2019 Summer

Literature

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MW, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Our Literature class has three Units, all in dialogue with each other: a Unit on gender, a Unit on race and class, and a Unit on place (and rootedness, postnationalism, dislocation, naming, and bounding).

Our Literature class has writers from the world: Vancouver, Australia, Jamaica, Britain, Canada, Nigeria, Virginia, Brooklyn, the USA, Antigua, and Kenya.

Our Literature class will ask that you read, a lot, and you will be rewarded for doing so.

Our Literature class will ask that you write, and your writing will be rewarding.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1

MW, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

All but one of the principal texts in the course are romantic comedies. Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) starts as comedy but abruptly transforms into tragedy at the mid-point, Pride and Prejudice (Austen) presents romantic comedy in the form of a novel of manners, while The Importance of Being Earnest (Wilde) gently satirizes romantic comedy as a genre. In contrast, in Into the Wild (Krakauer) a young man appears to choose Wilderness as a substitute for relationship, with tragic consequence. There will also be a selection of poetry.  Except for Pride and Prejudice, the readings are relatively brief and commensurate with what the human brain can absorb during six short weeks of warm and sunny weather.

The course requires all students to make a single group presentation, valued at 20 %.

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.

Any student who wishes to take this course needs to attend the very first class.

Texts:

  • Shakespeare, William.  Romeo and Juliet
  • Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice
  • Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Krakauer, Jon.  Into the Wild
  • Frost, Robert. A Boy’s Will and North of Boston (Plus, a custom course package.)

Evaluation:

  • Attendance and participation, 5 %
  • Group presentation, 20 %
  • In class assignment, 20 %
  • In-class close reading exercise, 10 %
  • At-home essay (1,000 words), 25 %
  • Final exam, 20 %

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
TTh, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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 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:

  • Custom Course Pack of selections from Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing, 2nd Canadian ed., edited by Kirszner, et al. (Nelson)
  • King, Thomas.  Green Grass, Running Water (HarperPerennial)
  • Various handouts

Optional Text (If You Do Not Own a Good Handbook of English which Contains Updated [2016] MLA Formatting Style):

  • Aaron, Jane E., and Elaine Bander. The Little, Brown Essential Handbook, 6th Canadian ed.  (Pearson)

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
TTh, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This course is designed to introduce students to the three major forms of literature: drama, poetry, and the novel. This edition of 110 will focus on the Renaissance and Romanticism. We’ll practice a variety of approaches, examining literary works from historical, biographical, and psychoanalytical perspectives. The primary objective will be 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.

Required Texts: 

  • Shakespeare, Cymbeline (Oxford UP)
  • Webster, The White Devil (New Mermaids)
  • English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology, ed. Stanley Appelbaum (Dover)
  • Austen, Persuasion (Penguin)

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
TTh, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not available at this time. Please contact the instructor.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
WF, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

“There is no truth…only stories” --Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water

Literature is informed by the culture in which it is produced (not the culture it depicts) and often relies on historical records of questionable validity. Readings will be drawn from poetry, drama, and fiction from various historical periods, and will focus on history’s entanglement with literature.

Course Requirements: Course requirements include an in-class essay, a term paper, and in-class reflections on readings.

Texts:

  • Shakespeare, Richard III
  • Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Tony Kushner, Angels in America, Millennium Approaches
  • Poetry, short stories, available online

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
MW, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

What do we talk about when we talk about love? In this course we’ll ask this question in various ways by taking a look at how a variety of texts approach questions of loving, and writing about love—different kinds of love—in different ways. If love is constituted, in part, by the language used to describe it, how does the language of love stories shape how we perceive and experience it? How do our love stories shape our expectations and experiences of love? Do the metaphors we use shape the way we think about 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? Is love merely personal, intense, private or is it also socially and politically useful? What does literature have to say about this?

This course introduces you to the skills and practices of literary criticism by inviting you, and equipping you, to interrogate details of language and form, and to pull together and analyze research sources in order to support sound and interesting arguments, i.e. to “read” these primary texts in new and deeper ways. You will be invited to ask rich and provocative questions about literary texts, find and analyze research sources and write good, clear arguments. Lively engagement is a basic requirement. You will be asked to write two close readings and a research paper in this course. Texts are likely to include St. Exupery’s The Little Prince,  David Chariandy’s Brother, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s Islands of Decolonial Love as well as contextual readings.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
MW, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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.

Assignments:

  • Two in-class essays, each worth 20%
  • One home essay (1000 words), worth 30%
  • Final exam, worth 30%
  • Text: Kelly J. Mays, The Norton Introduction to Literature, Portable Twelfth Edition (W.W. Norton, 2017)

Provisional 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, “Because I could not stop for Death—”; Ezra Pound, “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter”; Theodore Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz”; Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”; Seamus Heaney, “Digging”; Margaret Atwood, “Death of a Young Son by Drowning”; Adrienne Su, “Escape from the Old Country”; 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”; Alice Munro, “Boys and Girls”; 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
TTh, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not available at this time. Please contact the instructor.

Writing

This course will use Proctorio (an online remote proctoring service) for invigilation during the final exam. During a Proctorio assessment, you will be recorded via your webcam, and the contents of your computer screen, along with other actions you take on your computer, will also be recorded during the Proctorio session. All of this information will be shared with your instructor and may be shared with designated members of the Learning Technology Hub team for the purpose of review. The recorded information meets British Columbia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In order to use Proctorio, you are required to have access to a regular desktop or laptop computer (Windows or Mac). You cannot complete Proctorio assessments, including final exams, from mobile devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Android devices, etc). The computer you use will need a working webcam and microphone. You will need to install the Google Chrome web browser & Proctorio’s Chrome extension. At the start of the course, you will be asked to consent to the use of Proctorio by filling out an online form. If you have any hesitation about consenting, or cannot meet the technical requirements, please select a different section of ENGL 112 or WRDS 150.

Through the study and application of the principles of university-level discourse and with emphasis on the specific genre of academic 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 and scholarly audiences. 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 Requirements: regular participation; 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 3-hour final examination at the end of the course. The examination will test critical reading and writing skills by asking students to write two clear, coherent, well-developed essays: one analysing a passage of university-level prose in a way that demonstrates the specific critical skills learned in class, and one writing a scholarly essay in response to specific critical readings studied in class.

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

NOTE: *THIS IS A GENERAL DESCRIPTION FOR SECTIONS OF ENGL 112 OFFERED AT UBC VANCOUVER CAMPUS.

Through the study and application of the principles of university-level discourse and with emphasis on the specific genre of academic 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 and scholarly audiences. 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 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 3-hour final examination at the end of the course. The examination will test critical reading and writing skills by asking students to write two clear, coherent, well-developed essays: one analysing a passage of university-level prose in a way that demonstrates the specific critical skills learned in class, and one writing a scholarly essay in response to specific critical readings studied in class.

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 and Second-Year Electives

Literature in English to the 18th Century
Term 1
MW, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Exam period: June 24-28

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%

Texts:

  • 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.

American Literature
Term 1

MW, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

This course surveys some of the great innovators in American lyric poetry. We will examine the ways in which American poets like Emily Dickinson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, John Berryman, Frank O’Hara, CD Wright, Claudia Rankine and Terrance Hayes have contributed to the lyric form and the ways in which they’ve troubled the distinction between what Rankine in Citizen calls the “historical self” and the “self self” by making poetry that might be placed both inside and outside the Romantic terrain of the personal. What have been the major innovations in American lyric poetry in the last seventy years? Does lyric poetry have influence in this historical moment? What do these poets have to say about what they see in American culture and how they see it? How does their work both resist and reiterate lyric traditions? Students will write a close reading paper, recite a poem and give a short critical talk about it, write a research paper as well as a final exam. Texts are likely to include an anthology of American poetry, Terry Hayes’ American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin as well as additional poems and contextual readings.

Topics in the Study of Language and/or Rhetoric
Term 1
WF, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

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 particular 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. The course includes a collaborative assignment with a presentation on a prescribed topic such as analyzing a recorded conversation from a sociolinguistic perspective and one graded exercise on computer-mediated discourse, both aimed at demonstrating 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.

Required texts:

  • Wardhaugh, Ronald. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 7th ed. Blackwell, 2006.
  • Stockwell, Peter. Sociolinguistics: a resource book for students. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2004.

Grading structure:

  • Midterm test, 30%
  • Collaborative assignment with presentation, 30%
  • Graded exercise with class discussion, 10%
  • Final exam, 30%

Canadian Literature
Term 2

TTh, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The most defining characteristic of Canadian society, and Canadian writing, in the 21st century may well be its diversity, and the novels and stories studied in this course will reflect a range of concerns, approaches and styles. Texts will include a collection of short stories set in Vancouver’s downtown east side, a work about a group of dogs granted human consciousness and language, the first novel by an Inuk throat singer, a poetic account of the Vietnamese refugee experience, and a First-Nations novel focusing on an unusual father-son relationship. Students will be encouraged to develop independent critical responses to the works studied, considering these texts in the context of contemporary Canadian society, personal experiences and broader critical perspectives. Assessment will include two in-class essays, a term paper and a final examination.

Texts:

  • Nancy Lee, Dead Girls
  • Kim Thúy, Ru
  • Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk
  • Andre Alexis, Fifteen Dogs
  • Tanya Tagaq, Split Tooth

Science Fiction and Fantasy
Term 2
MW 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

“Have you ever retired a human by mistake?” - Rachael to Deckard, Blade Runner

The near-future and alternate-reality landscapes of literary and popular culture are often terrifying places, and have been since Gothic and dystopian impulses intersected in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Shelley’s landmark tale evokes dread in the practical and ethical implications of Victor’s scientific generation of a humanoid Creature; this evocation echoes in the simulacra that haunt recent speculative fiction: clones, androids, artificial intelligences, cyborgs. Such texts conjure questions of gaze (why are these creatures so often attractive young women presented as the object of male desire?), of rights, of research ethics, and of fear, in the realization that these creatures are, ultimately, not human but posthuman. We will consider the perspectives both of the makers, who dread lost control over their creations, and of their offspring, as they discover what they are, in texts that often invite identification with the creature more than the maker, even as they suggest that humans’ time may well be ending. Core texts tentatively include Frankenstein, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Never Let Me Go, and Blade Runner (Final Cut edition); 2-3 core texts will be added. A list of supplementary recommended texts will be supplied (from The Island of Dr. Moreau and Brave New World to Ex Machina and Blade Runner 2049, and beyond). Please check my blog at http://blogs.ubc.ca/drgmbaxter/ for updates concerning the course, its texts, and its requirements.

Upper-Level Literature

Shakespeare and the Renaissance
Term 2
MW, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Despite the popularity of Henry V and Richard III, Shakespeare’s history plays haven’t received the attention they deserve. We’ll therefore look at six of the eight plays from Shakespeare’s early English tetralogies. In these very topical plays, Shakespeare provides valuable insight into realpolitik and the fortunes of kings and the powerful. Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV) is one of Shakespeare’s greatest creations – an opaque Machiavellian who dies haunted by the costs of his crooked path to power – and Henry V is Shakespeare’s most successful and efficient leader, deftly balancing policy, honour, and public relations. Shakespearean history is more than a history of Great Men, and his disparate cast includes Joan of Arc, the populist rebel Jack Cade, and the amoral life-force Jack Falstaff. We’ll address the waning faith in the Divine Right of Kings, the distinction between providential and secular history, and the ideologies (national, religious, personal) involved in justifying war.

* * Please read Richard II for the first class. * *

Required Texts (all from Oxford UP)

Richard II
Henry IV 1
Henry V
Henry VI 1
Henry VI 2
Richard III

Nineteenth-Century Studies
Term 1
TTh, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

As the 19th century grew into an age of doubt, brought on in part by shifting power positions in the lives of women and the working classes, and by new ideas about the fundamental nature of human beings, we see a fascination with forces that are beyond human control. The supernatural elements in the literature below all reflect an uncertainty about what is true and real and what is an illusion; most have life-changing encounters with the uncomfortable concept that there is a hidden dark and bestial element to many human beings. This course primarily focuses on British culture, but also includes important voices from early 19th-century American literature, and covers a variety of genres.

Readings will include:

  • Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)
  • Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (1847)
  • George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin (1872)
  • R.L. Stevenson, Jekyll and Hyde (1886)
  • Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Grey (1893)
  • Course Package

Studies in Fiction
Term 1
TTh, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Complex sites that are marketed as incubators of innovation or disparaged as hothouses for bad ideas, universities (and, particularly, recent Canadian fiction set at a handful of them) are the focus of this early summer section of 406A. Novels under consideration include The Slip, Black Star, Theory, The Red Word, Oldness, and Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall. The list will be finalized by February.

The section will feature six texts, an assignment per, and no exam (midterm or final).

Children's Literature
Term 1

Distance Learning (Online)

In this course, we will begin by studying some well-known fairy tales before we move to a selection of texts produced over the last 150 years. We will approach them as cultural and literary productions, exploring their (sometimes) evolving generic features and audience assumptions, in terms of age, gender, content, and perceived boundaries. Students will be introduced to relevant theoretical material and encouraged to develop independent critical responses to the texts.

Readings include The Hobbit (Tolkien), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Lewis) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll), Parvana's Journey (Ellis), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling), Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery), The Nicest Girl in the School (Brazil) and The Golden Compass (Pullman).

Canadian Literature
Term 2

TTh, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

“Dear Pimple: There’s a WASP at the bottom of every Frontier Simile. If you don’t flush’em out they’ll surely knee-cap you. Otherwise, appropriate their awesome guile” (Kiyooka, The Artist and the Moose: A Fable of Forget 14).

This course considers questions of “race,” culture, (post-)colonialism, and subjectivity within Canadian national space. To begin, the concepts of history, reconciliation, and justice will be complicated as we engage with the ambiguities and ambivalences of history, erasure, and hauntings (Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song). We will then look at acts of re-membering and re-claiming and the ways that alternate readings can disrupt and open up the national past. The course will explore the poetics/politics of reimagining the nation before moving onto discussions of diaspora, here/there, and global crossings (Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For; Kim Thúy’s Ru). A look at Vancouver as a contact zone for race, capital, violence, and global/local interactions will be our last line of critical/textual flight (Wayde Compton’s The Outer Harbour; Sachiko Murakimi’s The Invisibility Exhibit). Critical/theoretical selections will frame our conversations.

Writing

Technical Writing
Term 1

Distance Learning (Online)

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.

Language & Rhetoric

English Gramar and Usage
Term 1
Distance Learning (Online)

The English 321 course is designed to introduce students to the sentence structure of English and to the way in which grammar functions in various communication situations differing in register, dialect or mode. The course is built upon a sequence of (a) explanation in the lessons and textbooks, accompanied by (b) demonstration in the lessons, followed by (c) application in activities and exercises, (d) journal postings and online discussion applying the principles to new material and data gathered from corpora.

The description of grammatical units at every level is four-pronged, addressing

  • the internal structure of a unit,
  • its syntactic role,
  • its meaning, and
  • its discourse function.

By the end of this course, students should have acquired:

  • linguistic tools necessary for studying and understanding English grammar, as explained systematically in the lessons and reading;
  • analytical skills specific to English grammar including tree diagrams and labeled bracketing; and
  • empirical experience, having become familiar with numerous examples of English grammar in actual usage.

Prescribed reading:

  • Börjars, Kersti & Kate Burridge. Introducing English Grammar, 2nd edition. Hodder Education, 2010.
  • Leech, Geoffrey, Margaret Deuchar and Robert Hoogenraad. English Grammar for Today: A New Introduction. 2nd ed. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Grading structure:

The course consists of 12 lessons, four postings in a language journal, ten self-testing exercises and three tests. All assessment and assignments are online, including the final exam.

  • Exercises (participation), 10%;
  • Language journal postings, collaborative 1-4 (5% each), 20%;
  • Tests 1 & 2 (20% each), 40%;
  • Final exam, 30%

Studies in the Twentieth Century
Term 1
Tuesdays and Fridays - 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

“[Camp] is terribly hard to define but you’ll find yourself wanting to use the word whenever you discuss aesthetics or philosophy or almost anything.” – Christopher Isherwood

This seminar examines the origins (and trajectories) of the much-debated aesthetic sensibility known as camp. Widely understood as a celebration of artifice and stylized exaggeration, camp still struggles to be taken seriously because of its orientation toward humor and the un-serious. Although one of its earliest theorists, Susan Sontag, famously argued that camp was at its core “apolitical,” one of the questions students in this seminar will ponder is the potential political value (to queer and non-queer people alike) of camp style, performance, and gender critique. We will attempt to situate camp historically by locating its origins in the aesthetic strategies of 1890s Decadence before exploring its manifestations, transformations, and characteristic patterns across the twentieth century and beyond. In pursuit of this objective we will read literary and theoretical texts in addition to viewing several films. Our object will not be to construct a camp canon, but instead to observe how camp and Decadence speak to queer experience at distinct historical moments while at the same time retaining recognizably transhistorical characteristics.

Readings will include (theory): Walter Pater, Susan Sontag, Esther Newton, Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Lee Edelman, David Halperin, and others; (literature) Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Ronald Firbank, Mae West, Noel Coward, Djuna Barnes, Christopher Isherwood, Joe Orton, and others. We will also view films by directors Robert Aldritch, John Waters, and Pedro Almodóvar.

Evaluation will be based on seminar presentations, informed and active participation, an annotated bibliography, and a final research paper.

DISCLAIMER: some students may find material in this course very offensive. If you are easily shocked, this is not the course for you.

Linguistic Studies of Contemporary English
Term 2
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Conceptual structures participate in meaning construction in a variety of artifacts. Our understanding of language, in everyday communication, cultural artifacts, as well as in literature, is governed by principles rooted in cognition - in the way we conceptualize the world around us. 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 language expressions as prompts for mental construction of meanings.

In the course, we will study theories of communication and cognition (conceptual metaphor, blending, viewpoint theory, multimodal grammar) which offer new ways of analyzing the construction of meaning, in various contexts. We will apply the theories to a range of phenomena, especially those which participate in the expression of viewpoint. We will start with literary narratives and viewpoint forms in grammar, to then move on to the discussion of theatre and film (some scholars are now working on ‘cine-poetics’, a sub-genre of cognitive poetics). We will further consider visual artifacts (street art and advertising) and forms of on-line communication, such as memes. Students will familiarize themselves with the methodologies, to then apply the concepts they are interested in in the area of communication of their choice. Students are encouraged to explore various areas of usage, literary or non-literary, to uncover the interpretive potential of the theories in focus and develop their own research projects.

Readings will include a range of journal articles, videotaped lectures, and chapters from edited volumes, all talking about cognitive approaches to figurative language, narrative, theatre, visual artifacts and multimodal communication. All readings will be available through on-line library resources. There will be no assigned literary texts, though there will be a number of examples to be discussed in class, to model informative analyses.

Course requirements:

  1. Reading response and discussion (20%). We will discuss assigned texts in class, to clarify the deployment of theoretical Each week, students will be expected to give a short response to the article(s) assigned.
  2. Mid-term assignment (15%). A short assignment (about 5 pages) in which students will analyze an example of their choice in terms of the concepts This assignment is meant to let students test their ease in building a full analysis and can be used as an opportunity to prepare for the work on the final project.
  3. In-class presentation of the final project (20%). This is done towards the end of the class, to let classmates see new interesting examples, get feedback and refine one’s thoughts before writing the
  4. Term paper (45%). A research paper on the text(s) or example(s) of the student’s choice.