL1202 and 1204 and our 2000-4000 level course descriptions.

Spring 2018 English Courses

Spring 2018 English Courses

Spring 2018 English Courses

Spring 2018 English Courses

Spring 2018 English Courses

Spring 2018 English Course

Spring 2018 English Course

Spring 2018 English Course

Spring 2018 Topics for English 2000-4000 level courses announced

Get ready for registration for Spring 2018 by checking out our 2000-4000 level English courses! In addition to the course descriptions in the KPU Calendar, some instructors provide more information on the topic they will cover in their course. NOTE:  This list is subject to change without notice.


ENGL 2315- The Comic Voice      N.P. Kennedy

Why would one person mock another? Affection? Spite? To ridicule tired ideas or lame art? To attack injustice or evil?  Take this course to grow in knowledge of literature, further practice your writing skills, and spend some time considering comedy used as a weapon: satire.

ENGL 2340- Studies in Fiction- Monster Fiction from A to Z: Aliens to Zombies     Kim Larsen

From ravenous zombies and blood-sucking vamps to murderous mothers, evil aliens, and man-eating plants, come explore a wide range of fictional works about monsters and the things that go bump in the night.

ENGL 2317- English Literature: 18th to 20th Centuries    Heather Cyr

Join us as we 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 read and examine a range of poetry and fiction from Austen to Auden.


ENGL 3301- Nineteenth-Century Canadian Literature in English      Shelley Boyd

This course will trace Canadian literature from its beginnings to the Confederation period. We will explore a range of popular 19th-century forms, such as letter writing, the long poem, the sketch, the gothic novel, and fantasy.

ENGL 3305- Film Theory      Paul Tyndall

In this course we will read major essays in film theory and apply their insights to the analysis of representative films from the silent period to the present day. Readings will include works by Sergei Eisenstein, Walter Benjamin, Christian Metz, and Laura Mulvey.

ENGL 3313- Canonical Authors: James Joyce and Samuel Beckett     Duncan Greenlaw

“He’s tending toward omniscience and omnipotence as an artist. I’m working with impotence, ignorance.” Beckett’s description of his difference from Joyce is just one of many ways to understand the relationship between two of the most influential and experimental writers of the 20th century.  We will study the divide as well as the overlap between their representations of modern experience.

ENGL 3380- Popular Writing and the Periodical Market      Paul Ohler

Many best-selling novels were published serially in periodicals before appearing as books. In English 3380, Popular Writing and the Periodical Market, students will consider the impact of serialization on the genre of the novel. The course will explore the role of periodicals in the Anglo-American literary marketplace, moving from the study of mass-circulation magazines of the 1850s to born digital works of the present day. Students will study works by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edith Wharton, and Margaret Atwood.


ENGL 4420- Topics in British Literature: Supernatural Shakespeare     John Rupert

Join me on a journey into the otherworld of magic and the supernatural in Shakespeare's plays! A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet will take us into the spirit world beyond the realms of human life and death.  Our study of Richard III and Julius Caesar will give us vision of prophecy and divination.  A trio of black magic plays, Macbeth, The Tempest, and 2 Henry VI, will draw us into the abyss of the forbidden arts.  All the (other)world's a stage!  Come, join the players!

NOTE:  Students may take a 4000 level English topics course for credit more than once during their English degree if the topic is different. Topics and courses may be subject to change.

English Department Coffee Hour set for Oct. 5

Coffee Hour - English Department

Congratulations to Shannen Johnson-Barker, winner of the 2017 Georgia Milligan scholarship

Georgia Milligan scholarship

I am an international student about to enter the final year of my English degree. It is an amazing feeling to be acknowledged and honoured with this award. Once I have completed my degree I hope to attend law school. I was very surprised and incredibly honoured to have been picked as the recipient of the Georgia Milligan award. Not only has it motivated me to work harder but my family, in South Africa, are incredibly proud of what I have achieved while attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University. This award will go a long way towards helping me achieve my dreams. Not only is it a huge financial assistance but it has also provided me with the confidence and surety to continue to pursue my educational goals and to achieve what I set out to achieve when moving to Canada. 

The Merchant of Venice Performance Installation: Sept. 28th and 29th in Arbutus Gallery


In late May of this year, KPU alumni John Rowell and KPU English faculty member Fred Ribkoff delivered a paper to the British Shakespeare Association for their conference on “Offensive Shakespeare.” The paper, entitled “The Merchant of Venice and the Metatheatrical Machine of Offence,” suggests a version of the controversial play which embraces stereotyping. As they articulate in the paper, "[o]n a post-Holocaust stage, The Merchant of Venice should be a parade of comic stereotypes functioning as a metatheatrical    machine of offence in which Antonio, Shylock and everyone in between are but cogs exposing the absurdity of believing a stereotype to be true" (1).

The aim of the paper was not to solve the issues of race at play within the text, but rather to suggest that unduly sympathetic post-Holocaust renderings of Shylock are not the only way in which to engage an audience’s “progressive cultural consciousness” (9). This interpretation of the text led them to question how Shylock is (and was) perceived by different audiences.

On September 28th and 29th a performance installation based upon the ideas addressed in Rowell and Ribkoff’s paper will be exhibited at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Arbutus Gallery in Surrey, British Columbia. A live performer will recite Shylock’s “Hath not a Jew eyes?” speech in three different modes, to three pre-recorded “stock” audiences projected onto a wall of the gallery. The three modes of performance—villainous, sympathetic and comic—will be directed towards the three stock audiences—hostile, dead-pan and raucously laughing—resulting in the speech being performed nine times in succession. The performer will be dressed in Elizabethan “Jewish” garb, visibly typed and objectified by virtue of his appearance, with the audience reactions capturing varied receptions of the character and the play.

The installation explores Shylock’s evolution and reception over time for the purposes of examining the pedagogical value of offensive material. The project is designed to challenge students and teachers (though all members of the public are invited) as they engage their critical faculties through the analysis of why they do or do not find certain portrayals of Shylock offensive.

Attendees are encouraged to complete an anonymous questionnaire addressing whether or not they found the installation offensive and, if so, which combination of performance and pre-recorded audience reception appeared to be the most discomforting. Faculty members are encouraged to bring their students and to engage critically with the topic of offence.


Join us at KPU’s Arbutus Galley on September 28 & 29, 2017
2:00pm-3:00pm       3:30pm-4:30pm       5:00pm-6:00pm
For more information, contact project organizer John Rowell at
We look forward to seeing you!

It's Registration Time Again! ENGL1202 and 1204 Topics for Fall 2017

Langley Campus

ENGL 1202 L10       Asma Sayed

Folks, Fairies and Fiction - Discover the main features of traditional oral folk tales and their adaptations in print, as well as in literary fairy tales. We will critically examine fairy tales and folk tales, and the interrelationship between media, technology and popular literature.

ENGL 1202 L11           Gaye Hickman-Barr

Voices from Four Continents! - Listen to four women writers from four different continents re-defining the notion of the writer's authority. We analyze the use of the double voice, hear echoes of oral practices and read their subversion of patriarchy.

Richmond Campus

ENGL 1202 R10            Gillian Dearle

Utopia and Its Discontents - Meaning both "good place" and "no place," utopia has been used by writers to reflect on the present and to explore the possibilities and perils of the future. As our fears regarding the future mount, utopia is overshadowed by its nemesis, dystopia. Join us as we trace the evolution of utopia from dream to nightmare.

ENGL 1202 R11            Elizabeth Gooding

Looking at the Natural World - What does literature suggest about our connection to nature—or our disconnection from it?  Bring your metaphorical hiking boots as we explore poems, stories, essays, a novel, and documentaries that address this question.

ENGL 1202 R12             Duncan Greenlaw

Creative Destruction - Through Camus, Beckett, Plath, Ginsberg, Hamsun, and other writers, we will look at how people refuse to conform—or fail to conform—to societal norms, and how new codes and beliefs are re-built from the wreckage of old ones.

ENGL 1204 R11           Kegan Doyle

Rebel, Rebel - “Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?”  “What have you got?”  So says Marlon Brando’s character Johnny Strabler in the Hollywood classic The Wild One. In this course, we will focus on poems, songs, stories, films, and plays by, about, and for rebels. We will discuss rebels without causes and rebels with them, political rebels, rock and roll rebels, religious rebels and artistic rebels.  Among other things, we will ask why and how individuals and groups rebel and what happens to them when they do.  Authors to be discussed include Sylvia Plath, Bob Dylan, Edgar Allan Poe, T.C. Boyle, Christopher Marlowe, Kurt Cobain, Alice Walker, and William Blake. 

Surrey Campus

ENGL 1202 S10             Wendy Smith

Conformity and Resistance - There are many ways in which social and political forces influence our lives.  What strategies can be used to resist oppressive forces?  And what are the consequences of action/non-action? Through the study of short stories, poems, and plays, we will examine how various writers have addressed these questions.

ENGL 1202 S11              Greg Chan

Literary Constructions of House and Home - Location, location, location. More than just a real estate maxim, this aspiration to find one's place—whether it be geographically, socially or spiritually—is a recurring theme in literature. Join us to define what home is, as we question perceptions of homeland, class, travel, and homelessness.​

ENGL 1202 S12             Paul Ohler  

Race, Religion, and Gender in U.S. Literature - This course will introduce students to classic works of U.S. literature of the period 1850-1910 engaged with issues of race, religion, and gender. Through the reading of novels, essays, short stories, and poetry, we will seek to learn about the ways authors depicted extremely divisive social issues, and consider the potential of literature to function as social criticism. 

ENGL 1202 S13             Paul Tyndall

Gods and Monsters: The Idea of Monstrosity in Literature and Film - In this course, we will examine representations of monstrosity in literature and film, ranging from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf and Shakespeare's The Tempest to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. We also look at recent cinematic representations of monstrosity, such as "The Silence of the Lambs," "Monster" and "No Country for Old Men."

ENGL 1202 S14              John Rupert

Satan, Sex, and Demoniacs - Enter, if you dare, a realm where demons attack the powerful and vulnerable: magicians, lovers, and families! Let us explore how masters of horror represent demonic possession in poetry, fiction, and film.

ENGL 1202 S15       Asma Sayed

Folks, Fairies and Fiction - Discover the main features of traditional oral folk tales and their adaptations in print, as well as in literary fairy tales. We will critically examine fairy tales and folk tales, and the interrelationship between media, technology and popular literature.

ENGL 1202 S16              Jennifer Hardwick

Stories of Resistance - Through a close examination of contemporary North American literature and media this section of 1202 will explore how individuals and communities use stories to challenge power structures, demand justice, and seek personal and collective rights.

ENGL 1202 S17 & S50       Kiran Toor

Quick Lit and Questioning It - We dispense with heavy novels and focus on literary works that can be read in less than a day (often in less than an hour!) and ask ourselves: "Can a short work be a literary masterpiece?"

ENGL 1204 S10        Heather Cyr

Individuality - In this course we will investigate the theme of individuality in four different genres: short stories, poetry, novels and drama. We’ll examine how these works construct unique characters, how these characters create and maintain their individuality, and why their society either values or rejects them. Our primary emphasis will be on the generic forms of fiction, poetry and drama and how they relate to our theme.

*More topics may be announced in the coming weeks

All prerequisite waivers for ENGL classes must be approved by the Chair of English, Dr. Robert Dearle. Please contact him by email:

New! Second and Third Year Upper Level Courses!

Upper Level Courses

Announcing the Fall 2017 course English 3350: Shakespearean Politics on the Small Screen!

English 3350

Registration for Fall 2017 is just around the corner! 

Fall 2017 Topics

Announcing the topic for ENGL2330: Studies in Drama.

More course topics coming soon!

Teacher and Former Student Cross Swords for the British Shakespeare Association in the U.K.

Teacher and former student cross swords for the British Shakespeare Association in the U.K.

“Let me play the fool.” –The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Brits may take their Shakespeare very seriously, but mirth thrived in Northumbria, U.K. recently as Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) English instructor, Fred Ribkoff, and his former student John Rowell delivered their performance-based paper on The Merchant of Venice at the prestigious British Shakespeare Association Conference.

The paper grew organically out of a Studies in Shakespeare class in which KPU graduate Rowell was a guest lecturer.

“It was while preparing for John's visit to my class that he and I began developing our theory of the way in which comedy works in Merchant and Shakespeare more generally,” said Ribkoff. “While performing the opening scene of Merchant for our students, our theory of Shakespearean comedy was tested, and, I should add, to great applause.”

According to Ribkoff, this hands-on experience of putting theory into practice in the course led to the development of a more sophisticated theory of Shakespearean comedy. Ribkoff and Rowell argued and demonstrated through live performance that on a modern stage, The Merchant of Venice should be a parade of comic stereotypes functioning as a meta-theatrical machine of offence in which Antonio, Shylock and other characters expose the absurdity of stereotypes. 

“One of the reasons we enjoy working together is that we tend to approach text, performance and the instruction of both of those things from very similar angles,” said Rowell. “Another reason is that we both understand the importance of a good joke.”

Before graduating from KPU, Rowell was a student in two of Rikoff’s drama classes. Afterwards they collaborated on the writing and directing of a play, Jag and the American, which was staged at the Cultch in Vancouver. This past spring, Ribkoff invited Rowell to join him in teaching a class on The Merchant of Venice in order to help illustrate the overtly comic nature of the controversial play. In the process of preparing and performing, Ribkoff and Rowell developed and tested their theory on the importance of utilizing, rather than side-stepping, potentially offensive comic stereotypes.

“While it’s been a privilege to continue working with John inside and outside of the classroom,” said Ribkoff with a grin, “it’s been even more enjoyable to cross swords with him on stage.”

Story by Simon Chiu

ENGL4401 Alzheimer's Awareness Event and Film Screening

On Monday, June 12, from 5-8PM at Surrey Campus, Conference Room A, please join English 4401 for the screening of Away From Her and a panel discussion.

This event is to raise awareness for Alzheimer's. Entrance is by donation!

English Department Celebrates Spring 2017 Graduates

2017 KPU English department graduates

Congratulations to all of the major and minor students in the English Department! On June 1, the following students graduated with a BA in English: Jacqueline Andre, Heather Evans, Jennifer Patch, Gursimran Samra, and Jennifer Wiens. Pictured above are (left to right): Dr. Robert Dearle, chair of English; graduate Jennifer Wiens; graduate Jennifer Patch; and English faculty member Dr. Paul Tyndall.

Pageturners Book Club Seeks Members

Are you tired of textbooks? Looking for something new or different to read? Do you want to rekindle your love of reading?

Help start a Book Club here at Kwantlen! This will be a club for anyone who enjoys reading books. The club is looking for students (faculty members are welcome to attend as well) who are interested in meeting up once a month to discuss a particular book chosen ahead of time.

If you're interested, please contact as soon as possible.

Seats still open in ENGL2320 for Summer 2017-- get them while you can!


Summer 2017 Course Topics Available

We're in the midst of registration for Summer 2017! Course Topics are available for our 2000-4000 Level courses as well as our ENGL 1202 and ENGL 1204 offerings for Summer 2017. Check out more information on 2000-4000 Level courses and our ENGL1202 and ENGL1204 on our web site.


Public lecture features local director

Local director

Director John Rowell will speak on "The Rhetoric of First Impressions: Performing and Re-Performing the Introduction of Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer's Equus." This talk will involve live staging and analysis of selected scenes from Shaffer's 1973 play, Equus.

February 10th in Fir 128 from 10am to 11:30am.

Lecture open to the whole KPU community.




Spring 2017 Course Topics Available

The English Department has announced detailed course descriptions for Spring 2017. Visit our ENGL 1202 and 1204 page for more information about this year's first year literature topics. And visit our Upper Levels course page for more information about 2000 and 3000-4000 level course topics. Happy course planning!

Guest Lecture by Craig Meadows: “The Trans-Identified and the Prison Abolition Movement”

Friday, October 21st, 10-10:50am, Surrey campus in Fir 128Hir

With the emergence of a growing number of trans-identified celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Lana Wachowski (co-director of Cloud Atlas and The Matrix), the term has entered into widespread use within dominant society. Typically, issues and threats to trans-identified people are read in terms of intolerance and transphobic hatred or violence. However, transgender, and the related term genderqueer, identities experience forms of systematic exclusion and violence that go far beyond the question of bathrooms or hate-fueled perpetrators of violence. The results are overall incarceration rates for trans-identified individuals that are six times the average, and eleven times for transgender/two-spirit individuals from Indigenous groups, and transgender Blacks face incarceration rates that are seventeen times the average (based on available numbers from the US). The purpose of this talk is to briefly outline some of the conditions that produce this disparity and the prison abolition movement that has emerged as a response.

Craig Meadows (he/him) is a critical theorist from the Social & Political Thought programme at York University (Ph.D., ABD) and one-time student at Kwantlen (Arts Certificate, 1999). His area of specialization is sleep and insomnia, but he has a longstanding interest in queer culture and transgender prison issues. He has most recently taught theory courses in the Department of Sociology, Criminology and Women’s Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, as well as Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University, and will be teaching at the University of British Columbia Okanagan starting January 2017.

All are welcome!

ENGL4300 Students and KDocs present Pride film event


In partnership with the KDocs Community Outreach program, practicum students in ENGL 4300: Writing and Persuasion Beyond the Classroom are hosting a special double bill for LGBTQ2S Pride Week: a screening of the CBC documentaries Transforming Gender and How We Got Gay. The event features a keynote address from Gerald Walton (Educational Studies) and  a post-screening panel discussion with Ryot Jey (Kwantlen Pride), Tara Lyons (Criminology), and Kari Michaels (KSA/WOOW). Brandy Svendson (Be the Change) is the moderator for this free community event. Many thanks to the official sponsor, KPIRG.

KPU English students present at DHSI


A team of ENGL 4300: Writing and Persuasion Beyond the Classroom students presented at the University of Victoria's Digital Humanities Summer Institute in June. As part of the conference's colloquium, James Hospedales (left), Jennifer Wiens, and Heather Evans (both right) led a well-received poster presentation on digital humanities practicums at KPU. Coordinated by instructor Greg Chan, this field study was part of their service learning work in ENGL 4300.

KPU Faculty and Students present Jag and The American at the Cultch

Jag and the American

Jag and The American is a play based on two Ernest Hemingway's stories, "Hills Like White Elephants" and "Cat in the Rain," which follows a young, South Asian woman and an American, post-WWI veteran travelling through Europe and Siam during the 1920s. The play features live music (a sitar player and singer) and contemporary dance. Written by Fred Ribkoff, John Rowell, and Paul Tyndall. Directed by Fred Ribkoff and John Rowell.

ENGL1100 Topics Courses for Fall 2016

The English Department offers over 50 sections of ENGL1100 in Fall 2016, but some students may want to choose an ENGL1100 class that focuses on a particular topic. These ENGL1100 classes are themed around distinct topics:

ENGL 1100 L14    Joakim Nilsson    
Bullying--Causes, Effects, Solutions - Bullying--it happens in school, at work, online, even at home. From academic research to personal narratives, we will explore, through both written and visual media, the causes and effects of bullying, as well as possible solutions.

ENGL 1100 S11 & S21    Karen Inglis
Do you like Hockey?  If so, this writing course is for you.  Join us as we read, write, and think about Canada’s national winter sport. Note: the ability to play hockey is NOT a prerequisite!

ENGL 1100 R18    Elizabeth Gooding
In this section of ENGL 1100, many of our readings and some of our writing will focus on topics related to sustainability, for instance bike commuting, public transit, green technologies, local-foods movements, and food waste.


Fall 2016 Course Topics Available

The English Department has announced detailed course descriptions for Fall 2016. Visit our ENGL 1202 and 1204 page for more information about this year's first year literature topics. And visit our Upper Levels course page for more information about 2000 and 3000-4000 level course topics. Happy course planning!

English Major addresses the Spring 2016 Graduating Class

Congratulations to English student Calvin Tiu on his inspiring address to the Spring 2016 graduating class. Calvin - well known, along with 2015 graduate Rick Kumar, as one of KPU's beloved "rapping English Majors"- took part in the English Department's 2014 high school Outreach Program under the faculty guidance of Greg Chan. Calvin and Rick - or Kalvonix and Big Love - created a music video entitled "Hello, Farewell" about their KPU experiences (notice cameos by many KPU celebrities throughout the video). Calvin has represented the English Department and KPU at many public events. Congratulations, Calvin! 

Summer 2016 Detailed Course Topics Available

The English Department has announced detailed course descriptions for Summer 2016. Visit our ENGL 1202 and 1204 page for more information about this year's first year literature topics. And visit our Upper Level course page to for more information about 2000 and 3000-4000 level course topics. Happy course planning!

The English Department welcomes award-winning playwright Joan MacLeod March 16th


The English Department is pleased to welcome back Governor General award winning playwright Joan MacLeod. She will read from her new play, The Valley (coming to the Arts Club stage April 7-May 7) in Fir 122 from 10:00am-12:00pm on March 16th. Discussion will follow. Everyone welcome.

Joan MacLeod’s plays include Jewel, Toronto, Mississippi, Amigo’s Blue Guitar, The Hope Slide, Little Sister, 2000, The Shape of a Girl, Homechild, Another Home Invasion and The Valley.   Her work has been translated into eight languages.  She is the recipient of numerous awards including two Chalmers Canadian Play Awards, the Governor General’s Award and in 2011 she received the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre.  For seven years she was a playwright-in-residence at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre.  She is currently working on a new one woman show and also writes poetry, prose and for television. Since 2004 she has worked at the University of Victoria as a Professor in the Department of Writing. The Valley premiered in 2013 at Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary; the sixth production of The Valley will be presented by the Arts Club (Granville Island) from April 7th  – May 7th.

For more information on Joan MacLeod's reading: PDF icon English Visiting Speaker Series March 16

Register Now for The Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium

Canadian Fare

Mark your calendars for February 19-20, 2016! 

PDF icon The Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium.pdfis a two-day interdisciplinary event with over 25 invited speakers, including artists, writers, curators, students, and academics.  Join us for an exploration of how literary and visual fare articulate Canada’s larger historical and cultural contexts. Rachel Rose, Vancouver Poet Laureate, will give a Creative-Keynote Address on poetry inspired by food. For more information, please contact Shelley Boyd in the Department of English:

ARTWORK: Tasman Brewster, Out of This World (2015)

Spaces Available in Free Writing Labs for 1100 and 1200-level students

The English Department’s Writing Labs are your best opportunity to complement what you are learning in ENGL 1100 and ENGL 1200-level courses. Designed and taught by English faculty members, the labs focus on reviewing essay-writing skills in a series of modules. The labs offer plenty of hands-on practice in a supportive environment. The lab instructors—experienced in teaching first-year English courses—are here to guide you through the essay writing process while showing you how to apply each module’s lesson to your academic writing.

For more information and to sign up for these free writing labs, go to

Congratulations to the 2015 Georgia Milligan Award Recipient

Georgia Milligan

The English Department at KPU would like to congratulate Mathew Fabick, the 2015 recipient of the George Milligan Scholarship for Excellence in English. Mathew is currently a 4th year undergraduate student in English department. The recipient of numerous scholarships, Mathew has presented at the annual KPU Sociology and Criminology conference; he has also written for and participated in editing an international undergraduate film journal under the mentorship of English Department instructor Greg Chan. Mathew hopes to become a high school English teacher after graduation. The Georgia Milligan Scholarship for Excellence in English was presented at the 27th Annual KPU Scholarship and Awards Dinner held in Richmond on November 19th, 2015. Congratulations to Mathew and to all the winners!

Planning ahead? Updated Upper Level Course Offerings are here

If you like to plan ahead, you'll love our updated Upper Level Course offerings through Spring 2017: PDF icon 2016-17 Upper Level Offerings.pdf

Spring 2016 Course Topics for ENGL 1202 and 1204 available now

The English Department announces the ENGL 1202 and ENGL 1204 course topics available for Spring 2016: PDF icon ENGL 1202 1204 Handout Spring 2016.pdf

Announcing Summer 2016 Upper Level Courses

The English Department announces the 3000-4000 Level courses available for Summer 2016:PDF icon 2016 Upper Level Offerings (Spring and Summer).

Keep checking back for more course and topics announcements!

Spring 2000-4000 Level Topics have arrived

'Tis the season to sign up for Spring 2016 classes. Many English instructors provide extra information about their courses to help guide your choices. Check out the detailed topics for 2000-4000 Level courses coming in Spring 2016: PDF icon ENGL 2000-4000 Topics Spring 2016.

Coming Soon: Spring 2016 Topics

During registration, make sure to stop by the English Department's pages to see what exciting offerings will be available for Spring 2016. To check for updates and see examples of past ENGL 1202 and ENGL1204 topics, click here. Spring 2016 Topics for English 2000 to 4000 level courses will be posted here.

Canadian Culinary Imaginations: A Symposium of Literary and Visual Fare

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, February 19-20, 2016

What are the shifting contours of Canada’s “culinary imaginations,” and how have innovations in form and content shaped this country’s food-related expressions?  The Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium invites interdisciplinary examinations of how Canadian writers and/or visual artists use food to articulate larger historical and cultural contexts, as well as personal sensibilities.

Conference paper proposals are due November 12, 2015. To see the complete call for papers, please link to the pdf below: PDF icon CFP Culinary Imaginations

KPU Alumnus successfully defends Master's Thesis

English Alum

Faculty member Dr. Sue Ann Cairns reported on Kwantlen English Alumnus Adam Vincent's recent successful Master's thesis defence at UBC in the Department of Language & Literacy Education. Adam's thesis "Breaking the Line" is on poetry/performance hybridity. Dr. Cairns attended the defence to support Adam who was a student in five classes she taught in Kwantlen's English Department. Adam has kept up his ties to KPU since his graduation with a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in English in 2010: he is an Instructional Associate in the Kwantlen Learning Centre. To add more good news, Adam has also been accepted into UBC's Ph.D program in Language & Literacy Education. Congratulations to Adam!

Rapping English students debut music video "Hello Farewell"

KPU's rapping English students, Rick 'Big Love' Kumar and Calvin 'Kalvonix' Tiu, have brought their message about using music to explore literature to high schools across the Lower Mainland as part of their Frontier Poetics Outreach Program. To cap off a successful project and to celebrate their friendship and contribution to the Kwantlen community, they have released their first music video "Hello Farewell." If you look closely, you'll see cameos by KPU students; faculty; our dean of Arts, Diane Purvey; and Rick and Calvin's family and friends. The duo recently performed their single at the Spring 2015 convocation ceremony. Congratulations Rick and Calvin!

Congratulations to the Graduates of Spring 2015!


Faculty celebrated Convocation 2015 on May 20th, 2015: (front row, from left) instructor John Rupert, instructor Shelley Boyd, instructor Sue Ann Cairns, graduate Rick Kumar, instructor Greg Chan, and (back row) instructor Robert Dearle.

Nine students received Bachelor of Arts degrees with a Major in English in Spring 2015. They are: Baydah Al-Ghadban, Pamela Balikis, Bojan Bjelic, Joshua Erickson, Daniela Furland, Teia Giacomello, Noel Hoffman, Hanrick Kumar and Tahnee Riddoch. Congratulations to all the graduates!


Above (from left) are instructor Greg Chan, graduand Rick Kumar and Dean of Arts Diane Purvey. Congratulations to Rick on his address to the graduating class (watch here at the 25:11 mark) as well as winning the George C. Wooton Award (watch here at the 1:02:50 mark) and a service award!

Summer Course Offerings Announced

The English Department has announced its Summer 2015 course offerings. Check out our poster for this summer's ENGL 1202 and 1204 course topics and for information about our Summer 2000-4000 level courses: PDF icon Course Topics Summer 2015

Writing Labs for English 1100 Students: NEW LABS STARTING IN MARCH 2015

Are you an ENGL 1100 student who would benefit from additional instruction in essay writing essentials?

A new set of labs is starting in March and sign up is open now! The English Department’s Writing Labs are your best opportunity to complement what you are learning in ENGL 1100 and to keep you on track. Designed and taught by English faculty members, the labs focus on reviewing essay-writing skills in a series of modules. The labs offer plenty of hands-on practice in a supportive environment. The lab instructors—experienced in teaching ENGL 1100—are here to guide you through the essay writing process while showing you how to apply each module’s lesson to your academic writing. You should attend if your ENGL 1100 instructor has recommended it or if you know that you need extra help with your writing.

Please visit for more information and sign up. You can choose between one and six modules depending on need. Access our poster here: PDF icon NEW ENGL1100 LABS POSTER.pdf

Upper Level Course Offerings for 2015

The 2015  Upper Level English course offerings have been updated. Download our flyer to see which upper level courses are being offered for the rest of year:PDF icon 2015 Upper Level Offerings

Spring 2015: NEW Writing Labs for English 1100 Students

Are you an ENGL 1100 student who would benefit from additional instruction in essay writing essentials?

The English Department’s Writing Labs are your best opportunity to complement what you are learning in ENGL 1100 and to keep you on track. Designed and taught by English faculty members, the labs focus on reviewing essay-writing skills in a series of modules. The labs offer plenty of hands-on practice in a supportive environment. The lab instructors—experienced in teaching ENGL 1100—are here to guide you through the essay writing process while showing you how to apply each module’s lesson to your academic writing. You should attend if your ENGL 1100 instructor has recommended it or if you know that you need extra help with your writing. Please visit more information and sign up.

A Feast of Canadian Books: Nov. 24-25

Canlit Dinner Party

Join English students for a one day feast of books starting at 2 p.m. on Nov. 24 and running until 1 p.m. on November 25 in KPU's Capital Coast Library in Surrey  (no eating allowed!).  The chefs--the students of ENGL4401: "Can Lit Food"-- are cooking up interpretive plates inspired by Canadian Literature. Stop by and feast your eyes on Canada’s dynamic traditions of story-telling through food!

Comment on what you see using Twitter: @CanLitFare #canlitdinnerparty

Spring 2015 Course Topics Announced

With registration for Spring 2015 getting underway, the English Department has put together information sheets describing the topics for ENGL1202 and ENGL1204 as well as our 2000-4000 Level Courses.

English Department Celebrates Fall 2014 Graduates

KPU English graduates 2014

The English Department celebrated the graduation of six English Department majors at the Fall 2014 graduation held on Oct. 2 at the Surrey campus. Pictured, from left, are Associate Dean of Arts Romy Kozak, English Department Chair Paul Tyndall, Kathy McClement, Rachelle Hall, Selena Chohan, Le-Ann Jayin, Holly Peters, and English Department faculty member John Rupert. Congratulations to the graduates! 

Bachelor of Arts - Major in English
Leigh-Ann Kathleen Butler
Selena Hayley Chohan
Rachelle Alayne Hall     (With Distinction)
Le-Ann Jayin 
Holly Peters
Bachelor of Arts - Major in English and Psychology
Alina Kathleen McClement    (With Distinction)

Faculty Member Andrew Bartlett Publishes Scholarly Book

Andrew Bartlett, KPU English

Mad Scientist, Impossible Human: An Essay in Generative Anthropology by Andrew Bartlett in Kwantlen's English department has recently been released by Davies Group Publishers, an independent scholarly press based in Colorado.  The culmination of work that began with a 2006-2007 Educational Leave and that included of manuscript review by Kwantlen students, this bold study aims to restore the shock value of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau, the 1921 Karel Capek play that invented the modern humanoid robot, and the much-loved Hollywood movie Blade Runner.  You can purchase it by ordering through


KPU English Alumnus Launches His Acclaimed Mystery Novel

Sam Wiebe, Last of the Independents, KPU Alumni

"An evocation of evil all the more powerful for its understated style...a literary achievement."

               Booklist Online (starred review)

"Delivers a knockout punch...a debut well worth spending time with."

             Sarah Weinman, National Post

"That burst of initial excellence raises hopes and the bar too for the novel that follows--and Wiebe...rises to his own challenge."

                    London Free Press

Congratulations to KPU English alumnus Sam Wiebe! Sam's novel Last of the Independents was published by Dundurn Press this August. The manuscript won the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished First Novel given out by the Crime Writers of Canada. It's about a twenty-something private detective in Vancouver who's hired to find the son of a junk dealer, someone who sells secondhand goods. It's available at Black Bond, Chapters, Amazon and elsewhere. Find out more about the book and the author at

English Majors to Take the Mainstage at WORD Vancouver

WORD Vancouver, KPU English, English Department News

This year the English Department has several exciting contributions to WORD Vancouver. Not only we will we host a table in the library, but our rapping English majors are making two appearances on Sunday, September 28. 

First, Rick 'Big Love' Kumar and Calvin 'Kalvonix' Tiu will perform on the Mainstage at 3:10 p.m. in the square. Their performance is sponsored by Coca Cola. They will then take part in a panel titled "Creating Outside the Box"  as part of the "Word Talks"series at 4:15 p.m. in the Alma VanDusen Room of the Vancouver Public Library. 
Please come out and support Rick and Calvin as they represent Kwantlen's English Department! And don't forget to drop by and say hello at our table inside the library. 
Since 1995 The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society has produced The Word On The Street Vancouver, the primary literary festival for Western Canadian book lovers and literacy enthusiasts. In 2013 the festival rebranded as Word Vancouver.