2018 Winter Session

Listed below are short descriptions of our 2018 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.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MW, 9:00 - 10:00 AM

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.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MWF, 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Tales of horror and aberrant human (or non-human) behaviour form a consistent tradition from ancient times to the present. This section of English 110 will trace the history of what became known as “Gothic” literature in the 19th century, examining what human beings in general, and what particular historical periods, have considered most disturbing and abhorrent. We will consider the difficult problem of why we seem so attracted to themes and situations that should normally repel us. In keeping with the standard form of English 110, we will proceed through a series of texts under the headings of drama, poetry and fiction. Under drama, will be study Euripides’ Medea and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Following an examination of poems by Coleridge, Tennyson, Poe and Rossetti, will be look at a selection of stories from The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales and the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker. Evaluation will be based on a mid-term text, a final essay, a final exam and class participation.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MW, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  "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

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
MW, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Along with substantial work on poetry, this section of English 110 will engage 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 that the loss of what the characters understand to be “civilization” leads them to grapple with 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? Who gets to tell my story? What about God, and is that the same thing as religion?

This course introduces students to the analytical skills essential to university-level reading, thinking and writing (and to future employers!). We’ll read the sci-fi classic HG Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau; Yann Martel’s bestseller The Life of Pi; and Shakespeare’s brilliant The Tempest. Our longest text is the fascinating and fabulous Life of Pi, so consider reading that over the summer—you’ll thank yourself in November!

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
MW, 2:00 - 3:00 PM

This course introduces students to the ways in which the traditional genres of literature—poetry, fiction, and drama—are underpinned by aspects of their mediation. Poetry, for example, derives from song, and this origin is evident in the way poetry functions—why the lines are short, why it rhymes. Fiction is rooted in print culture, while electronic media are breaking down the traditional categories of literature through forms such as graphic fiction, which are more interactive and involving than print narratives. We will examine all of these forms and more in the course, which will provide you with a new understanding of literature as well as with an introduction to media studies.

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
MW, 9:00 - 10:00 AM

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.

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, 10:00 - 11:00 AM

In this section of English 110, we will read literary texts depicting ghosts, the fantastic, and strange science. The course will teach you to think and write critically about literature at the university level. It will also introduce you to contemporary literary theories. We will examine a range of approaches to the interpretation of literature, including psychoanalytical, Marxist, feminist, and postcolonial, and use the theories to analyze the literature we study. Texts read will include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
MW, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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 Toni Morrison’s Jazz.

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
MW, 1:00  - 2:00 PM

“Isaac’s words jumped up his throat like heartbeats, each bookended with a pause then settling in the grass like blood coagulating” (Dimaline). This course will delve into the complexities and agency of (re-)writing narratives and identities that have been silenced, stigmatized, and/or made invisible. We will talk about the responsibilities of speaking and the process of giving form and legitimacy to the invisible. Throughout the term, we will cover and explore the possibilities of a variety of genres, including fiction (Trumpet; The Marrow Thieves), poetry (The Invisibility Exhibit), and drama (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: The Play). Students will be invited to consider race, colonialism, gender, sexuality, disability, and place, all while unpacking the social constructs that frame them.

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
MW, 2:00 - 3:00 PM
The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. Please contact the instructor directly.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
TTh, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

This course examines concepts of race, technology, and science in a range of North American texts from the 19th to 21st centuries. Students will engage with novels, poetry, short stories, plays and other media productions. We will examine, in particular, how Asian, black, and Indigenous bodies are positioned in different and uneven relationships with technology, as well as how these bodies are imagined as forms of technology. The course uses the frameworks of literary, critical race, and postcolonial theory in order to analyze how narratives about science and innovation emerge through ongoing histories of migrant labour and settler colonialism. In addition to examining discourses about the “new” technologies of racialized and gendered bodies that emerge in these texts, we will also consider how shifting forms of literary production highlight the mediated and mediating nature of writing.

Students will complete in-class and take-home essays, creative assignments, and a final exam.

Approaches to Literature
Term 1
TTh, 12:30 - 2:00 PM

This section will focus on a selection of contemporary texts that depict families and communities and the issues that can arise within them. Students are advised to read at least one of the following two novels before the semester begins. They're advised as well that the texts feature violence ans sexuality. The recommended summer readings are Don Hannah's The Wise and Foolish Virgins and Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
TTh, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

How do we define ourselves – as Canadians, as artists, as lovers, as survivors? These are some of the broad issues of identity and belonging we will explore through a selection of fiction, drama and poetry in this section of English 110.  We will consider ways in which individuals craft and perform the "selves" they wish to be, and the multiplicity of ways in which writers convey these identities through literary texts. To what extent do we control the person we become and to what extent are we shaped by our community? How meaningful are the concepts of ethnicity, gender and nationality in the creation of identity? How can a writer convey the complex and shifting nature of individual and group identity through the permanence of written discourse? Texts studied will include a novel (Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese), a play (The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway), and a selection of short stories and poetry. In lectures and seminars, students will engage with concepts of genre and form in literature and will pursue hands-on practice of methods of literary analysis. Students will be encouraged to develop independent critical responses to the works studied. Assessment will include two in-class essays, a term paper and a final examination.

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
TTh, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

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

Approaches to Literature
Term 2
TTh, 2:00 - 3:30 PM

The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. It will be posted shortly.

Approaches to Non-fictional Prose
Term 1
MW, 1:00 - 2:00 PM

How does everyday language get stuff done? This course provides some answers to this question by delving into the realm of rhetoric. Rhetoric, or the motivation of belief and action, encompasses not only overt techniques of persuasion, but also the quotidian aspects of language and symbol usage that facilitate (or hinder) our daily lives and organize society. Over the course of the semester we will study, for instance, the rhetoric of propaganda, the art of asking questions, the phenomena of speech acts, and the use of persuasive images.

Approaches to Non-fictional Prose
Term 2
MW, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

See Course Site

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. 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 of how non-fiction becomes literary work.

Literature and Criticism
Term 2
MWF, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

We will read literary and critical texts dealing with climate change and the environment from a variety of historical periods and geographical places. We will approach these texts from a variety of critical perspectives as a way of learning different methods for analyzing literary texts. You will be encouraged to read deeply and to extend your abilities as thinkers, speakers, and writers.

Literary works may include (this is a provisional list subject to change):Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; M. P. Shiel, The Purple Cloud; Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake; Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation; and shorter essays and poems by a range of authors.

Course Expectations: Students are expected to read all course materials and come to class prepared to be active participants.  You will also be invited to participate in discussion outside of class time through blog postings, a class Facebook page, and an optional seminar meeting.  Together these activities with constitute your participation grade (20%).  You will also write a major quiz on literary critical approaches (10%), one shorter close-reading essay (ungraded); a longer paper you develop from the first essay (40%); and a final exam (30%).

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.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
MWF, 9:00  - 10:00 AM

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 we tell stories about love.

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? 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 politically useful? What does literature have to say about this?

The philosopher Simone Weil said that love is “intense, pure, disinterested, gratuitous, generous attention.” Feminist theorist bell hooks defines love as a verb rather than a noun, as action based on care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, trust well as honest and open communication. How else might we describe it and define it? How does literature complicate this? In The Little Prince, the protagonist 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 by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson relate to human and non-human species intimately, even lovingly, despite the trauma of colonization. Michael, in Brother by David Chariandy, loves his older brother Francis, but can he protect him from the racialized violence of their lives? Love might feel profound, even transformational; rarely, as these texts attest, is it uncomplicated.

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.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
MWF, 10:00 - 11:00 AM

This course will explore dark laughter in literature, an irrepressible humour emerging in response to the intolerable, to emptiness, to meaninglessness, or to death itself. This is humour that embraces subversion and absurdity, sometimes generating liberation, sometimes despair. It is keyed to a whole array of responses to the human condition not usually deemed comic, but somehow all the funnier for the bleakness of the situation.  Dark laughter can be used as a tool of political satire, of nihilistic philosophy, or even of redemptive agency, but it is always destabilizing, tricky, and hard to pin down.  There is an anarchic principle in this kind of laughter that certain writers deploy to hilarious and devastating effect.  We will look at a range of literary genres, including three novels, a play, a few poems, and a short story.  From Elizabethan tragedy to Romantic poetry, from Modernism to “magic realism” and postmodernism, we will pursue the theme and the aesthetic strategy of dark laughter.

Texts: The “gravedigger scene” (V, i) from Hamlet; Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita; Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot; Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse; a few short poems by Stevie Smith (“Sunt Leones”), Dorothy Parker (“Resumé”), and others; Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen; Salman Rushdie, “The Prophet’s Hair.”

The course is a writing-intensive introduction to the disciplines of literary studies through the exploration of texts in their critical and theoretical contexts. It fulfills the first-year component of the Faculty of Arts Writing and Research Requirement, and is recommended for students intending to become English majors or English Honours students. Students will learn alternative methods for reading, writing and thinking about literature, and will acquire the ability to employ scholarly articles effectively in their own critical work. Course assignments include four writing assignments (one of which is a research paper, including annotated bibliography and formal prospectus), an online library tutorial, regular attendance and participation, and a 3-hour exam.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
MWF, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. Please contact the instructor directly.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
MWF, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. Please contact the instructor directly.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
MWF, 1:00 - 2:00 PM

This introductory literature-and-writing course focuses on fictional texts that play with theme, symbol, memory, and language, and that playfully situate writing within societies and cultures. The course meets the Faculty of Arts writing requirement as an alternative to WRDS 150. We will work with novels and verse, drama, and narrative theory; the major texts all fall within fantasy, a playful genre by definition, or satire, and the readings are smart, thoughtful, and skillfully comic in tone. The course will introduce you to our discipline’s collection of interpretive and critical tools, and will help you extend your abilities to pull together and analyze research sources, organize and support sound and interesting arguments, and edit for clarity and impact.

Tentative Book List

  • The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde
  • The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter
  • Other materials supplied on the Canvas course site or distributed in class

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
MWF 2:00-2:50 p.m.

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

In this section of English 100 we will study a selection of poetry from the Renaissance up to the present (see the provisional list below).  Since one purpose of the course is to introduce students to different critical approaches to literature, we will also examine scholarly articles (available online) on some of the assigned poetry.  In both their proposal for the research essay and the essay itself, students will be expected not only to offer their own interpretations of a poem not discussed in class, but also to cite, demonstrate their familiarity with, and above all respond to a minimum number of secondary sources.  Ideally, then, this course will teach students the skills they need to write research essays in upper-level English courses.

Assignments: two quizzes (each worth 15%), proposal for research essay (10%), research essay (30%), final exam (30%)

Texts: The Broadview Introduction to Literature: Poetry, 2nd edition (Broadview Press); Reading and Writing about Literature: A Portable Guide, 4th edition (Bedford/St. Martin’s)

A provisional list of poems: Shakespeare, “That time of year thou mayst in me behold”; John Donne, “The Flea”; William Blake, “The Tyger”; John Keats, “La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad”; Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott”; Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”; Ezra Pound, “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter”; T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”; Sylvia Plath, “Lady Lazarus”; Margaret Atwood, “Death of a Young Son by Drowning”; Karen Solie, “Self-Portrait in a Series of Professional Evaluations”

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
TTh, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

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 and scholarly research. 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 (1918) 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 class room. 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 participation and a final examination.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
TTh, 9:30 - 11:00 AM
The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. Please contact the instructor directly.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 1
TTh, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

In this class we'll look at 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 narrative--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.  

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
MWF, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. Please contact the instructor directly.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
MWF, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. Please contact the instructor directly.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
MWF, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

New York high society and its sometimes vicious marriage market at the turn of the twentieth century in Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth, a “Brotherhood” of 1940s communist activists in a city filled with racial tensions in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the absurd talk-show circuit of Don DeLillo’s drama Valparaiso, homophobic small-town America in Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home . . . These are some of the settings and social orders the heroes and heroines of this course have to navigate. We will follow these characters as they sometimes rebel against and sometimes acquiesce to the orders and institutions in which they find themselves. Why isn’t the self easily tamed by society’s demands and norms? We conclude the course with Werner Herzog’s astonishing documentary film about a man among the bears, Grizzly Man. This course offers students an introduction to the skills and practices of literary criticism. Through a focus on writing assignments across the term, students will learn how to ask rich and provocative questions about literary texts, how to build interpretations around highly-focused work with a text’s individual words and images, and how to use literature and film as a lens for understanding historical contexts and social problems. Through invigorating reading and viewing experiences, students will build an arsenal of strong writing techniques for their university futures. Assignments will include two in-class essays, two take-home essays, a final exam, and various informal writing exercises. All details about the course here are subject to revision.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
MWF, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

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

In this section of English 100 we will study a selection of poetry from the Renaissance up to the present (see the provisional list below).  Since one purpose of the course is to introduce students to different critical approaches to literature, we will also examine scholarly articles (available online) on some of the assigned poetry.  In both their proposal for the research essay and the essay itself, students will be expected not only to offer their own interpretations of a poem not discussed in class, but also to cite, demonstrate their familiarity with, and above all respond to a minimum number of secondary sources.  Ideally, then, this course will teach students the skills they need to write research essays in upper-level English courses.

Assignments: two quizzes (each worth 15%), proposal for research essay (10%), research essay (30%), final exam (30%)

Texts: The Broadview Introduction to Literature: Poetry, 2nd edition (Broadview Press); Reading and Writing about Literature: A Portable Guide, 4th edition (Bedford/St. Martin’s)

A provisional list of poems: Shakespeare, “That time of year thou mayst in me behold”; John Donne, “The Flea”; William Blake, “The Tyger”; John Keats, “La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad”; Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott”; Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”; Ezra Pound, “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter”; T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”; Sylvia Plath, “Lady Lazarus”; Margaret Atwood, “Death of a Young Son by Drowning”; Karen Solie, “Self-Portrait in a Series of Professional Evaluations”

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
TTh, 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. Please contact the instructor directly.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
TTh, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
The course description for this section of ENGL 110 is not yet available. Please contact the instructor directly.

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
TTh, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
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 10 = 20; 2 take-home essays 2 x 15 = 30; library tutorial = 10; participation, preparation, attendance = 10; final exam: 30

Reading and Writing about Literature
Term 2
TTh, 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Why do we tell stories? The very phrase “telling stories” is synonymous, to quote the Houyhnhnms in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, with saying “the thing which is not.” Yet most story-tellers are trying to articulate “the thing which is,” however they might define that in socio-political and/or aesthetic terms. In this course we will explore story-telling—our own and others’. What assumptions underlie our readings of stories and the numerous critical and theoretical approaches to literary interpretation? What does the popularization and commodification of literary works, such as the re-visioning of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in every medium, tell us about the works themselves, the societies that produced them, our own society, and ourselves? What difference does it make if the “source texts” for a story are actual historical events? Some of the texts that we will be studying self-consciously question concepts of “story,” “history,” and “truth”; all raise questions about the nature of story-telling, interpretation, identity, and society.

Our texts: Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Broadview); Iris Murdoch, Under the Net (Penguin); Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, “Beauty and the Beast” (Ashliman transcription, online); Angela Carter, “The Tiger’s Bride” (Merveilles & Contes 3.1 (May 1989), online, UBC Library); A. S. Byatt, “The Story of the Eldest Princess” (online, UBC Canvas); Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (Vintage).

NOTE: THIS IS A GENERAL DESCRIPTION FOR ALL SECTIONS OF ENGL 112.

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 in mid-August for Term 1 courses and mid-November for
Term 2 courses.

Challenging Language Myths
Cross-listed as LING 140

Term 2
MWF, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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 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.