For a general description of courses offered in English, see the Academic Calendar. Please note: not all courses are offered every year.
• ARTS 1991 A - Thinking Through the Arts - Dr. Janine Rogers
• ENGL 1201 A - Introduction to Principles of Literary Analysis - Dr. Elizabeth Craig
• ENGL 1201 B - Introduction to Principles of Literary Analysis - Dr. Rupayan Roy
• ENGL 1201 C - Introduction to Principles of Literary Analysis - Dr. Peter Brown
• ENGL 1501 A - Introduction to Poetry - Dr. Robert Lapp
• ENGL 1701 A - Introduction to Drama Studies - Valmai Goggin
• ENGL 1991 A – Introduction to Creative Writing - Dr. Geordie Miller
This course will immerse us in the social world of creative study as we learn to be disciplined and imaginative readers and writers. Our readings, discussions, exercises, and guest artists will shed light on major facets of literary craft, including its methods and its practice, its genres and their exemplars. We will develop lasting critical/creative competencies and connections, as the messy and mysterious phenomenon of creativity comes alive through our collective study.
• ENGL 2201 A - Literary Periods to 1800 - Dr. Janine Rogers
• ENGL 2211 A - Introduction to Shakespeare - Dr. Karen Bamford
• ENGL 2801 A - Introduction to Canadian Literature - Dr. Andrea Beverley
• ENGL 2991 A – Crime Fiction - Dr. Geordie Miller
This course examines crime fiction that spans multiple genres and traditions. We will begin by tracing the canonical arc of the genre, from nineteenth-century detective fiction to hardboiled and Golden Age crime fiction. Equipped with knowledge of the mechanisms and conventions of crime fiction, we will devote the second half of the semester to contemporary crime narratives that expose deeper rooted histories and pathologies such as colonialism, racism, misogyny, and heteronormativity. At least two overarching questions will structure our engagement with the material: (How) does crime fiction solicit our revulsion and complicity as readers? What kind/s of critical consciousness of justice or injustice is/are cultivated through modern crime fiction?
• ENGL 3661 A - Literature by Women in the 20th Century - Dr. Karen Bamford
• ENGL 3721 A - American Literature from the Civil War to the Present - Dr. Peter Brown
• ENGL 3771 A - Caribbean Literature - Dr. Amatoritsero Ede
• ENGL 3951 A - Literature and the Natural World: Romantic Ecology - Dr. Robert Lapp
• ENGL 3991 A – Introduction to e-publishing - Dr. Amatoritsero Ede
A 21st century digital economy has become so all-pervasive that a grounding in the basics of online content generation as a sub-set of digital humanities knowledge is necessary for re-energizing the arts. While this introductory course focuses on the editorial and literary publishing aspects of online content generation, it also discusses general principles in the production of genre-specific online content (such as blogposts and marketing copy) and their appropriate formats, deploying Canadian style. In that regard attention will be given to the Canadian govt content-generation requirements for its E-government website – <Canada.ca> and its emphasis on plain language and the conversion of [sample] scientific content into plain non-jargonistic language. While this is not a web design course, a basic understanding of website architecture is necessary for online content formatting. Similarly, the course will incorporate basic html coding to facilitate Website backend content loading and editing on a WordPress content management system.
• ENGL 4701 A - Los Angeles in Culture and Literature - Dr. Peter Brown
• ENGL 4991 A - Sports and Literary Practice - Dr. Janine Rogers
This senior seminar will explore the intersections between sports, athletics, and literature through the frame of practice: that is, deliberate, structured, and repeated engagement in athletic and literary activity. The practice approach to literature involves an intensified consideration of the work of reading, thinking and writing. We will undertake reading and writing activities in and outside of class on a weekly basis, with the subject of sports and athletics as our focus. Working with sports and athletes as our primary topic allows us to access certain key aspects of literary practice, especially mind-body connections in reading, writing, and literary interpretation. It allows us to consider the physical and material nature of language and literary constructs. Conversely, looking at sports and athletics through literature and literary considerations centres the artistic formations of sports and the aesthetic experiences of athletics. Woven through both sides of this joining of literature and sports are important conversations about ethics, politics, and culture.
Students are expected to commit to a weekly reading/writing practice and an athletic practice for the duration of the term. The athletic practice can be a solo or team-based activity, and need not be conducted at a very high level, but commitment to regular practice (e.g. 4-5 days a week) during the term is important. Athletic practice can be formalized (e.g.: varsity sport) or private, and can include almost all forms of body-work including stretching, walking, and sitting meditation.
Readings will be a selection of texts from a variety of sources. Written work will combine various critical and creative exercises. The course is a senior seminar format and students will be expected to share ideas in discussion, read aloud on occasion, and also occasionally share written work with other classmates.
Possible Texts (reading list TBD):
Excerpts from Football: Great Writing about the National Sport, ed. John Schulian
Possible selections from: Chris Bosh, Erin Soros, Tim O’Brien, George Saunders, Etan Thomas, Hayley Wickenheiser, Haruki Murakami, Lynda Barry, Allison Bechdel and more…
• ARTS 2991 A - Arts and Athletics – Dr. Janine Rogers
• ENGL 1201 F - Introduction to Principles of Literary Analysis - Dr. Amatoritsero Ede
• ENGL 1701 B - Introduction to Drama - TBA
• ENGL 1801 A - Introduction to Prose Fiction - Dr. Geordie Miller
• ENGL 2001 A - Adaptation: Page to Screen - Dr. Sarah Fanning
• ENGL 2301 A - Literary Periods, 1800-Present - Dr. Robert Lapp
• ENGL 2701 A - Introduction to American Literature - Dr. Peter Brown
• ENGL 3011 A - Survey of Medieval Literature - Dr. Janine Rogers
• ENGL 3211 A - Advanced Studies in Shakespeare - Dr. Julie Sutherland
• ENGL 3311 A - English Drama to 1642 - Dr. Karen Bamford
• ENGL 3511 A - Early 20th Century British Literature - Dr. Peter Brown
• ENGL 3831 A - Aspects of Canadian Literature - Dr. Andrea Beverley
• ENGL 3851 A - Creative Writing - Dr. Geordie Miller
Please note the following corrections to the Calendar listing: This is a single term, three-credit course, and no portfolio is required to enroll, nor is there a prerequisite of ENGL 3871. Note that due to the nature of the classroom activity, the enrollment cap of 15 will be observed. Students with third- or fourth-year standing and an interest in writing and responding to the writing of their peers are encouraged to enroll on a first-come, first-served basis.
• ENGL 3871 A - Contemporary Literary Theory I - Dr. Amatoritsero Ede
• ENGL 3911 A - Utopian Literature - Dr. Geordie Miller
• ENGL 4231 A - Ecofiction of Forest Ecology: - Dr. Robert Lapp
This course focuses on literary representations of forest ecology and the history of deforestation by extractive capitalism. We will read selected articles in ecocritical theory, two non-fiction works of forest ecology (Wohlleben, St. George), and four novels that place forest ecology and extractive capitalism at the very forefront of their symbolic and thematic structure. As a result these novels also engage the entangled themes of gender ideology, indigenous ways of knowing, and ecological activism.
Christie, Michael. Greenwood. McClelland & Stewart, 2019.
Le Guin, Ursula. The Word for the World is Forest. Tor, 1972.
Powers, Richard. The Overstory. Norton, 2018
Proulx, Annie. Barkskins. Scribner’s, 2016.
St. George, Zach. The Journeys of Trees. Norton. 2020.
Wohlleben, Peter. The Hidden Life of Trees. Greystone Books, 2015.
[and selected short readings in ecocritical and ecofictional theory, TBA]
The Department of English offers major, minor and honours programs, as well as a selection of courses that contribute to programs in Drama Studies.
For a general description of course levels in English, see the Academic Calendar.
English is offered as a:
- Major (60 credits)
- Minor (24 credits)
- Honours — Course option (66 credits)
- Honours — Thesis option (66 credits)
Complete details of required credits for each option are available in the Academic Calendar.
Students are encouraged to consult members of the Department in the selection of English courses. Those considering a major or a minor should consult the department head or the program advisor.
Students are encouraged to take more than the minimal number of English courses required; this will give them a wider coverage of the subject.
Students wishing to complete an honours must apply to the honours co-ordinator by Feb. 1 of their third year.
A grade of at least B must be achieved in the honours thesis to earn the Honours in English (thesis option).
Those intending to take honours should shape their course choices in that direction as soon as they have made a firm decision. This decision should not, preferably, be delayed beyond the end of the sophomore year. Honours students must consult with the honours co-ordinator each year at registration.
Honours thesis instructions
NOTE: For specific annual deadline dates, see the thesis guidelines page.
September: By the end of the first week of classes, the student, in consultation with the supervisor, should produce a persuasive proposal, which s/he should submit to each member of the department; these proposals will be reviewed by the Department for approval. Second readers will be assigned for each thesis.
December: By the last day of classes in the first term, the student should complete the first chapter of the thesis, and submit a copy to both the supervisor and the second reader. Both the supervisor and second reader should offer feedback to the student as quickly as possible after receiving the chapter. If, on the basis of that chapter, the two readers think there will be difficulty in the student adequately completing the thesis within the time allotted, the Department will recommend that the student withdraw from the Honours Program in December; the student’s first semester work would then be graded as an independent study course. The student would then typically choose another 3-credit course for the Winter Term.
February: By Reading Week the student should have completed a first draft of the entire thesis. It is important for the writing to stay on track during the second term because the schedule of writing is more intense in the second term than in the first; pacing the work in the second term is therefore critical. Please note that each chapter of the thesis should be given to the second reader as well as to the supervisor as it is produced.
April: The student must submit the unbound thesis to the English department for grading no later than the first day of the Winter Term examination period. Once the thesis has been graded, the bound copies (2) must be delivered to the Deans’ Office no later than the last day of exams.
Submitting the thesis
Before bringing the two unbound copies to the Department, thesis candidates are advised to do the following checks:
- Make sure pages are numbered sequentially and continuously from first to last.
- Do a final proofread.
- Double-check the Works Cited for format, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
- Do a search to identify any page numbers not yet filled in, or facts that need double-checking.
- Do a comprehensive, uninterrupted read-through.
Two copies of the thesis shall be submitted for grading: one to the supervisor and one to the second reader. The supervisor and the second reader will assess the grade. In case of a dispute, the honours co-ordinator will mediate an agreement with the two readers.
The final grade will be on the quality of the submitted thesis itself, rather than on the process of research and writing. Thesis grades must be released to students only through the Registrar’s Office, not through the supervisor or honours co-ordinator.
The two faculty readers will keep track of suggestions (such as typos to be corrected) on a separate page or in pencil on the submitted copies; so that the copies, once corrected, can be used for binding (individual corrected pages may be replaced singly before binding).
Candidates should not get the thesis bound until after they receive the two unbound copies back from the supervisor and second reader, since corrections may be needed.
Binding the thesis
After making the requisite number of bound copies, any additional bound copies for the student can be produced at the student’s own cost. The Library will be charged directly by the copy centre at the Bookstore for both copies for the Deans’ Office: this is why you must bring the form, signed by your faculty supervisor authorizing copying costs.
The English department will pay for the departmental copy (1), and with prior departmental approval, they will also pay for the student’s copy (1) of their thesis.
A library release form must be submitted with the thesis. This form must be signed by the author in the appropriate place and must not be bound into the thesis.
Examples of Honours in English proposals
Honours Thesis Proposal
Sarah Thrasher September 18, 1998
Composed with a remarkable lucidity and grace, the works of Barbara Gowdy consistently foreground the marginalized in an attempt to give voice to the traditionally silenced "other." The idea of the "grotesque," while fundamentally rooted in the perverse, is embraced by Gowdy as a vehicle through which to explore the emancipatory potential of "otherness." Seizing the liminal space of the carnivalized body, she interrogates the boundaries between the freakish and ordinary, the bizarre and the banal, in so doing, exposing hitherto concealed doctrines of normalcy within our culture.
In particular, it is within the institution of the family that the "grotesque" sensibility comes to fruition in many of Gowdy's works. Penetrating the veneer of the nuclear family paradigm, from her pseudo-romantic vision of the Malone clan in Through the Green Valley, to her fantastical portrait of the Canarys in Mister Sandman, she investigates the secrets harbored behind closed doors. By presenting the home as a locus of eccentric activity, her domestic Gothic creations systematically deconstruct those standards of normative behaviour by underscoring that "even in so-called perfect families there are webbed feet and kleptomaniacs, perverted gerbils, some loony genius ancestor" (Gowdy, Sandman 246).
The theoretical approach espoused by Mikhail Bakhtin lends itself remarkably well to Gowdy's work given its affirmation of the "dialogic," that is, theembracing of simultaneous differences over a single, monolithic discourse. Her stories, by exposing the hegemonic workings of culture to often hilarious, but ultimately serious effect, subsequently allow for a much more fluid, polyvocal understanding of the "grotesque" consciousness, the ulterior, alternative self that vigorously, systematically, yet playfully oppresses itself to the world of the "normal."
Gowdy, Barbara. Falling Angels. Toronto: Somerville House, 1996.
---. Mister Sandman. Toronto: Somerville House, 1996.
---. Through the Green Valley. London: Piatkus, 1988.
---. We so Seldom Look on Love. Toronto: Somerville House, 1996.
---. The White Bone. Toronto: Harper Collins, 1998.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination. Ed. Michael Holquist. Austin: U of Texas P, 1981.
Beddoes, Julie. "From Post Age to New Age: Mister Sandman." Canadian Literature 154, Autumn (1997): 132-134.
Benson, Eugene and William Toyle, eds. The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. Toronto: Oxford UP, 1997.
Danow, David K. The Spirit of Carnival: Magic Realism and the Grotesque. Lexinton: U of Kentucky P, 1995.
Degan, John. "All in the Family: Mister Sandman." Books in Canada 24:6. Sept. (1995): 26-27.
Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory. 2nd Ed. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996.
Garvie, Maureen. "Mister Sandman." Quill and Quire 61:8. Aug. (1995): 24.
Heighton, Stephen. "Hybrid Vigor: A Survey of Six First Collections of Stories." Quarry 42:3 (1993): 85-96.
Hutcheon, Linda. The Canadian Postmodern. Toronto: Oxford UP, 1988.
Kelman, Susanne. "CanLit's Bad Girls." Chatelaine. Oct. 1994: 107-111.
Kleanthous, Loucas. "My Lunch with Barbara Gowdy." Flare. July 1997: 100.
Lockhead, Gordon. "Looking on Love." Books in Canada 22:1. Feb. (1993): 14-16.
Makaryk, Irena, ed. Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1993.
Martens, Debra. "The Flesh Made Word: Body and Soul in the Works of Barbara Gowdy." Paragraph 15:1. Summer (1993): 15-19.
Nickson, Elizabeth. "In the Skin of an Elephant." Saturday Night. Sept. 1998: 56-63.
Russo, Mary. The Female Grotesque: Risk, Excess and Modernity. New York: Routledge, 1995.
Smith, Stephen. "Secret Services: Barbara Gowdy." Quill and Quire 61:8. Aug. (1995): 1, 23.
Thomson, Philip. The Grotesque. London: Methuen, 1972.
***Video: Interview with Barbara Gowdy on Ziggy (Bravo).
Prospectus for Honours Thesis 1998-99
Christi E. Davis
During the school year of 1998/99, I wish to throw a new light on the role of women in Shakespeare, by looking at the heroines in the plays Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and King Lear, with the aid of some recent feminist theory. It is my belief that the characters of Lady Macbeth, Juliet, and Cordelia are women who, for all their strength and passion, have not been given their full credit. For centuries their male counterparts -- Macbeth, Romeo, and King Lear -- have won the spotlight, and little concern has been bestowed upon the tragic heroines. I want to open up the possibility that Shakespeare was more aware of the significance of women to society than he has been credited. This would explain why he creates such creatures of monumental capacity as Lady Macbeth, Juliet, and Cordelia -- women noted for their mental and sexual strength. None of these women were so weak as to succumb to the narrow confinements which their gender dictated, and they displayed great ability to carry their full weight within their respective plots.
The voices of these women, as powerful as they might have been, were not always able to be heard over the roar of their leading men, and this is the cause which I would endeavor to aid through my research on this topic. I want to show that the women of Shakespearean tragedies were not always the victim, but instead were underrated and overlooked in their potential.
A rationale for such a project is provided by the changed position of women in our society today. Women are realizing the full breadth of their untapped mental abilities and sensual capabilities, and are reaching out to embrace it. Thus, society would find great interest in a project dealing with feminism and women's equality with men, as it involves an issue highly relevant to our times. It seems only fitting to research the possibility that Shakespeare, a great writer of the past, was himself aware of the emotional and intellectual capacity of the "meeker" sex, four hundred years prior to twentieth-century feminism.
Literature benefits all humanity when it is shown as a reflection of human truths and historical events. Feminism has a long tradition and heritage, and women must be allowed the right to know of these -- to know how they became the equal and respected beings they are today. If literature is not relevant to human issues, it becomes insignificant and outdated. By partaking in a project of this nature, then readers will be able to see that even literature that was written
centuries ago can still have a bearing upon, and pertain to modern audiences and readers.
During the summer of 1998, I completed research for my first chapter in my thesis, dealing with the character of Lady Macbeth. I intend to use this material in the final draft of the completed thesis.
Abrams, Richard, "The double casting of Cordelia and Lear's Fool: a theatrical review," Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 27 (February '92), pp. 354-68.
Bamber, Linda, Comic Women, Tragic Men: A Study of Gender and Genre in Shakespeare. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1982.
Brown, Carolyn E., "Juliet's Taming of Romeo," Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, 36 (Spring '96), pp. 337-55.
Butler, F.G., "Erasmus and the deaths of Cordelia and Lear," English Studies, 73 (February '92), pp. 10-21.
Callaghan, Dympna, Women and Gender in Renaissance Tragedy. Humanities Press International, Inc.: United States of America, 1989.
Carlisle, Carole J., "Helen Faucit's Lady Macbeth," Shakespeare Studies, 16 (1983), pp. 205-33.
Cowden, Clarke, Mary, The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines. New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1873.
Curren, Deborah T., "Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare Quarterly, 48 (Spring '97), pp. 98-102.
Davis, Lloyd, "'Death-marred Love': Desire and Presence in Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare Survey, 49 (1996), pp. 57-67.
Davis, Phillip, "Nineteenth Century Juliet," Shakespeare Survey, 49 (1996), pp. 131-140.
Faucit, Helena; Martin, Lady, Some of Shakespeare's Female Characters. London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1885.
Garber, Marjorie, Coming of Age in Shakespeare. Methuen: London, 1981.
Gay, Penny, As She Likes It: Shakespeare's Unruly Women. Routledge: London, 1994.
Kirsch, Arthur, The Passions of Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes. University Press of Virginia: Charlottesville, 1990.
Loftus, Margaret, Shakespeare and His Social Context. AMA Press, Inc.: New York, 1987.
Garner, Shirley Nelson, and Madelon Sprengnether, MaShakespearean Tragedy and Gender. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 1996.
Stone, James W., "Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet," Renaissance Quarterly, 50 (Autumn '97), pp. 882-3.
Williams, Edith W., "In Defense of Lady Macbeth," Shakespeare Quarterly, 24, pp. 221-23.
Drama is offered as a:
- Major (60 credits)
- Minor (24 credits)
Complete details of required credits for each option are available in the Academic Calendar.
Courses taken in English dramatic literature (English 2211, 3211, 3311, 3431, 3551, 3561, 3611, and the 4000 series when appropriate), and English/Drama 1701 (Introduction to Drama) and English 3621 (Reading Films), may be used as partial qualification for an interdisciplinary major or an interdisciplinary minor area of study in drama, or for the double major in English and drama, consistent with limitations on "credits in common" as outlined in the Academic Calendar. Interested persons should consult the Calendar entry for Drama, and the Drama program advisor.