2018 Summer Session

Listed below are short descriptions of our 2018 Winter Session course offerings. The instructor will post the actual course syllabus 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
MW, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

What do we talk about when we talk about love? We’ll ask this question in various ways throughout this course by taking a look at how a variety of texts approach the 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 of love? Is love merely personal, intense, private or is it also politically useful? What does literature have to say about this?

The philosopher Simone Weil said that love is “intense, pure, disinterested, gratuitous, generous attention.” 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, despite the effects of colonization. Patti Smith in her memoir, Just Kids, writes about how the great love she shared with Robert Mapplethorpe in New York City in the early 1970s transformed from romantic first love into a life-long friendship that was the foundation of the worlds they built in art.

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 asked to write and re-write short essays 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. Lively engagement is a basic requirement.

Course requirements:

Close reading #1: 20%
Close reading #2: 20%
Research essay (1500 words): 30%
Exam: 30%


  • Betasamosake Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love
  • Smith, Just Kids
  • Exupery, The Little Prince
  • Course pack

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MW, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Students in this course will read a romantic tragedy (Romeo and Juliet), a romantic comedy (Pride and Prejudice) and a story of death in the wilderness (Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer). 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 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.


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


  • 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 %

Term 1
TTh, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The course description for this course will be posted here shortly.

Approachs to Literature
Term 1
TTh, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Rey: "You are a monster."
Kylo Ren: "Yes, I am."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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

What is a monster? We know monsters from myths and legends, folktales, horror fiction and film. We know their variety: the grotesque, the beautiful, the terrifying, the pitiable, the sports of nature and the forces of evil. Dragons, werewolves, vampires, zombies, Frankenstein’s Creature, Mr. Hyde, the Joker, most of the characters in Penny Dreadful: they’re everywhere, from under the bed to the battlefield, and right into a great deal of literature. Which leaves us here: in this section of 110 we’ll focus on how literary texts use representations of monstrosity to say a variety of things. We’ll look at excerpts from William Shakespeare’s Richard III (a play that both meditates on villainy and ambition, and demonizes its subject for Tudor audiences), then at Ian McKellen’s film adaptation, which shifts the setting to an alternate-reality 1930s England where fascism takes hold. We’ll examine Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla, a novel about a female vampire that influenced the writing of Dracula, and Charles Perrault’s 17th century tale “Bluebeard”; while its status as a children’s story is now problematic, its influence on literary and popular culture is enormous. These core texts will be supplemented by a selection of poetry and short fiction, and possibly another short novel. Evaluation will be based on two in-class essays, a term paper, participation in discussion (in class and online), and an essay-based final examination. Check my blog http://blogs.ubc.ca/drgmbaxter/ for updates, including a fuller description of the course, its texts, and its requirements.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
WF, 9:00 AM - 12:00 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:

  • Middleton and Rowley, The Changeling (New Mermaids)
  • Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (Oxford UP)
  • English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology, ed. Stanley Appelbaum (Dover)
  • Austen, Sense and Sensibility (Penguin)

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
TTh, 3:00 - 6:00 PM

There is currently no description available for this section of ENGL 110.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
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.

Term 2
TTh, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The course description for this course will be posted here shortly.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
TTh, 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.


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


Kelly J. Mays, The Norton Introduction to Literature, Portable Twelfth Edition (W.W. Norton, 2017)

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, “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”; Li-Young Lee, “Persimmons”; 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


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 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 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.