2016 Summer Session

Literature Courses
Writing Courses

Literature Courses

Approaches to Literature
Term 1

Buchanan Tower 305

This course is designed to introduce students to the three major forms of literature: poetry, drama, and the novel. This edition of 110 will focus on the Renaissance and especially Romanticism. We’ll practice a variety of approaches, examining literary works from historical, biographical, and psychoanalytical perspectives. The primary objective is to teach students how to appreciate literature – what it can and cannot do and what distinguishes it from other forms of communication – and write about it in an analytical and scholarly manner.

Course Requirements:

  • Class participation and attendance 10%
  • In-class essay 1 15%
  • In-class essay 2 15%
  • Major essay (1000–1200 words) 30%
  • Final exam 30%

Required Texts:

  • Middleton (?), The Revenger’s Tragedy (New Mermaids)
  • English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology, ed. Stanley Appelbaum (Dover)
  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Penguin)

Approaches to Literature
Term 1

Through the study of selected examples of poetry, fiction, and drama, this course will introduce students to the fundamentals of university-level literary study, and furnish them with the skills to think and write critically about literature.  Students will be taught the basic concepts of genre and form in literature and methods of literary analysis in order to prepare them for future courses (in English and other disciplines) which require close reading, critical thinking, open discussion, and analytical writing.  The emphasis in this section will be on Canadian authors and their works.

Course Prerequisite:  Completion of all sections of the Language Proficiency Index Test with a level 5 or 6 on the essay section of the Test, or the equivalent.

Course Requirements: Each student is expected to participate fully in all class activities (reading, writing, discussion, groups, etc.).  Each student will write three essays (in-class and home), keep a Response Journal, and sit the Final Examination.

Attendance:  Because English 110 is conducted as a participatory, hands-on course, regular and punctual attendance is mandatory.  To succeed in this course, students must attend every class, on time, and well prepared, participate co-operatively in group work, and consistently contribute to the initiating and sustaining of small-group and class discussions.  Please register for this course only if you are able to make this commitment.

Required Texts:

  • Kirszner, Mandell, and Fertile. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing, 2nd Canadian ed. (Nelson)  [ISBN: 9780176506414]
  • The Wadsworth Essential Reference Card to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition (2009)

[Note:  This card is bundled with the anthology listed above.]

  • King, Thomas.  Green Grass, Running Water (HarperPerennial) [ISBN:9780006485131]
  • Various handouts

Optional Text (If You Do Not Own a Good Handbook of English):

  • Aaron, Jane E., and Elaine Bander. The Little, Brown Essential Handbook, 5th Canadian ed.  (Pearson)

[ISBN: 9780205946075 ]

This three-unit course has been compressed into a brief six-week format.  The readings are extensive.  It is, therefore, recommended that you pre-read the novel.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1

Students in this course will read a romantic tragedy (Romeo and Juliet) and two stories of survival: Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction account of 1996 Mount Everest disaster that killed nine climbers), and Life of Pi (a life boat narrative involving a South Asian boy and a tiger). There will also be a selection of poetry. The readings are relatively brief and commensurate with what the human brain can absorb during six short weeks of warm and sunny weather. Owing to the brevity of the Summer Semester term, the course will focus on fewer texts, but will attempt to cover them in greater depth.

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to some of the skills of literary study, including the techniques of close reading. There will be two marked in-class close-reading poetry assignments, one near the beginning of the course and one near the end.


  • Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet.
  • Krakauer, Jon. Into Thin Air.
  • Martel, Yann. Life of Pi.
  • Custom course package containing poetry.


  • Group presentation - 20%
  • First In-class close reading exercise - 10%
  • At-home essay (1200 words) - 30%
  • Second in-class close reading exercise - 10%
  • Attendance and participation - 10%
  • Final exam - 20%

Term 2
Office: Buchanan Tower 528

Phone number: 604-822-6328
E-mail: lfox@mail.ubc.ca

This section of English 110 will introduce students to basic elements of university-level literary study by examining a wide range of works in three genres: poetry, prose fiction, and drama. These works are of various literary eras and by authors from diverse cultural backgrounds; a few were not originally written in English. Students will be taught methods of literary analysis that should enable them to read each work with care, appreciation, and (one hopes) enjoyment.


  • Two in-class essays, each worth 20%
  • One research essay (1000 words), worth 30%
  • Final exam, worth 30%


Kelly J. Mays, The Norton Introduction to Literature, Portable Eleventh Edition (W.W. Norton, 2014)

Tentative reading list:

Poems: William Shakespeare, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”; William Blake, “The Tyger”; Christina Rossetti, “In an Artist’s Studio”; Emily Dickinson, “She dealt her pretty words like Blades—”; Theodore Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz”; Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”; Margaret Atwood, “Death of a Young Son by Drowning”; Li-Young Lee, “Persimmons”; Amit Majmudar, “Dothead”

Short stories: Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”; Anton Chekhov, “The Lady with the Dog”; Gabriel Garcia Márquez, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”; Toni Morrison, “Recitatif”; Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”; Amy Tan, “A Pair of Tickets”; Jhumpa Lahiri, “Interpreter of Maladies”

Plays: William Shakespeare, Hamlet; Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House

Approaches to Literature
Term 2

With changes in technology (social media, 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 Trumpet and discussions on sexuality, gender, physicality, and the trans-. 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.


  • Jackie Kay, Trumpet
  • Marty Chan, Mom, Dad I’m Living with a White Girl
  • Sachiko Murakami, The Invisibility Exhibit
  • M.T. Anderson, Feed


Writing Courses


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:https://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.


Pre-Major & Second-Year Electives
Upper-level Language and Rhetoric
Upper-level Literature
Writing Courses

Pre-Major and Second-Year Electives

Term 1
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 late 14th to the early 18th centuries. The following literature will be studied: The General Prologue in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Shakespeare’s King Lear; poems by John Donne; selections from John Milton’s Paradise Lost; Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko; Part 4 of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. 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%


  • 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)

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

Literature in English to 18th Century
Term 2

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

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

Literature in the United States
Term 1

This section of English 223 will survey American literature from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing on major works by American writers who are considered master stylists. The course will emphasize the formal characteristics of literary language and literary genre, and the stylistic and formal innovations introduced by the works studied. However, it will also include discussion of the social and historical determinants of literary form and of the social and historical contexts of each work. Students will survey five literary genres—the short story, novella, novel, poetry and drama—from within a framework that allows for both appreciation and criticism of particular works.

Course Requirements:

  • Participation (10%)
  • Take Home Paper #1 - Research Paper (30%)
  • Take Home Paper #2 - Research Paper (30%)
  • Final Exam (30%)

Required Texts:

  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • The Norton Anthology of American Literature (shorter 8th edition). Ed. Baym

Recommended Text:

  • Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, J.A. Cuddon


Upper-Level Language and Rhetoric

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


Upper-Level Literature

Shakespeare and the Renaissance
Term 1

In this course, we will examine the politics of family, identity, and ownership (of land, of property, of persons) in Shakespeare's plays, and in a number of sonnets, focusing on these texts in historical context. In early modern England, the complex interconnections between family, identity, and ownership reflected specific legal and cultural conceptions of gender, as well as other forms of social difference. Our course will pay particular attention to the ways in which, in Shakespeare's work, intimate relationships are understood to be structured by personal inclination -- and by prevailing social and political relations.

We will read The Tempest, Hamlet, The Winter's Tale, The Merchant of Venice, and The Taming of the Shrew.

Please note: this course has a fairly heavy reading load -- given the condensed summer schedule, students should be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to reading each week.

Prerequisites: 6 credits of first-year English, of Arts One, or CAP Program AND  third-year standing at UBC.
Please note that students who are relatively new to Shakespeare are very welcome to take the course.

Course assessment:

  • Sonnet close-reading: 10%
  • Dramatic reading OR Shakespeare movie review: 10%
  • In-class essay: 15%
  • Revision of the above: 5%
  • Research essay: 25%
  • Proposal for the above: 5%
  • Revision of the above: 5%
  • Final exam: 25%

Studies in Romanticism
Term 2
Buchanan Tower 305 • 822–5888

This edition of 359 will feature two contemporaries who seem to reside in wholly different worlds: Wordsworth and Austen. While the young Wordsworth is the prototypical romantic poet, celebrating the imagination and embracing a republican politics centred on the individual and a passionate, even naïve confidence in human possibilities, Austen dwells in a world removed, valuing the quieter conservative verities of property, propriety, and class. Important to both, however, is nature’s capacity to subserve ideology and support values that are aesthetic, ethical, and political. In Wordsworth, nature serves as a faithful teacher who nurtures the young poet into loving all mankind; in Austen, social relationships and obligations seem to emerge organically out of a nature domesticated as “property.” This course will argue that Wordsworth’s attitude to nature – specifically, his preference for the beautiful over the sublime – was always conservative in spirit, and his fear of the sublime motivated a late, entirely predictable conservatism that was quite close to Austen’s.

Course Requirements:

  • Critical review 15%
  • Participation and attendance 10%
  • Mid-term 20%
  • Major essay 30%
  • Final exam 25%

Required Texts:

  • Wordsworth, The Poetical Works (Oxford)
  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Penguin)
  • Austen, Mansfield Park (Penguin)

19th-Century Studies
Term: 1

This section of ENGL 364 is being offered through Distance Education. The full course description is posted here.

Studies in Prose Fiction
Term: 2
MW 12:00-3:00
Office hours: MW 11-12

Through a diverse collection of fictional works published during the last twenty-five years, this course will explore representations of transgressive sexuality and challenges to cisgender assumptions. With reference to Judith Butler’s theories, we will consider the performative nature of gender and gender construction, as well as fluid representations of gender and sexual orientation.

The texts, sometimes challenging and deliberately provocative, sometimes affirmative, will take us to Sri Lanka, Trinidad, Scotland, England, South Africa, Nigeria, the U.S. and northern Canada. Students will be encouraged to engage with the texts on a number of levels and to apply a range of theoretical approaches, including – but not limited to – queer and transgender analyses.

Reading List:

  • Highway, Tompson. Kiss of the Fur Queen. 1998.
  • Kay, Jackie. Trumpet. 1998.
  • Hollinghurst, Alan. The Line of Beauty. 2004.
  • Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. 2002.
  • Mootoo, Shani. Cereus Blooms at Night. 1996.
  • Selvadurai, Shyam. Funny Boy. 1994.
  • Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. “The Shivering” and “Jumping Monkey Hill.” 2009.
  • 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 1

What children appear in books written for children and young adults? Who is missing? (Or, if present, might be readily dismissed?) Why are some childhoods considered fit for representation, and for reading by young people, and other childhoods less so? What social and cultural forces determine whether marginalized childhoods appear in fiction and how they will be shaped for the reader’s consumption when they do?

Considering a combination of canonical and contemporary texts, this course will centre childhoods often pushed into the margins of both literature and society, focusing chiefly on children with disabilities, transgender children, and children living in poverty. (In addition to these central concerns, our readings will also provide opportunities to talk about social class, foster care, race and ethnicity, drug use, BDSM eroticism and, no doubt, many other topics.) While the children we read about have the potential to disrupt the ableist, cissexist and middle-class norms which inform much children’s literature, the recuperative and assimilative impulses of at least some of our texts seem to insist on reabsorbing those children into the norms they resist and disrupt; we, as readers, may be tempted to do the same. But who is served by such “fixes”? What cultural work is being accomplished when the texts we read, and perhaps the way we read them, erases the children and youth within them? Furthermore, what might such erasures signal to the young readers who encounter these books?

In addition to the primary texts listed below, our readings will take in published critical and theoretical readings from diverse disciplinary perspectives including, but not limited to, literary criticism, children’s studies, queer and trans theory, transgender studies and disability studies.

Course texts will include most (perhaps all) of the following:

  • J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906) and Peter and Wendy (1911)
  • Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (1911)
  • Sharon Draper, Out of My Mind (2010)
  • Alex Gino, George (2015)
  • Nancy Hartry, Watching Jimmy (2009)
  • Gene Kemp, The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler (1977)
  • Sassafras Lowrey, Lost Boi (2015)
  • Nesbit, The House of Arden (1909) and Harding’s Luck (1910)
  • Kit Pearson, Awake and Dreaming (1996)

Canadian Litature
Term 1

This section of ENGL 470 is being offered through Distance Education. The full course description can be found here.

Studies in Contemporary Literature
Term 1

"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

Our short fiction course will focus on Vancouver short stories.  Ah! Vancouver: Grouse Grind, homelessness, Little India, Davie, Expo 86, healthy people, Canucks, Lions, Granville, SoMa, Wreck Beach, UBC, 600sq/ft is $500000, litotes, East Van, multicultural, Olympics, ghettos, Oak, Pacific Spirit Park (Endowment Lands), Kingsway, Hollywood North, Commercial, Hastings and Main, iNSITE, Blood Alley, Robson, Stanley Park, haunted house, marijuana, HST – a selection of the references and stories of place, of here.  How do we belong in place? How do we make sense of here?  How does elsewhere function here? How does place influence us? How do stories constitute us?


Our summer class meets 12 times. 10 of those classes will contain a short story, a critical reading, and an item of (local) media.

Our stories (subject to change):

“The Boom” – from Wayde Compton’s The Outer Harbour
“City of my Dreams” – by Zsuzsi Gartner, from The Vancouver Stories
“A Map of the City” – by Madeleine Thien, from The Vancouver Stories
“The Siwash Rock” – by E. Pauline Johnson
“Associated Press” – from Nancy Lee’s Dead Girls
“Dead Girls” – from Nancy Lee’s Dead Girls
“Sealskin” – by Tyler Keevil
“God Damn, How Real Is This?” – by Doretta Lau
“The Beggar’s Garden” – from Michael Christie’s The Beggar’s Garden
“Emergency Contact” – from Michael Christie’s The Beggar’s Garden


  • Participation - 10%
  • 2 one page responses - 20%
  • Group presentation - 15%
  • Term paper - 35%
  • Final exam - 20%


Writing Courses

Technical Writing
Term 1

This section of ENGL 301 is offered through Distance Education. The full description for this course can be found here.


Studies in Canadian Literature
Term 1

CATEGORY B - Literature in English from 1700 to 1900

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

Nature has always been at the core of Canadian writing. Over the past two hundred years, however, creative responses to the environment have changed dramatically. In the past few decades, with the “ecological renaissance” and the “social turn,” nature poets are less apt to either passively address the land or render it sentimentally and more apt to imagine an altered state of environmental change, even degradation. Contemporary writers often look at the effects of human interaction, resource extraction, and economic exploitation on Canadian land and waters. One strand of nature writing employs a poetics of warning as writers speculate on the effects of the tar sands on global warming, the relationships between Indigenous land claims and strip mining, the impacts of oil transportation on British Columbian riverbeds, or the consequences of the genetic modification of crop plants on prairie ecosystems. In parallel to the creative work, much critical work has turned to discussions of human/ non-human interaction, bioregional studies, postcolonial ecocriticism, and the development of the Energy Humanities. In this course we will read global critical work about nature and the environment alongside works of both fiction and poetry by Canadian writers. We will begin with a firm grounding in nineteenth-century creative responses to the land then trace the literary history of environmental writing in Canada by Indigenous and non-Indigenous poets and fiction writers. We will end by exploring how collaborative poetic projects (for example, The Enpipe Line: 70,000 km of poetry written in resistance to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal) have functioned as a kind of political activism for environmental causes as we look at how poets have addressed government decisions about water rights and oil and gas development (the Navigable Waters Protection Act, for instance) through communally created and published poetry.

American Literature Since 1890
Term 2
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.)

As Fanon observed of the Algerian War in 1961, "the recruits dispatched from the métropole are not always sent of their own free will and in some cases even are sickened by this war" (The Wretched of the Earth). This was also true of the counter-insurgency wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In this seminar we will read the soldiers’ testimonies in stories, novels, memoirs, reports, and transcribed oral histories. We’ll also engage narrative accounts produced by doctors, nurses, reporters, prisoners, civilians, and “detainees.” This material will enable us to deepen our understanding of the genealogy of an unfolding catastrophe, the long patterns of compulsive repetition that extend from the war in Vietnam through the wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan and, now, Syria and beyond: the violent collision of Western "innocence" with uncanny and opaque cultures and geographies; the spectacle of national ideologies dumbfounded by slow-motion military and political defeat.

Outline of proposed readings