2015 Winter

Literature Courses
Writing Courses
General Course Descriptions

These are course descriptions only.  You may register for these courses via the Student Service Centre.

Literature Courses

Approaches to Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

This course is intended to introduce first-year students to the aims and techniques of university-level literary studies by exposing them to literature written in a range of genres—poetry, drama, narrative—in a range of social and historical contexts.

This particular section of ENGL 110 is organized around the theme of “Texts as/and Technologies.” Inspired by literary scholar Richard Menke’s idea of literature as an “information system”, this course will examine the cross-pollination between imaginative writing and media innovation, in particular the interplay between “Literature” and other forms of social media. It will investigate the ways in which both the form and content of literary works from the 1850s onward have been inspired and impacted by the potential of emerging technologies of transmission and transcription (from the telegraph, telephone, and typewriter, to email, Facebook, and Twitter).

Students will be expected to write two in-class essays and one research essay that asserts an argument within the context of a summary of a broader conversation about the work or works in question. Some lectures and discussion-group meetings will be devoted to developing strategies for essay writing.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

This course explores the relationship between literature and other media through the media theory of Marshall McLuhan. Beginning with McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage, the course then goes on to analyse Kevin Kerr, Studies in Motion; Christian Bok, Eunoia; Douglas Coupland, Player One; Carey and Gross, The Unwritten; and Marie Clements, Burning Vision. Course progress is assessed via an in-class essay, take-home assignment, and exam.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

One of the most enduring principles of European cultural traditions that trace their heritage to Aristotle and Plato has been the relationship between art and nature. Does art, as Aristotle claimed, imitate nature? Does it (according to Hamlet) “hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature”? Isn’t that really just the same thing, and wasn’t Hamlet having trouble telling the difference anyway? Or does nature, as Oscar Wilde declared, imitate art? Finally, after 2,500 years of dispute, this class will resolve the question. Or maybe not, but we will use the art/nature relationship as a theme to guide our discussion of a variety of literary forms from a variety of historical eras, and we will investigate whether there may be alternative ways to understand both the purposes of literature and how the human relates to the non-human. The art-nature binary has been significant to much more than just matters of aesthetic appreciation. Its implications can be found in philosophy, the sciences, and in politics. If, as many thinkers argue, we are entering a post-human age, what will happen to our conceptions of nature, and how does art contribute to them?

Texts (available at the UBC Bookstore):

  • William Shakespeare, Macbeth (Arden Shakespeare. ISBN 9781904271413) – Required
  • Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (Oxford. ISBN 9780199535972) – Required
  • Alice Munro, The View from Castle Rock (Penguin. ISBN 9780143177401) – Required
  • Jeanette Winterson, The Passion (Vintage. ISBN 9780676973495) – Required
  • Roland Barthes, Mythologies: The Complete Edition (Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 9780809071944) – Required

***NOTE: You are required to use the editions specified here for consistent page reference***

Additional readings will be posted in the Course Content section of the Connect page for this class.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

This course explores a selection of recent writing by self-identified Indigenous authors in Canada. The readings for this course examine, among many issues, histories and enduring legacies of colonization, the possibility of an ethical literary scholarship, culturally diverse notions of gender and sexuality, the function of reconciliation for settler-colonial states, and the spatialization of violence. Our literary archive spans a range of forms and genres, including drama, poetry, life writing, short story, and novel.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

There is no course description available for this section of ENGL 110. Please contact the instructor.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

This course is an introduction to the study of narrative elements, or the art of storytelling, through Canadian fiction, drama, and poetry. Why are narratives important for organizing human experience? How and why do writers manipulate narrative time? How does the storyteller assert persuasive power? How does narrative represent the identities of individuals and groups? These questions and others will be taken up in lectures, discussion groups, and readings in the core textbook on narrative.

Required Texts:
NARRATIVE THEORY: H. Porter Abbott, The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, 2nd Edition.

FICTION: Madeleine Thien, Simple Recipes; Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion.

DRAMA: John Gray and Eric Peterson, Billy Bishop Goes to War.

POETRY/BIO-TEXT: Fred Wah, Diamond Grill; plus, a course packet of selected poems by Kuldip Gill, Michael Ondaatje, Duncan Campbell Scott, Anneharte, F.R.Scott, Earle Birney, Meredith Quartermain, George Elliott Clarke, Leonard Cohen, Rita Wong, and others. (The course packet will be available in the UBC Bookstore.)
Course Requirements:

  • 2 in-class essays
  • 1 home essay
  • pop quizzes
  • a final exam

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
3 credits

“Give me life!” --Falstaff, Henry IV

In this course we’ll read and think about the relationship between literature and civil disobedience. In keeping with the requirements of ENGL 110, we’ll read a play, a novel and a collection of poems that illustrate or enact civil resistance and we’ll consider their implications both inside and outside the worlds of our texts. We have lots to think about as we read literature from a range of social and historical contexts.

What does civil disobedience mean? What is the history of civil disobedience and literature? Is writing fundamentally or necessarily an act of resistance? Can novels, plays and/or poems dismantle and recreate political and cultural realities? If so, how so? How might literature point us toward new possibilities? Can literature change the world?

We’ll begin by reading and discussing some key foundational texts (or excerpts of texts) on the topic of civil disobedience by key thinkers such as Thoreau, Hannah Arendt, Mahatma Gandhi, Eduardo Galeano, Martin Luther King Jr., Vaclav Havel and Leanne Simpson. We’ll then read our core literary texts: Antigone by Sophocles, Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and a variety of poems by such poets as Shelley, Pauline Johnson, Maria Campbell, Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, Mahmoud Darwish, Frank O’Hara, Patricia Lockwood, Lillian Allen and Rita Wong. By way of your second assignment, you’ll bring to class poems or songs of civil resistance to widen the scope of our conversation.

Required Texts (to be purchased at the UBC bookstore):

Fiction: Bradbury, Ray, Farenheit 451
Drama: Sophocles, Antigone
Poems by Shelley, Pauline Johnson, Maria Campbell, Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, Mahmoud Darwish, Frank O’Hara, Patricia Lockwood, Lillian Allen and Rita Wong

Assignments:

  • One in-class essay
  • One recitation and short critical talk about a song or poem of civil resistance/disobedience
  • One term paper
  • Effective preparation for and participation in class discussion
  • A final exam

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

Along with substantial work on poetry, this section of English 110 will focus on one play and two novels about shipwrecks and the people who survive them. In addition to the excitement of disaster, we will consider the significance of some of the ways in which these stories of the loss of what the characters understand to be “civilization” leads them to think about some of the big questions with which human beings have long struggled: What makes us human and not animal? What is human nature? What about race, gender and other kinds of difference? Who has power and why? What about God, and is that the same thing as religion?

Through the study of selected examples of poetry, drama, and fiction, this course will introduce students to the analytical skills and critical thinking essential to university-level literary reading, thinking and writing (and to future employers!). In lectures and discussions, students will engage concepts of genre and form in literature and will pursue hands-on practice of methods of literary analysis.

Texts:

  • Fiction: HG Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau and Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi
  • Drama: William Shakespeare’s The Tempest
  • Poems by William Shakespeare, John Milton, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gerard Manley Hopkins, WB Yeats, DH Lawrence, Marge Piercey, Margaret Atwood, Derek Walcott and others that your tutorial leader loves so much s/he wants to share them with you

Course requirements:

  • two in-class essays
  • one term paper
  • effective preparation for and participation in class discussion
  • a final examination

Our longest text is the fascinating and fabulous Life of Pi, so do consider reading that over the summer—you’ll thank yourself in November!

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2

3 credits
email: sujames@mail.ubc.ca
Office: Buchanan Tower 528
Telephone: 604-822-6328

This section of English 110 will focus on one play, two novels, as well as a selection of short stories and poems which explore issues of identity and belonging, both individual and in the context of community. We will consider ways in which individuals craft and perform the "selves" they wish to be, and the multiplicity of ways in which writers convey these selves in literary texts. To what extent do we control the person we become and to what extent are we shaped by our community? How meaningful are the concepts of ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation in the creation of identity? How can a writer convey the complex and shifting nature of individual and group identity through the permanence of written discourse?

Through the study of a range of poetry, drama, and fiction, this course will introduce students to the skills and critical thinking essential to university-level literary reading, thinking and writing. In lectures and seminars, students will engage with concepts of genre and form in literature and will pursue hands-on practice of methods of literary analysis.

Texts:

  • Fiction: Trumpet by Jackie Kay, Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Motoo, and short stories from Literature: A Pocket Anthology (2nd Canadian edition)
  • Drama: The Rez Sisters by Tompson Highway (in Literature: A Pocket Anthology)
  • Poems by Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Dylan Thomas, and others (in Literature: A Pocket Anthology)

Course requirements:

  • in-class essay 1 - 15%
  • in-class essay 2 - 20%
  • term paper (1500 words) - 30%
  • participation - 5%
  • final examination - 30%

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 2
3 credits

With changes in technology (the Internet, texting), increased urbanised living, globalization, and the rise in consumer culture, identities have become ... complicated, to say the least. This class will tackle questions of identity in the present by looking at four different prose, poetic, and dramatic works, and their representations of marginality. We'll begin with an explosive take on contemporary London society that features a gang of Indobrits that are intent on waging war on their perception of difference ("Can't be callin someone a Paki less u also call'd a Paki, innit"). We'll then move onto cross-cultural contact, generational differences, and performing stereotypes. The missing women of Vancouver's downtown Eastside will be discussed next, especially in relation to the city's growing affluence, class divides, and global connections. Finally, we'll enter the realm of young adult dystopia as we consider the Internet, social media, and incessant tweeting.
Students are encouraged to have at least the first text read by the beginning of term.

Texts:

  • Gautam Malkani, Londonstani
  • Marty Chan, Mom, Dad I'm Living with a White Girl
  • Sachiko Murakami, The Invisibility Exhibit
  • M.T. Anderson, Feed

Term: 2
3 credits

There is no course description available for this section of ENGL 110. Please contact the instructor.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 2
3 credits

This course aims to introduce you to university level literary study by exploring a set of texts concerned with a question of perhaps particular relevance to first-year students: what should guide how we design our lives? Technical knowledge? The profit motive? Devotion to one's family? One's nation? One's God? One's own will? Romantic love? Sensuous hedonism? Prudent practicality? Imprudent idealism? Visionary fantasy? All, some or none of the above? The question of your destiny may seem especially wide open at the beginning of your university career, but one lesson of the texts of this course is that it never closes. The one thing that can be said about your destiny, then, is that it will never stop posing questions. This can be both a good and a bad thing: while it grants us inexhaustible potential for self-determination, it also exposes us to manipulation and even subjugation by social, political, technological and economic forces outside ourselves. Such issues challenge us no less than they challenge the writers and characters you will study in this course, which suggests that the task of literary study has a lot in common with the task of designing a life. Reading includes: Hamlet, Frankenstein, Bartleby the Scrivener, Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, poetry by Wordsworth, Keats, Baudelaire, and Dickinson, essays by De Quincey and Emerson, and John Ford's film The Searchers.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 2
3 credits

"Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time into this breathing world" -- Richard III 1.i

What is a monster? We know them from myths and legends, folktales, horror fiction and film. We know their variety: the grotesque, the beautiful, the terrifying, the pitiable, the sports of nature and the forces of evil. Basilisks, dragons, werewolves, vampires, Frankenstein's Creature, Mr. Hyde, the Joker, Lady Gaga's Little Monsters: they're everywhere, from under the bed to the battlefield, and right into a great deal of literature. Which leaves us here: in this section of 110 we'll focus on how literary texts use representations of monstrosity to say a variety of things.

We'll look at excerpts from William Shakespeare's Richard III (a play that both meditates on villainy and ambition, and demonizes its subject for Tudor audiences), then at Ian McKellen's film adaptation, which shifts the setting to an alternate-reality 1930s England where fascism takes hold. We'll examine the novel that made "Dracula" synonymous with "vampire" in popular culture, as well as Charles Perrault's 17th century tale "Bluebeard"; status as a children's story is now problematic, but its influence on literary and popular culture is enormous. These core texts will be supplemented by a broad selection of poems and short stories, ranging from Coleridge's "Christabel" and Keats's "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" to Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber" and "The Lady of the House of Love."

You will need a Campus Wide Login (http://www.cwl.ubc.ca) username and password to access the Connect site (http://elearning.ubc.ca) for this course. All assignments and handouts for this course will be distributed electronically: emailed to you as document attachments and posted on the course's Connect site, which will also provide links to online readings and various resources.

Texts:

  • Ebook editions of any of the texts (where available) are acceptable.
  • Custom Course Materials package: selected poems and short stories, an introduction to and synopsis of William Shakespeare's Richard III, selected passages from Richard III, and an introduction to reading poetry. (A full list of items in the package will be posted on my blog – linked below – by November 2015.)
  • Selected poems and short fiction in the public domain can be read online and will be linked to Connect, though they may also go in the course materials package.
  • Resources on university-level literature course writing, grammar and mechanics, and library use will also be linked to Connect.
  • Richard III (1995 film) dir. Richard Loncraine, with Ian McKellen. (The film will be screened in class over two lecture days; a copy will be put on reserve in the library. Any other available viewing options will be identified at the start of term.)
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula. Broadview.
  • The Canadian Writer's Handbook: Essentials Edition. Oxford.
  • Janet Gardner's Reading and Writing about Literature. 3rd ed. Bedford.

Course Requirements:

  • Participation (preparation for and contribution to discussion; completion and submission on time of all assignments; attendance): 10%
  • Two in-class essays (1st: 15%; 2nd: 20%)
  • Term paper (25%)
  • Final examination (30%) In order to receive a passing final grade of 50% or greater, you must write and pass the final examination

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Approaches to Literature
Term: 2
3 credits

This section of English 110 will introduce contemporary Indigenous and Multicultural writing from different communities in Canada. We will be focusing in particular on a selection of contemporary origin stories in different genres and on the complexities and ambiguities of 'English' in these contexts. We'll consider such questions as what happens to traditional concepts of genre when the great divide between poetry and prose, 'reality' and 'imagination' is challenged. Whose 'tradition' and whose ways of knowing persist and thrive? How is the process of decolonization interwoven into works of fiction and how may different colonial and decolonial histories be compared through works of fiction?

Required texts:

  • Smaro Kamboureli, ed., Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literatures in English, 2nd ed. (Oxford)
  • Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach (Vintage)
  • David Chariandy, Soucouyant (Arsenal)

Course Requirements & Structure:

All sections of English 110, including this one, require two in-class essays, one at-home research paper and a final exam. Please note that lectures will take place on Thursdays and tutorial groups on Tuesdays in this section of English 110.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Introduction to Non-fictional Prose
Term: 1
3 credits

In an era in which technology governs our relationship to each other and the world, what does it mean to write about nature? In this course we will read a number of books that address this question from a variety of scientific, journalistic, and autobiographical perspectives. We will explore the non-fiction genres writers use to conceive human-non-human encounters including the travelogue, essay, and memoir. We will ask how contemporary nature writers apply theories of evolution, matter, gender, and empire to think about the human-nature relationship and how they engage new media self-consciously in their writing.

Required Texts:

  • Robyn Davidson, Tracks
  • Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
  • Kathleen Jamie, Findings
  • Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place
  • Michael Pollen, The Botany of Desire

Evaluation:

  • Class Participation (10%)
  • Quizzes and short assignments (10%)
  • 3 Essays (45%)
  • Final Exam (35%)

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Introduction to Non-fictional Prose
Term: 2

3 credits

In our heavily mediated world, senses of self and of place are becoming increasingly uncertain. In this course, we will examine the basic concepts behind and writing practices of literary non-fiction, focusing in particular on autobiography as a writing form. How do we try to write ourselves into place? How do we identify and document ourselves through writing? What are the demands of placing ourselves in particular discourses and locations? We will deal with ideas of the human subject and of the depiction of and address to others (and the creation of various kinds of communities), with the complex relationships between art and fact, and with the interconnections of the graphic and spoken or written language. Questions of representation and self-fashioning will form a crucial part of our investigation of how non-fiction becomes literary work.

Required Texts:

  • Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking (Random House, 2005)
  • Lavinia Greenlaw, The Importance of Music to Girls (Faber, 2007)
  • Kathleen Jamie, Findings: Essays on the Natural and Unnatural World (Graywolf, 2005)
  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Dreams in a Time of War (Random House, 2010)
  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf, 2014)
  • Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Pantheon, 2003 – originally published in French 2000-2001)
  • Fred Wah, Diamond Grill (NeWest, 2006)

Assignments:

  • two in-class essays
  • a term paper
  • a final examination

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.


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Language Elective Course

Term 2
3 credits

* * This course is cross-listed as Linguistics 140 and is co-taught by instructors from the English and the Linguistics Departments.* *

Is language change bad?
Do some people have “good grammar”?
Does language shape culture?
Are teenagers destroying the language?
Is learning a language easier for kids?
Does your ability to learn a language reflect your intelligence?
Is all thought linguistic?
Where in your brain is language located?
What can we believe of what we hear and read about language? In this course, we will critically examine a broad range of commonly held beliefs about language and its relation to the brain and cognition, learning, society, change and evolution. We will be reading a series of short scholarly articles in order to understand language myths, the purpose for their existence, and the threat they may (or may not) pose. We will use science and common sense as tools in our process of “myth-busting” and will ultimately come to understand why language myths will always be with us.

Course readings: A set of readings (available on Connect)

Course requirements:

  • Midterm examination 30%
    Online multiple choice component (15%)
    In-class short answer/essay component (15%)
  • Written project (pairs or groups)   25%
    Students will select one of the myths and will find a discussion of this myth in popular media (online, newspaper, etc.). Following procedural guidelines outlined in the class, students will read one or two of the supplemental readings concerning that myth and will use these readings as well as the material covered in class to argue for or against the point expressed in the popular source.
  • Final examination 30%
  • Attendance (5%) and Participation (10%), based on online postings 15%

Note: This is an elective course that does not fulfill writing requirements in any faculty or the literature requirement in the Faculty of Arts.

Prerequisite: Prerequisite for all 100-level English courses: Language Proficiency Index (LPI) level 5 or exemption. For further details, please visit http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.


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Writing Courses

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

This course will be an exciting exploration of the intricacies, conflicts, and possibilities of contemporary identity through analysis and discussion of a variety of literary and critical/theoretical texts.

We will begin with Fred Wah’s biotext Diamond Grill, and his racial shame over his cravings for garlic and rice, before moving onto Trumpet and discussions on sexuality, gender, physicality, and the trans-. The course will next shift to a consideration of the blurred line between humans and machines in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? before concluding with Feed which treats virtual communication, cyberspace, and dependency on social media.

Our understandings of identity will undergo a constant layering process as we examine the specific identity questions in each of the works. The course will also incorporate secondary articles as we develop your critical thinking skills, your research capabilities, and your abilities to construct clear and effective written argumentation.

Expect a mind altering, engaging, and enlightening ride.

Primary Texts:

  • Fred Wah, Diamond Grill
  • Jackie Kay, Trumpet
  • Philip Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • M.T. Anderson, Feed

Secondary Texts:

Critical and theoretical articles: links to be posted through UBC Connect

Requirements:

  • 10% - Participation and Attendance
  • 15% --In-class Essay
  • 15% --In-class Essay
  • 5% - Research Proposal
  • 25% - Home Essay
  • 30% - Final Exam

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Term: 1
3 credits

This section of ENGL 100 will focus on structure and form in literature through texts that focus on ‘outsiders,’ technology and violence.

Course Texts:

  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
  • David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
  • Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory
  • Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

NB: Due to the content of these texts, discretion is strongly advised.

Course Requirements:

  • Class participation and attendance 10%
  • Presentation 20%
  • In-class assignment 10%
  • Research essay 30%
  • Final exam 30%

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

There is no course description available for this section of ENGL 100. Please contact the instructor.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

This section of Engl. 100 will focus on desire in literature. What is it that makes us want something and not want it at the same time? That prevents us from recognizing what we want? That motivates us to want nothing or even nothingness? We’ll look at attempts to repress desire (Measure for Measure), destructive desires (Blood Meridian), self-destructive desires (White Noise), and the wayward manifestations of desire in poetry by Blake, Wordsworth, Rossetti, Stevens, and others.

Course Requirements:

  • Class participation and attendance 10%
  • In-class essays 2 x 15%
  • Major essay 30%
  • Final exam 30%

Required Texts:

  • Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
  • McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  • Delillo, White Noise
  • Poems to be distributed in class

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term: 1
3 credits
email: kim.trainor@ubc.ca
Office: Buchanan Tower 421

This section of English 100 will explore the ways in which three poetry collections have engaged with urgent political concerns, such as the military-industrial complex, globalization, hypercapitalism, ecological devastation, gender-based violence. We will ask: how do these texts address abuses of power? what forms do these poems take? why did the writers choose poetry to witness certain events and to speak to power (why not some other, more popular genre, like the novel, short story, or non-fiction)? what might poetry offer that these other genres do not?

Required Texts:

  • Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language, 1978
  • Rita Wong, Forage, 2007
  • Brad Cran, Ink on Paper, 2013

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

Why do scholars study literature? How do they decide which texts to analyze? What kinds of questions do they ask? How do they go about answering these questions? Further, how do their answers help us understand larger societal issues such as equality and social justice? English 100 introduces you to the academic community of literary scholars and how their practices of reading, research, and writing produce new knowledge. Together, we will practice analyzing academic articles, undertaking research projects, and writing various styles—or genres—of academic discourse about literature.

This section of English 100 focuses on issues of representation, resistance, and reception. We will study three Canadian literary works that have attracted the attention of scholars and readers within and beyond our national borders: Joy Kogawa’s Obasan, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, and Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness. In addition to these texts, we will read a series of research articles; some are on the literary texts themselves and others offer key concepts and scholarly approaches that we can apply to our three texts. Using research methods such as close reading, we will examine how these literary works represent and resist social norms (particularly with regards to imagination, language, and the social actions of cultural texts). We will also engage research methods such as reception studies to analyze situations in which readers have circulated, evaluated, and interpreted these works of fiction (including fan letters, literary prizes, and online reader reviews).

Readings (subject to revision):

  • Janet Giltrow et al. Academic Writing, 3rd edition
  • Joy Kogawa’s Obasan
  • Yann Martel’s Life of Pi
  • Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness
  • plus a series of academic articles

Assignments (subject to revision):

  • Participation (including class discussion, group work, and peer review)
  • Portfolio of 4-5 scholarly summaries and analyses of assigned readings
  • Literary Analysis (e.g., close reading or reception study)
  • Research Proposal + annotated Works Cited
  • Research Paper
  • Final Exam

* English 100 meets the Faculty of Arts Writing Requirement (see http://students.arts.ubc.ca/advising/degree-requirements/writing-and-research-requirement/)

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

English 100 offers a writing-intensive introduction to the discipline of literary studies through the exploration of texts in their critical and theoretical contexts. The course meets the three-credit UBC Faculty of Arts writing requirement and is also recommended for students planning a major, minor, or honours degree in English studies. However, it will likewise prove useful to anyone pursuing other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities that require critical reading, the use of scholarly resources, and high standards of good writing.

Required readings will extend beyond the texts listed below and will include some poetry as well as critical essays pertaining to the core works. Students will need a Campus Wide Login username and password to access the UBC Library’s indexes and databases.

Texts:

  • Shakespeare, Hamlet (Penguin/Signet Classic)
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Penguin)
  • Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It (U of Chicago P)
  • Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (HarperCollins)

Grading and assignments:

Essay #1 (in-class) - 10%
Essay #2 (take-home) - 15%
Essay #3 (in-class) - 15%
Essay #4 (mini research paper, with earlier prospectus) - 30%
Final examination - 30%
Various weekly exercises and other ungraded forms of participation will also be required, as are regular attendance and active citizenship in the class.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 2

3 credits

This section of 100 will focus on the relationship between words and images, specifically the different ways in which one can support, extend, and undermine the other. We’ll begin with Blake’s illuminated poetry and some examples of the graphic novel before finishing with DeLillo’s Mao II, a probing look into the role of the image in a world in which its sanctity has disappeared.

Course Requirements:

  • Class participation and attendance 10%
  • In-class essays 2 x 15%
  • Major essay 30%
  • Final exam 30%

Required Texts:

  • Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience
  • Spiegelman, Maus I and II
  • Ondaatje, Coming through Slaughter
  • DeLillo, Mao II
  • Additional text(s) TBA

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 2
3 credits

Note: English 100 offers a writing-intensive introduction to the discipline of literary studies through the exploration of texts in their critical contexts. This course is recommended for students planning a Major, Minor, or Honours degree in English: it focuses on foundational skills in literary analysis, scholarly research, and critical writing. English 100 meets the 3.0 credit Faculty of Arts writing requirement and is restricted to students in Arts, Fine Arts, and Music.

This section highlights fiction and poetry inspired by the First World War (1914-1918). The blasted landscapes, shattering losses, social upheavals, and protracted legacies of this conflict haunt writers from different countries (Britain, America, Canada, and Ireland) and distinct generations (participants and descendants). In particular, we will examine lyrics by Wilfred Owen and novels by Ernest Hemingway, Timothy Findley, and Sebastian Barry. The issues of trauma, mourning, memory, and history shaping modern and contemporary controversies on war and society will organize our studies of celebrated texts. Critical readings and audio-visual materials will guide our conversations in the classroom. Students will be expected to contribute to discussions as they develop analytic and synthetic skills in reading and writing through the investigation of formal features, relevant contexts, and academic discourses.

Texts (subject to minor modifications):

  • Wilfred Owen, The Poems of Wilfred Owen. ca. 1918.
  • Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises. 1926.
  • Timothy Findley, The Wars. 1977.
  • Sebastian Barry, A Long Long Way. 2005.
  • Critical Readings. (TBA).

Assignments (subject to minor modifications):

  • Participation and Group Work - 10%
  • Two In-Class Assignments - 30%
  • Annotated Bibliography/Research Proposal - 10%
  • Research Essay - 20%
  • Final Examination - 30%

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term: 2
3 credits

New York high society and its sometimes vicious marriage market at the turn of the twentieth century in Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth, a “Brotherhood” of 1940s communist activists in a city filled with racial tensions in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, a California of film sets and grim philosophies in Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays, the absurd talk-show circuit of Don DeLillo’s drama Valparaiso – these are some of the settings and social orders the heroes and heroines of this course have to navigate. We will follow these characters as they sometimes rebel against and sometimes acquiesce to the orders and institutions in which they find themselves. Why isn’t the self easily tamed by society’s demands and norms? This unruly self will be our central object of study in this class. We conclude the course with a cinematic portrait of an American seeking a wild existence among bears in Werner Herzog’s astonishing documentary film, Grizzly Man.

This course offers students an introduction to the skills and practices of literary criticism. Through a focus on writing assignments across the term, students will learn how to ask rich and provocative questions about literary texts, how to build interpretations around highly-focused work with a text’s individual words and images, and how to use literature and film as a lens for understanding historical contexts and social problems. My goal in the course is to provide students with invigorating reading and viewing experiences that inspire them to make sharp arguments, fully explore ideas, and build an arsenal of strong writing techniques for their university futures.

Tentative list of texts:

  • Edith Wharton, House of Mirth (1905)
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
  • Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays (1970)
  • Don DeLillo, Valparaiso (1999)
  • Grizzly Man (dir. Werner Herzog, --2005)

The course will also included selected critical readings from the Norton Critical Edition of House of Mirth; Eric Sundquist, ed., Cultural Contexts for Ralph Ellison’sInvisible Man; and other sources.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term: 2

3 credits

A writing-intensive introduction to the disciplines of literary studies through the exploration of texts in their critical and theoretical contexts.

Text: Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th ed., vol. 2, with particular emphasis on

  • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession
  • WWI poets: Rupert Brooke, Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, Wilfred Owen
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Requirements:

  • 2 in-class essays 2 x 15 = 30
  • 2 take-home essays 2 x 20 = 40
  • 1 final exam = 30

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

NOTE: THIS IS A GENERAL DESCRIPTION FOR ALL SECTIONS OF ENGL 112.

Through the study and application of the principles of university-level discourse and with emphasis on expository and persuasive writing, this course will introduce students to critical reading and university-level writing. In lectures and discussions, instructors will focus on the rhetorical principles and strategies central to university-level discourse. Students will examine methods for discovering and arranging ideas, and they will consider ways in which style is determined by rhetorical situation. Reading and writing assignments will require students to study, analyse, and apply principles of exposition and persuasion. English 112 is not a remedial course. Students with serious deficiencies in their writing should seek early and expert tutorial help.

Note: This course is required of students who intend to enter the Faculties of Commerce and the Schools of Nursing and Physical Education. It is also recommended by a number of other faculties and schools. Students should check the current UBC Calendar for further information about the first-year English requirements for particular faculties and schools.

Course Prerequisite: In order to remain registered in this class, all students must fulfill the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement (LPI). For further details on the First-Year English Course Entry Requirement, please visit:http://english.ubc.ca/first-year-english/frequently-asked-questions-faq/#1.

Course Requirements: regular attendance and participation in class activities; completion of a minimum of four essays (two to be written in class); and a final examination.

Final Examination: All students in English 112 will write a common final examination (3 hours) at the end of the course. The examination will test critical reading and composition skills by asking students to write two clear, coherent, well-developed essays: one analysing a passage of university-level prose, and one responding to an expository or persuasive topic of general interest.

Distribution of Marks: course work (essays and exercises), 70 marks; final examination, 30 marks.

Texts: Reading lists for individual sections of the course will be available in the Language and Literature section of the UBC Bookstore in mid-August for Term 1 courses and mid-November for Term 2 courses.


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General Course Descriptions

The following are general descriptions of all the first-year English courses that we offer. Please refer to First-Year English Courses for descriptions with more specific information provided by the instructor.

English 100 is the writing-intensive introduction to the disciplines of literary studies through the exploration of texts in their critical contexts. Students will read literary texts and scholarly responses to them as a way of learning about how we study literature in the University.

Course Prerequisite: completion of all sections of the Language Proficiency Index Test with a level 5 on the essay section of the Test, or exemption from the LPI requirement.

Through the study of selected examples of poetry, fiction, and drama, this course will introduce students to the fundamentals of the university-level literary study, and furnish them with the skills to think and write critically about literature. In lectures and discussions, students will be taught the basic concepts of genre and form in literature, and methods of literary analysis, to enable them to continue in more specialized English courses at the second year or beyond.

Course Prerequisite: completion of all sections of the Language Proficiency Index Test with a level 5 on the essay section of the Test, or exemption from the LPI requirement.

Course Requirements: regular attendance and participation in the activities of the class; a minimum of three essays, two to be written in class and one at home; and a final examination.

Distribution of Marks: course work, 70 marks; final examination, 30 marks.

Through the study of a selection of non-fictional prose works ranging in length from the essay to the book, this course will enable students to extend their critical and analytical skills and to develop an awareness of the rhetorical principles that inform effective discourse. Through exposure to a variety of prose texts, principally from the twentieth century, students will develop a critical awareness of the relationship between style and meaning. They will learn how prose can mirror changing social and philosophical views, and how writers give shape to their experience and interests.

Course Prerequisite: completion of all sections of the Language Proficiency Index Test with a level 5 on the essay section of the Test, or exemption from the LPI requirement.

Course Requirements: regular attendance and participation in the activities of the class; a minimum of three essays, two to be written in class and one at home; and a final examination.

Distribution of Marks: course work, 70 marks; final examination, 30 marks

** not available to students in the Faculty of Arts **

Through the study and application of the principles of university-level discourse, this course will introduce students to critical reading and university-level writing with emphasis on processes of research-based writing. Reading and writing assignments will require students to study, analyse, and apply principles of scholarly discourse. English 112 is not a remedial course. Students with serious deficiencies in their writing should seek early and expert tutorial help. Essays required.

Note: This course is required of students who intend to enter the Faculties of Commerce and the Schools of Nursing and Physical Education. It is also recommended by a number of other faculties and schools. Students should check the current UBC Calendar for further information about the first-year English requirements for particular faculties and schools.

Course Prerequisite: completion of all sections of the Language Proficiency Index Test with a level 5 on the essay section of the Test. (Students with a final mark of 75% or higher in English 12 or English Literature 12, with a mark of 5 or higher in IB English Literature, with a mark of 4 or higher in AP Literature and Composition, or with a "C" on UBC's English Composition Test are not required to write the LPI.)

English 120 is an enriched course in English studies meant for students with a passion for reading and an openness to studying texts from more than one angle. In our weekly lectures and discussions, you will be encouraged to read deeply, to reflect on and practise a variety of critical approaches to the texts you read, and to extend your abilities and your confidence as thinkers, speakers, and writers about literary texts and the questions they raise about our world and about other worlds outside our own time and place.

Course Prerequisite: English 120 is an enriched course. Students must have a final grade of "A" in English 12 (BC equivalent) or "B+" in English Literature 12 (BC equivalent) to remain registered.

Course Requirements: regular attendance and participation in the activities of the class; a minimum of three essays, two to be written in class and one at home; and a final examination.

Distribution of Marks: course work, 70 marks; final examination, 30 marks.

Through the study of various theories of literature, this course will provide an enriched curriculum for students especially interested in literary study, particularly for those who may be preparing for an English Honours or Majors degree. Students will be introduced to various theoretical approaches that have been and continue to be influential in English studies. The course may consider such issues as feminism, psychoanalysis, or deconstruction, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of particular approaches.

Course Prerequisite: a minimum of "A" in English 12 (BC equivalent) or a minimum of "B+" in English Literature 12 (BC equivalent).

Course Requirements: regular attendance and participation in the activities of the class; a minimum of three essays, two to be written in class and one at home; and a final examination.

Mark Distribution: course work (essays and exercises), 70 marks; final examination, 30 marks (or as determined by the instructor).

A selective sample of past texts include:

  • Bennett & Royle, Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory
  • Byatt, Possession: A Romance
  • Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction
  • Kaplan & Anderson Criticism: Major Statements
  • Makaryk, ed., Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory
  • Murdoch, The Black Prince (Penguin)
  • Richter, ed., Falling into Theory: Views on Reading Literature
  • Shakespeare, Hamlet

ENGL 140 is a critical consideration of a broad range of commonly held beliefs about language and its relation to the brain and cognition, learning, society, change and evolution.

Note that ENGL 140 is an elective course that does not count toward UBC Communications or Writing Requirements, or toward the Faculty of Arts Literature Requirement. However, students interested in Language theory, or who are thinking about the English Language major are encouraged to take this course.


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Pre-Major and Second-Year Elective Courses
Major, Honours and Upper-level Courses
Major and Honours Seminars
Writing Courses

These are course descriptions only.  You may register for these courses via the Student Service Centre.

Pre-Major and Second-Year Elective Courses

Term 1
3 credits

Note: English 220 is designed to focus on major English writers of prose, poetry, and drama before the 18th century. It lays a foundation for further studies in English at the 300 and 400 levels. This course is required for the English literature major.

This course focuses on selected English writers of poetry, drama, and prose from the 14th to the late 18th centuries.

The following literature will be studied: The General Prologue in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Shakespeare’s King Lear; selections from John Milton’s Paradise Lost; Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko; Part 4 of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels; Jane Austen’s Emma. Class discussion of each work will sometimes focus on its treatment of social, political, and economic issues of the period in which it was written: for instance, the alleged corruption of the late medieval Church and the questioning of conventional gender roles in the early modern period.

Course requirements:

Quiz #1 20%
Quiz #2 20%
Home essay; 1500 words 30%
Final examination 30%
100%

Texts:

  • Joseph Black et al., eds., The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition, Volume A, Second Edition (The Medieval Period, The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century, The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century)
  • William Shakespeare, King Lear (Broadview)
  • Jane Austen, Emma (Broadview)

The texts will be available at the UBC Bookstore in a specially priced, shrink-wrapped package.

Term 1
3 credits

Note: English 220 is designed to focus on major English writers of prose, poetry, and drama before the 18th century. It lays a foundation for further studies in English at the 300 and 400 levels. This course is required for the English literature major.

This course is a survey of English Literature from medieval times through the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to the beginning of the Romantic period and the rise of the English novel. In part, it will be a study of successive changes in English society and culture, and accompanying changes in literary form and focus. We will consider, among other things, patterns of continuity, influence, innovation and revolt. The course is intended to provide students with a range of scholarly and critical tools for the study of literary and other texts, and a substantial knowledge of a wide range of literature. Students will learn to employ strategies of close reading, library research, and textual analysis supported by reasoned argument, and we will explore some aspects of critical theory in relation to specific texts. Students will engage in lively discussion in class, and be encouraged to evolve their own ideas, and to defend them effectively. Our focus will include the political and cultural history relevant to particular works, including matters of religious, philosophical, aesthetic and social importance. We will also investigate ideas concerning class, nationality, and gender identity current in these centuries. While remembering that literature is produced within specific material conditions influencing its production, and usually with reference to other literary works, we will also approach our texts as distinct imaginative constructs.

Texts:

  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Major Authors, Vol. 1, 9th Edition
  • Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
  • Jane Austen, Persuasion

Please note that both non-anthologized texts are available at free online sites:
Antony and Cleopatra: shakespeare.mit.edu/cleopatra/full.htm
Persuasion: www.gutenberg.org

However, the hard copy texts I order for you will have accompanying introductions and notes which will be invaluable as study guides.

Readings:

“The Dream of the Rood”; “The Wanderer”; Geoffrey Chaucer, “General Prologue” and “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale”; William Shakespeare, Othello, and Antony and Cleopatra; John Donne (selected poems); Margaret Cavendish, “The Hunting of the Hare; John Milton, selections from Paradise Lost, Alexander Pope, “The Rape of the Lock”; Samuel Johnson, “A Brief to Free A Slave”; William Blake, selections from The Songs of Innocence and Experience and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Samuel Taylor Coleridge (selected poems), Jane Austen, Persuasion.

Course Requirements:

  • one in-class essay (30%)
  • one term paper involving library research and a formal bibliography (40%)
  • and a final exam (30%)

Additional supplementary marks for class participation may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor.

Term 1
3 credits

Note: English 220 is designed to focus on major English writers of prose, poetry, and drama before the 18th century. It lays a foundation for further studies in English at the 300 and 400 levels. This course is required for the English literature major.

This is a course in Renaissance Literature, with some Chaucer and Donne thrown in for good measure. There are two marked assignments and a final examination.

Readings:

  • Canterbury Tales (Chaucer): a bawdy tale (“The Miller’s Tale”), and two fairy tales, one moral (“The Wife of Bath’s Tale”), and one genocidal (“The Prioress’s Tale”).
  • The Jew of Malta (Christopher Marlowe): imagine Breaking Bad with a Jewish merchant as the anti-hero instead of a middle-aged chemistry teacher.
  • Hamlet (Shakespeare): a revenge tragedy. It looks different back-to-back with Marlowe.
  • Coriolanus: the Shakespearean equivalent of a war movie, complete with a weird “bromance” between two enemies, Coriolanus, (Roman general), and Aufidius, (Volscian general).
  • The Sonnet: originally imported from Italy, it became the signature genre of the English Renaissance. Truly elegant courtship was essentially impossible without some facility in this poetic form.
  • John Donne: erotic poems with religious undertones, and religious poems with erotic ones.

Texts:

  • “The Miller’s Tale”, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, “The Prioress’s Tale”. (Chaucer). (In course package.)
  • The Jew of Malta. (Marlowe).
  • Hamlet. (Shakespeare).
  • Coriolanus. (Shakespeare).
  • Elizabethan Poetry: An Anthology. (Dover Thrift Edition). (Contains sonnets.)
  • John Donne: Selected Poems. (Dover Thrift Edition).

Assignments:

  • In-class assignment - 30%
  • Home essay - 35%
  • Final exam - 35 %

Literature in English to the Eighteenth Century
Term: 1
3 credits

Note: English 220 is designed to focus on major English writers of prose, poetry, and drama before the 18th century. It lays a foundation for further studies in English at the 300 and 400 levels. This course is required for the English literature major.

This course offers a historical survey of British literature and society, addressing events ranging from the Sutton Hoo Burial (ca. 700) to the execution of Jonathan Wild (1725). Readings from Beowulf to The Beggar’s Opera illuminate shifts in class hierarchies, codes of conduct, gender norms, and local settings, enabling us to observe continuities and differences in cultural modes (oral to print), linguistic variables (Anglo-Saxon to Modern English), literary genres (heroic epic to mock-epic), and principal characters (warriors to criminals). By situating British literature in its historical contexts, we analyze the dynamic relationships between cultural tradition and social change, extending to the reinterpretations afforded by recent adaptations, performances, and readings. Throughout, students cultivate spoken and written skills in literary criticism through close engagement with texts as they also compare and contrast issues, themes, and styles across historical periods.

Texts (subject to minor modifications):

The Longman Anthology of British Literature. General editor David Damrosch. 4th  ed. New York: Longman, 2010.
Includes separate volumes 1A to 1C: The Middle Ages; The Early Modern Period; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century.

Assignments: (subject to minor modifications)

  • Participation and Group Work - 10%
  • Midterm - 25%
  • Major Essay - 30%
  • Final Examination - 35%

Term: 2
3 credits
Office: Buchanan Tower 528
Phone: 604-822-6328
E-mail:lfox@mail.ubc.ca

This course focuses on selected English writers of poetry, drama, and prose from the 14th to the late 18th centuries. The following literature will be studied: The General Prologue in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Shakespeare’s King Lear; selections from John Milton’s Paradise Lost; Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko; Part 4 of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels; Jane Austen’s Emma. Class discussion of each work will sometimes focus on its treatment of social, political, and economic issues of the period in which it was written: for instance, the alleged corruption of the late medieval Church and the questioning of conventional gender roles in the early modern period.

Course requirements:

Quiz #1 - 20% 20%
Quiz #2 - 20% 20%
Home essay; 1500 words - 30% 30%
Final examination - 30% 30%
TOTAL 100%

Texts:

  • Joseph Black et al., eds., The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition, Volume A, Second Edition (The Medieval Period, The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century, The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century)
  • William Shakespeare, King Lear (Broadview)
  • Jane Austen, Emma (Broadview)

The texts will be available at the UBC Bookstore in a specially priced, shrink-wrapped package.

Term: 2
3 credits

The description for this course is not available. Please contact the instructor.

Term: 2
3 credits

email: Kim.Trainor@ubc.ca
office: Buchanan Tower 421

This survey will concentrate on expressions of sacred and secular love and desire in the medieval and early modern periods. Texts we'll study include "Caedmon's Hymn;" "The Wife's Lament;" the writings of the mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe; poems from Donne's Songs and Sonets and Elegies; Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. As a case study in form, we'll trace the evolution and scope of the sonnet in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Wyatt, Surrey, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, Wroth, Milton).

We'll also acquire a technical knowledge of the mechanics of poetry: metre and rhythm, syntax and line, diction, metaphor, rhetoric. We'll approach these poems and plays from the perspective of working poets—as if we were writing them. For your term paper you'll have the option to write your own sonnet.

Required Texts:
The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors Vol. A. The Middle Ages through the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. General Ed. Stephen Greenblatt
Twelfth Night, Oxford UP

Term 1
Office: Buchanan Tower 403
email: mackieg@mail.ubc.ca

This course surveys British Literature from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. It aims to introduce students to a wide sampling of literary works of poetry, fiction, and drama across the period. While these works engage a diverse variety of topics, in reading them we will also want to keep in mind such themes as art and imagination, memory and history, the individual in society and freedom and repression. While taking care to situate these texts in their historical and cultural contexts, we should also, where appropriate, allow ourselves to approach them with a sense of openness and humour.

Course Requirements and Policies:

MARKS BREAKDOWN

  • Participation - 10%
  • In-class essay - 20%
  • Term paper - 40%
  • Final exam - 30%

Readings:

NOVELS

  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Penguin)
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (Penguin)
  • George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (Penguin)
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (Vintage)

POETRY AND DRAMA

  • The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition, Vol. B. SECOND EDITION. Materials unavailable elsewhere will be provided electronically or by handout.

Term: 1
3 credits

“Till we have built Jerusalem, / In England's green & pleasant Land” (William Blake, “Preface to Milton, a Poem”)

This course examines English literary writing across several centuries as it slowly becomes aware of the idea of the anthropocene: that human activities have so woven change into the planet that they are marked in the geological epic, and that the scope and scale of environmental change is a dominating concern for our species and all others. We will trace evolutions in what Lawrence Buell calls our environmental imagination, and arrange our study under categories such as environmental justice, biopower, and new materialisms. What happens when human empire reaches its limit? When profit interests are brought to answer for the spoilage effects of a culture of abundant consumption? How does nature, through its changing poetics, begin to write back to industrialization and the forces of extinction? The course reads writers from William Blake to Alan Moore with attention to their agenda to give humanity a larger view of its own course and future.

Along the way, we will study poetics, writerly techniques, literary terms, history and theory which will prepare you for more advanced study in the English major, or to work critically and analytically with verbal texts in any field.

Text:

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volumes D,E,F (packaged together), 9th Ed.

Additional materials will be distributed in class and/or via Connect.

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"Jerusalem"

Term: 2
3 credits

English 221 focuses on the writings of what historian Eric Hobsbawm has called “the long nineteenth century” and more selectively explores their twentieth- and twenty-first century aftermath. The years from 1789-1914 saw not only global war (not once but twice!), but also major revolutions in Europe and the Americas, the flourishing and abolition of the slave trade in Britain and North America, the rapid development of scientific and historical thought, and the serious emergence and spread of democratic ideals, as well as the challenges of nationalism, imperialism, and mass migration, industrialization on a large scale, and the rise (and rise, and rise) of a global economy. This was also the period that saw the emergence of mass literacy and mass entertainment in the English-speaking world, initially in the form of print. To the extent that these events and processes were global phenomena, they necessarily took place oceanically, subject to the sea as, to quote Kate Flint, “a space of translation and transformation, rather than of straightforward transmission”: a dangerous, unstable, sometimes seemingly magical space. Organized according to a loose chronology and shaped by a series of historical moments to which large numbers of British writers responded, this course will ask you to read with openness and imagination while considering questions of newness, transformation, and fluidity: it will ask you to try to think about old media at a time when they were new ones, and to conceive of old and new worlds alike as newly worldly. Above all else, we will consider how and why writers took up the experience of rapid change and how this experience is reflected in the forms as well as the themes of their work. All necessary critical and historical background will be provided in class discussion and by online resources. I will also make suggestions for further reading.

Required texts:

  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Penguin–ISBN 978-0199537150)
  • George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (Oxford–ISBN 978-0199536764)
  • A.S. Byatt, Morpho Eugenia, in Angels and Insects (Vintage–ISBN 9780679751342)
  • Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th ed., Volume 2

Assignments and evaluation:

Assignments for this section of English 221 will form a developmental sequence leading to the writing of a ten-page scholarly essay.

  • research bibliography - 15%
  • research proposal - 15%
  • essay draft - 10%
  • essay–final version - 30%
  • participation - 10%
  • final exam - 20%

In your written and oral work alike, you will practise paying close attention to the rich writtenness of our readings; you will develop your skills in well-supported and (in your essay) sustained scholarly argument; you will hone your awareness of and collegial engagement with your audience; and you will be expected to pay some attention to the historicity of texts and the critical conversations surrounding them. I will look for evidence of growth in your ideas and your explanation and defense of them in the course of your essay’s development.

Literature in Britain: the 18th century to the present
Term: 2
3 credits

Note: English 221 provides students with a survey of British poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fictional prose from the 18th century to the present. This course, together with the required English 220, is one of four 200-level courses that may be taken to be eligible for an English major with a literature emphasis.

This course offers a historical survey of British literature and society, addressing events ranging from the French Revolution (1789) to the destruction of the Twin Towers (2001). Writers from Edmund Burke to Zadie Smith illuminate shifts in class hierarchies, (post)colonial bonds, gender norms, and local settings, enabling us to observe continuities and differences in cultural modes (print to digital), linguistic variables (Modern English to World English), literary genres (tracts to podcasts), and principal characters (monarchs to immigrants). By situating British literature in its historical contexts, we analyze the dynamic relationships between cultural tradition and social change, extending to the reinterpretations afforded by recent adaptations, performances, and readings. Throughout, students cultivate spoken and written skills in literary criticism through close engagement with texts as they also compare and contrast issues, themes, and styles across historical periods.

TEXTS (subject to minor modifications):

The Longman Anthology of British Literature. General editor David Damrosch. 4th & 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2012.
Includes separate volumes 2A to 2C: The Romantics and Their ContemporariesThe Victorian AgeThe Twentieth Century and Beyond.

Assignments (subject to minor modifications):

  • Participation and Group Work - 10%
  • Midterm - 25%
  • Major Essay - 30%
  • Final Examination - 35%

Term: 1
3 credits

The description for this course is not available. Please contact the instructor.

Literature in Canada
Term: 2
3 credits

Working with an anthology designed to establish a workable Canadian cultural literacy, we’ll investigate the ways in which a national cultural imaginary has been invoked and produced in recent decades in English-speaking Canada. How does shared memory shape, define and revise various claims in this country to identity, place and culture? In 1965, Northrop Frye famously argued that Canadians are more perplexed by the question of “Where is here?” rather than “Who am I?” Reading a selection of fiction, essay, poetry and graphic works, as well as electronic and audio-visual media, we’ll interrogate depictions of history and place, and at the forms of belonging and of displacement that many writers articulate, and also challenge. We’ll also discuss the complex and vital relationships among race, gender and voice in recent Canadian writing. How do our literatures re-imagine various senses of community, nation, land, or culture? How exactly does this writing even profess to be “ours”?

Texts:

  • Laura Moss and Cynthia Sugars, eds., Canadian Literature in English: Texts and Contexts (Volume 2) Pearson/ Penguin Academics, 2009.
  • Chester Brown, Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography. Drawn & Quarterly, 2006.

Grade Breakdown:

  • Short Essays / Projects (2): 20% each
  • Term Paper / Project: 30%
  • Final Exam: 20%
  • Response Blog: 10%

Literature in Canada
Term: 2
3 credits

"Is it possible to imagine being named by a place? And – were we to contemplate such a thing – how would we come to merit that honour?"
– Don McKay, The Muskwa Assemblage

Canadian identity “is less perplexed by the question ‘Who am I?’ than by some such riddle as ‘Where is here?’” -- Northrop Frye

“The city as we imagine it, the soft city of illusion, myth, aspiration, and nightmare, is as real, maybe more real, than the hard city one can locate on maps, in statistics, in monographs on urban sociology and demography and architecture.” -- Jonathan Raban

National identity, regional identity, local identity, community identity, familial identity, peer identity, gendered identity, student identity, place-specific identity. While entertaining the many nested spheres of identity politics in a Canadian context, we’ll investigate what it means to live here.

Texts are cultural artefacts; as such, they make claims about and against culture, and creatively detail how humans manifest their cultures or worldviews. “Literature in Canada” is a class about the process of reading literature, and the different ways in which people (scholars, students) go about making meaning of it. This class is also about students finding interesting and creative ways to read and contextualize literature. Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), writing is thinking, and thinking is writing.

Required Texts:

  • Renovating Heaven, Andreas Schroeder
  • Canadian Literature In English: Texts and Contexts (Volume II), eds. Moss and Sugars
  • Connect Online Course Page @ http://elearning.ubc.ca/connect/

Literature in the United States
Term: 1
3 credits

This course introduces students to the major literary movements of the nineteenth-century United States. The course focuses on four broad areas: the development of American literary nationalism and transcendentalism; the literature of anti-slavery and early labour activism; and literature that addresses race and gender inequity. We will study the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Harriett Jacobs, and Henry James, among others.

Textbooks:

Nina Baym, et al. The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Shorter Eighth Edition) (2-Volume Set), 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0393918885 / ISBN-10: 0393918882

Course Requirements:

  • In-Class Midterm: 20%
  • Midterm Rewrite: 20%
  • Bibliographical Assignment: 20%
  • Participation: 10%
  • Final Exam: 30%

Literature in the United States
Term: 2

3 credits

This course surveys some of the great innovators in the U.S. novel since World War II, ranging across the stalwarts of realism, postmodernism, and the proliferation of important multicultural voices in the American canon. Questions we will address include: What have been the major innovations in fictional form in the U.S. in the past sixty years, and what forces seem to have driven them? What structures have writers developed in this era to demonstrate new layers of guilt, innocence, and moral complexity? Does the novel, as informational and imaginative medium, have authority in this era? If so, what sort of authority is it? What difference has the explosion in prominent ethnic writers within U.S. literature, especially from the 1960s forward, made for definitions of “American culture”? How do the power, stability, and prosperity of many postwar U.S. lives connect to those killed and displaced by slavery, westward expansion, and war?

Tentative reading list:

  • Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)
  • Toni Morrison, Jazz (1992)
  • Chang-rae Lee, A Gesture Life (1999)
  • Jennifer Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad (2010)
  • A sixth novel: TBA

Course Requirements:

Work will include two formal papers (4-5 pp., 6-7 pp.), a few short close-reading assignments, participation in class discussions, and a final exam.

World Literature in English
Term: 1
3 credits

Along with discourses on cultural globalization, there has been discussion of "global" novels—novels that sell well across countries, win international prizes, draw literary scholars' attention, and get taught repeatedly in university courses. How are these novels read in these various contexts? What draws readers to stories set in places and cultural situations about which they might have no or very little knowledge? What is it about the novel as a genre, its structures of fictional narrative, and the authors' choices of style that enable these texts to become global phenomena? We will discover that many of these internationally successful texts offer their own critical perspectives on the history and dynamics of transnational movements. Our investigation of each novel in this course will be threefold: (1) we will discuss what questions about transnational relations the novels themselves raise, (2) we will analyze public discussions about these novels, and (3) we will study the critical issues that literary scholars debate in their research about these texts.

Key assignments:

  • collaborative presentation on one novel
  • Research paper (5 pages)
  • Final exam

Tentative reading list:

  • Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1988)
  • Chimamanda Adichie, Purple Hibiscus (2003)
  • Arundhati Roy,  The God of Small Things (1997)
  • Aravind Adiga,  The White Tiger (2008)
  • Xiaolu Guo, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers (2007)
  • Teju Cole, Open City (2011)

World Literature in English
Term: 1

3 credits

Monuments and memorials mark heroic turning points in the life of a nation, state or people and claim to be the final word in social struggle. But how do we memorialize a war or a fact like slavery or colonization when the argument and the wounds are still open? Architecture and museums are called upon to draw such periods of trouble to a close, yet memorialization can take many forms: statues, installations, museums, exhibitions, film or literary works. We will read literary accounts that register the trouble with memory alongside interesting cases of politically charged memorials. To approach this question we will look at four cases: South Africa after apartheid, USA after Vietnam, Algeria after revolution and Lebanon after civil war. Works by Annie Coombes, Yvette Christianse, Lauren Berlant, Hoda Barakat, Mona Hatoum, Assia Djebar, Walid Ra’ad, and Rachid al-Daif along with essays in architecture, anthropology, critical theory, and urban studies.

Course Assignments:

  • midterm
  • final examination
  • weekly web post
  • oral report

Term: 2
3 credits

This course will look at classics of literature from around the world. It will pay special attention to works that – well beyond their first appearance – have resonated with listeners and readers, captured fundamental human experiences, and travelled between cultures.

Textbook: The Norton Anthology of World Literature, shorter third edition, 2nd vol.

The readings (all in the textbook) will include

  • Novellas by Joseph Conrad and Leo Tolstoy
  • Stories by Gustave Flaubert, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Rabindranath Tagore, V. S. Naipaul, Zhang Ailing, Lu Xun, Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Th’iongo, Isabel Allende
  • Plays by Molière, Henrik Ibsen, and Antonin Chekhov
  • Non-fiction and poetry by Bashō and others

Requirements:

  • 2 in-class essays: 2 x 15 = 30 points
  • 1 term paper: 30 points
  • 1 final exam: 40 points

Poetry
Term: 2
3 credits

The purpose of this course is to get you acquainted with narrative, lyric and conceptual poetries--their techniques, formal vocabularies and their rich and varied traditions---so that you can learn to read various kinds of poems with depth, complexity and pleasure. The pedagogical focus of this course is to experience poetry by reading it aloud, talk about how poems work and move toward careful and sustained literary analysis (attention to formal features, historical and theoretical contexts) so that you can develop critical competence. The hope is that this course will not only make you a better reader of poetry, but inspire you to keep on reading it!

We'll read a wide selection of poems from our Canadian Literature in English: Texts and Contexts anthology, as well as other poems not included in the anthology.

Requirements:

  • Recitation & Short Talk (20%) - You can choose to either recite a lyric poem or present to the class a concrete or conceptual poem for this assignment. Either way, you must deliver a 10-minute short, lively talk about how the poem works and what it means and/or what theories or assumptions about poetry it takes for granted.
  • Short Close Reading (20%)
  • Research Paper (30%)
  • Exam (30%)

Texts:

  • Canadian Literature in English Texts and Contexts, Volume 2, Eds. Sugars and Moss
  • How to Read (and Write About) Poetry by Susan Holbrook

Prose Fiction
Term: 1
3 credits

“You are a born story-teller,” said the old lady. “You had the sense to see you were caught in a story, and the sense to see that you could change it to another one.”
A. S. Byatt, “The Story of the Eldest Princess”

Why do we tell stories? The very phrase “telling stories” is synonymous, to quote the Houyhnhnms in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, with saying “the thing which is not.” Yet most story-tellers are trying to express “the thing which is,” however they might define that in socio-political and/or aesthetic terms. In this course we will explore story-telling—our own and others’. What kinds of stories are told by writers, readers, and literary critics? Are all story-tellers caught in stories of some kind? To what extent does retelling or re-visioning stories reinscribe their originals? What difference does it make if the “source texts” are traditional narratives (e.g., folk tales, classical myths) or actual historical events? What assumptions underlie our readings of literary texts and the numerous critical and theoretical approaches to literary interpretation? What does the popularization and commodification of texts—from the re-visioning of “Beauty and the Beast” in every medium to the transformation of “classic” literature into film—tell us about the texts themselves, the societies that produced them, our own society, and ourselves?

Some of the texts that we will be studying self-consciously question the nature of “story,” “history,” and “truth”; some (equally self-consciously) rewrite traditional folk, classical, biblical, and literary narratives. All raise questions about the nature of story-telling, interpretation, identity, and society.

Texts:

  • Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, “Beauty and the Beast” and other (very brief) selections from Magazin des Enfans: or, the Young Misses Magazine (1765 edition available online through UBC Library); if you find the typesetters’ use of the long “s” problematic, you may use D. L. Ashliman’s transcription of “Beauty and the Beast” http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/beauty.html
  • a student-choice adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 2nd edition (Broadview); you may use another edition (online or print), as long as it includes all of John Tenniel’s illustrations
  • a student-choice adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Oscar Wilde, “The Happy Prince,” “The Nightingale and the Rose,” “The Selfish Giant,” “The Birthday of the Infanta” (available online); if you wish to purchase a collection I recommend Oscar Wilde, The Complete Short Stories (Oxford World’s Classics)
  • Iris Murdoch, Under the Net (Penguin)
  • Angela Carter, “The Courtship of Mr Lyon,” “The Tiger’s Bride” (available online)
  • A. S. Byatt, “The Story of the Eldest Princess” (out of print); we will read the story together in class and the two collections in which the story appears, Caught in a Story: Contemporary Fairytales and Fables and The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, will be on reserve in Koerner Library
  • Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (Vintage)
  • Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behavior (Harper)

You are welcome to use Kindle editions where they are available.

Course requirements:

  • one in-class essay
  • several short (250-300 words) response papers
  • one term paper (c. 2500 words) and annotated bibliography
  • final exam
  • participation in one group presentation
  • informed class participation (oral or written)


Term: 2
3 credits

This course will explore the features of prose fiction from unreliable narrators, unrepentant characters, dark settings and curious subjects. Modernism will be the backdrop, war and intrigue the shadow themes. Selected texts to be studied in depth will include

  • James, Henry. The Spoils of Poynton, 1897.
  • Stoker, Bram. Dracula, 1897.
  • Conrad, Joseph. The Secret Agent, 1907.
  • Ford, Ford Madox. The Good Soldier, 1915.
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby, 1925.
  • Findley, Timothy. The Wars, 1977.
  • Foer, Jonathan Safran. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, 2005.

Topics in the Study of Language and/or Rhetoric
Term: 2
3 credits

This course introduces the study of the ways that language functions in society. We will be studying how language is used in different walks of life and how different social factors determine the use of language. Some of the topics covered include dialect and register, language and power, language and gender, diglossia and bilingualism, lingua francas and code-switching, to name a few. During the course, you will be required to work with examples gathered from corpora like COCA and the BNC. You will also gather real-life data yourself in order to demonstrate and verify claims about social factors and their effects on language use. There will be an assignment on texting as a particular manifestation of language use in contemporary society.

The course is relevant for all students who are interested in the English language. Since an understanding of language in society has implications for language used in literary texts, the course has value not only for students preparing to focus on language, but also for those who are mainly interested in literature.

Objectives: After completing this course, you should have acquired the necessary understanding to describe particular socially determined varieties and the descriptive skills to account for grammatical and phonetic variety. In this respect, the course will be excellent preparation for students wishing to take senior language courses in the English department, for instance Stylistics (ENGL322A) or The History of the English Language (ENGL320).

Required texts:

  • Wardhaugh, Ronald 2006 An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 5th ed. Maldon, Oxford & Carlton: Blackwell. (Referred to as IS in the syllabus).

Recommended reading:

  • Crystal, David 2008 Txtng The gr8 db8. Oxford, New York, etc.: Oxford University Press.
  • Crystal, David 2003 The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd ed. New York, Melbourne, etc.: Cambridge University Press.

Evaluation: For this course, regular class attendance is crucial as successive exercises and the tests build upon each other, forming an integrated whole. Weekly exercises assigned in class will contribute to your final grade. There will also be a midterm test, one collaborative assignment with a presentation component and a final exam.

Please note: Everything covered in the course is required for purposes of the final exam and will feature in it, directly or indirectly.

Grading structure:

  • Exercises in class - 10%
  • Midterm test - 30%
  • Collaborative Assignment - 30%
  • Final exam - 30%

Topics in the Study of Language and/or Rhetoric
Term: 1
3 credits

Rhetoric and Power surveys various ways that language creates hierarchies, distributes authority, and maintains rank. Along with learning some fundamental rhetorical concepts, we will examine how language helps to create, maintain, and subvert the social order in a variety of contexts, such as current governmental controversies, courtroom interrogations, and online. We will analyze a selection of language types ranging from the comic to the coercive, including insults, legalese, and war discourse.

Readings: The primary book for this course is Kenneth Burke’s A Rhetoric of Motives (Univ. of California Press, 1969; ISBN: 0520015460). Additional readings include a variety of other essays, book chapters, and documents.

Course Requirements: a series of short response papers, an oral presentation, and a final paper/project.

Introduction to Indigenous Literatures
Term: 1

3 credits

This course is an introduction to contemporary writing by Indigenous writers in Canada. Through critical engagement with a variety of texts (fiction short and longer, non-fiction, poetry, drama) within the context of culturally respectful dialogue, we will study some Indigenous literary strategies of representation, empowerment and healing as part of the work of decolonization. We will consider some of the strategies used by writers like Mosionier, Clements and Wagamese in the representation of impacts of colonization and the assertion of sovereignty by Indigenous peoples. Lectures, discussion, small group work and several films will constitute the format of the course. Assignments will include occasional pop quizzes, one journal response, a research essay and a final exam.

Required Texts (provisional)

  • Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, In Search of April Raintree, ed. Cheryl Suzack
  • Richard Wagamese, For Joshua
  • Marie Clements, Burning Vision
  • Leanne Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love
  • Thomas King, The Truth About Stories
  • Lynda Gray, First Nations 101
  • Course pack of selected poems, essays, etc

Media Studies
Term: 1

3 credits

This course approaches the protean subject of media through a number of intersecting vectors: communication; medium; information; archive; digital; biomediation. Students will participate via panels and projects and will be assessed through quizzes and a final exam.

Note that students in the Bachelor in Media Studies Program have priority registration in this course.

TOP

Major, Honours and Upper-Level Courses

Language & Rhetoric

Studies in Rhetoric
Term: 2
3 credits

In Rhetoric, Revolution, & Dissent we will learn about how mass-movements use and design persuasive messages, images, and events, with a concentration on the visual styles of persuasion prevalent in current electronic media. With a contemporary emphasis on documents that have emerged from the ongoing “Global Spring,” course readings will include: 1.) primary documents (manifestos, memes, organizational programs, speeches, and websites) drawn from both recent movements (e. g. Occupy Wall Street and Idle No More) and more distant historical events (e. g. the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the French Revolution); 2.) a survey of pertinent scholarly rhetorical criticism; 3.) a survey of visual design. To learn about how manifestos function, for example, we will read a selection from critic Janet Lyon’s book Manifestoes: Provocations of the Modern in conjunction with reading the “Idle No More Manifesto” and the “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City” alongside the “Manifesto of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army” and the U.S. “Declaration of Independence.” By assessing both more and less successful persuasive tactics, strategies, and genres, the course will teach students how communication strategies help to stimulate and maintain resistance and revolt (or not). Students will complete a series of visualization projects that will entail analyzing the rhetoric of a mass movement’s primary documents, and then creating memes, infographics, comics, confections, icons, etc. based on the movement’s means of persuasion.

Readings: Readings will include graphic design critic Edward Tufte’s Beautiful Evidence, an anthology of mass movement and revolutionary primary documents, and various articles and essays on rhetoric and rhetorical criticism.

Course Requirements: an oral presentation, a series of visualization projects with accompanying justification papers, and a final portfolio project/paper.

Rhetoric of Science, Technology and Medicine
Term: 2
3 credits

The central question for rhetorical study in general is, "In this (particular) situation, who is persuading whom of what, and what are the means of persuasion?" The starting point for the question is the understanding that we are, each of us, engaged in acts of persuasion all the time--even if all we mean to do is, as rhetorician Kenneth Burke says, "direct the attention" of an audience.

The notion of pervasive persuasion, though, is complicated when we consider the realms of science and medicine—when discourse is taking place in spaces we typically don’t think of as rhetorical: for example, in the pages of scientific journals, in laboratories, in working groups tasked with arriving at diagnostic categories, in meetings of the FDA, and so on.

This course looks at persuasion in contemporary science and medicine. Given the prominence of health topics in public discourse currently, we will be especially interested in the rhetoric of health and medicine. We will consider, for example, questions like these: "What is the process of classification by which some states/conditions become diseases and others do not?", "What are the means, and what are the effects, of pharmaceutical advertising?", "How has the Internet helped to shape the contemporary health subject?", and "How does public discourse on health affect the personal experience of illness?"

By the end of this course, students will have developed a rhetorical-theoretical lens through which they can assess more critically scientific and medical information available through professional, public, and social media. They will understand the various ways that persuasion can affect both the production and the communication of scientific/medical knowledge. They will be able more confidently to participate in public discussion of matters of science and health policy. Science students will acquire an additional means to reflect on their own practice.

Note: English 309 requires no special preparation in rhetorical theory or in science and medicine.

Tentative, and partial, reading list:

  • Kuhn, Thomas. Excerpt from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago, 1962)
  • Burke, Kenneth. “Terministic Screens.” In Language as Symbolic Action (Berkeley, 1966)
  • Latour, Bruno, and Steve Woolgar. “Documents and Facts.” In Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts (Princeton, 1979)
  • Halloran, Michael. “The Birth of Molecular Biology: An Essay in the Rhetorical Criticism of Scientific Discourse.” Rhetoric Review (1984)
  • Prelli, Lawrence. “The Rhetorical Construction of Scientific Ethos.” In Rhetoric in the Human Sciences. (Sage, 1989)
  • Solomon, Martha. “The Rhetoric of Dehumanization: An Analysis of Medical Reports of the Tuskegee Syphilis Project.” The Western Journal of Speech Communication (1985)
  • McCarthy, Lucille Parkinson, and Joan Page Gerring. “Revising Psychiatry’s Charter Document DSM-IV.” Written Communication (1994)
  • Emmons, Kimberly K. “Depression, a Rhetorical Illness.” Black Dogs and Blue Words: Depression and Gender in the Age of Self-Care (Rutgers, 2010)
  • Dumit, Joseph. “Responding to Facts.” Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health (Duke, 2012)
  • Segal, Judy Z. “Internet Health and the 21st-Century Patient: A Rhetorical View. Written Communication (2009)
  • Belling, Catherine. “Be Responsible.” A Condition of Doubt: The Meanings of Hypochondria. (Oxford, 2012)
  • Solomon, Miriam. “Epistemological Reflections on the Art of Medicine and Narrative Medicine.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (2008)
  • Ceccarelli, Leah. “Manufactured Scientific Controversy: Science, Rhetoric, and Public Debate”
  • Rhetoric and Public Affairs (2011)
  • Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. “Denial Rides Again.” Merchants of Doubt (Bloomsbery, 2010)
  • Malkowski, Jennifer. “Confessions of a Pharmaceutical Company: Voice, Narrative, and    Gendered Dialectics in the Case of Gardasil.” Health Communication 29 (2014)

History and Theory of Rhetoric
Term 1
3 credits

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion or influence—and the study of that art. Rhetorical theory offers a method for discovering the means of persuasion in public and private life, in institutional and social settings, across a range of media and genres.

There is no better way to understand rhetorical theory and method than to study rhetoric's history—and its ancient history is an excellent place to start. Aristotle’s definition of rhetoric as “the faculty of discovering, in the particular case, what are the available means of persuasion” provides a strong beginning for rhetorical study, and his categories and terms provide a reliable procedure for rhetorical analysis.

Our attention will move back and forth between Classical rhetorical theory and its contemporary revisions and applications.  Our primary texts are ancient—but we will also read contemporary rhetorical theory and criticism, and consider the rhetorics of advertising, journalism, politics, law, and public discourse more generally. Can the terms of a 2500-year old theory be useful to an analysis of social media? (Yes!)

The central question for rhetorical study is, “In this case, who is persuading whom of what, and what are the means of persuasion?” Central questions about rhetorical beings (that is, all of us) are, "How do we come to believe what we believe?" and "What does it take to make us change our minds?" We will take up those questions, along with other, more specific, ones: “How can eloquence itself render a speaker unpersuasive?” and “What do people say to get audiences to trust them?”

Required reading:

  • Plato’s Phaedrus
  • Aristotle’s Rhetoric
  • Selections from Plato's Gorgias -- and from works by Gorgias (the Sophist), Isocrates, and Cicero
  • Contemporary articles including (tentatively) the following:
    - Carolyn Miller and Dawn Shepherd. “Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog” (2003)
    - Barbara J. Blakely. “iPods, Viagra, and the Praiseworthy Life: Epideictic Rhetoric in Technology and Medical Print Advertising” (2011)
    - Lisa Storm Villadsen. “Speaking on Behalf of Others: Rhetorical Agency and Epideictic Functions in Official Apologies” (2008)
    - Susanna Dillipane, “Race, Rhetoric, and Running for President: Unpacking the Significance of Barack Obama’s ‘A More Perfect Union’ Speech” (2012)
    - Leah Ceccarelli, “Manufactured Scientific Controversy: Science, Rhetoric, and Public Debate” (2011)
    - Carol Cohn. “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals” (1987)
    - Virginia Chappell. “Expert Testimony: ‘Regular People,’ and Public Values: Arguing Common Sense at a Death Penalty Trial" (1995)

Recommended Reading:

Plato, Gorgias (the whole thing; any translation)

Course Requirements:

  • oral presentation - 15%
  • mid-term exam - 15%
  • term essay: rhetorical analysis - 25%
  • final exam - 30%
  • participation - 15%
 

Term 2
3 credits

This course examines the development of rhetorical theory within the context of the major epochs of western European intellectual history. Beginning with St. Augustine and his advocacy of rhetoric as essential to spreading Christianity in the early medieval period, the course will move through the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and Modernism. By reading and applying major rhetorical theories advanced in each historical period, we will learn how writers such as Desiderius Erasmus, Baldesar Castiglione, Giambattista Vico, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Kenneth Burke (among others) conceived the arts of persuasion, argumentation, and style. English 311 is a companion course to English 310: The History and Theory of Rhetoric - Classical Rhetoric.

Readings: Readings will include several book-length works, including Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier and Vico’s New Science, as well as a handful of shorter essays and extracts.

Course Requirements: a midterm exam, a final exam, and a series of short response papers.

Discourse and Society
Term: 1
3 credits

The activity of conversation is central to our lives and to the construction of our social identities. Yet in formal linguistic studies, casual conversation is often overlooked in favour of written texts or instances of spoken text involving a single speaker. This course introduces discourse analysis techniques for the analysis of language events involving interaction between two or more speakers. Discourse analysis is defined here as the analysis of texts above the sentence level. Drawing on a range of linguistic and semiotic approaches, we will study dialogue as a semantic activity. We will explore techniques for analyzing language at a variety of linguistic levels, from micro-patterns in the grammar of conversation, to turn-taking, to text type (genre).

The general goals of the course will be:

  • Developing skills in using analytic techniques to describe and interpret dialogue in context.
  • Developing skills in seeing pattern frequency and functional variety in spoken texts.
  • Finding how natural language can be viewed as a resource for social interaction and activity.
  • Designing and producing a research project involving the collection and analysis of conversational or natural language data.

There will be a number of in-class and take-home assignments and students will be encouraged to collect and analyze their own data.

Prerequisites:

  • 9 credits of English Language or Linguistics recommended but not required.
  • English 330a and 331 recommended but not required.

Required Reading:

  • Eggins and Slade 1997/2005. Analysing Casual Conversation, Cassell.
    Additional readings may be assigned.

Evaluation:

  • Midterm assignment, 15%
  • Class Participation, 8%
  • Learning activities, 12% (6 activities worth 2% each)
  • Presentations, 10%
  • Quiz, 15%
  • Final Paper/Project, 40%

Term 1
3 credits
OFFICE: BuTo 402
biermann@mail.ubc.ca
OFFICE HOURS: T/Th: 13:00-13:50
Telephone: (604)822-5402

NOTE: students who have received credit for ENGL 320 cannot receive credit for ENGL 318.

In the English 318 course we study the historical evolution of English from its pre-history to the Old English period (449-1100). The course starts with a general introduction to the historical study of English, including an overview of the current structure of the language, the notion of language change, and language typology. By following the development of English from its origins to the end of the 12th century, we study the changes in linguistic structure ranging from the level of sound and its relationship with spelling (phonology and graphology), the level of words, including principles of word formation (morphology), loanwords, relevant aspects of word classes (the lexicon), word meaning (semantics) to the level of sentence structure (syntax) in order to learn about the dynamic, ongoing development and creative flexibility of the English language. The approach taken in the course is descriptive and is not situated exclusively in any specific linguistic theory.

Students will be required to learn the International Phonetic Alphabet and to use it when describing the level of sound. Students will also be expected to acquire a degree of familiarity with grammar that will allow them to understand changes from one historical period to the next. The course involves studying the textbook portions assigned for each week as well as a substantial amount of analysis of English language examples from the exercises in the textbook and other exercises posted on the course website on Connect or provided in class.

Required textbook:

Brinton, Laurel J. & Leslie Arnovick. The English Language: A Linguistic History. 2nd ed. Oxford, etc.: Oxford University Press(2011).ISBN 978-0-19-543157-5.

Prerequisites:

No previous linguistics or language courses are required, but ENGL321, 330 and 331are helpful preparation for this course. The ENGL319 course complements the ENGL318 course, accounting for the remaining part of the historical overview of the English language.

Course requirements and assessment:

The course mark is based on two tests, the last of which is the final exam, and one assignment. The tests are not cumulative. The tests and the assignment contribute equally to the final mark. Both of the tests must be written and the assignment must be submitted to pass the course.

Term 2
3 credits
OFFICE: BuTo 402
biermann@mail.ubc.ca
OFFICE HOURS: T/Th: 13:00-13:50
Telephone: (604)822-5402

NOTE: students who have received credit for ENGL 320 cannot receive credit for ENGL 319.

In the English 319 course we follow the development of English from the time of the Norman Conquest to the present day. The course provides an overview of the historical evolution of English from the Middle English period (1100-1500), the Early Modern English Period (1500-1800) and the Late Modern English Period (1800-21st century). In each period, we study the changes in linguistic structure ranging from the level of sound and its relationship with spelling (phonology and graphology), the level of words, including principles of word formation (morphology), loanwords, relevant aspects of word classes (the lexicon), word meaning (semantics) to the level of sentence structure (syntax) in order to learn about the dynamic, ongoing development and creative flexibility of the English language. The approach taken in the course is descriptive and is not situated exclusively in any specific linguistic theory.

Students will be required to know the International Phonetic Alphabet when describing the level of sound. They will also be expected to be sufficiently familiar with grammar to understand specific changes from one historical period to the next. The course involves studying the textbook portions assigned for each week as well as a substantial amount of analysis of English language examples from the exercises in the textbook and other exercises posted on the course website on Connect or provided in class.

Required textbook:

Brinton, Laurel J. & Leslie Arnovick. The English Language: A Linguistic History. 2nd ed. Oxford, etc.: Oxford University Press(2011).ISBN 978-0-19-543157-5.

Prerequisites:

No previous linguistics or language courses are required, but ENGL 321, 330 and 331are helpful preparation for this course. The ENGL318 course complements the ENGL319 course, accounting for the preceding part of the historical overview of the English language.

Course requirements and assessment:

The course mark is based on two monthly tests, the last of which is the final exam, and one assignment. The tests are not cumulative. The tests and the assignment contribute equally to the final mark. Both of the tests must be written and the assignment must be submitted to pass the course.

Term: 1
3 credits

This course provides an introduction to English grammar and usage. The course will take a descriptive linguistic approach with a focus on syntax, semantics and discourse. We will begin with the study of basic sentence structure. We will classify parts of speech and identify transitivity patterns and grammatical functions. We will describe in detail the structure of noun phrases and verb phrases, with specific attention to patterns of modification. We will then analyze coordination and subordination in clauses.

Throughout the course, consideration will be given to:

  • Developing consciousness of the natural rhythms of language
  • Applying knowledge of grammar for self-expression
  • Understanding the relevance of grammar for everyday communication and the usefulness of prescriptive rules.

The emphasis will be on learning to do grammatical description and understanding how the rules of English grammar are applied for effective communication.

Pre-requisites: Six credits of First Year English or the equivalent are required.

Texts:

  • Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey Pullum. A Student's Introduction to English Grammar. Paperback. Cambridge University Press. 2005

Recommended texts:

  • The Oxford English Dictionary (OED). (This is available free online through the UBC Library, at http://www.library.ubc.ca. Select Indexes and Databases and enter Oxford English Dictionary. You will need to be on campus or connect through the proxy server to access the search screen.
  • Crystal, David. 2003. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Evaluation:
There will be 2 tests worth 21% each, a final group project (10%) and a final assignment (30%). There will also be a series of short, practical activities worth 10% in total. One of these will be graded (4%), and the others will be given grades for completing them.

Breakdown of grades:

  • Learning and applying activities: 10%
  • Test 1: 21%
  • Test 2: 21%
  • Final collaborative project on complex sentences: 10%
  • Final assignment (text analysis): 30%
  • Participation: 8%

Term: 2
3 credits

This course presents a traditional grammatical description of Present-day English. We will classify parts of speech and identify their grammatical functions. We will analyze the noun phrase and the verb phrase, observing how modification works in English. Finally, we will describe the clausal processes of coordination and subordination. Throughout,we will consider the nature and usefulness of prescriptive rules of grammar, especially with regard to eighteenth-century goals for standardization.

Texts:

  • Berk, Lynn. 1999. English Syntax: From Word to Discourse. Oxford University Press.
  • Friend, Jewel A. 1974.Traditional Grammar. Southern Illinois University Press. UBC Bookstore Text Packet.
  • Oxford Canadian Dictionary. 2001. Edited by Katherine Barber. Oxford University Press.

Term: 2
3 credits

This section of ENGL 321 is being offered through Distance Education. The description for this section can be found here.

Term: 2
3 credits

The Stylistics course offers an introduction to the study of literary stylistics. This comprises three main activities: identifying specific linguistic features, analyzing these linguistically and interpreting their communicative function in the reading and understanding of the text.

Stylistic features relating to the three genres of poetic, narrative and dramatic texts are introduced during the course. For each genre, we study some of the typical stylistic techniques characterizing the genre and analyze a number of texts demonstrating them. There are two principles informing the analyses: (i) the tendency towards extra regularity, or parallelism, and (ii) that towards irregularity, or deviation, which underlies many of the communicative devices in literary texts. In the case of poetry and drama, there are two workshops, one devoted to each genre, in which you have the opportunity to apply what you have learnt about the genre in some detail to a specific text. When it comes to narrative, you are free to select a short story of your own choice to try your hand at a detailed stylistic analysis in a formal, written essay.

The course is offered from a descriptive perspective, an approach not situated exclusively in any specific linguistic theory. Much of the activity in the course involves attentive reading of literary texts, by means of workshops, the term paper and exercises to be assigned in class and for homework.

Required texts:

  • Simpson, Paul 2014 Stylistics: A Resource Book for Students, 2nd ed. London & New York: Routledge.
  • Short, Mick 1996 Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose. London and New York: Routledge.

Recommended reading:

One of the following grammar books:

  • Börjars, Kersti & Kate Burridge 2010 Introducing English Grammar, 2nd ed. London: Hodder Education.
  • Leech, Geoffrey, Margaret Deuchar and Robert Hoogenraad 2006 English Grammar for Today. 2nd ed. Houndmills, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave.

Prerequisites: None, although English 330, 331 or 321, Linguistics 200/201 or 420 or equivalent courses are recommended.

Evaluation:
1. Workshop 1 - 15%
2. Workshop 2 - 15%
3. Class participation (exercises) - 15%
4. Term paper proposal - 2%
5. Term paper - 23%
6. Final exam - 30%

Objectives: By the end of the course, you should be able to give a general account of the main principles and procedures involved in describing the style of a text. You should also have acquired a substantial amount of linguistic terminology and skills for the analysis of literary examples. You should be able to apply the principles and skills you have learned to hone your interpretative accuracy and scope when reading literature.

Term: 1
3 credits

This section of ENGL 322 is being offered through Distance Education. The description for this section can be found here.

Term: 2
3 credits

The course will introduce students to recent theories which view our understanding of the meaning of language expressions and other forms of communication in the broader context of the nature of human thought. We will rely on recent theories of meaning to show how underlying cognitive concepts structure our understanding of language, literature, and art, but also artifacts of popular culture, advertising, media, or film. Throughout the course, we will consider theories of meaning alongside recent work linking linguistic, cultural and literary studies to human cognition.

We will start with the theory of conceptual metaphor, which defines metaphor, metonymy, and other tropes in a new way and uses the same theoretical constructs to talk about everyday usage, the language of advertising and of the media, and about the figurative language of literature. In the second part of the course we will introduce the theory of conceptual integration (or blending), which attempts to explain various mechanisms of construction of meaning and human creativity.

In class, we will devote much attention to close analysis of texts and other cultural artifacts, in search of specific cognitive mechanisms leading to their interpretation. The course is primarily addressed to English majors, but students interested in various forms of communication, including the discourse of their own discipline or a language other than English are also welcome. The theories to be studied have very broad applications. Students will be required to grasp the theoretical concepts and use them in their own analyses of data samples. No prior knowledge of linguistics or specific theories is required.

Readings:

  • Barbara Dancygier and Eve Sweetser. Figurative Language. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Course Requirements include:

  • homework assignments
  • exams
  • term paper

Term: 1
3 credits

In this course, we study the sound system of English (phonology) and word formation and classification in English (morphology). We begin by studying how speech sounds are articulated and we learn to transcribe English speech sounds using the phonetic alphabet. We identify both the distinctive sounds of English and the sound combinations possible in English, as well as the patterns of stress, intonation, and syllabification. We turn next to an analysis of the meaningful units in language– affixes and roots– and examine how they combine to form words, are grammatically modified, and can be classified into parts of speech. Last, we consider both traditional and structural approaches to the question of word meaning (semantics), giving some attention to cognitive approaches to meaning.
In English 330, emphasis is placed upon the description of English rather than on any particular theory of linguistics.

Required text: L.J. Brinton and D.M. Brinton, The Linguistic Structure of Modern English (Benjamins 2010).

Prerequisites:

Third-year standing and completion of the writing requirement in one’s Faculty. No previous linguistics or language course is required. ENGL 330 and 331 may be taken concurrently or in reverse sequence.

Course evaluation:

The written work required in this course includes:

  1. three non-comprehensive unit tests (in-class).
  2. six on-line quizzes

Students will expected to complete ungraded, self-testing homework exercises, and as needed, these will be discussed in class.

Practical applications of the course:

Because of the understanding of the language imparted by this course, it has practical applications for the teaching of English, either to those for whom English is a native language or those for whom it is an additional language. It also has applications for the stylistic analysis of texts (literary or non-literary) since it provides the precise concepts and necessary language for discussing language in a precise way. The course also has value for those who intend to teach writing to others, but it is not intended to assist in the improving of one’s own writing.

N.B. This course is not open to students who have taken ENGL 329.

Term: 2
3 credits

This course explores and examines contemporary English linguistic structure at the level of sounds and words. It begins with a study of speech sounds. We study the articulation of sounds in English, methods for phonetic transcription and the possible sound combinations in English (phonology). We then study words, and the processes of word formation and word classification in English (morphology). Finally, we consider word meaning and look at a variety of approaches to appreciating the nuances of meaning in English words (lexical semantics).

Required Text:

  • L.J. Brinton and D.M. Brinton, The Linguistic Structure of Modern English (2010).

Evaluation:

There will be 3 tests of equal weight (30%) and a class participation mark of 10%. The third test will be scheduled during the examination period. A variety of in-class, homework and test questions will be given, including definitions, fill in the blanks, problem solving, short answer questions and matching.

Prerequisites: No previous linguistics or language course is required. Students are encouraged to take both English 330A and English 331.

N.B. This course is not open to students who have taken ENGL 329.

Term: 1
3 credits

The English 331 course provides a comprehensive introduction to the structure of sentences and their uses in Modern English.We will be studying the structure of phrases and the clause functions of phrases, sentence types, finite and non-finite clauses and sub-clauses, the meaning of sentences, information packaging and speech acts. The course is offered from a descriptive perspective, an approach not situated exclusively in any specific linguistic theory.

Please note: Regular class attendance and continued effort are vital. (Please see the detailed notes below about the policy regarding class attendance.) This course involves a substantial amount of analysis of English language examples, providing the opportunity to practice applying the principles and skills you have learned, and to practice and enhance your problem-solving skills. The course requires the acquisition of a technical vocabulary and of the procedures of linguistic analysis relevant for this purpose. For instance, you will be expected to acquire specific skills and techniques of representing diagrams of various linguistic structures, including tree diagrams and labelled bracketing when describing the structure of phrases and sentences. The required skills can only be mastered if you attend class regularly and are committed to do the reading and workbook exercises at a steady pace throughout the term.

Required text:

Brinton, Laurel J. and Donna M. Brinton The Linguistic Structure of Modern English. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins,2010. (ISBN 978 90 272 1172 9).

Recommended:

  • Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge, New York, etc.: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN: 0 521 53033 4. (On reserve in the UBC library).
  • Crystal, David. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th ed. Malden (USA), Oxford (UK), and Carlton (Australia): Blackwell, 2008. ISBN 978-1-405-15296-9. Available online at wordpress.com. (On reserve in the UBC library).
  • The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is available free online through the UBC Library, at http://www.library.ubc.ca. Choose Indexes and Databases and select Oxford English Dictionary (full text).

Prerequisites:
Students must have 6 credits of first-year English, but no previous linguistics or language courses are required. ENGL321 is a helpful preparation for this course.

Course requirements:

The course mark is based on three monthly tests, the last of which is the final exam. The tests are not cumulative. Homework exercises will be assigned during the term. These will be self-testing and will not be graded. The three tests contribute equally to the final mark, i.e. they are worth approximately 33.33% each. All three tests must be written to pass the course.

Term: 1
3 credits

In this course, we study the principles by which contemporary English operates (beyond the level of the word). The course is taken up primarily with a detailed analysis of English sentence structure (syntax) from a generative perspective. In the remainder of the course, we consider the structure of both phrases and clauses in English. We then look at the interaction of syntax and semantics in terms of propositions and theta roles. We end with an examination of the functions and contexts of language use (pragmatics), including information structuring, speech act theory, and politeness.

Required Text:

L.J. Brinton and D.M. Brinton, The Linguistic Structure of Modern English (Benjamins 2010).

 Prerequisites:

Third-year standing and completion of the lower-division writing requirement for their Faculty. ENGL 330 is not a prerequisite for ENGL 331 but is recommended.

Course Evaluation:

The written work required in this course includes:

  • three non-comprehensive unit tests;
  • six online quizzes.Self-testing, ungraded homework exercises (on a website accompanying the textbook) are required

Practical applications of the course:

Because of the understanding of the language imparted by this course, it has practical applications for the teaching of English, either to those for whom English is a native language or those for whom it is an additional language. It also has applications for the stylistic analysis of texts (literary or non-literary) since it provides the precise concepts and necessary language for discussing language in a precise way. The course also has value for those who intend to teach writing to others, but it is not intended to assist in the improving of one’s own writing.

N.B. This course is not open to students who have taken ENGL 329.

Term: 1
3 credits

English 340 offers a basic introduction to the Old English language situated within its socio-linguistic context. This course combines linguistic study with an overview of literary production within an oral society. Please come prepared to enjoy both aspects. By recognizing that language is a vehicle of culture, you will learn to appreciate Old English as it was used by the early English people we call the Anglo-Saxons.

The grammar of Old English
In contrast with Present-day English, which relies on phrases, prepositions, and fixed word order, Old English is primarily an inflected language with a more flexible word order. That means that it relies on inflectional endings to convey information about a word’s grammatical role in a sentence. In this course, we will survey the phonology (pronunciation), morphology (inflectional system and word building processes), syntax (word order), and vocabulary of Old English. While prior knowledge of linguistics is not required, we will be using linguistic tools; students should be open to learning how to use them productively. We will begin with a review of grammatical terminology (e.g. parts of speech). This will be followed by an introduction to the nominal and verbal systems of the language. You will go on to learn (i.e. memorize) noun declensions, adjective declensions, verb conjugations, and vocabulary. You will learn about “concord,” i.e. how nouns agree with pronouns and adjectives, and how nouns agree with verbs and prepositions. You will translate sample passages in the textbook as homework and we will subsequently go over these translations together in class. Through homework exercises, you will also compose basic sentences in Old English, but while composition is fun, it is not the focus of this class.

Oral Tradition
Because it is impossible to extract a language from its social and cultural grounding, we will also investigate the literary tradition of the Anglo-Saxons. Together we will engage in an act of creative imagination as we explore what it means to perceive the world through our ears and hearing (versus our eyes and reading). We will read some poetry in translation, and through an introduction to Oral Theory, you will learn about oral-traditional methods of poetic composition. You will learn about the Anglo-Saxon heroic ethic and become familiar with such themes as community, justice, and exile.

Goals of the course:
All your preparatory work will pay rewarding dividends. By the end of this course, you should be able to translate (with the aid of a dictionary) substantial passages of Old English prose such as those found in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and Old English Bible. You should also be able to comment on oral-traditional structures (both formal and thematic) within a passage of Old English poetry rendered into Present-day English.

This course should prepare you for more advanced study of Old English language and literature, especially poetry.

Course Requirements:

Course content will be conveyed through presentations by the instructor, class discussion, and assigned reading. Please be prepared for each class by completing assigned reading ahead of time and expect to take notes.

  • Two quizzes: 30% each
  • Final examination: 40%

Required Reading:

  • McGillivray, Murray. 2011. A Gentle Introduction to Old English. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press. ISBN 9781551118413, Publication Date: Jan. 1, 2011
  • Barney, Stephen A. 1985. Word-Hoard: An Introduction to Old English Vocabulary. 2nd edition. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300035063, Publication Date: Jan. 1, 1985
  • Donaldson, E. Talbot, Howe, Nicholas, Tuso, Joseph. 1998. Beowulf: A Prose Translation. 2nd ed. W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393974065, Publication Date: Jan. 1, 1998

Literature

Old English Literature
Term: 2
3 credits

The clash of blade on the shield-wall – Grendel’s monstrous form looming through the mist – the Dragon’s roar – Odin’s blood on the world-tree – the broken ruin of a Roman town - rumours of a new God from across the sea – the song of Raven and Wolf – the first sounds of a Te Deum in a new built church – the blood cries of the sea-wolves – the lament for the passing of an age.

The literary landscape of Early Medieval Britain (c. 497 AD – 1066 AD) is linguistically and culturally diverse, a record of profound cultural change over the span of five centuries. This course is designed to introduce students to the multilingual literatures of Early Medieval Britain, a period that saw the birth of English as a language and as a literature, but one that was always is dialogue with the other languages of the British Isles.  Primarily focusing upon the surviving literature of the Anglo-Saxons (recorded in various dialects of Old English (cf. ENGL 340), the course will also introduce students to selections of Welsh, Norse, and Latin literature from the early medieval period (all texts will be read in modern English translation).

The early British Middle Ages, often simplistically named the ‘Anglo-Saxon period’, was a complex geography of cultural and linguistic intermixture. While the colonizing pagan Anglo-Saxons (from the early sixth century onwards) eventually came to dominate the lowland areas of Britain that now encompass England, the culture and literature of the Celtic peoples survived and thrived in West (Wales) and the North. To this mix we add the culture of the Scandinavian peoples, who came first to burn and raid, but later to settle and conquer. Interweaving with all these vernaculars was the international language of medieval Europe, the Latin of the Church and (by default) of international intellectual culture. This course will seek to understand the origins of English literature in its profoundly multilingual and postcolonial contexts.

Assessment:

  • one midterm (20%)
  • one research essay (40%)
  • one exam (40%)

Required Texts:

  • The Longman Anthology of Old English, Old Icelandic, and Anglo-Norman Literatures (Longman, 2011)
  • Welsh and Latin poems (supplied by professor)

Medieval Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

Sin. This is an ugly and historically powerful word. Sin is not mitigated by appealing to poor choices or mental distress; it allows for no moral grey area. Ideas of sin and salvation shaped the medieval Western European worldview. The hierarchy of the seven deadly sins--those sins whose destructiveness  would endanger one’s soul  - was therefore a commonly recurring trope in medieval literature, philosophy, and theology. Sin, classified and weighted according to category and severity, thus became one key element of exchange in the economy of salvation that permeated medieval societies. However, everyone knows that sin is not simply deadly; it can also be fun. The very significance and intensity of the seven deadly sins meant that they had the attraction of the taboo; like Bakhtin’s notion of the carnivalesque, humorous or risque engagement with the seven deadly sins constituted an important form of ideological resistance.

In this course, students will read a range of medieval texts that take a variety of approaches to the seven deadly sins: intellectual, literary, theological, dirty, funny, didactic, fearful, and artistic, to name some. Dealing with one sin at a time, we will find out what lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, envy, and pride really looked like a thousand years ago.

Medieval Studies
Term: 2
3 credits

This course will introduce the rich array of writing by women of the high and later Middle Ages. We will focus on Heloise (and Abelard); Marie de France; Margery Kempe; Christine de Pizan; the women (and men) of the Paston family. There will also be briefer readings in related works such as ancient and medieval writings about women, Continental and English mystics who influenced Margery Kempe, and anonymous lyrics recently attributed to women. Because the works we will read include both traditional genres (lyric, dream-vision, brief romance) and less canonical kinds (letters, mystical and devotional writing, medical treatises), we will consider the definition of ‘literature’ and questions of canonicity.  Our approach will frequently be interdisciplinary, as we will explore the historical circumstances in which these women lived, read, and wrote, and will make comparisons with other aspects of medieval culture, such as the visual arts. Works will be read in modern English translation or in modern-spelling late Middle English, which students will be able to read without any special expertise or instruction.

Texts:

  • The Book of Margery Kempe, ed. Lynn Staley (Norton, 2001)
  • Selected Writings of Christine de Pizan, ed. Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski (Norton, 1997)
  • The Lais of Marie de France, trans. Glyn Burgess and Keith Busby (Penguin, 1999)
  • The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Penguin)
  • The Paston Letters, ed. Norman Davis (Oxford World’s Classics, 1983).

There will also be a course package, and readings on the Web.

Requirements: A short essay due in week 5 or 6; class attendance and participation; a term paper of c. 2500 words; a final exam.

Term: 2
3 credits

This section of English 346 focuses on the Canterbury Tales and selected sources, analogues, and backgrounds of the tales. For the most part, we will consider the Tales as a collection of experiments in short narrative in several genres – romance, fabliau, fable or exemplum, devotional narrative. We will compare Chaucer’s tales with his sources in order to see more precisely what is original about his handling of these genres, and will also see how the simple act of juxtaposing different kinds of narratives within a collection affects the meaning of individual tales. In addition, we will pay attention to the effects Chaucer achieves through his innovative assignment of the tales to highly individual pilgrim tellers, and to the ways the “whole book” represents Chaucer as a particular kind of author. Finally, we will consider themes that the collection takes up repeatedly and from a variety of perspectives, such as the rewards and perils of marriage; the rights and responsibilities of women; how humans can find meaning and solace in a universe that often seems indifferent or hostile; how language can be used and abused; and forms of individual and group identity. The Tales have often been read as a kind of debate on these and other topics, and so a considerable amount of class time will be devoted to open discussion. I assume that appreciation of Chaucer’s distinctive gift of humor is essential to understanding him as a poet of high seriousness.

The course does not assume any prior experience with Middle English. Lessons available on Connect (or in a course package) will help students develop skill at reading Chaucer’s language, and we will practice reading aloud in class.

Text:

The Canterbury Tales, eds. V. A. Kolve and Glending Olson, 2nd ed. (Norton). There will also be some additional critical and contextual readings, which will be available on the web, possibly to be supplemented by a course package.

Assignments:

  • Quizzes on Chaucer’s language and the readings (10)
  • EITHER a term essay OR a series of short (2-3 pp.) essays on various approaches to the Tales (45)
  • a final examination (35)
  • class attendance, preparation, and participation (10)

Renaissance Studies
Term: 2
3 credits

Have you ever been in a Shakespeare course when the topic of Machiavellianism came up, but you were too hesitant to ask what, exactly, it means? Have you ever heard your professor discuss Italian influences on English poetry, but haven’t had the chance to study in depth poems from this tradition? Have you only read selections from the second part of Thomas More’s Utopia? Did you even know that there was a first part? Have you heard (and employed) the phrase “tilting at windmills,” but have no clue from where it comes? If you answer affirmatively to even one of these questions, then this course, which is a survey of canonical literary and philosophical texts from the European Renaissance, just might be for you.

In it, we’ll explore literary and philosophical works originally composed in Latin (More’s Utopia and Erasmus’s Praise of Folly), in French (a handful of Montaigne’s Essais; part of Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel; a play by Molière); in Italian (samples from the writings of Machiavelli and Castiglione; the pornographic verse of Aretino, with their accompanying illustrations; selections from Petrarch’s poetry; and the pastoral drama of Giovanni Guarini); and in Spanish (Bartolomé de las Casas’s enormously influential Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and part of Cervantes’s Don Quixote). We’ll read these texts in modern editions, but we’ll also dip into their sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English translations to get a sense of how these texts were marketed to English readers and incorporated into English letters.

Facility with these languages is not required, but is welcome.

Marking:

  • 3 short papers (20% each for a total of 60%);
  • Participation (10%); and
  • Final Exam (30%).

Renaissance Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

Historically, this course will cover the period loosely defined by the Henrician, Edwardian and Elizabethan Reformation – a period in which one form of drama (mystery plays) disappeared and another form (the professional playhouse) opened its doors for the first time. The purpose of the course is not to revive a teleological narrative of theatre history, in which the naïve Catholic drama of the middle ages evolves into the sophisticated humanist theatre of the Renaissance, but rather to contemplate the idea of theatrical invention in the Tudor period – a period that is particularly rich in new forms of creative expression. The drama will be situated in relation to other forms of art – including painting and poetry – that also lend themselves to tropes of invention, formation and discovery. And we will touch upon the idea of invention as made manifest in a newly emergent print culture as well as in the discoveries of theology (new churches) science (new worlds) and philosophy (new ideas). However, the course will ultimately return to invention's shabby sisters: reinvention, rediscovery and recycling. Our objective will be to consider how the materials of the medieval scaffold might have been reformed and refigured on the stages of London's playhouses. Our methods will be largely materialist and historicist but given our focus on formal novelty, attention will be paid to dramaturgical practice as well. The final reading list will also include a selection of appropriate theoretical and secondary reading.

Reading:

  • The Second Shepherd’s Play  (Wakefield)
  • The Crucifixion Play (York)
  • The Mary Play  (N-Town Cycle)
  • Everyman
  • John Bale, The Three Laws
  • Henry Medwall, Fulgens and Lucres
  • Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, Gorboduc
  • John Lyly, Gallathea
  • Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy
  • Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, Edward II

Textbooks: TBA

Evaluation:

  • Annotated bibliography: 25%
  • Research paper: 40%
  • Play Performance: 35%

Term: 1
3 credits

This course will focus primarily on the plays of Shakespeare, with some attention given to other Renaissance dramatic and non-dramatic works. We will discuss cultural history, contemporary religious, philosophical, and political controversy, and elements of domestic life and social interaction relevant for the study of these works. We will explore the conditions influencing production and the participation of these plays in the ideological and theatrical aspects of Elizabethan playing and audience reception. A variety of different critical approaches will be examined, including those of earlier decades, and those more current.

Shakespeare’s theatre can be seen as a commercial enterprise, licensed by the authorities, and dependent on royal patronage, involving complex negotiations of class and subjectivity. It can also be seen as a marginal or liminal space wherein the dilemmas and dreams of Shakespeare’s time and now of our own can be evoked and given form; where competing cultural voices find expression; where “things as they are” can be challenged by the very manner of their representation.  The dramatic poetry of Shakespeare is both historical document and unfinished experiment - a boundlessly eventful experiential realm. Students will study six plays, four with full coverage in the classroom and two with briefer coverage in class. We will also consider a handful of the sonnets. To enhance our understanding of the dramatic texts in their time, we will discuss other Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights, and brief selections from the works of some important figures of the English and Continental Renaissance, such as Spenser, Montaigne, Thomas Hobbes and Machiavelli. Selections from film versions of the plays will be viewed as time permits.

Plays:

  • Shakespeare, As You Like It, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Cymbeline
  • Thomas Middleton, Women Beware Women

Play texts will be available at the UBC Bookstore. Supplementary readings, such as Montaigne’s essays and Shakespeare’s sonnets, will be available online.

Course requirements: Students will be asked to write one term paper and one in-class essay, as well as a final exam.

Each member of the class will be required to participate in the classroom performance of a scene or part of a scene from one of the plays on our list. Students may choose to act, direct, or work on costumes and props.  For anyone who is opposed to being involved in performance, there is another option: you may write a review (1 page or less) of any performance of a Shakespeare play which you have seen recently, on film or in the theatre. The purpose of this exercise is to encourage the reception of Shakespeare’s dramatic art as theatre, rather than as literature written for the page. A bibliographical guide to Shakespeare scholarship will be distributed in the third week of term.

Shakespeare and the Renaissance
Term: 2
3 credits

The course explores Shakespeare’s dramatic representation of orality, script and print in a number of his plays and poems.

Course requirements:

  • five blog entries of 100 words, summarizing five of the theory articles (40%);
  • panel participation (40%)
  • exam (20%)

Texts: the Oxford Shakespeare editions of the plays and poems, available at the UBC Bookstore; theory texts are on Connect.

Shakespeare and the Renaissance
Term: 1
3 credits

In this course we shall explore the careers of two of Renaissance England’s most celebrated literary contemporaries, Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) and William Shakespeare (1564-1616). We’ll examine some of their major works in pairs – for instance, Marlowe’s Edward II with Shakespeare’s Richard II and Marlowe’s Hero and Leander with Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis – to investigate how each engages comparable subject matter (the suspect English monarch and erotic pursuit and consummation in these examples) and similar literary form (the history play and the narrative poem). Our efforts, in the first instance, will be directed towards elaborating two critical commonplaces about Shakespeare and Marlowe: first, that because the innovative and popular Kit Marlowe predeceased Will Shakespeare by some 23 years, he exerted a profound influence over Shakespeare’s dramaturgy and poetry; second, that “Marlowe” – his life and his literature – functions in contemporary scholarship as shorthand for sodomy, a crime encompassing but not limited to homosexuality, whereas “Shakespeare” serves to establish and secure a heterosexual imaginary. We’ll of course work to unsettle these commonplaces not simply by highlighting counterexamples – there is homosexuality in Shakespeare – but, more importantly, by thinking about the usefulness of the interpretive scaffolding that has made them both possible and plausible: biography.

In addition to the texts mentioned above, we’ll likely also study Shakespeare’s Tempest, 1 Henry VI, The Merchant of Venice, and Richard III, and Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage, Tamburlaine, Part 1, and The Jew of Malta.

Marking:

  • Midterm (25%);
  • Term Paper (30%);
  • Participation (10%); and
  • Final Exam (35%).

Shakespeare and the Renaissance
Term: 2
3 credits

In the film Shakespeare in Love (dir. John Madden), Will sets about two tasks when he finds himself smitten with Viola: he effortlessly pens a sonnet for her and then he plots Romeo and Juliet. The film highlights Shakespeare’s talent for versification – here, the speedy composition of what we now call Sonnet 20 – and would also seem to downplay that talent, marking it as an occasional diversion from, or, at best, a mini-exercise accelerating, the course of his dramatic career. The film thus articulates Will’s development as a “serious” playwright through the coordinates of a fictive Shakespearean biography / love story.

With a cue from Shakespeare in Love, we chart in this class Shakespeare’s poetic career, attending mainly to the aesthetic qualities and historical backgrounds of Shakespearean poetry. Every now and then we will also have occasion to explore those traces of (pseudo-)Shakespearean biography we might discover in the publication history of his verse in the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries. We shall commence with the long narrative poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, both of which Shakespeare ushered through the press himself, and then turn to sonnets which were included (presumably without his permission) in The Passionate Pilgrim and to his puzzling contribution to the verse collection Loves Martyr. At this point, we’ll break genre to study three plays from the mid- to late-1590s (As You Like It, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and Romeo and Juliet) to speculate about possible points of intersection among Shakespearean drama, poetry, and perhaps even biography. We’ll conclude our course with an extended discussion about those Shakespearean poems that have so provoked, and yet so frustrated, biographical readings since their pirated publication in 1609 – Shakespeare’s sonnet sequence and its enigmatic companion poem, A Lover’s Complaint.

Marking:

  • Midterm (25%);
  • Term Paper (30%);
  • Participation (10%); and
  • Final Exam (35%).

Shakespeare and the Renaissance
Term: 2
3 credits

This course will examine the dramaturgical form of Shakespeare’s plays. Our approach will be, in part, historicist: we will look at how the institutional and social conditions attendant upon the original productions work to shape the plays and we will look at the historical relationship between the plays and other sensational media (poetry, art, music). We will also think about how the texts harness the mimetic possibilities (and pitfalls) of the material theatre and we will ask how the meanings generated by the plays resonate against the experiences of playmaking and playgoing.

Because 2016 marks the quarter-centenary of Shakespeare’s death, the class will also consider the Shakespearean “method” in relation to key manifestations of the enduring influence and popularity of his work.

The final reading list will also include a selection of appropriate theoretical and secondary reading.

Reading:

  • Henry V
  • Taming of the Shrew
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Richard II
  • Anthony and Cleopatra
  • Hamlet
  • The Winter’s Tale
  • The Tempest

All in the Oxford “World’s Classics” Editions

Evaluation:

  • Annotated bibliography: 25%
  • Research paper: 40%
  • Play Performance: 35%

Term: 1
Distance Education Course
3 credits

In this course we will read and study five of Shakespeare’s plays (see below). We will analyze Shakespeare’s language, dramatic characterization, and plotting; we will become familiar with the economic, the intellectual, the political, the religious, the sexual, and the social conditions of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, and we will learn how these conditions may have informed Shakespeare’s plays; and we will develop a thorough understanding of the genres and theatrical conventions Shakespeare employed on the Renaissance stage. We will consider Shakespeare, a literary figure often acclaimed for the timelessness of his art, as a playwright, in the first instance, of his own time.

We will read the following plays:

  • Titus Andronicus
  • Henry V
  • Twelfth Night
  • Macbeth
  • The Winters Tale

Seventeenth-Century Studies
Term: 1

3 credits

The primary purpose of this course will be to examine the non-Shakespearean drama of the Seventeenth-Century.

Some of the plays we will be reading have come to be considered as "timeless" and share canonical status with the works of Shakespeare. Others, while popular in their time, are now considered "obscure" and are known only to those with a scholarly interest in the field. In order to understand the importance of the plays to their original audiences, we will gather together historical materials pertinent to the institution of the theatre (religious injunctions, political speeches, London civic records, documents of censorship and control, publishing records) as well as materials that speak to the relationship between the plays and other contemporary forms of expression (visual art, illustrated books, poetry, music). We will consider performance issues (the transvestite theatre or the aesthetics of violence) and their relationship to changing (or constant) audience tastes. We will look at the form and structure of the plays in order to consider the appeal to emotion and to feeling in relation to Counter-Reformation aesthetics and to the Baroque. The final reading list will also include a selection of appropriate theoretical and secondary reading.

Texts:

  • Thomas Middleton (?), The Revenger's Tragedy
  • Thoman Middleton and William Rowley, The Changeling
  • Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker, The Roaring Girl
  • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, The Maid’s Tragedy
  • Francis Beaumont, The Night of the Burning Pestle
  • Ben Jonson, Epicene
  • John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
  • John Ford, ‘Tis Pity She's a Whore
  • James Shirley, The Bird in a Cage

All in David Bevington ed. English Renaissance Drama (Norton)

Evaluation:

  • Annotated bibliography: 25%
  • Research paper: 40%
  • Play Performance: 35%

Term: 2
3 credits

This course is principally an intensive textual study of Areopagitica and Paradise Lost, with some attention given to biographical, historical, literary, linguistic, scientific, artistic, and critical contexts. Students will be encouraged to investigate and to draw as many connections as they can between Milton and the many other developments (both in England and beyond) that took place in his lifetime.

Texts:

John Milton, Paradise Lost, ed. Kerrigan et al. (Modern Library Classics) (recommended; but some alternatives may be acceptable)

Areopagitica (an offprint of this work will be distributed in pdf format)

Grading and assignments:

  • Early midterm on all of Paradise Lost - 20%
  • 2500-word research paper - 40%
    (prospectus due early March; paper due end of classes; please plan accordingly)
  • Final examination - 40%

Other, ungraded forms of class participation will also be required, as is regular attendance.

Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

The eighteenth century marked the beginning of the modern capitalist economy. New wealth flooded British society as the empire expanded, the first banks were established, agriculture became increasingly mechanized, and manufacture gradually evolved towards the Industrial Revolution near the end of the century. An expanding middle-class, centered in the nation's growing cities, gained increasing political power and economic clout in a nation filled with shops, changing fashions and a widening range of commodities from all over the world. These events also had a major impact on literature. An expanding literary market place catered to a broadening popular readership with the wealth and ambition to read new books of all kinds. Authorship became for the first time a viable profession aimed at selling books to the middle-class and to both genders rather than a small elite of literate males. In the face of socioeconomic change, literary styles transformed. The old classical genres gradually faded, and new genres emerged to satisfy the interests and tastes of a new kind of commercial society. This section of English 357 will examine these transformations, and the emergence of not only modern society, but of modern literary forms and values precipitated by economic revolution. Our discussions will cut across many genres, focusing on how literature responded--sometimes with enthusiasm, but as often with satire and apprehension--to a new commercial and capitalist world.

Texts:

  • Etherege, The Man of Mode; Vanbrugh, The Relapse
  • Gay, The Beggar's Opera
  • Coventry, The History of Pompey the Little
  • Austen, Northanger Abbey
  • a selection of poetry by Dryden, Pope, Thomson, Duck, Grainger, Goldsmith, Blake and Wordsworth

Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Studies
Term: 2
3 credits

By the end of the eighteenth century, the modern Western conception of human psychology had acquired many of the features that we take for granted as natural and universal. Understandings of the human mind and its operations begin to feature ideas such as the notion of a private imaginative life that is unique to each individual, the belief that sympathy and empathy are essential to social connection, models of psychic development and language acquisition that emphasize sensory experience, theories of madness as disorders caused by aberrant language comprehension or traumatic memory, and the possibility that consciousness is only part of a vast psychic field that is mostly unconscious. And of course sexuality is mixed up in all of these topics. During roughly the same period, the modern novel took shape as a literary genre and one of its most important features is its commitment to representing emerging ideas about psychology (and also sexuality). Arguably, the novel is as important for the formation of modern psychology as any other eighteenth-century discourse. We will investigate that thesis through a series of readings in eighteenth-century and more recent analyses of psychology, including excerpts from the work of John Locke, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, and Terry Castle. We will pair these readings with eighteenth-century novels, including Pamela by Samuel Richardson, Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe, Caleb Williams by William Godwin, and Emma by Jane Austen.

Studies in an Eighteenth-Century Genre
Term: 1
3 credits

During the eighteenth century, Britain transformed from a relatively minor European country to a great economic power with a worldwide empire. British ships ranged the world, sending back reports of new peoples, and setting off a new discussion concerning the nature of "civilization" in contrast with the so-called "primitive" or "barbaric" peoples that British travelers encountered. The use of African slaves in British colonies became a major source of wealth, though this practice also sparked what is arguably the world's first great humanitarian campaign, the movement to abolish the slave trade. These events had a major impact on eighteenth-century literature, flooding the literary marketplace with travel books and with fictional and non-fictional accounts of far-away places and non-European peoples. This section of English 358 will focus on the many ways that literature of the eighteenth century reflected an expanding world-view, the rise of empire, and a transformed understanding of humanity as comprised of multifarious races, nations and cultures. We will consider the first widely-read literature in English by non-white people as well as the struggles and adjustments precipitated by the rise of Britain as global colonial power.

Texts:

  • Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
  • Mary Rowlandson and others, selection of captivity narratives
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
  • Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters
  • selection of poems relating to the abolition of the slave trade
  • Mungo Park, Travels to the Interior of Africa
  • James Cook, Journal (selections)
  • Olauda Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Gustavus Vassa
  • Anon., A Woman of Colour

Studies in an Eighteenth-Century Genre
Term: 2
3 credits

Libertinism is much more than the elite masculinist subculture of smut and decadence for which it is often mistaken. It is also a philosophical and ideological stance, informed by eighteenth-century ideas of power, economy, religion, identity, and sexuality. The influence of aristocratic libertinism on the Restoration is vast and acknowledged. Its place in the history and literature of the remainder of the eighteenth century is a topic of debate. The aim of this course is first to come to terms with the mercurial qualities of libertinism over the eighteenth century, and then to consider its symbiotic relationship with the culture that both informed and was informed by it.

We will first work toward an understanding of the historical and philosophical contexts of libertinism, including the works of Thomas Hobbes and Bernard Mandeville. We will then consider a series of literary texts in this context, including work by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, Aphra Behn, George Etherege, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding. In addition to these canonical figures, we will consider some relatively less-represented female writers such as Mary Davys, Eliza Haywood, and Elizabeth Cooper in an effort to begin to come to terms with the possibility of a female libertine, and with the implications of the discourse for women and other non-hegemonic social groups. Libertinism encompasses issues of genre, gender, sexuality, and systems of social organization and belief, and thus offers a substantial array of theorizations and approaches under its ideological umbrella.

Preliminary list of readings:

  • Cooper, Elizabeth. The Rival Widows, or Fair Libertine.
  • Davys, Mary. The Accomplish'd Rake; or, The Modern Fine Gentleman.
  • Etherege, George. The Man of Mode.
  • Haywood, Eliza. The Masqueraders.
  • Richardson, Samuel. Clarissa (abridged). Ed. John Richetti. Broadview.
  • Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of. Rochester. Penguin.

With additional poetry, and philosophical, critical and theoretical materials in custom course package.

Want to get a feel for libertinism? Summer Netflix might include

  • The Libertine (Johnny Depp as the Earl of Rochester and John Malkovich as Charles II)
  • Restoration (Robert Downey Jr as a doctor to Charles II and his spaniel)
  • Dangerous Liaisons (for the French version, with Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Keanu Reeves(!))

Studies in Romanticism
Term: 1
3 credits

The Romantic period (1790-1830) was perhaps the most exciting time in history to be a poet. It might be said that the British Romantics invented ‘poetry’ in the modern sense as the highest-pitched and most authentic reaction to the challenges and dilemmas of human existence. Yet most of the poems we associate with Romanticism were composed in response to the tumultuous politics of a period beset by almost constant war, threats of “terror,” massive social and gender inequality, devastating ecological crisis, generational conflict, new technology, and both utopian promise and profound cynicism. Sound familiar?

In this course, we will think about Romantic poetics primarily by way of four fundamental concepts, freedom, nature, sexuality, and the sublime, about how these were shaped by the political conversations of the era and about how they continue to influence the politics of our own day. We will consider the Romantics’ responses to the major political events of their place and time: the French Revolution, the campaign against and the abolition of the slave trade, the War against France, the rise of industrial capitalism, the enclosure of land, the reform of education, and ongoing debates over religion and belief. Readings will draw from the works of the “big six” canonical British Romantic poets, William Blake, Samuel Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and John Keats, several women poets, including Anna Letitia Barbauld, Mary Robinson, Charlotte Smith, Felicia Hemans, and Letitia Elizabeth Landon, and less widely know poets, such as Robert Burns and John Clare. We will also read examples from the journalism and criticism of the period to help us contextualize its politics and poetics.

Assignments will assess students’ level of familiarity and engagement with the poems and their willingness and ability to use the poems to address contemporary theoretical, critical, and political concerns.

Required Texts:

  • Duncan Wu, ed. Romanticism: An Anthology 4th edition (Blackwell-Wiley)

Evaluation:

  • Class Participation, Attendance, short writing assignments, and response (15%)
  • Critical Summary Essay (15%)
  • Annotated Bibliography and Essay Proposal (15%)
  • Research paper - draft and revision (25%)
  • Final Exam (30%)

Term: 2
3 credits

Fredric Jameson has importantly described the emergence of imperial and global networks at the turn of the nineteenth century as an event in the history of thought and feeling as well as in political and economic history. He wrote that the “experience of the individual. . . becomes limited to a tiny corner of the social world...But the truth of that experience no longer coincides with the place in which it takes place. The truth of that limited daily experience of London lies, rather, in India or Jamaica or Hong Kong; it is bound up with the whole colonial system of the British Empire that determines the very quality of the individual’s subjective life.” This course in Romantic-period writing revisits Jameson’s statement in the form of two questions: how did British writers at the turn of the nineteenth century experience (consider, perceive, or sense) the emergence of global networks? How did they represent or register their experience in their work?

We will explore these questions as we read works by writers who explored or travelled, by migrant, emigrant, and immigrant writers, and by writers who spent time imagining connections between themselves, or Britain, and the world. We will be interested in questions of distance, proximity, movement, and encounter. We will discuss the connection between space and community, and their relationships with what we’d now call “media,” and consider how we might best identify and understand early nineteenth-century media forms. We will examine the relationships between imperialism and globality. And we will engage with the question that most prominently motivates Jameson’s analysis: the ways in which literary form might register global experience, from the Romantic period to the present. While the course readings are arranged around five important categories in the early nineteenth-century history of Britain’s global activities (sensation, slavery, commerce, exploration, love), we will also think in an ongoing way about the relationships and resonances among these categories, and these readings.

Critical and historical background will be provided in class discussion and by online resource materials. I will also make suggestions for further reading.

Texts:

  • Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814; Oxford)
  • Sydney Owenson, The Missionary (1811, Broadview)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818; Penguin)
  • Thomas DeQuincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1822; Penguin)
  • Online anthology of poetry and prose by Anna Barbauld, John Barrow, William Blake, George Gordon Byron, Thomas Clarkson, S. T. Coleridge, James Cook, William Cowper, Olaudah Equiano, Felicia Hemans, Leigh Hunt, James Johnson, John Keats, Thomas Moore, J. Jepson Oddy, Mungo Park, John Phillips, P. B. Shelley, Charlotte Smith, Phillis Wheatley, and William Wordsworth
Assignments and evaluation:
assignment # 1: a close-reading of a primary text from the syllabus
(2 pages; primary source only)
20%
assignment #2: a critical and global biography of an object (a book, material used in the production of a book, or object depicted in a text)
(7 double-spaced pages OR a comparably-sized Prezi, hypertext, or other web product; informed by secondary research)
40%
final exam - 30%
(to take place during the regularly scheduled exam period. UBC regulations require this exam to be closed book.)
30%
participation in classroom activities and class discussion 10%

In your written and your oral work, I will expect you to pay close attention to the rich writtenness of our readings; you will develop your skills in logical, well-evidenced, and sustained scholarly argument; you will hone your awareness of and collegial engagement with your audience; and you will be expected to pay some attention to the historicity of texts and the critical conversations surrounding them. In evaluating your written work, I will look for evidence of growth in your ideas and your explanation and defense of them over the course of the semester.

Studies in a Nineteenth-Century Genre
Term: 1
3 credits

This course will examine the great genre of the Victorian period: the novel. We will read realist novels along with works from subgenres such as fantasy and scientific romance, as we consider the nineteenth-century British novel as aesthetic and cultural form and as popular entertainment. Attention will be given to social and intellectual contexts. We will discuss a range of topics important to the Victorian novel, including science, psychology, industrialism, and imperialism.
Discussion and participation will be emphasized. There will be reading quizzes.

Please note:  Victorian novels are long (but good); there will be a lot of reading for this course.

Texts:

  • Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
  • Charlotte Brontë, Villette
  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
  • George Eliot, The Lifted Veil
  • Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  • H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau

Studies in a Nineteenth-Century Genre
Term: 2
3 credits

This course charts the evolution of English poetry over “the long 19th century” (i.e. from the late 18th C. to the mid 20th C.), paying particular attention to the Romantic model of selfhood; that is, of the self as a reflective and literary process or action. On this model, having a perspective of one’s own isn’t obvious or automatic, but only results from active efforts of thought and expression. Lyric poetry has been the signature means by which this model of subject is explored, expressed and communicated, from its origins in Romanticism through the Victorian and Modernist periods to more contemporary art forms such as the music of singer-songwriters and ‘auteur’ cinema which we will also periodically have occasion to consider.

Studies in a Nineteenth-Century Genre
Term: 1
3 credits

The danger and darkness of the Victorian city as presented in the 19th century novel drawing from 19th century art, urban studies and literature is the focus of this course. How and why was the city represented as a source of danger and threat instead of refuge and comfort? How did Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Oscar Wilde and others respond to the city? Did the new urban modernity act as a disguise for its horrors? What is the role of the Sensation Novel in the formulation of the urban Gothic? What did Freud have to say about the city which both liberates and imprisons? Indeed, Vienna will offset London as a 19th century centre of culture and social life, the fate of the two cities measured through a set of social and literary texts.

Readings: 

  • Collins, The Woman in White, 1859
  • Dickens, Our Mutual Friend, 1864
  • Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1886
  • Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897
  • Henry James, In the Cage, 1898
  • Conrad, The Secret Agent (1907)

Nineteenth-Century Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

This course charts the evolution of English poetry over “the long 19th century” (i.e. from the late 18th C. to the mid 20th C.), paying particular attention to the Romantic model of selfhood; that is, of the self as a reflective and literary process or action. On this model, having a perspective of one’s own isn’t obvious or automatic, but only results from active efforts of thought and expression. Lyric poetry has been the signature means by which this model of subject is explored, expressed and communicated, from its origins in Romanticism through the Victorian and Modernist periods to more contemporary art forms such as the music of singer-songwriters and ‘auteur’ cinema which we will also periodically have occasion to consider.

Optional Texts:

  • Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (Wiley-Blackwell), ed. Michael O'Neill, Charles Mahoney
  • Victorian Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (Wiley-Blackwell), ed. Francis O’Gorman
  • The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Volume 1: Modern Poetry, ed. Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellmann, Robert O'Clair
  • Many of the readings for this course are not in these anthologies; all of these readings can be accessed online through links in this syllabus.

Coursework Requirements:

Your final grade will be determined using the following formula. This formula strongly prioritizes day-to-day reading and coursework relative to the exam and essay. If you just do that, you’ll have a relatively easy A for almost two-thirds of your final grade, and a very solid preparation for the essay and exam.

  • Participation (in class & on line) - 25%
  • 3p close reading exercise - 20%
  • 7p. Take-Home Essay - 30%
  • Final Examination - 25%

Nineteenth-Century Studies
Term: 2
3 credits

In this course we will read, discuss, analyze, and write about nineteenth-century British literature depicting colonies and spaces of empire. We will also read theoretical texts (both older and modern) that think through the symbolic significance of empire as well as its devastating real-world effects. By the end of the nineteenth century, over 400 million people (one in five of all human beings) and one fourth of the surface of the Earth were governed by Great Britain. How was such massive expansion represented and understood by those who undertook it? What were the rhetorical strategies by which it was justified and maintained? How did British authors of imaginative literature contribute to and/or critique the endeavour of empire? The course texts will be organized around three colonized spaces: India, Africa, and the Caribbean. Literary works may include (this is a provisional list subject to change): Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone; Rudyard Kipling, Kim; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Olive Schreiner, Story of an African Farm; Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; and shorter pieces, essays, and poems by contemporary authors. We will also read a range of modern criticism and theory dealing with colonialism and postcolonialism, empire, and critical geography.

Course Expectations: Students are expected to read all course materials and come to class prepared to be active participants. You will be divided into small study groups that will meet throughout the semester to discuss reading questions (given to you in advance), and will be asked to prepare short written reports on these meetings. You will also be invited to participate in discussion outside of class time through blog postings and/or a class Facebook page. Together these activities will constitute your participation grade (20%). You will also write a midterm exam (20%), one shorter close-reading essay of 4-5 pages (25%) and a longer research paper of 7-8 pages (35%).

Term: 2
3 credits

This course is offered through Distance Education. The description for this section can be found here.

Studies in Drama
Term: 1

3 credits

Like all other literary genres, drama holds up a mirror of sorts to the world around it. Over the past quarter-century or so, as immigration has changed the cultural mix of so many countries—including Canada—as cultures rub up against one another and awareness grows of the need for special kinds of understandings along and across new cultural borders, Canadian drama has begun to reflect those phenomena in a variety of ways. At the same time, critical understanding of cross-cultural communication, relations and hybridity has become more sophisticated and more urgent.

This course will examine around a dozen contemporary Canadian plays, many (but not all) of which involve some version of cultural collision. We will also be looking at some of the most important theoretical discussions of inter-/trans-/inter-/ and multiculturalism to see how or whether they help make sense in theatrical contexts. Course requirements will include some play attendance, essays, possibly an oral presentation, and a final exam.

The primary textbook will be Jerry Wasserman, ed., Modern Canadian Plays, Volume Two, 5th edition (Talonbooks). Additional plays and critical essays will be required. Details tba in July.

Studies in Prose Fiction
Term: 1
3 credits

This course explores the recent scientific, theoretical and literary notion of the “posthuman,” drawing on the theoretical and philosophical work of N. Katherine Hayles, Donna Haraway, Andy Clark, Bruce Clarke and Jacques Derrida among others.

Course Texts:

  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
  • Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • Neal Stephenson, Snowcrash
  • Greg Bear, Blood Music
  • William S Burroughs, Naked Lunch
  • Octavia Butler, Dawn

NB: Given the EXTREMELY graphic nature of some of these texts, individual discretion is STRONGLY advised.

Course Requirements:

  • individual presentation 20%
  • Discussion participation 10%
  • Research essay 40%
  • Final exam 30%


Term: 2
3 credits

This course will introduce students to 19th and 20th century prose fiction from English-speaking countries as well as some works in translation.

Text: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, 8th ed.

Selections include:

From the United States: Toni Cade Bambara, Ray Bradbury, Willa Cather, John Cheever, William Faulkner, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ernest Hemingway, Shirley Jackson, Ring Lardner, Herman Melville, Flannery O’Connor, Edgar Allan Poe, Jean Shepherd, Alice Walker, Edith Wharton
From the United Kingdom: Joseph Conrad
From New Zealand: Katherine Mansfield
In translation: Anton Chekhov, Leo TolstoyFranz Kafka, Guy de Maupassant

Requirements:

  • 2 in-class essays: 2 x 15 = 30
  • 1 term paper: 30
  • 1 final exam: 40

Studies in Prose Fiction
Term: 2
3 credits

No literary genre has been shaped so directly and so pervasively by capitalism as the novel.  In this course, we will consider how changes in the economy have influenced the development of modern fiction and how, in turn, novels comment on matters of economy, money, and finance. Reading a selection of fiction from the eighteenth century to the present alongside essays on money and monetary economics from the same periods, we will examine ideas of representation, value, character, and power common to both fiction and economics.  We will think about the way fiction supplements and challenges the exchange practices of the market and also about how alternative modes of exchange—personal, communal, sexual—are represented in both monetary and fictional literature.

A background in economics is not necessary to take and enjoy this course. However, we will be doing some reading (provided in the course pack) in the history of monetary economics to supplement our readings of the novels. Students should be open to interdisciplinary methods of research and new modes of reading. Some of the novels to be read for this class are long; students are strongly advised to read some of them before the class begins.

Texts:

  • Custom Course Pack: “Money and the Novel”
  • Daniel Defoe, Roxana
  • Jane Austen, Emma
  • Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend
  • E. M. Forster, Howards End
  • Martin Amis, Money
  • John Lanchester, Capital

Evaluation:

  • Class Participation, Attendance, short writing assignments, and response (15%)
  • Critical Summary Essay (15%)
  • Annotated Bibliography and Essay Proposal (15%)
  • Research paper - draft and revision (25%)
  • Final Exam (30%)

Modern Critical Theories
Term: 1
3 credits

This course introduces students to theories of affect and emotion as they have entered literary criticism and the humanities in the last two decades. We will explore the reasons for the explosion of work in this area, and bring our attention to the work of a handful of significant twentieth-century thinkers on emotion: Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and Silvan Tomkins. We will begin with the work of affect theorist Silvan Tomkins, a U.S. psychologist who offered an interesting criticism and revision of the psychoanalytic theory of the drives, and who offers a useful theory and vocabulary of affect. We will go on to read selections from Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), a crucial text for the practice of literary criticism in the twentieth century, and examine the assumptions of a set of psychoanalytic reading techniques. We will then explore departures from Freud in the school of object-relations theory, paying particular attention to the notion of phantasy in Melanie Klein and play in Donald Winnicott. Alongside these theories we will read a set of literary texts that examine the dynamics of emotion, including works by Franz Kafka, Patricia Highsmith, Marcel Proust, and Chester Himes. Our guiding question throughout this course will be: what difference might it make for literary study to have explicit theories of affect or emotion to work with?

This course will be run as a mix of lecture and discussion.

Texts:

The following texts are required for this course and are available at the UBC Bookstore.

  • Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (Oxford University Press)
  • Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley (Vintage Press)
  • Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go (Avalon)
  • Robert Hinshelwood, Introducing Melanie Klein (Totem)
  • Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis and Other Stories (Barnes & Noble)
  • A coursepack, also required, is available at the bookstore.

“Never judge a book by its cover,” we are often told, and yet we do judge books, not only by their covers, but also by their typefaces, their illustrations, where they are filed in the bookstore or the library, and any number of other factors not apparently directly related to their content. This course will introduce students to book history, a discipline that unravels the complex relationships between particular books, the texts they contain, the cultures that produced them, and the readers who encounter them.

D.F. McKenzie famously described bibliography as the sociology of texts. Through a series of case studies centered on important texts and the books that transmit them, we will explore how materiality and meaning interact, in a range of historical and cultural contexts. Along the way, students will learn about the many forms texts have taken over the centuries, from oral recitations to ebooks, and everything in between.

A unique feature of this course is that we will meet regularly in Rare Books and Special Collections in the Barber Learning Centre. Here, students will have the opportunity for hands-on experience with a wide collection of rare materials dating from the Middle Ages to the present. Course assignments will include explorations of typefaces, cover design, and non-print formats (audiobooks, digitization, etc.). For the final assignment, each class member will adopt a favourite item from the RBSC collection, and will research and write about it, to introduce it to a wide audience. The result will be a book blog (using UBC blogs or similar tools). Some of last year’s projects have been featured on RBSC website.

Because of the limited size of the RBSC seminar room, the class will periodically be split in half; on the day that your group is not meeting in the RBSC seminar room, you will be undertaking your own original research in the RBSC reading room. Students will leave this course with both theoretical knowledge and practical experience concerning the history, and future, of media-text interactions.

Course text:

  • Michelle Levy and Tom Mole, eds., The Broadview Reader in Book History

Twentieth-Century British and Irish Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

What was the impact of war on Modernism? That question is the centre of this course examining the effect of WWI and WWII on the modernist enterprise in Europe. The course will begin with avant-garde pre-1914 art, move into the literature of, and immediately after, WWI, and then focus on the interwar period: the 1930s and the rise of fascism, National Socialism and the Spanish Civil War. The decline of modernism as a consequence of WWII will form a coda to the course which can be measured by two paintings by Picasso: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907)and Guernica (1937). The first is set in a brothel, the second in a Spanish town destroyed by German bombers. Texts will mix poetry, drama and fiction.

Reading:

  • Ford,Ford Madox. The Good Soldier
  • PoundEzra. Hugh Selwyn Mauberley
  • Eliot,T.S. The Waste Land
  • Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. DallowayBetween the Acts
  • Barnes, Djuna. Nightwood
  • Orwell, George. Homage to Catalonia
  • Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot

Term: 2
Distance Education Course
3 credits

This section of ENGL 462 is offered trough Distance Education.  The description for this course can be found here.

Twentieth-Century Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

Twentieth century literary experimentation has been linked to social reformism and revolutionary subjectivity as poets and writers from the former colonies create modern literary forms that answer to global realities. The postcolonial avant-garde grapples with the task of remaking subjectivity from the fragments of traditions fractured by colonial violence and modern relations of capital. In this class we examine the ways that avant-garde poetics approach the task of assembling a true picture of social discord from the fragments of postcolonial phantasmagoria.

Assignments: Midterm essay, final paper, weekly web post in response to prompts on connect.ubc.ca (visible to everyone enrolled).

Readings:

CRITICISM

  • Antonin Artaud, Theatre and its Double
  • George Bataille, “The Notion of Expenditure”, “The ‘Old Mole’ and the Prefix Sur in the Words Surhomme and Surrealist”, “The Psychological Structure of Fascism”, and The Absence of Myth
  • Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, “The Storyteller”
  • Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and its Fragments
  • Frantz Fanon, Toward an African Revolution
  • --- The Wretched of the Earth
  • Sigmund Freud, “Reflections on War and Death”, “The Uncanny”
  • Jacques Lacan, “Aggressivity in Psychoanalysis”
  • Achille Mbembe, “On Vulgarity

LITERATURE

    • Alameddine, Koolaids
    • Al-Daif, Passage to Dusk
    • Blasim, The Corpse Exhibition
    • Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return changed to Discourse on Colonialism
    • Dib, The Savage Night
    • Kuoh-Moukoury, Essential Encounters
    • Marechera, The House of Hunger

Twentieth-Century Studies
Term: 2
3 credits

The title of this course, taken from a volume edited by Laurence Rickels in 1999, points to the collectivist articulations of struggle, transgression, and confrontation represented in subcultural literatures and practices, as well as to their frequent mobilization of the playful, fun, parodic, comedic, ironic, camp or drag. The umbrella term subculture embraces marginalized styles and behaviors as disparate, superficial, earnest, joyful or dark as one can imagine, from flappers and dandies, teddy girls, drag queens and kings, mods, skinheads and rude boys, to surfers, yippies, punks, geeks and comic-con fans. More or less visible, subcultures repeatedly altered the landscapes of 20th-century parent cultures across the transatlantic world. Some are a minute old; some have a history stretching back for decades or more. Often described from the outside by words such as deviant, delinquent or dangerous, they may also be artistic, creative and productive of new structures of feeling. Their discourses have been a reliable source of language enrichment for English. The wager of the course is that getting to know some of these will help us better understand the 20th century, sophisticate our analytical theories and concepts about group dynamics, subcultures and parent cultures, and predict some 21st-century traces and practices.

We will read and analyze a variety of texts and media, including theory texts from subcultural, material culture and popular studies, literary, graphic and electronic fiction, manifestos, music/videos and ‘zines. Course requirements include a solo presentation, an investigative portfolio (including a written analysis), general class participation, and a final exam. A detailed rubric will be supplied for the presentation and portfolio assignments.

Book list:

  • The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas
  • Berlin Stories
  • Clockwork Orange
  • The Buddha of Suburbia
  • The Commitments
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Subculture: The Meaning of Style

Studies in a Twentieth-Century Genre
Term: 1
3 credits

Between World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945), many intellectuals confronted a world that seemed to be in ruins: the unsettling epoch stimulated aesthetic innovations and ideological risks in prose fiction. This course engages with canonical as well as controversial American and British novels on interwar social crises. Attending closely to the contested issues of the era, our discussions will encompass topics such as war and peace (Woolf and Hemingway), industry and ecology (Lawrence and Steinbeck), and fascism and democracy (Wright and Orwell). Although the systematic violence of World War II discredited many modern artistic, social, and political experiments, the questions raised by the interwar novel continue to resonate today. Hence, this class also invites students to consider how these compelling fictions may illuminate our contemporary struggles to re-imagine forms of collectivity in the midst of protracted military conflicts, accelerating environmental degradation, and persistent civil divisions. Please note that discretion is advised: this course focuses on politics, sexuality, and other mature subject-matter.

TEXTS (subject to minor modifications):

  • Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room (1922)
  • Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926)
  • D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928)
  • John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
  • Richard Wright, Native Son (1940)
  • George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

ASSIGNMENTS (subject to minor modifications):

  • Participation and Group Presentation 20%
  • Annotated Bibliography - 15%
  • Research Essay - 30%
  • Final Examination - 35%

Studies in a Twentieth-Century Genre
Term: 2

3 credits

This course will explore the development, importance and popularity of the long poem originating with Homer and Dante and continuing with Whitman, Browning, Pound, David Jones, Hart Crane, William Carlos Williams, James Merrill and others. Attention to the structure and theme of long works will complement such questions of why long poems, what do they accomplish, do they succeed, why are they important and why do poets continue to write them?

Background reading:

  • The Odyssey
  • The Divine Comedy
  • Paradise Lost

Readings (several but not all of the following will be studied):

  • Whitman,  Song of Myself
  • Browning,  The Ring and the Book (sel)
  • Pound, “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley,” The Cantos (sel)
  • Williams, William Carlos. Paterson.
  • Eliot,  The Waste Land
  • Auden, W.H. New Year Letter
  • Jones, David. Anathemata.
  • Briggs, Basil. Briggflats.
  • Crane, Hart. The Bridge.
  • Zukofsky, Louis. "A"
  • Stevens, Wallace. “Notes toward a Supreme Fiction”
  • Olson, Charles. The Maximus Poems
  • Ashbery, John. Flow Chart
  • Carson, Anne. Autobiography of Red
  • Fisher, Allen. Gravity as a Consequence of Shape
  • Goldsmith, Kenneth. Day (836 pp). Literally, the everyday. NYT 1 Sept. 2000, retyped plus more as he practices “uncreativity.”
  • MacDiarmid, Hugh. In Memoriam James Joyce.
  • Merrill, James. The Changing Light at Sandover (560pp)
  • Howe, Susan. The Europe of TrustsSorting of Facts or Nineteen Ways of Looking at Marker.
  • Walcott, Derek. Omeros.

Children's Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

What happens when young adult literature, which has traditionally guided adolescent readers through the task of identity formation, confronts technologies that trouble long-standing assumptions about what it means to be a self—or even a human? We will explore this question by examining recent novels, many of them dystopias, in which non-human beings can lay claim to selfhood and human subjects are surgically, mechanically, and computationally altered in ways that call into question the very idea of human nature.

Course texts:

  • Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
  • David Almond, Clay
  • Peter Dickinson, Eva
  • Bernard Beckett, Genesis
  • Neal Shusterman, Unwind
  • Robin Wasserman, Frozen
  • M.T. Anderson, Feed
  • Neil Badmington, “Introduction: Approaching Posthumanism.” Posthumanism, ed. Neil Badmington. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000. 1-10.
  • Elaine Ostry, “‘Is He Still Human? Are You?’: Young Adult Science Fiction in the Posthuman Age.” The Lion and the Unicorn 28 (2004): 222-246.

Course Requirements:

Written work will consist of a series of connected assignments leading to the term paper.

  • Participation and attendance - 10%
  • Two very brief, exploratory papers - 10%
  • Critical review - 15%
  • Proposal and working bibliography - 10%
  • Term paper - 30%
  • Final exam - 25%

Children's Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond” – C. S. Lewis

In this section of English 468A we will read a range of texts written for children including traditional fairy tales, works of fantasy and social realism. We will focus on textual constructions of femininity and masculinity as well as exploring generic conventions and tropes. In discussions and written assignments, students will be asked to consider social/historical factors influencing the production and reception of children’s literature, its ideological role in promoting social change and the advent of queer-friendly fiction for children.

Text List:

  • Folk & Fairy Tales (Broadview 4th ed. – not the Concise Edition)
  • Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island 
  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
  • J. R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
  • Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories
  • Nancy Garden, Annie on My Mind
  • David Levithan, Boy Meets Boy 
  • Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, Skim
  • Custom Course Package including critical/theoretical readings

Course Requirements:

  • Critical response – 15%
  • In-class essay – 20%
  • Term paper – 30%
  • Participation – 5% 
  • Final examination – 30%

Children's Literature
Term: 2
3 credits

Much fantasy literature for children focuses on a child or adolescent's quest to gain ascendancy in the battle between good and evil.  The literature we will explore in this course relies on British and European national myths of adventure, religion and selfhood. As we examine these quest narratives, we will trace the ways in which patterns and continuities of history and memory, the force of nostalgia in creating an idealized past, and the reliance on an assumed framework of common cultural community combine to form potent ideological perspectives about nationhood, which are both maintained and challenged by the authors we will study. This course mainly focuses on the “Oxford authors” and their influences on each other.

Required Texts

  • Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Broadview)
  • Susan Cooper. The Dark is Rising
  • J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (HarperCollins)
  • C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew (HarperTrophy Colour Ed.)
  • Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

Recommended Texts

  • Robert Dale Parker. How to Interpret Literature. OUP.
  • Kelley Griffith. Writing About Literature. 9th ed. Thomson Nelson.

Assignments:

Contributions to the class (class discussion, attendance) - 10%
Midterm (in-class essay) - 20%
Group Presentations (annotated bibliography/seminar/creative) - 15%
Term Paper (home essay) - 25%
Final Examination (essay and short questions) - 30%

Term: 2
3 credits

The course description for this section of ENGL 468A is not available. Please contact the instructor.

Children's Literature
Term: 1
Distance Education
3 credits
http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/gmbaxter/

"You are always in danger in the forest, where no people are." – Angela Carter, "The Company of Wolves"

Danger and discovery stalk children’s literature in many ways. It so often focuses on successful (or not so successful) negotiation of the threats and learning opportunities in the intimate and public worlds around the child that “children’s” tales are often scarier than adult fiction.

Not surprisingly, children's literature has long been the focus of both fascination and controversy, and only more recently of full-on academic (theorizing) attention. In this course, we will study a broad selection of texts, most specifically through a literary/cultural studies lens, exploring their (sometimes) evolving genre features and the ways assumptions about audiences have shifted over time and according to various theorists. We'll start with familiar (and not-so-familiar) oral-tradition folk/fairytales, to consider how their recurring devices establish tropes still commonly used in children's adventure-quest stories. Then we will stray from the path and consider how texts that assume a mostly young readership might challenge or subvert perceived boundaries and conventions, especially in representing discovery or peril.

This section of ENGL 468A is offered through Distance Education. The course description is available here.

Canadian Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

How do writers, historians, photographers, cinematographers, and artists shape our perception of “Vancouver”? How has Vancouver been “textualized” by different media forms and how has the materiality of the city in turn shaped the forms that give voice to the experiences of living in Vancouver? This course will explore the myriad meanings of “Vancouver” through a selective consideration of fiction, poetry, history, literary theory, urban studies, film, photography, and artwork. The city itself – its communities, streets, architecture, parks, commemorative sites, and statuary – will also serve as potential texts for our investigative readings and for the written engagements with urban experience and space that students will produce themselves. Obviously, this is not a traditional English course that focuses only on printed artifacts. Students will explore a wide variety of genres and media forms. Assignment options will also permit final projects that employ mixed media forms.

Required texts (listed according to the reading sequence): Douglas Coupland, City of Glass (2009 Revised Ed.); Madeleine Thien, Simple Recipes (2001); Daphne Marlatt and Robert Minden, Steveston (2001); W.H. New, YVR (2011)Timothy Taylor, Stanley Park (2001); Lisa Robertson, Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office of Soft Architecture (2011 3rd Ed.); Wayde Compton, The Outer Harbour (2014).

Excerpts:  Pauline Johnson: "The Two Sisters" and "The Siwash Rock" from Legends of Vancouver (online) ; Roy Miki, "the mannekins must share" from Mannequin Rising (2011); Meredith Quartermain, "Nightwalk" from Vancouver Walking (2005).

Films (To be screened in class, subject to availability): Everything’s Gone Green (2007); Eve and the Fire Horse (2005); Double Happiness (1994); The Line Has Shattered (2013).

Cultural contexts and urban space: Maria Balshaw and Liam Kennedy, "Introduction: Urban Space and Representation"(1-21), available through EBRARY. Other secondary readings will be listed on the course syllabus.

Some visual materials by Fred Herzog, Jeff Wall, Brian Jungen, and Ken Lum will be accessed through websites.

Course requirements:

  1. Shorter essay: 10%
  2. Final project: 40%
  3. Pop quizzes on required readings: 10%
  4. Class participation: 10%
  5. Final exam: 30%

Canadian Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

“Different orientations towards time and space, different positioning within time and space, and different systems of language for making space and time ‘real’ underpin notions of past and present, of place and of relationships to the land."
Linda Tuhwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies, p. 54

This course will consider some of those ideas about time and space in the context of writing by Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers in the territories which settlers call British Columbia. Concepts of history and memory, whether print-based or oral, are as inseparable from the processes of colonization as are printed maps and the cartographical imaginary which attempted to impose English names and cardinal directions on Indigenous understandings of the land and the obligations of people. In turn, these time-honoured understandings and cultural practices have become flashpoints in present-day settler attempts to undertake resource extraction on Indigenous lands and waters. Powerfully engaged by writers as different as Wong, Marlatt, and Nicholson, those struggles figure in the representation of trauma (another form of resource extraction) and the work of memory in Clements, Robinson and Birchwater. In their different ways, Write It On Your Heart and Chiwid also take up the challenge of the writing of oral narratives or oral history in relation to Smith's "notions of past and present," deconstructing the colonizer's language and requiring it to speak differently. Our purpose in this course is not to create a symmetrical comparison in the context of asymmetrical power relations but to attend closely to the ways in which each writer we study has worked with these tensions and these histories of oppression and resurgence which are fundamental to Coast Salish territories where we read as well as to coastal and interior territories to the west and north as represented in some of these texts.

Texts (provisional)

  • Rita Wong, Undercurrent
  • Marie Clements, The Edward Curtis Project
  • Daphne Marlatt, Steveston
  • Cecily Nicholson, From the Poplars
  • Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach
  • Harry Robinson, Write It on Your Heart
  • Sage Birchwater, Chiwid
  • Selections from: Lisa Robertson, Gregory Scofield, Garry Thomas Morse, Steve Collis, Alex Leslie, Fred Wah, Roy Miki

Canadian Studies
Term: 2
3 credits

This course will focus on a range of fiction and poetry that engages in three interrelated areas of prominence in contemporary Canadian literary discourse: First Nations studies, critical multiculturalism studies, and environmental studies. We will examine the intersections of public policy, social justice, and art in a range of texts that are geographically diverse, culturally diverse, and generically diverse. Within the framework of key public policies (the Indian Act, Immigration Act, Multiculturalism Act, Navigable Waters Act, etc), we will also consider how authors address and engage ideas about identity, consumption, ethnicity, racism, art, history, class, and violence. We will also discuss the relationship between the government and the arts in Canada by asking such questions as: Is CANCON (still) necessary? Protectionism or Free Trade? Where and what is cultural nationalism today? How do literature and the other arts productively intersect? And we will reflect on how Canadian literature participates in a global literary economy by thinking about how books are produced, received, and circulated in Canada. Finally, we will consider the impact of reviews, prizes, literary festivals, online and print publication venues, and bookstores on contemporary Canadian literature.

The course is designed with a broad scope so that it will be suitable for students from a variety of disciplines (those interested in literature, as well as those concerned with visual arts, politics, history, and/ or sociology).

Tentative Reading List:

  • Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach
  • Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water
  • David Chariandy, Soucouyant
  • Dionne Brand, What We All Long For 
  • Emma Donoghue, Room
  • Kathleen Winter, Annabel
  • Moss and Sugars, ed. Canadian Literature in English: Texts and Contexts

Term: 2
Distance Education
3 credits

This section of ENGL 470A is offered through Distance Education. The course description is available here.

American Studies
Term: 1

3 credits

This course will survey a range of major U.S. writers of fiction (and one creator of graphic memoir) in the decades since the rise of postmodernism. Our aims will be to understand a range of styles and forms, to ask intelligently where they “come from” in the culture, and to write and speak well about these topics as we push one another toward greater insights. Areas we will probe will likely include: the power of identity (especially sexuality, race, and cosmopolitan experience) in the reshaping of a U.S. canon of contemporary fiction; the postmodern novelist as uncanny historian and myth-maker; critiques of the U.S. in terms of imperialism, totalitarianism, neoliberalism, and ubiquitous violence; the tensions between modes of realism and experimentalism (including graphic narrative); the use of tone and rhetoric in the portrayal of affect, particularly authorial sincerity; and the usefulness of a language of postmodernism (or post-postmodernism, or the contemporary) to generally characterize what has been happening in the past 15 or so years of U.S. narrative. Above all, we’re going to read the hell out of some great books. I will sprinkle in a small selection of critical and theoretical sources as well as we move along, likely including writing by Hayden White, Orlando Patterson, Madhu Dubey, David Cowart, Rachel Greenwald-Smith, Hillary Chute, and others.

Tentative book list (it may in the end be slightly reduced):

  • Thomas Pynchon, V. (1963)
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (1977)
  • Don DeLillo, The Names (1982)
  • John Edgar Wideman, Philadelphia Fire (1990)
  • David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men (1999)
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)
  • Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers (2013)

American Studies
Term: 2

3 credits

In an address to Bryn Mawr College’s 1905 graduating class, modern novelist Henry James characterized modern mass print culture as:

a noisy vision of the ubiquitous page, bristling with rude effigies and images, . . . vociferous ‘headings’, . . . letterings, . . . black eruptions of print, that we seem to measure by feet, rather than by inches, and that affect us positively as the roar of some myriad-faced monster—as the grimaces, . . . shouts, . . . shrieks and yells, ranging over the whole gamut of ugliness, irrelevance, dissonance, of a mighty maniac who has broken loose and . . . is running amuck through the spheres alike of sense and . . . sound. (43)

In this wide-ranging oration, James describes the “shouts”, “shrieks”, and “yells” of modern print culture as produced not only by the modern newspaper’s design innovations—its bold headlines, graphic illustrations, and heterogeneous and hence multi-vocal form—but also by the presence of unwelcome newcomers to modern print culture: first, poor immigrants whom James describes later as “dump[ing] their mountain of promiscuous material into the foundations of the American [language]” “while we sleep” and second, New Women whom James accuses of “corrupting” the English language instead of guarding its “sacred flame”.

This course focuses on the interplay between popular communication culture (print culture such as magazines, newspapers, and telegrams, as well as oratorical culture) at the turn of the century and elite literary culture, and tropes of “noise”. It attends in some measure to the “shouts, shrieks, and yells” produced by writers outside the mainstream—i.e. immigrants and New Women, as well as Asian American writers—as well as to more canonical or mainstream American authors during the Progressive Era. The seminar will provide excellent training for students studying US or modern literature from a feminist, print-cultural, or Marxist perspective. Students will be encouraged to make use of ProQuest Historical Newspapers and other American digitization projects to familiarize themselves with Progressive-Era print culture so that their research essays situate literary works within their print cultural context.

Topics addressed by research papers may include:

  • The relationship between popular print culture and “literature”
  • The rise of the magazine
  • Modes of literary authorship enabled by popular print culture
  • Figures of the emergent female author as “sob-sister”, stunt-girl journalist, or “typewriter girl”
  • The relationship between high-modernist literary artifacts and more popular fiction writing
  • Newspaper culture and the emergence of literary realism
  • The relationship between modernist literature and popular Progressive-Era fiction

Texts will include:

  • Henry James, The Bostonians (Penguin)
  • Henry James, Turn of the Screw and In The Cage (Modern Library)
  • Edith Wharton, Custom of the Country (Scribners)
  • William Dean Howells, Hazard of New Fortunes (Modern Library)
  • Anzia Yezierska, Salome of the Tenements (U of Illinois P)
  • Elizabeth Jordan, ed. The Sturdy Oak (Ohio UP)

Studies in Contemporary Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

This course is an introduction to the reading, studying, and enjoying of the literature of Canada’s Third Solitude—Jewish Canadian literature—the first of a growing number of ethnic minority literatures. Jewish Canadian writers whose work foregrounds Jewish consciousness contest through their texts’ content and the literary forms into which it is shaped not only versions of a Canada constructed as an exclusively bicultural entity but also the Canadian literary canon. A close critical reading of post-Shoah (Holocaust) English-language prose and poetry by Jewish Canadian writers will highlight—from a uniquely Mosaic perspective—important thematic, historical, and technical concerns, which contribute to the ongoing re-reading, redefining, and reconstructing of literary solitudes, canons, and mosaics.

The title of Hugh MacLennan’s novel Two Solitudes (1945) introduced a powerful metaphor to represent the bicultural interactions between the novel’s French and English families and characters. As reconstructed by the media and popular culture in the 1960s, however, the “two solitudes” became emblematic of an unbridgeable separation and mutual alienation between English- and French-Canadians. The trope of the twin solitudes has become part of the lexicon of Canadian cultural and historical discourse. However, those Canadians who by birth, culture, religion, or ethnicity did and do not fit into either the English/Protestant or French/Catholic solitude were and are marginalized by this constrictive duality. In a further qualification of the trope, poet Irving Layton wrote of the French, English, and Jewish neighbourhoods in the Montreal of his childhood as constituting “[t]hree solitudes.” The genealogy of this new concept of three solitudes has since been elaborated by Jewish Canadian commentators to delineate the sense of Jewish marginalization in Canada.

Course Requirements:

Each student is expected to participate fully in all class activities (reading, writing, discussion, groups, etc.). Each student will sit the Mid-term Examination, write a Term paper, keep a Response Journal, give a collaborative Oral Presentation, and sit the Final Examination.

Attendance:

Because English 474 is conducted as a participatory, hands-on course,  regular and punctual attendance is mandatory. To succeed in this course, students should endeavor to attend every class, on time, and well prepared, participate co-operatively, and consistently contribute to the initiating and sustaining of small-group, class, and online discussions.

Required Texts:

  • Klein, A. M. The Second Scroll (McClelland and Stewart)
  • Rotchin, B. Glen. The Rent Collector (Véhicule; available as a Kobo eBook from the author, or a Kindle eBook from Amazon.ca)
  • Michaels, Anne. Fugitive Pieces (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Bezmozgis, David. Natasha and Other Stories (HarperCollins)
  • Richler, Mordecai. Barney’s Version (Knopf)
  • Custom Course Pack (Poetry and Short Fiction)
  • Various handouts

Studies in Contemporary Literature
Term: 2

3 credits

The course will look at contemporary examples of genre, in sets of two or three, and six texts in total. Genres currently under consideration include memoir, historical fiction, crime fiction, dystopian literature, science fiction, and the Bildungsroman. All texts will be contemporary (ie, published within the past decade).

Likely as not, the chosen titles will feature extensive discussion of an 'ism' or two (from vegetarianism to alcoholism) and an 'ity' or two (identity, sexuality). Depending on your politics, this is either a warning or an invitation.

Six course texts and three genres have been decided.

Coming of age: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (by Junot Diaz) and From Up River and For One Night Only (by Brett Josef Grubisic).
Memoir: The 100-Mile Diet (by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon) and My Body Is Yours (by Michael V. Smith).
Speculative fiction: Feed (by M.T. Anderson) and Daughters of the North/The Carhullan Army (by Sarah Hall).

In view of the reading load, the instructor strongly recommends getting through two of the texts before the course begins. Ideally, though: one from each ‘section’ of the course dedicated to a distinct genre.

Also: aside from brutal violence, at least three of the texts contain sexually explicit content (that runs the gamut from heterosexuality to homosexuality).

Studies in Contemporary Literature
Term: 2
3 credits

Critical and artistic responses to media representations of climate change and to contemporary discourses of imperiled ecology have given rise in the first decades of the twenty-first century to an aesthetics of what the photographer Edward Burtynsky has called “manufactured landscapes”: denatured, waste-filled contact zones between human technologies and uninhabited space. Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts call these spaces “edgelands,” and develop a latter-day poetics that tries to account for the human intervention in the natural, while Kathleen Jamie asks, as she travels the shorelines of the human, “if it’s still possible to value that which endures, if durability is still a virtue, when we have invented plastic.” Beginning with a cursory reading of a foundational modern text of denatured poetics, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and an examination of the landscape painting and photography, we will investigate contemporary English-language fiction, essays, songs and poetry that contemplate landscape, ecology, corporeality and self-fashioning. How is it still possible to write something like an enduring poetry or to speak of the natural in an age of “wildlife management,” when human dominion has so pervasively asserted itself over the disparate surfaces of the earth?

Core Texts:

  • Octavia E. Butler, Lilith’s Brood (Xenogenesis Trilogy)
  • Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, Edgelands: Journeys into England's True Wilderness (and selected poems)
  • Lorna Goodison, From Harvey River (and selected poems)
  • Glenn Gould, The Idea of North (audio, on-line)
  • Hugh Howey, Wool
  • Kathleen Jamie, Sightlines (and selected poems)
  • Don McKay, Deactivated West 100 (and selected poems)
  • John K. Samson, Lyrics and Poems, 1997-2012

Course Requirements:

Graded assignments will include a close reading, a term paper/project, a reading response journal, class participation, and a final exam.

Indigenous Studies
Term: 2

3 credits

Drawing its title and structure from Neal McLeod's new anthology, this course will focus on memory, place, and medicine in relation to both canonic and recent writing in Native North America. We will begin with Simpson and McAdam on the resurgence and revitalization of Indigenous knowledge systems, creating a framework for discussion of how the work of memory is enacted in texts ranging from Merasty's residential school narrative and Campbell's classic memoir to the challenges faced by Silko and King in the layering of competing systems of historical memory in the articulation of place. Medicine in the form of "poems as healing bundles" (Scofield) and in the form of political action through, e.g., Idle No More will contextualize Dumont's book as well as selections from such writers as Alexie, Harjo and Ortiz. Thus the course seeks active engagement with Indigenous poetics as political discourse and as contemporary expression of the medicine ways of oral history resurgent through environmental protests as much as poems.

All are welcome in this course but students having no previous familiarity with Indigenous histories in Canada are urged to visit and study the Indigenous Foundations website before taking English 476.

Texts (provisional)

  • Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water
  • Maria Campbell, Halfbreed
  • Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
  • Marilyn Dumont, The Pemmican Eaters
  • Joseph Merasty, The Education of Augie Merasty
  • Leanne Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love
  • Leanne Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle's Back
  • Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum), Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems
  • Selections from: The Kino-Nda-niimi Collective, The Winter We Danced; Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, Simon Ortiz
  • Neal McLeod, ed., Indigenous Poetics in Canada

Postcolonial/Commonwealth Literature
Term: 1
3 credits

Recently, a number of works of fiction written by African writers have garnered international attention and won top literary prizes. African literatures have changed dramatically in the fifty years since Chinua Achebe wrote that “I would be satisfied if my novels (especially the ones set in the past) did no more than teach my readers that their past—with all its imperfections—was not one long night of savagery from which the first Europeans acting on God’s behalf delivered them.” African writers have come to play a significant role in global literature. This course will examine some award-winning recent novels, written in English, by authors from Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe that consider important contemporary issues such as oil extraction and global resource management, email scams, corruption, tourism, travel, migration, terrorism, and sexual violence. We will also consider this series of creative works in relation to ideas and theories about the literary economy, class, gender, race, language, and globalization.

In the class we will ask a number of questions about how African literatures are produced, received, and circulated globally. What books get read around the world? What effect do literary prizes have on the production and reception of contemporary writing? What makes a book a bestseller? What is the impact of sales on publishing choices? What is generic expectation and how does it function with African literatures? What stories of Africa sell? What role do reviews play in the reception of a work? Whose books get reviewed? Why?

Reading List: (we will read 6 of the following)

  • J.M. Coetzee, Life and Times of Michael K (1985)
  • Zakes Mda, Ways of Dying (2002)
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006)
  • Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, I Do Not Come to You by Chance (2009)
  • Helon Habila, Oil on Water (2010)
  • Lauren Beukes, Zoo City (2010)
  • Noo Saro-Wiwa, Looking for TransWonderland (2012)
  • NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names: A Novel (2014)

Asian Canadian and/or Transnational Studies
Term: 1
3 credits

“Modernity is inconceivable unless there are occasions when many regions, many peoples, many industries, and many polities are in contact with one another despite geographic, cultural, and social distance.” -- Naoki Sakai, “'You Asians:' On the Historical Role of the West and Asia Binary”

Large scale movements of peoples and cultures from Asia have taken place for centuries and as a result, vibrant diasporic communities can be found all over the world. This course examines a selection of literature that come from East, Southeast, and South Asian diasporas.

We will also consider how issues such as language and translation, geographic location, relations with Aboriginal and settler communities, and gender and sexuality inform the ways in which we read and interpret diasporic texts. Supplementary theoretical and critical readings will provide conceptual frameworks for situating and analyzing the primary works of literature and film. Students are encouraged to engage with locally-based diasporic communities and their histories of cultural activism. This course fulfills degree requirements for UBC’s minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies.

Assignments: Short writing assignments, final essay or project, final exam, regular participation (including on social media platforms)

Tentative Reading List:

  • Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, DICTEE
  • Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies
  • Nam Le, The Boat
  • SKY Lee, Disappearing Moon Café
  • Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being


TOP

Majors and Honours Seminars

Terms 1-2
6 credits
Office BUTO 423
Tel. 603-822-4268
Office Hour: MWF 1:00 - 2:00 and by appointment

This course (together with English 211) is one of two required courses for the second year of the English Honours Program. It is intended to provide an introduction to notable works of literature in English from the early medieval period to the end of the 20th century, in a range of genres, thus preparing students for senior level courses in English. It will provide scholarly and critical tools for the study of literary and other texts, and a substantial knowledge of particular literary works from the Anglo Saxon period to the present. Students will learn to employ strategies of close reading, library research, and textual analysis supported by reasoned argument. They will engage in lively discussion in class, be encouraged to evolve their own ideas, and to defend them effectively. Each student will present one seminar report. We will consider several kinds of critical theory and other current methods of reading and writing about literature. Our focus will include the history of ideas, and the political and cultural history relevant to particular works, including matters of religious, philosophical, aesthetic and social importance. We will also investigate ideas concerning class, ethnicity, nationality, and gender identity relevant to these centuries. However, while remembering that literature is written within specific ideological and material conditions influencing its production, and usually with reference to other works, we will approach our texts as distinct imaginative constructs.

Texts:

  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vols. 1 and 2, 9th Edition
  • Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra and The Winter’s Tale
  • Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen
  • Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
  • Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
  • Virginia Woolf, The Waves
  • Michelle Cliff, Free Enterprise

Readings:

Beowulf, Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen; Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (“General Prologue” and “The Wyf of Bath’s Prologue and Tale”); John Skelton, "The Tunning of Elinor Rumming"; Sir Thomas Wyatt, poems; Sir Philip Sidney, selections from Astrophil and Stella, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, selections from Books 2 & 3; William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra and The Winter's Tale; assorted selections from John Donne; John Milton, Paradise Lost; Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Man”; William Blake, some of The Songs of Innocenceand Experience, selections from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Lord Byron, selections from Don Juan; Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights; Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, “Frost at Midnight”;W. B. Yeats, selected poems; Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita. James Joyce, “The Dead”; T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”; Virginia Woolf, The Waves; Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot; Michelle Cliff, Free Enterprise; Salman Rushdie, "The Prophet's Hair".

Course Requirements:

Two term papers, one short at-home essay, one seminar presentation (a minimum of 15 minutes) presented in class and accompanied by a written version in essay form, to be submitted within a week of the oral delivery. In addition there will be a December exam and a final exam.

Mark Distribution:
First short essay - 10%
First term paper - 15%
December exam - 20%
Seminar paper - 10%
2nd term paper - 20%
Final Exam - 25%

Students will also be expected to participate in a performance of some sort during the year. Students may act in a scene from one of our texts, or write their own, singly or in collaboration, or read poetry (theirs or someone else’s) or perform music, or dance, or do whatever they feel will contribute. This assignment will not be for credit.

Term 2
3 credits

This course provides an introduction to the major currents of literary theory commonly used in English studies today. We will review the schools and movements that have had the strongest influence on literary criticism in the twentieth century (and beyond) including, new criticism, formalism, structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, gender studies, Marxism, historicism, post-colonialism, and race theory. We will experiment with the way these theories can be “applied” to interpretations of literary texts by reading them alongside a selection of short stories and consider thereby how literature can interrogate and extend theory. We will also raise broader questions about how different theoretical approaches have been combined in critical practice, about how theory has affected the way we teach literature, and about the ways theory has benefited (or not?) the discipline of English.

Required Texts:

Robert Dale Parker, Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies (Oxford, 2012) and How to Interpret Literature (3rd ed, - Oxford 2015)

Beverley Lawn, ed. 40 Short Stories (Beford, 2013)

Evaluation:

  • Class Participation and Attendance (10%)
  • 3 short summary/response papers (45%)
  • Seminar Presentation (20%)
  • Final Paper (based on seminar) - draft and revision (25%)

Language Majors Seminar
Term: 1
3 credits

Do you say:
He is more friendly than I expected or He is friendlier than I expected?
I must finish my paper tonight or I have to finish my paper tonight?
If I was a bit taller or If I were a bit taller?
Everyone should take their seats or Everyone should take his or her seat?
I have already opened the can or I already opened the can?

While some of these represent structures that have been treated by prescriptive grammars as “usage mistakes”, others have escaped their notice. All likely represent “changes in progress” in contemporary English. In this course we will study grammatical changes ongoing in English as it is spoken and written in the twenty-first century. Apart from very obvious changes, such as the use of be like or be all by younger speakers as a “quotative” (And he was like, “I’m out of here”) or hey for hello, there are many less obvious changes, such as the use of the periphrastic comparison (more calm) in place of the inflected comparison(calmer) or the decline in certain modal auxiliaries (shall, must, may), with the accompanying rise of quasi-auxiliaries (have to, have got to).

In this seminar, you will undertake a study of a particular structure (of their own choosing) and seek to understand the ways in which it is changing in Present-Day English. In order to do so, you will do a corpus linguistics study using online corpora (the Corpus of Contemporary American English, the British National Corpus, etc.). Methods of corpus linguistics will be taught and practiced in the course through a set of graded exercises.

Textbooks:

  • Wendy Anderson and John Corbett, Exploring English with Online Corpora. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
  • Hans Lindquist, Corpus Linguistics and the Description of English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.
  • Set of required readings (available through Connect)

Requirements:

  • Two corpus exercises (one lexical, one grammatical) (each 15% = 30%)
  • Three discussion postings on readings (15%)
  • Oral talk presenting research project (10%)
  • Research paper (10-12 pages): a study of a particular structure which, using corpus techniques, seeks to understand the ways in which the structure is changing in Present-Day English (45%)

Language Honours Seminar
Term: 2
3 credits

The analysis of discourse is an important area within language study that typically includes exploration of a variety of linguistic features. Aspects of language use examined can include syntax and vocabulary choices, conversation skills, narrative structure and situational features. Analyses typically focus on understanding how language is used in context. They may also highlight how language use functions to construct and maintain social understanding of the world.

The goal of this course is to develop skills in performing a discourse analysis and evaluating discourse analyses of other researchers. These two skills are seen to be interconnected.

The focus of the course will be on evaluating recent research papers in discourse analysis, with an emphasis on linguistic discourse analysis. Topics addressed in the required readings include transcription, ethnography, information structure in texts, conversation analysis, cohesion, hesitation phenomena, forms of talk, stance, identity in narrative and discourse, indirection, narrative analysis and critical discourse analysis.

A key part of learning discourse analysis is doing it. Students will therefore need to collect and transcribe some data at the beginning of the term, and to analyze it using several approaches we study during the course. Students will also present 2-3 articles (depending on class size) from the required readings.

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • evaluate recent literature in one or more sub-areas of discourse analysis;
  • compare the way different approaches to discourse analysis handle data, meaning and context;
  • record and transcribe interactions for later analysis;
  • explain how particular instances of discourse are structured;
  • make social interpretations of language use; and
  • discuss how instances of discourse are constrained by social and linguistic norms, discourses and ideologies.

Required Reading:

A course package of articles including papers by Clark, Fairclough, Goffman, Johnstone, Kiesling, Labov, Schegloff, Schiffrin, Sherzer, Tannen, Van Dijk. Others TBA.

Evaluation:

  • Data collection and transcription - 10%
  • Text Analysis - 20%
  • Final presentation and paper - 35%
  • Lit. Presentations (average) - 25%
  • Class Participation - 10%

Literature Majors Seminar
Term: 1
3 credits

What books get read around the world? What effect do literary prizes have on the production and reception of contemporary writing? What kinds of books don’t win prizes? What makes a book a bestseller? What is the impact of sales on publishing choices? What role do reviews play in the reception of a work? Whose books get reviewed? Why? In this class we will explore contemporary world literature (with fiction from France, Canada, England, India, Zimbabwe, and the USA) by looking at novels that have met an international audience by being nominated for literary prizes and/ or garnered reviews globally.  Examining a series of novels from the past decade alongside ideas and theories about the literary economy, we will also consider issues of class, gender, global cultures, globalization, cosmopolitanism, language, diaspora, terrorism, sexual violence, and the environment—in short, many of the key issues in literature today. (Book list subject to slight changes)

  • Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog (2006, translated to English 2008)
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist  (2007)
  • Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger (2008)
  • Emma Donoghue, Room  (2010)
  • NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names: A Novel (2013)
  • Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (2013)

Literature Majors Seminar
Term: 1
3 credits
Office: 403 Buchanan Tower
email: mackieg@mail.ubc.ca

“You see, but you do not observe” – Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Watson

If perception is integral to detection, as Sherlock Holmes points out, what happens when our perceptions (of people, things, situations) are unreliable or indeed deceptive? This course considers the themes of performance and masquerade (by detectives and criminals alike) in British texts from the second half of the nineteenth century, the formative era of the genre of detective fiction. Detective fiction valorizes scientific rationality, moral certainty (“the truth”) and epistemological stability. The detective analyzes clues, the unknown becomes known, and the mystery is solved. But this narrative form must also contend with the unreliable and the unknowable: realism, in other words, is balanced with romance. Indeed, one of the predominant features of this genre is the constant tension between concealment and revelation. This tension is particularly palpable in Victorian texts that emphasize theatricality and performance along gender and class coordinates – a prevalent pattern in the sensation fiction of the 1860s, where our readings begin. Far from being merely a conservative force for reinforcing existing social norms, detective fiction, as we shall see, also raises some tantalizingly subversive possibilities.

Readings:

  • Wilkie Collins, No Name (Penguin)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Broadview)
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” and other Holmes stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Penguin)
  • Catherine Louisa Pirkis, “Drawn Daggers”
  • Grant Allen, An African Millionaire (Penguin)
  • Guy Boothby, A Prince of Swindlers (Penguin)
  • E.W. Hornung, Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman (Grove Atlantic)
  • G.K. Chesterton, “The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown”

Primary readings not available at the bookstore and critical readings by Todorov, Peach, Pittard (and others) will be provided electronically or by handout. **No Name is 600 + pages long. Advance reading is strongly recommended.**

Course Requirements:

  • Weekly response/reflection papers (1 page per week): 20%
  • Engaged and active seminar participation: 20%
  • Seminar presentation: 20%
  • Research paper: 40%

Literature Majors Seminar
Term: 1
3 credits

In this seminar we shall explore examples of English pastoral literature from the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries. Since we would be hard pressed to provide a satisfactory definition of what “the pastoral” is, our central concern will be the multiple, shifting versions of pastoral figures that English Renaissance writers employed. We will study period translations of Theocritus, Vergil, and Horace; the pastoral verse of Christopher Marlowe, Richard Barnfield, Ben Jonson, and Edmund Spenser; the pastoral prose and poetry of Philip Sidney; and the pastoral drama of Shakespeare, John Fletcher, and Giovanni Guarini (in translation). Our texts will be accompanied by brief (but potent) readings by Raymond Williams, William Empson, Giorgio Agamben, Julian Yates, Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Peter Erickson, Stephen Guy-Bray, Bruce Smith, Valerie Traub, Annabel Patterson, Paul Alpers, Louis Montrose, Robert Watson, and Ken Hiltner. Our discussions of pastoral texts, then, will range from Marxism to gender and queer studies, to intellectual history, to New Criticism, to New Historicism, and to animal and environmental studies. There are indeed many – maybe too many – versions of pastoral on offer in this seminar; it has clearly had something to offer successive generations of scholars. We will thus have to address, over the course of a leisurely term, why Renaissance pastoral literature has such explanatory usefulness.

Course requirements:

  • Seminar Presentation (25%)
  • Weekly Responses (30%)
  • Final Essay (30%)
  • Active and Consistent Class Participation (15%)

Term: 2
3 credits

Most of us have had the experience of paying good money so we can sit in a theatre, watch a film, and be terrified. What reward or pleasure is there in being artificially afraid? In this course we will investigate the genre of “terror,” partly by reading gothic materials themselves and partly by looking at a history of explanations of how the gothic works. Our focus in terms of primary texts will be on the memorable gothic tales produced by nineteenth and twentieth-century American writers, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, and H.P. Lovecraft, as well as on gothic films produced in the U.S. more recently. Our focus in terms of explanatory models will be, first, on psychoanalytic and anthropological models that relate the gothic to the subject’s or the culture’s repressed or unconscious life; second, on constructivist and historicist models that see the gothic as a political structure, and third, on cognitive and neurological models that look at the gothic’s combining of aesthetic form and embodied reader response. In this sense the course will look not just at a certain strand of the gothic itself but also at a rough map of twentieth and twentieth-first-century theorizations of the gothic.

Grade Components:

  • Position Papers x 3 - 30%
  • Seminar Presentation - 30%
  • Research Essay - 30%
  • Class Participation - 10%

Primary Texts:

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown and Other Tales (Oxford): “Young Goodman Brown,” “My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” “The Birth-Mark,” “Rappaccini’s Daughter”
  • Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings(Oxford): “The Raven,” “Ligeia,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat,” “The Purloined Letter,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “Berenice”
  • Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (Dover)
  • H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Chuthulu and Other Weird Stories (Penguin) “The Call of Chuthulu,” “In the Shadow of Innsmouth,” “The Picture in the House”
  • Ridley Scott, Alien (1979) film
  • George Romero, Night of the Living Dead (1968) film
  • David Lynch, Mulholland Drive (2001) film

Secondary Texts (subject to minor changes):

  • Sigmund Freud, “The Uncanny,” “Beyond the Pleasure Principle”
  • Jacques Lacan, “Seminar on the Purloined Letter”
  • Slavoj Zizek, “From Reality to the Real,” Looking Awry
  • Julia Kristeva, “Semiotics of Biblical Abomination,” Powers of Horror
  • Susan Stewart, “The Epistemology of the Horror Story” (available online)
  • Sarah Juliet Lauro and Karen Embry, “A Zombie Manifesto: The Non-Human Condition in the Era of Advanced Capitalism” (available online)
  • Jane Bennett, “The Force of Things,” Vibrant Matter
  • Timothy Morton, chapter 1, Realist Magic:  Objects, Ontology, Causality (available through UBC library)

Literature Majors Seminar
Term 2
3 credits
email: r.cavell@ubc.ca

What is the pre-history of media?

This seminar examines the media before “the media.” With seminars on the two foremost media theorists of the 20th century, Marshall McLuhan and Friedrich Kittler, and focussed discussions of media in the 19th century, the seminar affords broad application of media studies to major works of 19th century media fictions, from the Alice books to Dracula.

SYLLABUS

M 4 Jan: introduction to the seminar
M 11 Jan: McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage [UBC Bookstore]
M 18 Jan: from Colligan et al, Media...in the 19th Century [online at UBCLIB]
M 25 Jan: from Bolting et al, Monstrous Media [on connect.ubc.ca]
M 1 Feb: Kittler, “Dracula’s Legacy” [connect]
M 22 Feb: Quiz (30%)

Presentations (70%)

M 29 Feb: Butler, Erewhon [UBC Bookstore]
M 7 Mar: Baum, The Wizard of Oz [UBC Bookstore]
M 14 Mar: cancelled
M 21 Mar: Carroll, the Alice books [UBC Bookstore]
M 4 Apr: Stoker, Dracula [UBC Bookstore]

Literature Majors Seminar
Term: 2
3 credits
Office: BUTO 423
Telephone: 822-4268
Office Hours: MWF 1:00 - 2:00 and by appointment

This course proposes to examine ideas of order and their contravention or inversion in the literature of the English Renaissance, from Marlowe to Hobbes. We examine Christian ideas of religious and cosmological order, rational humanism, political theory, social and domestic theory, the regulation of class and gender relations, and the laws and customs governing service and mastery. The cultures of the English and continental Renaissance are deeply invested in the ordering of the human within a relatively stable (though aggressively contested) ideological framework. In juxtaposition with this, we will explore the popular tropes of Disorder, especially the carnival trope of the World Upside Down as it appears in Elizabethan and Jacobean texts and their antecedents. Representations of the World Upside Down entail the articulation and reversal of crucial cultural terms. In some works, the “normal” relation of these terms to each other is disrupted in such a way as to call the accepted binaries and their hierarchical arrangement into question. Bearing in mind the rapid expansion of the capitalist economy at this time; the general decline of respect for the monarchy and the aristocracy; and the increasing liquidity of property and consequently of identity, we will consider the emergence of a whole network of interrelated crises of authority. These will include the emergence of popular protest; various sorts of attack on government, the ruling class, and the established church; alterations in the situation and representation of women; increasingly voiced concerns about the ubiquity of the marketplace; and anxieties over poverty and employment.

We will consider how in the literature of the English Renaissance medieval ideas concerning sin and death merge with carnival and satiric elements and other popular forms of subversive cultural activity, often ambivalent in effect. Whether this functions as a liberating and reforming art, or offers an apocalyptic vision of the damned, it provides an extraordinarily rich and provocative field of inquiry for the student of religious or literary history. Renaissance literature, long understood as participating more or less earnestly in the reproduction of accepted ideas of order, is now seen by many as the locus of a new, undefined and uncontainable nexus of intellectual and social negotiations, which posed challenges to the epistemological and ideological orthodoxies of the time. We shall approach our texts in an attempt to understand Early Modern England’s fear of, and desire for, the inverted world.

Texts:

  • Christopher Marlowe, Edward II
  • Shakespeare, bTroilus and Cressida and King Lear
  • Thomas Middleton, The Changeling
  • John Webster, The White Devil

Selections from:

  • Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man
  • François Rabelais, “Author’s Prologue” to Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • Michel de Montaigne, “Apology for Raimond Sebond”
  • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Bks. 2 & 3
  • John Donne, An Anatomy of the World
  • Amelia Lanyer, “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women”
  • Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning and Novum Organum
  • John Milton, Paradise Lost, Bk. 3
  • Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity
  • Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

The five plays will be ordered in separate editions, and the remaining selections will be available in a customized course booklet (available at the UBC Bookstore), or online at various sites.

Course Requirements:

  • In-class Essay 25%
  • Term Paper 40%
  • Debating and participation 5%
  • Final Exam 30%

Literature Majors Seminar
Term: 2
3 credits

Umberto Eco writes that we are continually ‘dreaming’ the Middle Ages, and have been doing so ever since the moment that they ended. Eco’s words, in Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyperreality (1986), presage the surge in scholarly interest in Medievalism – or the study of the reimagining of the Middle Ages in contemporary fiction, film, TV, and popular culture. Throughout the history of western culture, the medieval has been continually reimagined to reflect, as in a mirror darkly, the fears and desires of the contemporary moment. For the writers of the Renaissance, the medieval was the abject other from which the rebirth of classical learning had liberated them, while the Victorians found in the Middle Ages archetypical structures of Empire and class-orientated chivalry. This course seeks to examine the role of the medieval in the popular consciousness of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

The course will take the works of George R. R. Martin as the central text for an investigation of how the medieval is reimagined in our current moment. Reacting both to the High Fantasy genre of the 1970s and 80s (that inspired by, and largely imitating the mode of Tolkien’s novels), and to post-everything nature of the last twenty years, Martin’s works hold an influential place in the popular modern imagined medieval, largely supplanting any real notion of the European Middle Ages in the minds of most of its readers and viewers. As such, we will be considering Martin’s works as much for what they tell us about our own moment, as for what they tell us about our ideas of the past.

The course will involve the reading of the five books (thus far) of the series, and the watching of the five season of the HBO series. Please make sure you’ve read these BEFORE the course begins, as it will problematic to try to catch up if you have not done so. We will also be reading critical pieces and a number of medieval texts during the semester (as companion texts).

Topics for discussion will include, amongst others: Women; Politics; Monsters; Disability; Nature; History; Chivalry; Objects; Place; Religion; Sexuality; Race
Please note that Martin’s novels (and the HBO series) include numerous scenes of violence and sexuality, so if you are uncomfortable with such material, you may wish to take a different 490 course.

Assessment:

  • one presentation (20%)
  • one TV episode analysis (20%)
  • one research essay (60%)

Required Texts:

  • A Game of Thrones
  • A Clash of Kings
  • A Storm of Swords
  • A Feast for Crows
  • A Dance with Dragons

* You will also need to be up to date on the five TV series to date. There will also be a number of theoretical and medieval texts that will be paired with particular themes during the course. *

Literature Majors Seminar
Term: 2
3 credits
* * This seminar is cross-listed with MDVL 490. * *

This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to manuscript culture in medieval England. Students will learn how to read and identify various scripts (paleography), the mechanics of how manuscript books were assembled and organized (codicology, compilatio), the changing significance of page layout (ordinatiomis en pagebas de page), the world of London scribes in the late medieval period once manuscript copying became secularized, the specific histories of some famous medieval texts, and how medieval manuscripts are edited for modern readers. Much of this course will be hands-on, with students having the opportunity to assemble their own codex and do basic diplomatic and critical editing. We will also be working with the digital editions of manuscripts produced by SEENET and items from UBC's Rare Books room.

Literature Majors Seminar
Term: 2
3 credits

“You are a born story-teller,” said the old lady. “You had the sense to see you were caught in a story, and the sense to see that you could change it to another one.”
A. S. Byatt, “The Story of the Eldest Princess”

Why do we tell stories? The very phrase “telling stories” is synonymous, to quote the Houyhnhnms in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, with saying “the thing which is not.” Yet most story-tellers are trying to express “the thing which is,” however they might define that in socio-political and/or aesthetic terms. In this course we will explore story-telling—our own and others’. What kinds of stories are told by writers, readers, and literary critics? Are all story-tellers caught in stories of some kind? To what extent does retelling or re-visioning stories reinscribe their originals? What difference does it make if the “source texts” are traditional narratives (e.g., folk tales, classical myths) or actual historical events? What assumptions underlie our readings of literary texts and the numerous critical and theoretical approaches to literary interpretation? What does the popularization and commodification of texts—from the re-visioning of “Beauty and the Beast” in every medium to the transformation of “classic” literature into film—tell us about the texts themselves, the societies that produced them, our own society, and ourselves?

Some of the texts that we will be studying self-consciously question the nature of “story,” “history,” and “truth”; some (equally self-consciously) rewrite traditional folk, classical, biblical, and literary narratives. All raise questions about the nature of story-telling, interpretation, identity, and society.

Texts:

  • Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, “Beauty and the Beast” and other (very brief) selections from Magazin des Enfans: or, the Young Misses Magazine (1765 edition available online through UBC Library); if you find the typesetters’ use of the long “s” problematic, you may use D. L. Ashliman’s transcription of “Beauty and the Beast” http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/beauty.html
  • Oscar Wilde, “The Birthday of the Infanta” (available online)
  • Angela Carter, “The Courtship of Mr Lyon,” “The Tiger’s Bride” (available online)
  • La Belle et la Bête, 1946 film directed by Jean Cocteau
  • a student-choice adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 2nd edition (Broadview); you may use another edition (online or print), as long as it includes all of John Tenniel’s illustrations
  • a student-choice adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd (Oxford World’s Classics)
  • Far from the Madding Crowd, 2015 film directed by Thomas Vinterberg
  • Iris Murdoch, Under the Net (Penguin)
  • A. S. Byatt, “The Story of the Eldest Princess” (out of print); we will read the story together in seminar and the two collections in which the story appears, Caught in a Story: Contemporary Fairytales and Fables and The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, will be on reserve in Koerner Library
  • Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (Vintage)

You are welcome to use Kindle editions where they are available.

Course requirements:

  • one 15-minute presentation
  • one research paper and annotated bibliography
  • weekly submission of response papers and questions for discussion
  • regular informed seminar participation

* * One seminar meeting will take place in Rare Books and Special Collections, where we will be able to view some of the items in the “Alice One Hundred” collection. * *

Senior Honours Seminar (Theory)
Term 1
3 credits

The course address the problem of representation – of how, broadly speaking, a literary text depicts, critiques, and engages with the world around it. Is the meaning of a text reducible to its historical and political context or can one argue for the uniqueness of aesthetic representation? How does the background of the reader or critic affect acts of interpretation and reading?

We will start by revisiting foundational texts in New Criticism by Cleanth Brooks, William Wimsatt, and Monroe Beardsley that continue to shape, if in unacknowledged ways, the teaching and study of literature today. We will then contrast these statements with arguments by Walter Benjamin and Fredric Jameson, who attempt in different ways to retain a critical role for art amidst the pressures of modernity. We will then take up challenges to literary studies posed by critics such as Barbara Johnson, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Edward Said. Writing from feminist and post-colonial perspectives, they challenge the presuppositions that have informed literary studies in North America.

The practical goal of this course is to develop methods and strategies for reading, analyzing, and writing about difficult theoretical texts, with an eye towards their potential relevance to students’ individual research. Accordingly, students are encouraged to use the seminar as an opportunity to experiment with their critical practices and "apply" our readings to texts and topics of their own interest.

Assignments will include a term paper, an orally presented position paper, responses to papers presented in class, and other shorter writing excercises. Please contact the instructor in August to confirm the final selection of readings.

Senior Honours Seminar (Theory) 
Term: 1
3 credits

This is an introductory seminar on new media theory, linking media studies to new and emergent work in literary studies and cultural studies. We will use Media Studies: A Reader, 3rd edition, ed. Sue Thornham, Caroline Bassett and Paul Marris (New York UP, 2010), as our core text, and each seminar meeting will centre on investigating one or two key essays from that text (on such themes as technology, representation, culture and popular culture, audience and reception, identity and subjectivity, with close attention to the complex dynamics of race, class, nation and sexuality). We will make use of foundational critical work in media studies, from the Frankfurt School, Friedrich Kittler and Marshall McLuhan to Ien Ang, Jonathan Sterne and bell hooks, We would also aim to apply this theoretical material to the analysis of a set of specific case studies drawn from media culture, including television drama, popular music, comics, video gaming, film and science fiction, as well as on-line subcultures and fandoms, electronic media, blogs and other elements of Web 2.0. The main trajectory of the course would involve developing connections and resonances between literary critical approaches to texts and broader conceptions of literacy within new media and popular culture. There will also be an electronic-media component to the course work, which involves (as well as seminar presentations and a substantial term paper) creating and maintaining a blog.

Core Text:

  • Media Studies: A Reader, 3rd edition, ed. Sue Thornham, Caroline Bassett and Paul Marris (New York UP, 2010).
  • Supplementary texts and media, chosen by participants

Grade Breakdown:

  • Seminar Presentations (2 per student), including write-up: 20% each
  • Term Paper or Project: 30%
  • Weekly Blog Responses: 20%
  • Seminar Participation: 10%

Senior Honours Seminar (Theory)
Term 2
3 credits

How are medical disputes negotiated in an age of relatively untested, and unstable, economies of information, expertise, and trust? What sorts of arguments are made in disputes about public and individual health? How do experts, and what kind of experts, decide what is a disease, and who are the best candidates for tests, diagnoses, and treatments?

The theoretical lens we will use to approach these questions is rhetoric: students will see how various scholars, both rhetoricians (self-identified) and non-rhetoricians explore the role of persuasion in matters of health and medicine. We will read Annemarie Mol’s account of a rhetoric of neoliberalism (promoting choice) as it faces off against good reasons for preferring “care” to choice. We will read excerpts of Marika Seigel’s new book on the rhetoric of pregnancy to discover what public discourse about pregnancy suggests about how women ought to experience it—and what, in this discourse, is contestable and contested. We will read various authors on questions of risk and how we are persuaded that we are, increasingly, if not sick, then pre-sick.

Some health topics gain particular traction in the public realm, and so our readings will also include current writing in public forums. Commentators discuss the value of annual mammograms and the value of prophylactic mastectomies; we read about the autism/childhood vaccination "debate," although there is no scientific evidence to support a causal link between vaccination and the onset of autism. Online disputes have been underway for a while on the rightness and wrongness of changes to psychiatric diagnostic categories with the publication of the DSM 5 in 2013, the fifth, and first publically controversial, edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

By the end of the course, students will be able to attend to health/medical disputes and consider them critically, recognize rhetorical strategies, isolate and evaluate arguments, and make careful judgments. Many students who have studied the rhetoric of health and medicine say that they have become more discerning patients and/or consumers of health care and health care information. Students will, in any case, be able, by the end of the course, to demonstrate some fluency in the terms and methods of rhetorical theory and criticism.

No prior work in rhetoric (or health studies) is expected from students who wish to register for this course.

Tentative, and partial, reading list:

  • Vincanne Adams, Michelle Murphy, and Adele Clarke, “Anticipation: Technoscience, Life, Affect, Temporality.” Subjectivity (2009)
  • Eula Biss, excerpts from On Immunity: An Inoculation (Graywolf, 2014)
  • Colleen Derkatch, "Demarcating Medicine’s Boundaries: Constituting and Categorizing in the Journals of the American Medical Association. Technical Communication Quarterly (2012).
  • Alice K. Hawkins & Anita Ho, “Genetic Counseling and the Ethical Issues around Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing.” Journal of Genetic Counseling 21 (2012).
  • Annemarie Goldstein Jutel, excerpts from Putting a Name to It (Johns Hopkins 2011)
  • Lisa Keränen, “This Weird, Incurable Disease”: Competing Diagnoses in the Rhetoric of Morgellons.” in Therese Jones et al, eds., Health Humanities Reader (Rutgers 2015)
  • Christopher Lane, “How Shyness Became an Illness: A Brief History of Social Phobia.” Common Knowledge (2006)
  • Annemarie Mol, excerpts from The Logic of Care: Health and the Problem of Patient Choice (Routledge 2008)
  • Marika Seigel, excerpts from The Rhetoric of Pregnancy (Chicago, 2014)
  • Priscilla Wald, excerpts from Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative (Duke, 2008)

Senior Honours Seminar (Research)
Term 1
3 credits

Victorian and modernist literature teems with spirits. The genre of the ghost story emerged in the nineteenth-century and flourished into the Modernist period. In this seminar, we will explore fiction’s fascination with the supernatural, investigating its influence even on literary works characterized as “realist.” Considering the ways in which ghosts function in the literature of the two periods, we will ask what literary ghosts can tell us about genre, character, cultural critique, and conceptions of life and death. We will also examine the appeal of the spectral for early cinema, and discuss the representation of consciousness in fiction, as authors rethink the idea of the “ghost in the machine.” Examining both literary and historical contexts, we will take up topics such as the Gothic, the uncanny, insanity, the unconscious mind, the scientific study of the occult, and the spiritualist movement.

Assignments and Other Requirements:

  • Seminar paper (roughly 12-15 pages)
  • Presentation (roughly 25 minutes)
  • Three sets of questions on the readings

Texts:

  • Charlotte Bronte, Villette
  • Michael Cox, ed., The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories
  • Charles Dickens, Complete Ghost Stories (“The Haunted Man,” A Christmas Carol)
  • Sigmund Freud, “The Uncanny”
  • Henry James, Ghost Stories of Henry James
  • May Sinclair, Uncanny Stories
  • Virginia Woolf, “The Mysterious Case of Miss V.”; “The Haunted House”
  • And short stories by Elizabeth Bowen, E.M. Forster, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Oscar Wilde

Senior Honours Seminar (Research)
Term: 1
3 credits
email: laurie.mcneill@ubc.ca

“Archival Encounters” introduces students to the analysis of archival materials in both digital and print forms, and takes up broader considerations of the archive as a cultural institution. Working with archival materials in UBC’s Rare Books & Special Collections (RBSC), the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) Archives, and digital platforms (e.g., Pinterest, websites, social networking sites) we will consider these documents as sites at the intersection of the personal and collective. Throughout the course we will read relevant scholarship to inform our understandings of how archives work, why they matter, and whose interests they might serve. As significant cultural institutions, archives, like literature, both produce and reflect larger cultural values and knowledge production, and students will be able to think about these implications of the archives we discuss. Whose materials, and what kinds of experiences, are “important” enough to be kept, and why? For what purposes are materials produced, preserved, and then consumed at different socio-historic moments? Issues of power, memory, authority, and authenticity are compelling concerns that connect literary and archival studies in considerations of how and what cultures remember.

Over the semester you will choose archival materials to engage with in both a presentation and a formal research paper, followed by a collaborative project that makes archival material of your choosing accessible to the public. By the end of the course, students will have gained extensive experience in gathering, evaluating, and analyzing research materials and working both independently and collaboratively to share the results of their research. Note: Students should expect to spend some out-of-class time doing research in Rare Books and Special Collections and the Museum of Anthropology Archives.

Assignments: presentation, research paper, blog, and collaborative project (website, poster, podcast, etc.).

Archival collections will include:

  • RBSC: letters, diaries, manuscripts, government documents, and ephemera from the Douglas Coupland Fonds, the Japanese Canadian Research Collection, the Yip Sang Family Papers, and the Colin Upton Comic Collection
  • MOA: anthropologists’ photographs, field notes, and journals, as well as the document-gathering role of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools
  • Digital: the September 11 Digital Archive, Facebook, Pine Point Revisited, Pinterest (& others)
  • Students may also take up other archival collections (or indeed other archives) depending on their own interests.

Scholarly readings will include (note: reading list will be finalized by Dec 2015):

  • Carter, Rodney. “Of Things Said and Unsaid: Power, Archival Silences, and Power in Silence.” Archivaria 61 (2006): 215-33.
  • Cassedy, Tim. “The Long Tail of Literary Studies.” Archive Journal 3 (2013): n.p.
  • Christen, Kimberley. “Does Information Really Want to be Free? Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the Question of Openness.” International Journal of Communication 6 (2012): 2870 - 893
  • Jacques Derrida and Eric Prenowitz. “Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression.” Diacritics 25. 2 (1995): 9-63.
  • Gerson, Carole. “Locating Female Subjects in the Archive.” Working in Women’s Archives. 7-22.
  • Haskins, Ekaterina. “Between Archive and Participation: Public Memory in a Digital Age.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 37.4 (2007): 401-22.
  • Jimerson, Randall C. Archives Power: Memory, Accountability, and Social Justice. [excerpts]
  • plus relevant popular / historical materials for context

Senior Honours Seminar (Research)
Term: 2
3 credits

This course explores the concept of “theatricality” at a crucial period in its transition, 1870-1950. This period saw the emergence of modernist drama in the plays of writers such as Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Luigi Pirandello, Gertrude Stein, Bertolt Brecht, and Samuel Beckett. It also saw the emergence and consolidation of a variety of forms of mass theater: film (from early experiments to Hollywood hegemony), radio, and television. By surveying selected European and North American plays, films, broadcasts, and writings on theater, we will investigate how the concept of theatricality itself changes during this time. Our goal will be to investigate how modernist literary and mass cultural forms overlap and borrow one from the other, and to think about the specific social and political environments that are being addressed using theatrical techniques in the 20th-century.

This course will run as a seminar.

Note: this course is under construction. Please consult this page again as we approach January 2016.

Senior Honours Seminar (Research)
Term: 2
3 credits

This seminar will consider the rise of the vernacular author in later medieval Europe. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw the development of several ideas that we may now take for granted in our reading of literature. These included, for example, the ideas of the author as a particular individual whose biography might help us understand his or her work; of the authorial career and canon – that to understand one work by a given author, it is important to know which others he or she has written; of a literary tradition in which authors look to predecessors for inspiration but also seek to make their own distinctive contributions; and of an author’s proprietary interest in the accurate reproduction of his or her work. We will discuss these issues primarily by comparing how Chaucer and Christine de Pizan responded to literary tradition in France and Italy, where authorial self-consciousness developed a generation or two earlier than in England. For example, we will read Chaucer’s House of Fame alongside Christine’s Path of Long Study as two meditations on how an author defines himself or herself in relation to tradition, and also as two of the earliest responses in England and France, respectively, to Dante. The issue of gender will intersect with that of authorship most obviously because we will be comparing a male author with a female, but also because some of Chaucer’s richest reflections on authorship occur in when he grapples with the ways women such as Dido and Criseyde have been portrayed in literary tradition.

Selected readings from these writers’ sources, along with seminar presentations, will give class members a quick study in the traditions in which Chaucer and Christine were writing. We will also do some reading in texts which show the influence of their ideas about authorship, such as those by Thomas Hoccleve (who referred to Chaucer as his master but also translated Christine into English) and John Lydgate. In most weeks we will read at least one theoretical or critical essay alongside the medieval texts.

We will read Christine’s works in modern English translation, and Chaucer’s (and excerpts from some other Middle English texts) in editions such as the Norton Critical and TEAMS series that make Middle English highly accessible to beginners.

Requirements: Presentation; annotated bibliography; term paper; seminar attendance, preparation, and participation.

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Writing Courses

Term 1
3 credits

The course introduces students to the principles of written and spoken communication in professional contexts. It includes the preparation of résumés, letters of application, abstracts, proposals, reports and different types of correspondence.

Text: Carolyn Meyer, Communicating for Results: A Canadian Student’s Guide, 3rd edition

Requirements:

  • job application letter and résumé (take-home): 10 + 10 = 20
  • proposal (in-class): 15
  • letter or memo (in-class): 15
  • formal report (take-home) and in-class presentation: 20 + 20 = 40
  • peer assessments/ moderating a session/introducing a presenter: 5 + 2.5 + 2.5 = 10

Term 2
Distance Education Course
3 credits

English 301 involves the study of principles of written and online communications in business and professional contexts; it includes discussion of and practice in the preparation of abstracts, proposals, applications, reports, correspondence and online communications: emails, texts, Web Folio and networking.

Note: Credits in this course cannot be used toward a major or a minor in English.

English 301 is offered as a fully online course. The use of a computer and ready access to an Internet connection are required.

See http://ctlt.ubc.ca/distance-learning/courses/engl/engl301/

Term 1
3 credits

Are you trying to figure out new ways to strengthen your writing? Have you always wanted to develop a recognizable writing voice of your own? Are you interested in figuring out how to make the strongest impact on your readers? Are you perhaps interested in exploring the differences between writing for, say, The Vancouver Sun, The Guardian, and an academic journal? Are you considering going into teaching and wondering how to go about talking to your students about their own writing? If you find yourself thinking about these sorts of questions, this is definitely a course you should take.

Advanced Composition approaches the study and practice of writing with a focus on audience, authorial voice, and style. It emphasizes the writing process and the rhetorical concerns and principles (situation, genre, intent) which govern that process. The course offers an overview of traditional Artistotelian or classical rhetoric, as well as looking at more recent (20th and 21st century) theorizing of genre and communications. Students get to do in-depth studies of communities of practice; they learn to situate and develop their own rhetorical strengths. They also get to argue thoughtfully and even vigorously with their instructor and classmates, and to prepare a final project aimed at a real and carefully identified community of readers (best case scenario: you might even think of aiming for publication).

See http://ctlt.ubc.ca/distance-learning/courses/engl/engl304a/

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Research in English Studies
Term 1

English 500 will introduce first-year MA students to graduate-level research procedures and professional practices. The course will take the form of seminars and guest lectures that will cover a range of topics. Research- and course-related topics will include applying for grants, building bibliographies, practices of annotation and citation, archival research, and conceptualizing and writing a Master's thesis. Professional topics, such as how to present at conferences and how to apply for PhD programs, will also be covered.

Studies in the Structure of the English Language
Term 2
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric and Language
(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

In the course, we become acquainted which approaches to communication and cognition which offer new ways of analyzing meaning. They have been applied in the analysis of language study, but also in recent work on visual and multimodal forms of expression, which are occupying more and more of our communicative time. In this context, conceptual viewpoint has emerged as the governing principle of message construction.

We will rely on theories which argue that in processing language we are not simply relying on the meanings of words and on the use of grammatical structure. More accurately, we are using a range of forms of expressions, lexical and grammatical, but also embodied, as prompts for mental construction of meanings.
We will apply the theories to a variety of phenomena. We will start with the idea of ‘multimodal grammar’ – a methodology which starts with an approach to linguistic form and meaning, but also includes embodied behaviour, gesture, gaze, etc. We will look at how linguistic constructions cooperate with embodied action to construct meanings in a multimodal way.

We will then consider the concept of viewpoint in narrative artifacts – novels (including graphic novels), plays, and films. We will not be studying any specific text; rather, we will consider a number of different examples to see recurring viewpoint-related phenomena, signalled by language, embodied behaviour and visual form. We will focus on uncovering conceptual viewpoint patterns found in various forms of expression.

Finally, we will spend much time looking at artifacts combining text and image in digital media, news, street art, marketing campaigns, internet memes, etc.
The readings will include a number of articles on the issue of multimodality and language, on viewpoint, and on various types of textual and multimodal artifacts. Also, three books on the subject will provide extended (supplementary) reading on more specific issues. In class, we will be focusing on the analysis of specific examples, mostly via handouts and slides. Besides, we will rely on various forms of writing and discussion.

Studies in Rhetoric
Term 1
3 credits
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric and Language
(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

This course will study the confluence of rhetoric, technology, and textual criticism with the aim of learning about how technology affects language and how language affects technology. Readings will be drawn from the fields of rhetorical criticism, Science and Technology Studies [STS], and the philosophy of technology.

After beginning with a look at the current disciplinary state of the rhetoric of technology, the trajectory of the course will be loosely chronological. The first phase will examine the interaction of Enlightenment-era philosophy, politics, scientific instruments, and industrial technologies, as well as the era’s anti-rhetoric attitude. Readings will include, for instance, 18th century philosopher Julien Offray De La Mettrie’s Man as Machine, STS historian John Tresch’s The Romantic Machine, and the contemporary rhetorical criticism of Chelsea Redeker Milbourne’s and Sarah Hallenbeck’s “Gender, Material Chronotypes, and the Emergence of the Eighteenth Century Microscope.”

Selected readings from philosopher of technology Don Ihde, media theorist/rhetorician Walter Ong, and media theorist Friedrich Kittler will serve as a bridge between the early modern period and more contemporary critical interventions.

The latter portion of the course will focus on contemporary examples of the rhetoric of technology in addition to recent STS scholarship that takes up rhetorical concerns. We will read the rhetorical criticism of Ian Bogost’s Persuasive Games, Thomas Rickert’s Ambient Rhetoric, and multiple articles by Carolyn R. Miller, including “Writing in a Culture of Simulation,” “Ethos Online,” and “What Can Automation Tell Us about Agency?” From STS, we will read selected essays from Bruno Latour’s Pandora’s Hope and “From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik,” as well as articles by writers such as Evelyn Fox-Keller, Trevor Pinch, Malcolm Ashmore, Keith Grint, Steve Woolgar, and Rob Kling.

A Sample of Potential Additional Readings:

  • The recent special issue of Poroi entitled “Inventing the Future: The Rhetorics of Science, Technology, and Medicine”
  • Sean Zdenek’s “Scripting Sylvie: Language, Gender, and Humanness in Public Discourse about Software Agents”
  • Adam J. Banks’s “Groove: Synchronizing African American Rhetoric and Multimedia Writing through the Digital Griot”
  • Stephen Ramsay’s “An Algorithmic Criticism”
  • Celeste Condit’s “Hegemony in a Mass-Mediated Society: Concordance about Reproductive Technologies”
  • Dave Tell’s “The Rise and Fall of a Mechanical Rhetoric, or, What Grain Elevators Teach Us About Postmodernism”
  • David Nofre et al.’s “When Technology Became Language: The Origins of the Linguistic Conception of Computer Programming, 1950-1960”

Middle English Studies
Term 1
CATEGORY A - English Literature to 1700

 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to medieval British literature at a graduate level. The course will ensure important period coverage for graduate students working pre-1900, as well as allowing more focused work for those specializing in early- and pre-modern literature. In addition, the course will involve an introduction to the frameworks of recent theoretical turns ranging across the geographical, spatial, ecocritical, transhuman, and the transtemporal.

A major theme of this course will be an engagement with the vibrant connective tissues and fluid network ecologies of medieval literature. Interfacing with the ongoing UBC/SFU Oecologies research collective, students will be encouraged to situate their work within an ongoing examination of the challenging and provocative ways in which premodern culture imagined its relationship with the non-human world.

Primary texts will include:

  • Spheres: Dante (selections), Parlement of Fowles
  • World: The Hereford Map, Matthew Paris’s Maps, Mandeville’s Travels
  • Nature: Physiologus, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Guthlac A, Vita Merlini
  • ForestGeste of Robin HodeSir Perceval of Galles; Dream of Rood (with Steeldrivers’ Sticks That Make Thunder)
  • AnimalsSir GowtherBisclavret
  • Dirt: Winnere and WastourePiers Plowman (selections)
  • Gardens: Sir Orfeo, Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale
  • Skins: Manuscripts (via UBC Rare books)
  • BodiesAmis and Amiloun, Chaucer’s Prioress’s Tale
  • Soul/Self: The Three Living and the Three Dead; Poema Morale
  • Time: Cleanness (with Brother Dege’s Battle of New Orleans), The Chester Noah Play.

Most texts will be found in Old and Middle English c.890-c.1400: An Anthology ed. by E. Treharne, 2nd edn. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004).

Shakespeare
Term 2
3 credits
Email: patribad@mail.ubc.ca
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-4
CATEGORY A - English Literature to 1700
(Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

By 1613, Shakespeare had all but retired from the theatre, leaving the task of playwriting in the hands of the likes of Thomas Dekker, William Rowley, Thomas Middleton, John Ford, John Webster and Ben Jonson. Shakespeare’s shadow, however, loomed large. Not only did his work continue to be produced on the stage it also saw splendid publication in the Folio of 1623. We will begin our study of Shakespeare’s lingering presence upon the London stage with his “last” plays, Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. We will do this not to re-invoke the nostalgic tropes of Shakespeare’s final “adieu” to the public theatre, but rather to set the stage for what was to come: a generation of theatrical enterprise in which plays could be thought of as books and in which dramatists would embark on an unprecedented investigation of the limits of theatrical spectacle. We will consider the collaborative engagements that occupied Shakespeare in his last years and we will look closely at the Folio and the circumstances of its publication and initial reception. We will then survey the drama that came after Shakespeare in order to think about imitation and innovation with respect to genre, dramaturgical style and theatrical affect. Finally, we will use the occasion of the quartercentenary of the writer’s death (2016) to think about how Shakespeare continues to haunt our discipline and our culture today. Our reading will be supported by a range of secondary material that engages the theoretical questions broached by this topic (the question of memory, the problem of haunting, the matter of influence, notions of “belatedness” and decadence and the problem of adaptation) as well as recent research on early modern cultures of print and performance.

Texts:

  • William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale (1610)
  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest (1611)
  • William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen (1613)
  • Thomas Middleton, Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1613)
  • Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair (1614)
  • John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (1614)
  • Frances Beamont and John Fletcher, The Maid’s Tragedy (1619)
  • Philip Massinger and Thomas Dekker, The Virgin Martyr (1620)
  • Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, The Changeling (1622)
  • Thomas Middleton, Women Beware Women (1621)
  • John Ford, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (1629
  • James Shirley, The Bird in a Cage (1633)

Studies in the 17th Century
Term 1

CATEGORY A - English Literature to 1700
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric and Language
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Eco-criticism and animal studies will frame this class, which aims to seek out the organic life in a selection of seventeenth-century British literary works. We will examine how living things are conceptualized, represented, and employed for theme and figuration. New sciences, new worlds, and new kinds of circulation generate and are generated by literary invention of remarkable imaginative force and philosophical intricacy. The thematic territories upon which we will stumble and where we will gather bouquets will include the garden, the New World, and the circulatory systems imagined by mercantile economists. We will read poetry by Andrew Marvell, Katherine Phillips, and John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester; romances by Francis Bacon, Margaret Cavendish, and Aphra Behn; William Congreve’s play The Way of the World; and various supplementary readings from the period. Alongside these literary texts we will also read a few foundational theoretical texts that have helped to shape the emerging field of animal studies, including portions of Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, Bruno Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern, portions of George Bataille’s The Accursed Share, and Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Participants will be asked to give one presentation and will complete an annotated bibliography, and a research term paper.

Studies in the 18th Century
Term 2

3 credits
CATEGORY B - Literature in English from 1700 to 1900
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric and Language
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Immanuel Kant’s famous question, “Was ist Aufklärung?” has been answered in many different ways right until the present day. This seminar will continue this dialogue, keeping in mind the rich range of responses proposed in recent studies by Michel Foucault (“What is Enlightenment?”), Clifford Siskin and William Warner (This is Enlightenment)  and Jonathan Israel (The Radical Enlightenment), among many others. Beginning with a selection of theoretical reflections on the nature of the Enlightenment (including doubts about its very existence), we will consider a number of key philosophical and literary texts from the “long eighteenth century” (c. 1660-1820) with the aim of reaching our own conclusions about the impact of changes during this period and the origins of modernity. This course will be distinctly interdisciplinary in keeping with the febrile cross-fertilization of ideas between thinkers of different nations during this time. There were three political revolutions in the eighteenth century: the Glorious Revolution (1688), the American Revolution (1776-1783), and the French Revolution (1789-94). Generating each of these political upheavals were transformations in ideological outlooks – revolutions in philosophy, science, and political economy. These revolutions in turn led to different ways of conceiving the world reflected in literary production, and the creation of the very category “literature” as meaning works of imaginative creation. Among the questions that we will consider are the following: Did Britain (or at least England) experience an “Enlightenment” in the same way as France or even Germany? Is the Enlightenment best defined as a positive movement, establishing new grounds for certainty, or as a critical movement devoted largely to demolishing the past? What was the long-term impact of the era we call the Enlightenment? Was Romanticism a continuation of the Enlightenment or a reaction against it? Were thinkers such as Horkheimer and Adorno correct to blame the “Enlightenment” for the loss of self-criticism that led to such violent consequences in the twentieth century? To what degree should post-modernism be seen as surpassing the Enlightenment tradition or, as Jacques Derrida claimed, as a continuation of Enlightened critique in an even more radical form?

Texts:

1) Selections in a reading package from recent theories about the Enlightenment by Foucault, Siskin, Warner, Israel, Derrida and others,
2) a selection of philosophical texts by Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Smith, and
3) a selection of largely British literary works by Pope, Swift, Defoe, Thomson, Johnson, Godwin, Blake and Coleridge.

Students will be expected to present a seminar on topics to be distributed at the first meeting, followed by a short paper based on the seminar. The main assignment is a longer final paper, topics to be arranged with individual members of the seminar.

Studies in the Victorian Period
Term 1

CATEGORY B - Literature in English from 1700 to 1900
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric and Language
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

The late Victorian period saw an efflorescence of interest in imagined other worlds, from the persistent fantasy of sheltering domesticity to science-fiction utopias to geometric hyperspace to Buddhist Nirvana. In this course we will examine the underlying exteriorizing impulse behind these various discourses: an attempt to mark off, often in quite literal terms, new spheres of privilege, meaning, and presence by banishing perceived threats to disciplinary and civilizing boundaries. We will focus particularly on three popular disciplines: the British "discovery" of Buddhism, higher-dimensional geometry (or "hyperspace philosophy"), and spiritualism.

Our investigations will thus lead us to nineteenth-century theories of selfhood, mind, consciousness, and reason, and how these theories are elaborated in and by Victorian fiction. We will pay particular attention to descriptions of consciousness in which deeply (and dearly) held notions of rationality and self seem to break down: at the boundaries between everyday experience and trance, the natural and the supernatural, Euclidean and higher-dimensional space. How did Victorian literary authors contribute to (and how were they shaped by) these emergent discourses of "other-worldliness" and utopia? How and in what ways did narrative techniques such as free indirect discourse and stream of consciousness respond to these new ideas?

Texts may include:

  • H. Rider Haggard, She
  • H. G. Wells, The Time Machine
  • Richard Marsh, The Beetle
  • Rudyard Kipling, Kim
  • Edwin A. Abbot, Flatland
  • Charles Howard Hinton, Scientific Romances
  • William Morris, News from Nowhere
  • Cora Linn Daniels, The Bronze Buddha

And selected readings from Herbert Spencer, T. H. Huxley, G. H. Lewes, Alexander Bain, William James, and other mid- to late-Victorian writers on Buddhism, theosophy, and higher-dimensional geometry. We will also read a range of recent and contemporary criticism analyzing utopianism from a range of theoretical perspectives including Marxian, psychoanalytic, and historicist.

Course Requirements:

One seminar paper (15-20 pages); an annotated bibliography and presentation; class participation.

Studies in the 20th Century
Term 1

CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric and Language
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

ENGL 539a-001From the late nineteenth century until after the two world wars the crowd appears as a peculiar obsession in sociology, psychology, economics, political science, and in popular and intellectual news-streams. In this period, “mass psychology” became a recognized disciplinary field of both research and speculation, and the site of social, political and commercial engineering projects. It was argued that the political strategies of the future would center on the persuasion and control of crowds, and that new technologies of doing so were already taking shape. Popular and scientific anxieties and fantasies collected around theories of crowd dynamics. Virtually irresistible group forces were described as producing the mob’s powerful appetite for violence, its subservient and/or rebellious behavior, the crowd-altered individual’s alleged primitivism, femininity or infantilism, evasion of social and moral debts, disavowal of respect for property rights and detachment from institutions. Now crowds are in the headlines once again, from Egypt and India to the Ukraine and Venezuela. The energy underlying these phenomena arguably comes directly from the modernist period. It seems an appropriate moment to rethink the crowd and some of the standard stories about its genealogy, when global migrations, digital crowd-sourcing, and crowd movements such as Occupy are receiving wide attention.

This seminar course explores fictional, scientific and theoretical variations on the historical and narrated worlds of the collectivity, its marginalized and its revolutionists. We will examine case studies of paradigmatic figures in modernist fiction, and collective forms of identity, those through which the “core of the self” extends outward, acquiring new repertoires of experience. We will explore theories of agency, and phenomena such as group aggression and utopianism, the sophisticated judgments of crowds, populisms and authoritarianisms, bare life and biopolitics. We will draw on the literary as an archive for this genealogy, as an underused resource in crowd studies, and the modernist archive in particular, as a moment that serves as a hinge from the nineteenth-century citizen-crowd to the contemporary multitude as described in postcolonial and biopolitical theories. As we proceed, we will build a theory of the performativity of the crowd.

American Literature since 1890
Term 2
3 credits
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

This seminar will trace an archive that extends from the 1950s and 1960s work of the high-postmodern ironists (Nabokov, Pynchon, Barth), through the influential work of DeLillo and Barthelme, to the writer on the mind of many scholars of contemporary American fiction these days: David Foster Wallace, who will be our major subject in most of the weeks of the term. We will in essence attempt to reconstruct over the term the genealogy for the turn away from postmodern practice that Wallace proposes in his essays and interviews and see whether that received narrative of his novelty is actually borne out in his creative work, particularly the novels Infinite Jest and The Pale King (each of which will be our focus over multiple weeks of the term). In doing so we will take in critical arguments that place Wallace at the head of categories ranging from a “New Sincerity” to “postironic belief” and the “post-postmodern.” In limited terms, we will also necessarily address some of the philosophical bases for Wallace’s and others’ fiction, particularly in Kierkegaard and Derrida. I will also share with the class some finds from my extensive work in the Wallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center.

Students will do a range of assignments typical for a UBC graduate seminar: lead discussion (probably in pairs) for one week; write a 5-6-page seminar paper and do a brief presentation on its claims; participate in weekly discussions in class and on an electronic forum; and write a research paper of roughly 15-22 pages at the end of term (it may build on the seminar paper).

Readings may include (this list will probably be trimmed by 10-15%):

  • Franz Kafka, The Collected Stories (selections)
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (selections)
  • Vladimir Nabokov, selected stories
  • Thomas Pynchon, text TBD
  • John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse (selections)
  • ---, “The Literature of Exhaustion” and “The Literature of Replenishment”
  • Don DeLillo, End Zone
  • Donald Barthelme, Sixty Stories (selections)
  • Lydia Davis, The Collected Stories (selections)
  • David Foster Wallace, Girl With Curious Hair (selections)
  • ---, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”
  • ---, Infinite Jest
  • ---, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
  • ---, Oblivion (selections)
  • ---, The Pale King
  • ---, selected essays throughout the course from A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, Consider the Lobster, and Both Flesh and Not and selected interviews
    Selected critical and philosophical readings from Soren Kierkegaard, Jacques Derrida, Lewis Hyde, Brian McHale, N. Katherine Hayles, Stephen Burn, Adam Kelly, Lee Konstantinou, Paul Giles, Mark McGurl, Zadie Smith, and a few others

American Literature since 1890
Term 2
3 credits
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

In an address to Bryn Mawr College’s 1905 graduating class, modern novelist Henry James characterized modern mass print culture as:

a noisy vision of the ubiquitous page, bristling with rude effigies and images,...vociferous ‘headings’,...letterings,...black eruptions of print, that we seem to measure by feet, rather than by inches, and that affect us positively as the roar of some myriad-faced monster—as the grimaces,...shouts, ... shrieks and yells, ranging over the whole gamut of ugliness, irrelevance, dissonance, of a mighty maniac who has broken loose and...is running amuck through the spheres alike of sense and...sound. (43)

In this wide-ranging oration, James describes the "shouts", "shrieks", and "yells" of modern print culture as produced not only by the modern newspaper’s design innovations—its bold headlines, graphic illustrations, and heterogeneous and hence multi-vocal form—but also by the presence of unwelcome newcomers to modern print culture: first, poor immigrants whom James describes later as "dump[ing] their mountain of promiscuous material into the foundations of the American [language]" "while we sleep" and second, New Women whom James accuses of "corrupting" the English language instead of guarding its "sacred flame".

This seminar focuses on the interplay between popular communication culture (print culture such as magazines, newspapers, and telegrams, as well as oratorical culture) at the turn of the century and elite literary culture, and tropes of "noise". It attends in some measure to the "shouts, shrieks, and yells" produced by writers outside the mainstream—i.e. immigrants and New Women, as well as Asian American writers—as well as to more canonical or mainstream American authors during the Progressive Era. The seminar will provide excellent training for graduate students studying US or modern literature from a feminist, print-cultural, or Marxist perspective. Students will be encouraged to make use of ProQuest Historical Newspapers and other American digitization projects to familiarize themselves with Progressive-Era print culture so that their research essays situate literary works within their print cultural context.

Topics addressed by research papers may include:

  • The relationship between popular print culture and "literature"
  • The rise of the magazine
  • Modes of literary authorship enabled by popular print culture
  • Figures of the emergent female author as "sob-sister," stunt-girl journalist, or "typewriter girl"
  • The relationship between high-modernist literary artifacts and more popular fiction writing
  • Newspaper culture and the emergence of literary realism
  • The relationship between modernist literature and popular Progressive-Era fiction

Texts:

Studies in Canadian Literature
Term 1
3 credits
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

What if make industry, energy dependencies, and sustainable futures relevant to literary criticism—or literary criticism relevant to them? What role can humanities scholarship serve in understanding the ecological, social, and epistemic implications of the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch shaped by human demand for energy? Drawing on a diverse archive of theory, literature, photography, documentary, and new media, this seminar is interested in how art and literary criticism can answer the representational challenges posed by slow and fast violence.

Primary texts (subject to revision):

  • Warren Cariou, “An Athabasca Story”
  • ---, Land of Oil and Water
  • ---, Petrography
  • Marie Clements, Burning Vision
  • Edward Burtynsky, Oil
  • Brenda Longfellow, OFFSHORE
  • Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being
  • Eden Robinson, excerpt from The Sasquatch at Home
  • annie ross, Forest One
  • Shannon Walsh, H2Oil
  • Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Flappes
  • The Enpipe Line
  • Extraction: Comix Reportage

Theoretical and critical works:

  • Eric Avila, from Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City.
  • Stephen Jackson, “Rethinking Repair”
  • Stephanie LeMenager, Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century
  • Timothy Mitchell, from Carbon Democracy
  • Rob Nixon, from Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
  • Imre Szeman, “How To Know About Oil: Energy Epistemologies and Political Futures”
  • ---, “On Energopolitics”
  • ---, “System Failure: Oil, Futurity, and the Anticipation of Disaster”
  • Heather Turcotte, “Contextualizing Petro-Sexual Politics”

Studies in Canadian Literature
Term 2
3 credits
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

As Daniel Coleman outlines in his White Civility: The Literary Project of English Canada (2008), literature and literary criticism are implicated in the colonization of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The myth of a benevolent and civilizing colonizer has been resisted by many Indigenous speakers and writers. Although the ability to read and write in English was seen as a marker of assimilation, literate Indigenous people did not "convert" to mainstream notions of Canadianness (even when they converted to Christianity), but used their skills to struggle against colonization. No easy standpoint exists from which to view the history of colonization in Canada, but a respectful reading of Indigenous responses (whether transcribed orature or original writing) makes it possible to see the outlines of the different worldviews at play. Indigenous people resisted the notion that in order to live in Canada (where they had lived since time immemorial), they had to abandon their cultures. The course will provide an overview of Indigenous perspectives on orality and literacy in contrast to mainstream ideologies. Coursework will consist of a oral seminar and report (750 words), a short research report (750 words), and a longer paper (3000-5000 words) or an equivalent project.

Proposed reading (subject to revision):

  • Abraham Ulrikab (Inuk; ca.1845-1881) The Diary of Abraham Ulrikab. Ed and trans. Harmut Lutz et al.
  • Henry Wellington Tate (Tsimshian; ca. 1860-1914) The Porcupine Hunter and Other Stories. Vancouver: Talonbooks
  • Anahareo, Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl. Ed. Sophie McCall. Winnipeg: U of Manitoba P, 2014.
  • E. Pauline Johnson, E. Pauline Johnson / Tekahionwake: Collected Poems and Selected Prose. Ed. Carole Gerson and Veronica Strong-Boag. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2002.
  • --- with Joe Capilano (Sahp-luk) and Mary Agnes Capilano (Lixwelut). Legends of Vancouver.
    http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/johnson/vancouver/vancouver.html
  • Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk, Sanaaq: An Inuit Novel. Trans. from Inuktituut Bernard Saladin D’Anglure. Trans. from French by Patrick Frost. Winnipeg: U of Manitoba P, 2014.
  • Thomas King (Cherokee; 1943-) The Truth about Stories. Toronto: Anansi, 2003.
  • Eden Robinson (Heiltsuk/Haisla; 1968-) The Sasquatch at Home: Traditional Protocols and Modern Storytelling. Edmonton: U of Alberta P, 2011. 978-0-88864-559-3.

Course package:

CONTEXT: Lee Maracle (Sto:lo), "You Become the Trickster" (1990), "Oratory coming to Theory," Lenore Keeshig-Tobias (Anishinaabe) "Stop Stealing Native Stories" and "The Magic of Others" (1990); Jeannette Armstrong (Okanagan) "Land Speaking" (1998); Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences," 1966; George Clutesi (Tseshaht; 1905-1988) preface to Potlatch; Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy (excerpts); Julie Cruikshank, The Social Life of Stories 1998 (excerpts); Keavy Martin Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature 2012 (excerpts); Sophie McCall, First Person Plural: Aboriginal Storytelling and the Ethics of Collaborative Authorship 2011 (excerpts); Susan Gingell, "Teaching the Talk that Walks on Paper"

POLITICAL SPEECHES: Red Jacket (Seneca; 1750-1830) "Speech to the US Senate," 1805; Joseph Brant (Mohawk; 1743-1807) condolence speech on the death of Mrs. Claus; Tecumseh (Shawnee, 1768-1813) speech to rally General Proctor; David Mackay (Nisga’a) speech to land commissioners in British Columbia, 1888.

ORAL STORIES: Origin Story (Write it on Your Heart); "Coyote Makes a Deal with the King of England" (Living by Stories)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND ETHNOGRAPHY: excerpts from George Copway (Mississauga Ojibway; 1818-1869) Life, History and Travels of Kah-ge-gah-bowh. 1847; excerpts from Norval Morriseau (Ojibway; 1932-2007), excerpts from Legends of My People: The Great Ojibway (1965).

Studies in Commonwealth and Post-colonial Literatures
Term 2
Cross-listed with GRSJ 503E-001
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric and Language

 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

Over the past two decades, the generative political and intellectual frameworks for the analysis of racial capitalism (Cedric Robinson; Angela Davis; Robin Kelley) on the one hand and settler colonialism (Nira Yuval-Davis and Daiva K Stasiulis; Jodi Byrd; Patrick Wolfe) on the other have risen to prominence, but have rarely been put directly in dialogue. “Racial capitalism” clarifies the ways in which anti-Black racism has been a fundamental, not incidental, component to economic development and underdevelopment in the Atlantic world and beyond while “settler colonialism” brings into focus the logic of dispossession and replacement that organizes this particular form of invasion and habitation on Indigenous lands. Both interpretive schemas can help us think through the genealogies and discontinuities of slavery, settlement, and Indigenous dispossession.

By focusing on Indigenous and Black writings across the Americas (particularly those from Brazil, Canada, Guyana, and USA), this seminar will bring these critical fields into more fruitful conversation, and will grapple with why they often seem to be deployed separately to explain the legacies of gendered, racialized, and state sanctioned violence across the Americas. We will work with the tantalizingly plural keyword “Americas” as a way to plot the traces of transnational and transcultural migration and displacements throughout the hemisphere. We will interrogate historical experiences of labor and production organized around the axis of capital and the world market (Quijano 2000), experiences that include slavery, genocide, serfdom, petty commodity production, reciprocity, and violent intimacies, at the same time that we explore the possibilities of hidden or potential solidarities, revolts, passions and generative intimacies.

We will ask the following questions:

  • How does thinking hemispherically not only disrupt received geographical configurations in the Americas but also challenge the limits of fixed disciplinary, national and methodological boundaries, and thus remap the geographies of literary studies?
  • What role do these writings play in bearing witness to the densely complicated interconnectedness of Black and Indigenous struggles, particularly the overlapping histories of conquest, colonialism, slavery, imperialism, and globalization that emerged in the hemispheric Americas?
  • What is at risk in thinking about Black and Indigenous writings across the Americas as revealing and rebelling against the colonial and postcolonial literary dominance in English literary studies?
  • How do we pry Black subjectivity loose from racial capitalism, and render a spiritual identity beyond and resistant to commodification?
  • How does the imaginative erasure of Indigenous peoples in settler writings lead to a seismic shift provoked by decolonizing processes?
  • What does the concept of hemisphere open up in terms of expressions of control, navigational (dis)orientations, and what does being and becoming lost and found mean in this space?

With these questions in mind, we will turn to a variety of critical and imaginative works to consider some political, cultural, affective, and ecological dimensions of Black and Indigenous literary representations over the past two centuries, with particular emphasis on how Black and Indigenous peoples within the (post-)colonial state come to be subject to different narratives of belonging and forms of citizenship and sovereignty. And a special challenge in this seminar is to find ways to theorize the contending racial regimes of these histories of dispossession and rebellion alongside and in relation to one another within a hemispheric framework.

Tentative texts to choose from:

  • Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split
  • John Richardson, Wacousta: or The Prophecy: A Tale of the Canadas
  • Velma Wallis, Two Old Women
  • Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen
  • Leanne Simpson, Decolonial Love
  • Machado de Assis, “Father against Mother”
  • Mario de Andrade “Tomb tomb tomb”
  • Carolina Maria de Jesus, Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus
  • Pauline Melville, Shape-Shifter or The Migration of Ghosts
  • Zecharias Kunk, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner
  • Fernando Meirelles, City of God
  • NourbeSe Phillips, Zong!
  • Qwo-Li Driskill, Walking with Ghosts
  • Linda Hogan, Solar Storms
  • Dael Orlandersmith, My Red Hand, My Black Hand
  • Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues

---------

  • Cedric Robinson, Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition
  • Wilson Harris, Selected Essays: The Unfinished Genesis of the Imagination
  • Katherine McKittrick (ed.), The Realization of Living: Sylvia Wynter and Being Human
    ---. Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle
  • Gregory D. Smithers, Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas
  • Fred Moten, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition
  • Shona N. Jackson, Creole Indigeneity: Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean
  • Jodi Byrd, Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism
  • Chadwick Allen, Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies
  • Christine Kim and Sophie McCall, Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada
  • Diana Taylor, The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas
  • Dionne Brand, A Map to the Door of No Return
  • Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
  • Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness
  • Shawn Wilson, Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods
  • Edouard Glissant, Caribbean Discourse: Selected Essays
  • Zita Nunes, Cannibal Democracy: Race and Representa­tion in the Literature of the Americas.
  • Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples Joseph Roach, Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance
  • Craig Womack, et. al. Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth
  • Fiona Ngo, Imperial Blues: Geographies of Race and Race in Jazz Age New York
  • Robert Stam, Race in Translation: Culture Wars Around the Postcolonial Atlantic
  • Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, The Inconstancy of the Indian Soul: The Encounters of Catholics and Cannibals in 16-century Brazil; “Exchanging Perspectives: The Transformation of Objects into Subjects in Amerindain Ontologies.”
  • Daniel Heath Justice and Bethany Schneider, Sexuality, Nationality, Indigeneity: Rethinking the State at the Intersection of Native American and Queer Studies (special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies).
  • Mark Rifkin, When Did Indians Become Straight?:Kinship, The History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty
  • Lois Parkinson Zamora, The Usable Past: The Imagination of History in Re­cent Fiction of the Americas

Studies in Literary Movements
Term 1
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY E - Theory, Rhetoric and Language
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

As if instinctively, our soul is uplifted by the true sublime; it takes a proud flight, and is filled with joy and vaunting, as though it had itself produced what it has heard.-- Longinus

I believe in justice, but I will defend my mother before justice. -- Albert Camus

One recent critic has argued that the sublime is not merely one of the array of aesthetic forms available to modern art, but instead constitutes “the super-genre of the modern” per se. In other words, the form of modernity is itself sublime. Hence avoiding sublime aesthetics is for modern art not a ‘merely’ aesthetic choice; rather, it amounts to suppressing or distorting the basic form of modern reality. What is the rationale for construing reality in terms of an art form, and in particular in the form of the sublime? Most answers begin with the peculiarly insatiable (or sublimely infinite) nature of modern desire. Whether erotic desire, consumer desire, the desire for political power, social recognition or self-realization, what makes the experience of desire distinctly modern is the inevitability of dissatisfaction, the sense that any potential fulfillment is less than or just other than what we’re after. Such dissatisfaction is arguably a logical consequence of the view that reality has an aesthetic form, since this view suggests that if the world seems to fulfill our desire then it only seems to do so because reality is itself an aesthetic construct. What can such sublime desire/perpetual dissatisfaction tell us about ourselves? In addition to its obvious downside, are there upsides to it? Is there something liberating in dissatisfaction? This course surveys major social, psychoanalytic, philosophic, literary and cinematic accounts of what it means to describe modern reality as sublime, why it should be so described, and what the practical implications of so describing it are for art as well as for politics, social critique, ethics, erotics and individual identity.

Required texts (at UBC bookstore):

  • Morrison, The Song of Solomon
  • Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology
  • Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle
  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • Plato, Symposium

Studies in Literature and Other Arts
Term 2
3 credits
CATEGORY C - Literature in English from 1900 to the present
CATEGORY D - Transhistorical/ Cultural Studies
 (Students in the literature MA program should consult the Course Work section when planning their courses.)

ENGL 555a-001

The cultural anthropologists of “foodways” have long held that food both serves our immediate biological needs and sets up ritualized spaces for social occasions. As David Sutton writes in Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory, “food is about commensality — eating to make friends — and competition — eating to make enemies”(5). Food culture, moreover, has a long history of being recorded, prescribed, celebrated, and mythologized through literary art and more recently through film. Twentieth-century audiences for discourses of food and displays of culinary art are often conscripted into positions as apprentice cooks, competing chefs, curious consumers, critical reviewers, or hungry foodie voyeurs caught in the mania of contemporary desire for food substitutes delivered in textual and filmic forms.

This course will examine the intertwinings of food, textuality, and the semiotics of the transference of culinary desire in selected theorists and culinary anthropologists (Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, Mary Douglas, David Parker, Sau-ling Wong, Elspeth Probyn, Margaret Visser, Lily Cho), literary works (Ruth Ozeki, Timothy Taylor, Austin Clarke, Laura Esquivel, and film directors (Alfonso Arau, Cheuk Kwan, Ang Lee, Juzo Itami, and Gabriel Axel ). Related areas of investigation will include theorizations of the consuming body and food as nostalgia, as ethno-national icon, and as a vehicle of diasporic cultural fusions. (And not only will we discuss literary and cinematic “food,” but our final seminar will take place at a local Vancouver restaurant where we will both enjoy the food and analyze the experience as a mediated site of culinary desire.)

Course Requirements:

1) Weekly participation in the discussion of readings, topics, and questions (this can include assigned responses to a presenter): 10%
2) One oral presentation (20 minutes) on a primary text and/or critical contexts: 15%
3) One short critical meditation of 750 words (3 pages max.) on a core concept. This exercise can be used to explore an idea that could be put into more extended play and consideration in your final paper: 15% - Due: Mid-Term
4) One longer essay (3500-4000 words, or 14-16 pages), that could emerge out of your seminar presentation and/or critical meditation paper: 60% - Due: Last week of classes

Core Texts / Films (The final list might be subject to some minor adjustments) :

1) literary texts and culinary memoirs: Fred Wah, Diamond Grill; Janice Wong, Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family; Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats; Sally Tisdale, The Best Thing I Ever Tasted; Austin Clarke, Pigtails ‘n Breadfruit: A Culinary Memoir; Timothy Taylor, Stanley Park; Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate

2) films: Cheuk Kwan, Chinese Restaurants (2005 Tissa Films, documentary series); Ang Lee, Eat Drink Man Woman; Juzo Itami, Tampopo; Gabriel Axel, Babette’s Feast; Alfonso Arau, Like Water for Chocolate.

3) Theory/Historical Contexts: Margaret Visser, Much Depends on Dinner, plus photocopied selections from other books that will be available in a course packet at the bookstore (we will usually consider one theoretical essay or chapter along with a primary text or film each week):

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