2020 Summer Session


Changes to Course Numbers Starting 2019W
Course Descriptions Archive
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Pre-Major and Second-Year Electives

Literature in English to the 18th Century
Term 1
TTh, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Web-oriented Course

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 Twelfth Night; 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 (The Medieval Period, The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century, The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century), Third Edition
  • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (Broadview)
  • The texts will be available at the UBC Bookstore in a specially priced, shrink-wrapped package.

Literature in Canada
Term 1
MW, 12:00 - 3:00 PM
Web-oriented Course

"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

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

“The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” – Thomas King

Our Canadian Literature course this summer will explore literature that thinks through the following ideas:

  • when space becomes place becomes home (or in reverse)
  • “Oscillating Nationalisms” & Regionalism: mythology & metanarratives
  • History and histories (and memory)
  • “Garrison Mentality” and community
  • identity and violence
  • recognition & the other
  • multiculturalism (or elsewhere in/as here)
  • versions of wilderness: ecocritcal attention

I look forward to meeting you all.

World Literature in English
Term 2
TTh, 12:00 - 3:00 PM
Web-oriented Course


In this course, we will consider how contemporary Global Anglophone literatures depict the entanglements that can impede dominant cultural narratives of identity. Our focus will be on three recent novels by David Chariandy, Mohsin Hamid, and Sally Rooney, assessing how factors like race, gender and class affect characters as they attempt to secure a future good life for themselves. We will frame these longer works in relation to critical debates about the marketing, reading, and terminology of Global Anglophone literature in the context of globalization. Supplementing the longer works on the course with short fiction by writers like Ted Chiang, Lee Maracle, Shani Mootoo, and Zadie Smith, we will investigate questions of identity and place such as: how are Vancouver, the Pacific Northwest, and Canada located in the world? What does it mean for queer and refugee subjects to define their place in the world? And how does technology increasingly lead us to see ourselves and others differently, or even in the plural? These and others questions of identity that our course texts raise will help us set the existential doubts about the world that climate change and now COVID-19 pose in relation to other longstanding challenges many face in placing themselves in the world.


Television Studies
Term 2
WF, 3:00 - 6:00 PM
Web-oriented Course

The course will take the TV series, based on 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, Game of Thrones holds 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 examining A Game of Thrones as much for what it tells us about our own moment, as for what they tell us about our ideas of the past.

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 desire of the contemporary moment. For the writers of the Renaissance, the medieval was the abject other from which the rebirth of classical learning has liberated them, while the Victorians found in the Middle Ages the archetypical structures of Empire and class-orientated chivalry. This course seeks to examine the recent neo-medieval phenomenon that is HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Language & Rhetoric

English Grammar and Usage
Distance Learning (Online)
May - August

The English 321 course provides an introduction to English grammar and its use in everyday communication. We take a descriptive stance when considering the rules of grammar, starting with the study of words and their parts, proceeding to word classes, phrases and clauses, and concluding with the different communicative functions that grammatical structures can perform when we package information in particular ways. This course equips students with skills to identify and describe the effects of derived or deviant structures in various communicative situations and provides a strong basis for further study of the English language and of literary and non-literary stylistics as well as for teaching English. The course includes numerous exercises analyzing sentences and chunks of discourse. There are four short collaborative assignments, two monthly tests, and a final exam counting 30% of the final grade. The prescribed books are Börjars & Burridge (2010) and Leech, Deuchar and Hoogenraad (2006). More details are available on the course website on canvas.ubc.ca.

See ENGL 321-98A Distance Learning

All students will be expected to write the final exam with Proctorio (a remote proctoring service) in their own personal space. You will need a Windows or Mac desktop or laptop computer that has a working microphone and webcam to use Proctorio.

The Structure of Modern English: Sounds and Words
Distance Learning (Online)
May - August

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to English phonology, morphology, parts of speech, and lexical (word) meaning. We start by studying the smallest units of language, speech sounds, and work our way up to larger structures until we reach the level of words and their meanings. Students are required to become proficient in phonetic transcription, including becoming familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet as it pertains to present-day varieties of English. The course is offered from a descriptive perspective, an approach not situated exclusively in any specific linguistic theory. There are three collaborative assignments, six quizzes, and a final exam counting 40% of the final grade. The prescribed book is Brinton & Brinton (2010). More details are available on the course website on canvas.ubc.ca.

All students will be expected to write the final exam with Proctorio (a remote proctoring service) in their own personal space. You will need a Windows or Mac desktop or laptop computer that has a working microphone and webcam to use Proctorio.

See ENGL 330-98A Distance Learning

Upper-level Literature

Term 1
MW, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Web-oriented Course

The course will focus on Shakespeare’s first history tetralogy, the Wars of the Roses, and another early work, Edward III, that has recently been credited in part to Shakespeare. These plays display the hand of a young playwright – the reliance on battle scenes and a stylized, self-consciously rhetorical manner – but we can already glimpse in characters like Queen Margaret the skill of the mature Shakespeare. We’ll note differences between the young and mature Shakespeare, specifically in his treatment of soliloquies, dialogue, and characterization, and discuss the distinction between providential and secular history, Shakespeare’s attitude toward chivalric honour, and his contribution to the stage Machiavel.

Required Texts:

Please read Edward III for the first class

  • Shakespeare, Henry V (Oxford UP)
  • Henry VI 1 (Oxford UP)
  • Henry VI 2 (Oxford UP)
  • Henry VI 3 (Oxford UP)
  • Richard III (Oxford UP)

Victorian Literature
Term 2
TTh, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Web-oriented Course

“Ghosts are real, this much I know” – Edith Cushing, Crimson Peak

“There are such beings as vampires; some of us have evidence that they exist” – Abraham Van Helsing, Dracula

Whether we take Edith Cushing or Abraham Van Helsing at their word, the 19th-century Gothic revival certainly emphasized possibilities for terror and horror in tales of the supernatural. However, these interventions of spectral and un-dead beings often take place in the recognizable present; they speak to its anxieties. Perhaps they speak to ours as well, given our recent fascination with Neo-Victorian representations of the 19th century, such as Penny DreadfulFrom HellCrimson Peak, etc. We will bring a chill to summer evenings as we examine stories addressing issues of gender and sexuality; class, race, and culture; realism and the supernatural; urban and rural settings, all in a century known for developments in science and technology, social upheaval, and a veneer of respectability, yet with monsters lurking in closets and under beds.

Our focus will also permit consideration of the boom in publication of popular literature in a variety of formats, as well as the rise of the professional writer during the 19th century. Core texts tentatively include Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, and short fiction by authors including (but not limited to) M.R. James, Margaret Oliphaunt, Charlotte Riddell, Elizabeth Gaskell, E. Nesbit, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Since the course now will be conducted fully online, any texts ordered will be in e-book/digital format. Through Canvas, I will provide links to online texts of public domain required readings and will put other material on Library Course Reserve in full-text online format.

Evaluation will be based on two short essays and a term paper, participation in discussion on the course’s Canvas site, and an essay-based final examination.

Please check my blog at http://blogs.ubc.ca/drgmbaxter/ for updates concerning the course, its texts, and its requirements.

Contemporary Literature
Term 2
MW, 12:00 - 3:00 PM
Web-oriented Course

What constitutes an award-winning book? What types of works win particular prizes and who decides on their merits? Whose texts are overlooked? Is James English’s assessment that such prizes “systematically neglect excellence, reward mediocrity . . . and provide a closed, elitist forum where cultural insiders engage in influence peddling and mutual back-scratching” in any way justified?

This class will focus on five award-winning novels from 2019: Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments and Bernadine Everisto’s Girl, Woman, Other, the joint winners of the Booker Prize; Joan Thomas’ Five Wives, which was chosen for the Governor General’s Literary Award; Ian William’s Reproduction, awarded the Scotiabank Giller Prize; and Andre Alexis’ Days by Moonlight, which won the Rogers’ Writers Trust Fiction Prize. We will consider the institutional components of each prize (evaluation criteria, selection of judges, procedures for submission and selection, history of the prize, and past recipients) as well as the influence of what Manshall, McGrath & Porter term “consecrating forces and actors, from the publishers who select and promote a title to the authors who blurb it and the reviewers who praise it.” In addition to producing an analytical literary essay, students will be asked to select one of the books studied for an in-house “Best of 2019” award and provide a justification for their choice.

Children's Literature [FORMERLY ENGL 468]
Distance Education (Online)

The story of the child’s world, vision and experience has only recently become the object of serious scholarly attention; this is an exciting period for studying this topic, as new knowledge is being made all the time. In this senior course on Children's Literature, we will be examining a variety of genres, from fairy tales and fantasy, to domestic realism, sexuality, adventure and war. Novels will include The Hobbit, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Anne of Green Gables and The Golden Compass. Most of our texts are written about or from the point of view of a child or youth who challenges expectations and thus places the norms of a society under scrutiny. Readings of scholarly essays on genres and texts will support the understanding of the concepts and genres, and weekly discussion forums will provide opportunities to build our knowledge together as a community. Formal assignments will include a critical response essay, a term paper proposal, a term paper and a final exam. Students are expected to meet senior level standards for critical thinking, research and writing.

This course is a prerequisite for programs in Education and Library/Archival Studies.

Studies in Prose Fiction [FORMERLY ENGL 406]
Term 1
TTh, 12:00 - 3:00 PM
Web-oriented Course

This section will examine youth gone wrong.

In the Bildungsroman, the 'novel of formation' traditionally ends on a positive note—with the protagonist comprehending her true self, their social role, or his value to society—the fiction selected for "Bildungsroman (Adjacent)" will investigate depictions of the aftermaths of adolescences where the normalcy arrived at turns out to be problematic.

The course will consider five or six novels and/or short story collections, most of which will have been published in the past twenty years.

  • George Elliott Clarke, George and Ru
  • Margaret Atwood, Lady Oracle
  • Brett Josef Grubisic, This Location of Unknown Possibilities
  • Anoshi Irani, The Parcel
  • Katherena Vermette, The Break

Upper-level Writing

Technical Writing
Distance Learning (Online)
May - August

English 301 98A 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.

Prerequisite: six credits of First Year English or Arts One or Foundations

English 301 is offered as a fully online course. The use of a computer and ready access to an Internet connection are required. This is a Guided Independent Study course with required teamwork; there is no synchronous content, though there are firm in-term deadlines for readings and assignments.  

Intended Audience

This course should be of interest to students in a variety of disciplines such as commerce, science, education, and the health sciences. It may also be of interest to students in Arts Co-Op and other Co-Op programs.

See the Distance Learning for full description of this course.