2017 Winter Session

Listed below are short descriptions of our 2017 Winter Session courses. The instructor will post the actual course syllabi for registered students shortly before term begins or distribute them on the first day of class.  View the full course schedule here.

Literature Courses

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MWF, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

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

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MWF, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

This course will focus on the analysis of literary texts depicting ghosts, science, and medicine. We will also examine a range of approaches to literary interpretation, including psychoanalytical, Marxist, feminist, post-colonial, ecocriticism, and apply the theories to the literature we read. Readings will include Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, George Eliot’s “The Lifted Veil,” and E. M. Forester’s “The Machine Stops.”

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MWF, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

From Shakespeare’s Richard III to Milton’s Paradise Lost and the more contemporary Life of Pi, power has absorbed authors.  We will explore why through readings and discussions of political power, personal power, narrative power and sexual power. Drama, fiction and poetry will guide us, as well as the poet Ezra Pound’s dictum that “all truth is the transference of power.”

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MWF, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

In this course we will be focusing on a selection of contemporary origin stories in different genres and on the complexities and ambiguities of 'English' in these contexts.  We'll be considering questions like: how many Englishes make up contemporary Canada?  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 prevail?  Two novels --Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach and David Chariandy's Soucouyant--  are at the heart of the course together with a selection of poems, short stories, and an interactive website.  Thanks to these writers, you'll never see Canada the same way again!

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); "High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese." An interactive website by Nicola Harwood, Thomas Loh, Fred Wah, et al.  Nelson, B.C., Oxygen Art Center. <http://highmuckamuck.ca>

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MWF, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

This section of ENGL 110 will focus on issues of identity and place. How does place (geographical, social, psychological, even textual) shape who we are as human beings? And how does language both define and mediate the relationship between identity and place? In our readings, we will address questions of class, gender, nationality, and race, as they intersect with our main categories. We’ll explore these questions in poetry (by Thomas Wyatt, Christina Rossetti, William Blake, Linton Kwesi Johnson, David Dabydeen, Jackie Kay, and others), drama (Sam Shepard’s True West and Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman), and fiction (Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Paul Auster’s City of Glass (along with its graphic novel adaptation, also called City of Glass).

ENGL 110 counts as 3 credits toward most faculties’ English/Writing requirements, and also can count as 3 credits of the Faculty of Arts Literature requirement.

 

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
T 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (Discussion); Th, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (Lecture )

"That's when the hornet stung me" -- Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip, "Ahead by A Century."

Narrative, or the act of storytelling, is one of our most basic daily activities, as H. Porter Abbott, a narrative expert, reminds us. We encounter narratives in newspapers, advertisements, text messages, letters, novels, plays, poems, paintings, rock songs, films, political speeches, health reports, and academic textbooks.  Narrative is everywhere because it is a foundational dimension of language and human thought.

This course is an introduction to the study of narrative elements, especially as found in examples of Canadian fiction, drama, poetry, and film.   Some of the fundamental questions that we will take up include the following:  What exactly is narrative? Why are narratives important for organizing human experience?  How and why do writers manipulate narrative time?

These questions and others will be explored in lectures, group activities, discussion groups, and weekly readings in H. Porter Abbott's core textbook on narrative.  The course requirements include one in-class essay, one home essay, one short answer test, pop quizzes, active participation, and a final examination.

Required texts:

CORE TEXTBOOK: H. Porter Abbott, The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, 2nd Ed.
SHORT STORIES: Madeleine Thien, Simple Recipes (M &S)
NOVEL: Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion (Vintage)
DRAMA: John Gray and Eric Peterson, Billy Bishop Goes to War (Talon)
POETRY/SONGS: Selected poems -- and songs by the Tragically Hip, and others
FILM: Atanarjuat:  The Fast Runner (Isuma/NFB 2001), directed by Zacharias  Kunuk and screenplay by Paul Apak Angilirk: http://www.isuma.tv/hi/en/fastrunnertrilogy

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
MWF, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

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 will be organized around the themes of slavery and freedom. It will explore poetry and fiction by African American and Chinese American authors. We will also look at the popular hip hop musical “Hamilton”.

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.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
MWF, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.


Omnia mutantur, nihil interit ("everything changes, nothing perishes")  -- Ovid, The Metamorphoses, book 15

“Metamorphosis” is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “the action or process of changing in form, shape or substance” through either natural or supernatural means. It can also mean a change in “the appearance, circumstances, condition or character” of a person or a state of affairs. This course will explore the marvelously productive idea of metamorphosis as it is represented in a variety of literary forms and historical contexts. We will define the term loosely so we can use literature to think about physical alterations; sex changes and human-animal metamorphoses; changes of heart; environmental catastrophes; geo-political conversions; commercial exchanges and literary translations.

Texts will include Ovid (The Metamorphoses), William Shakespeare (Midsummer Night’s Dream and select sonnets), John Keats (Lamia), Christina Rossetti (Goblin Market), Viginia Woolf (Orlando) and Angela Carter (“In the Company of Wolves) as well a range of works by contemporary writers including Rachel Qitsualik (“The Final Craft”) and André Alexis (Fifteen Dogs).

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
MWF, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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 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. 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.

Reading ahead? Choose one of HG Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau and Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi or Shakepeare’s The Tempest.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
MWF, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

This section of English 110 focuses on the literatures of Canada. In the epigraph to his novel In the Skin of a Lion, Michael Ondaatje quotes John Berger’s claim that “never again shall a single story be told as though it were the only one.” This statement could also stand as an epigraph for this section. In this class we will look at the conjunction of art and politics, particularly in the Canadian context. Given the current political climate, it is important to consider what is done in the name of nationalism, to scrutinize exclusionary, and often dangerous, paradigms, and to think about what role Canadian writers and critics have had and continue to have in resistance, protest, and activism. Nationalism, ethnicity, hybridity, memory, globalization, food sustainability, the environment, sexuality, Indigenous studies, language, and postmodern incredulity are just some of the subjects we will touch on. Examining a series of novels, stories, and poems, we will study literature within the larger framework of cultural politics and history in Canada.  Some of the fabulous authors to be studied might include Emma Donaghue, Dionne Brand, Vincent Lam, Eden Robinson, Ruth Ozeki, Rita Wong, Thomas King, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, E. Pauline Johnson, Lawrence Hill, Andre Alexis, Madeline Thien, Rupi Kaur, Shani Mootoo, David Chariandy, and George Elliott Clarke.   Assignments will include a short essay, a take home essay, an exam, and a creative project.

ENGL 110 counts as 3 credits toward most faculties’ English/Writing requirements, and also can count as 3 credits of the Faculty of Arts Literature requirement.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
MWF, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

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

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MWF, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

This course will be an exciting exploration of the intricacies, conflicts, and possibilities of late twentieth, early twenty-first century identity through analysis of a variety of texts. We’ll begin with Trumpet and Diamond Grill, considering race, gender, sexuality, and the in-between. We’ll then move on to cross-cultural contact, generational differences, and performing stereotypes (Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl). 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 (The Invisibility Exhibit). Finally, we’ll enter the realm of young adult dystopia as we negotiate the Internet, social media, and incessant tweeting (Feed).

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
T 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (Discussion); Th, 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. (Lecture)

As we approach the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, the impact of the human race on the global climate are increasingly undeniable. From the beginning of the European Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century, human civilization has entered what scientists now term the Anthropocene: the period of time when human activity is leaving indelible marks on the geological history of the earth. Global warming looms over our early twenty-first century civilization, with dire warnings of future catastrophe appearing on a weekly basis. But what is the average citizen supposed to do in the face of such impending doom?  Recycle?  Cycle? Buy a Tesla? Remember to turn your lights off when you go out?  Vote Green? Take transit? Buy eco-soap? Shop local? Become vegetarian? So many small possibilities, but all seemingly insignificant in the face of the onrushing apocalyptic storm. Instead we are faced with the question of how we will experience dramatic climate change? How we will survive it? How we will witness it?

In the first section of this course we will examine how “nature writing” began in the nineteenth century, and encoded a romantic view of Nature that still impacts how western society views the environment today. We will then move on to examine how cli-fi (or climate fiction) writers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have addressed our fears of global climate change. We will begin by reading the Nature poetry of the Romantic period, in order to understand where our ideas of Nature come from, before turning to contemporary novels and short stories that examine our current-day fears about environmental apocalypse. Texts will include: Romantic and Victorian Poetry (online selections), Learning to Die in the AnthropoceneThe Collapse of Western Civilization, Cli-Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change (short fiction), We Stand on Guard (Canadian graphic novel), The Water KnifeOryx and CrakeThe Year of the Flood.

ENGL 110 counts as 3 credits toward most faculties’ English/Writing requirements, and also can count as 3 credits of the Faculty of Arts Literature requirement.

Approaches to Non-fictional Prose
Term 1
MWF, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

In her graphic memoir Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi writes that she must “never forget” who she is or where she has come from. Other writers similarly turn to life narratives -- texts often known as “autobiography” or “memoir,” and expected to be both personal and “true” – to remember and then share personal experiences that they think must not be forgotten. This section of ENGL 111 will consider “non-fictional prose” by examining the stories individuals write about themselves and/or others in auto/biographical narratives. Through our analysis of the choices these writers make about how to represent experience, shape it into narrative form, and make meaning(s) of it for different audiences and purposes, we will think about the work life narratives do in the world. In particular, we will consider how life narratives offer the potential for resisting dominant (mis)representations of marginalized groups. Our readings will include five book-length narratives (Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah; Girl, Interrupted, by Susanne Kaysen; The World is Moving Around Me by Dany Laferriere; Persepolis: A Story of Childhood by Marjane Satrapi; and Woman Warrior: Memoir of a Girlhood among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston), and two essays (TBA). Our discussions of these narratives will be informed by relevant scholarly conversations, and students will contribute to those conversations in a research paper as well as in two short analytical essays and a final exam.

Approaches to Non-Fictional Prose
Term 2
MWF, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

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 (and reading work by Claudia Rankine, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Fred Wah, Kathleen Jamie, Marjane Satrapi and Maxine Hong Kingston). 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 community), 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 into how non-fiction becomes literary work.

Writing Courses

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 1
MWF, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

This writing course about literature meets the Faculty of Arts writing requirement as an alternative to WRDS 150. Aristotle says, “without friends no one would choose to live, though they had all other goods.” Friendship claims to exist uniquely upon a principle of equality, in an economy of even exchange. It promises a private intimacy free from masquerade and convention; only a friend knows and loves your “true portrait,” proposes Montaigne. But what would a cultural history of friendship show? Is modern friendship something new? Could you have a friend briefly? Can friendship be erotic or romantic? This course thinks about “two going together”: remarkable friendships in fiction and in life. Some readings: Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus, a few philosophy excerpts and critical readings, selected modern short stories and poems. The course will also extend your abilities to pull together and analyze research sources, to organize and support sound and interesting arguments, and to revise and edit for clarity and tone. Four writing assignments, final exam, and lively participation. More info at blogs.ubc.ca/jpaltin.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
MWF, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

This course offers an introduction to the skills of literary criticism. Our theme is mad science, a concept we explore by reading of a handful of literary works, ancient, modern, and contemporary: Aristotle's Poetics, Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound,  Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus, R.L. Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. These works raise important questions about scientific knowledge and human culture. What are the relations between knowledge and power? How should we understand the role of the emotions in  scientific practice? What are the consequences, both for humankind and for nonhumans, of technology and scientific invention? In addition to these and other questions, we will discuss critcism itself as a kind of science or technical knowledge.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 1
MWF, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

What, exactly, is a fairy tale? Why do some remain popular even two or three hundred years after they were first published? And why do modern writers so often return to the form, sometimes to rewrite old tales and sometimes to compose brand-new ones? In this course, we will address these questions by reading and discussing a variety of classic tales by the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont as well as modern versions of those tales by Emma Donoghue and Francesca Lia Block. We’ll end the term by examining a recent tale by Neil Gaiman that seems to have no literary predecessors. In lectures and discussions we’ll consider how fairy tales have been adapted to meet the needs of distinct historical periods, and how different critical approaches to the same text can yield entirely different—even competing—interpretations.  A full description can be found here.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 1
MWF, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

The description for this section of ENGL 100 is currently unavailable. Please contact the instructor.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
MWF, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

English 100 introduces students to literary scholarship, literary theory, and methods of interpreting literary texts.  Students learn to read and write about literature by acquiring the reading and writing practices of the discipline of English or Literary Studies.  Literature is constantly developing new genres, including the graphic novel.  This section focuses on four graphic novels, including two that have won or been nominated for Pulitzer prizes (Maus by Art Spiegelman and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang) and two that deal with representations of disability and illness (Marbles by Ellen Forney and Cancer Vixen by Marissa Acocella Marchetto).  We will consider questions that literary scholars might use to classify such texts, including differences between graphic novels and graphic memoirs, but also perspectives from other disciplines—such as philosophy, psychology and anthropology—in order to understand how each discipline approaches and writes about the graphic novel as an object of study.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 1
MWF, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

English 100 offers a writing-intensive introduction to the discipline of literary studies through the exploration of texts in their critical contexts. It focuses on foundational skills in literary analysis, scholarly research, and critical writing. 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 impact writers from different countries (Britain, America, Canada, and Ireland) and distinct generations (participants and descendants). In particular, we will examine selected poems by Wilfred Owen and three novels, namely The Sun Also Rises (1926) by Ernest Hemingway, The Wars (1977) by Timothy Findley, and A Long Long Way (2005) by 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. In addition to four writing assignments, requirements for this course include attendance, participation, and a final examination.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 1
TTh, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Literature offers a representation of the world, but its value is more than representative. Among many considerations, this course examines how literature can render visible forms of violence otherwise unseen. Why does literature matter at all in our current cultural moment when other media are competing for our attention? How does literature morph and shift in response to other these other forms of media circulating around us? Finally, what is the social value of literature? How does literature’s placement of the reader in the role of “other” lend itself to a transformative experience?

This course will engage these questions in relation to a selection of recent literary texts and critical scholarship. Note: this section of English 100 is a writing-focused course that will require four written assignments and a final examination. Written assignments will gear you toward presenting and supporting a critical argument and responding sensitively to literary texts through analysis.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
TTh, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.

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 onRobert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession; World War I poetry; 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

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 1
TTh, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

This section of English 100 will introduce you to the scholarly practice of literary criticism as we explore the role of emotion in literature. How does literature move us to feel and think in new and sometimes intense ways? What does literature do to us and for us? How and why does literature matter? In our exploration, we’ll encounter strategies writers employ to express affect and create the ground for communal feeling, and we’ll see how stories can move a reader through sympathy to social justice. We’ll also examine how words attempt to embody love and grief, or capture the sentiment of the times. Texts include selected poems by Emily Dickinson, as she wrote them by hand, as well as three works of prose: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, an autobiography by Harriet Jacobs; Written on the Body, a novel by Jeannette Winterson; and Hold It 'Til It Hurts, a novel by T. Geronimo Johnson. We will deepen our understanding of these texts and their contexts with critical readings and theory on affect and emotion in literature.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 2
MWF, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

The description for this section of ENGL 100 is currently unavailable. Please contact the instructor.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 2
MWF, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Focused on literary texts in their critical and theoretical contexts, ENGL 100 is a course in academic writing that fulfills the first-year component of the Faculty of Arts Writing Requirement.

This course is an introduction to the reading, enjoying, and study of both primary literary texts—including Regeneration (1992), by Pat Barker; Aleta Day (1919), by Francis Marion Benyon, and Three Day Road (2006), by Joseph Boyden—and selected secondary scholarly essays written about them.  By examining several theoretical approaches to the course readings, and by applying the skills of close reading, informed discussion, formal writing, and intelligent analysis to selected poetry, fiction, and non-fiction (diaries, letters, autobiography), students will enhance their critical thinking and writing abilities and broaden their knowledge of literary elements, techniques, and types.

Marking one hundred years since the infamous 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge, this section’s theme is “‘Lest We Forget’:  Literary Representations of World War I.”  The first all-encompassing world conflict, World War I (1914-1918) was a murderous cataclysm which misshaped the twentieth century and haunts the twenty-first.  We will examine some of the ways in which the “Great War” has been depicted in literature, music, posters, painting, and photography.  We will investigate the problems of representing historical “fact” as part of a “fictional” work, the relation between history and story, and how the works under study contribute to the construction of the public memory and memorialization of a war whose surviving veterans and eyewitnesses have all passed away.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
MWF 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Focused on literary texts in their critical and theoretical contexts, Engl. 100 is a course in academic writing that fulfills the first-year component of the Faculty of Arts Writing Requirement.

This section of 100 will focus on nothing. It will examine those threshold moments when beings either emerge out of nothing or seek to become nothing through the sustained discarding of the inessential. We’ll explore different incarnations of this threshold experience: Keats’ “negative capability,” Freud’s primal scene, and Heidegger’s clearing and being-towards-death. Texts include (subject to last-minute changes) King Lear, Freud’s The Wolf Man, Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, DeLillo’s White Noise, and poetry by, among others, Keats, Wordsworth, Wallace Stevens, and Robert Frost.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 2
MWF, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

The philosopher Simone Weil said that love is “intense, pure, disinterested, gratuitous, generous attention.” Romantic love can feel profound, even transformational. The little prince falls in love with a rose and travels from asteroid to asteroid to earth, in part, to mend his broken heart. The protagonists in the stories in Islands of Decolonial Love relate to human and non-human species intimately, even lovingly. Mandy Catron, in her book, How to Fall in Love with Anyone, tells personal stories about love and examines cultural narratives about love that have profound influence on what we expect of love.

Is love merely personal, intense, private or is it also politically useful? What does literature have to say about this? Hannah Arendt argued that “love can only become false and perverted when it’s used for political purposes such as the change or salvation of the world.” On the other hand, Martin Luther King Jr. in his sermons, Strength to Love, argued for nonviolent political action as a deep and abiding expression of agape. In All About Love, bell hooks echoed this: “Love is an action. Never simply a feeling.” Leanne Simpson articulated in an interview with Naomi Klein a politic of love as antidote to extractivism, an ideology that justifies human exploitation of land, water and non-human creatures at all costs.

We’ll read three core texts in this course---The Little Prince by St. Exupery, Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Simpson, How to Fall in Love with Anyone by Mandy Catron---alongside philosophical excerpts and critical readings. This course offers students an introduction to the skills and practices of literary criticism. We’ll read each book closely, learn new reading strategies and encounter critical readings alongside each text to deepen our readings of it. You will be asked to write often in this course. You will be invited to ask rich and provocative questions about literary texts, find and analyze research sources and write good, clear arguments.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
MWF, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

In this class we'll write about love stories old and new--and try and tackle some big questions about happy ever after: How do stories shape our expectations and experiences of romantic love? What do our conventional love narratives suggest about gender, sexuality, and marriage? How do individual experiences of love deviate from these narratives--and why should we care? How have our love stories changed along with shifts in cultural attitudes about love and marriage?

Prepare to rethink some of your assumptions about love and romance and investigate our cultural obsession with meet cutes and happy endings.

Texts: Custom Coursepack; Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen; Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami; Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
TTh, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

As I speculate about a January 2018 course while writing about it in March 2017, I’m aware of my future need to organize the course into a coherent whole. Right now, though, what can be stated with some degree of certainty is that the course will a) look at contemporary fiction and  b) feature novels and short stories in which the past (of a protagonist, perhaps, or a remote historical era) is represented and explored. As a writing course, students will be presented with assorted analytic or argumentative assignments that will encourage them to showcase their insights about these texts. (Also: once the summer sun begins to appear, I’ll update this course description with more details and specific assigned texts.)

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 2
TTh, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

The description for this section of ENGL 100 is currently unavailable. Please contact the instructor.

Reading and Writing About Literature
Term 2
TTh, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Why do scholars study literature? How do they choose issues to study and texts to analyze? How do they determine which questions to ask? How do they go about answering these questions? English 100 introduces you to the academic community of literary scholars and how their practices of research and writing produce new knowledge. In particular, we study academic research and writing by focusing on the issue of surveillance. Surveillance by the state, corporations, and peers are recurring concerns of literary writers. Some examples: Margaret Atwood’s dystopic novel The Handmaid’s Tale interrogates the surveillance of women’s bodies by the state. Thomas King depicts a Blackfoot mother resisting the colonial gaze in “Borders.” Leanne Betasamosake Simpson imagines “a party with no watchers” in her story, “gwekaanunad.” And Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle satirizes how our surveillance of one another on social media drives the political and economic power of media corporations. Surveillance has also attracted the attention of scholars. Our course readings include academic articles about surveillance that address concepts such as the public and private spheres, rights (to safety, to privacy, to information), and social equality. We will also study several literary works that challenge surveillance. Together, we ask, what are the social, economic, and political effects of surveillance? How is surveillance deployed to construct and reinforce social norms? How do writers represent and resist surveillance to work towards social justice?  Our analyses of these scholarly articles and primary texts prepare you to join the scholarly conversation with your own academic writing about literature and surveillance.

Language Elective

Language Myths
Term 2
MWF, 1:00 -2:00 p.m.

What can we believe of what we hear and read about language?

Is language change bad?
Do some people have “good grammar”?
Does language shape thought and/or culture?
Are young people destroying the language?
Is texting 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?
Do bilinguals have an advantage or are they disadvantaged?

In this course, we critically examine a broad range of commonly held beliefs about language and the relation of language to the brain and cognition, learning, society, change and evolution. Students read a series of short scholarly articles in order to understand language myths, the purpose for their existence, and their validity (or not). We use science and common sense as tools in our process of “myth-busting”.

Course evaluation is based on two midterm examinations, a written project (pairs or groups), participation and attendance, including “Linguistics outside the classroom”, and low-stakes short weekly writing. For the project, students select a language myth discussed in popular media (online, newspaper, etc.). Based on scholarly readings concerning the myth as well as material covered in class, they “bust” or confirm the myth.

This course is an excellent introduction for students contemplating  the English Language Major as well as an appropriate elective for students already in the Major.

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

Note: This course does not fulfill the university writing requirements 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.