Completing the Honours Program

Second-Year English Honours Program

Second-year Honours consists of nine credits of course work. Together as a cohort, students take English 210, a six-credit seminar surveying major works of literature in English, and English 211, a three-credit seminar introducing students to the theories used in the study of literature.

This course, together with English 211, is one of two required courses for the Second-year English Honours Program. It is intended to provide an introduction to notable works of Literature in English from the earliest period to the end of the 20th century, in a range of genres, thus preparing students for senior level courses in English. It will provide scholarly and critical tools for the study of literary and other texts, and a substantial knowledge of particular literary works from the Anglo Saxon period to the present. Students will learn to employ strategies of close reading, library research, and textual analysis supported by reasoned argument. They will engage in lively discussion in class, be encouraged to evolve their own ideas, and to defend them effectively. Students will examine several kinds of critical theory and other current methods of reading and writing about literature. The focus of the course will include the political and cultural history relevant to particular works, including matters of religious, philosophical, aesthetic and social importance. Students will also investigate ideas concerning class, nationality, and gender identity relevant to these centuries. The course is designed to assist students in developing writing, research and oral communication skills, as well as to support their individual intellectual and academic development in literary and other disciplines.

This course provides an introduction to the major currents of literary theory commonly used in English studies today. The course offers an overview of the movements in theory that have had the strongest influence on literary criticism in the twentieth century (and beyond): new criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, gender studies, Marxism, new historicism, post-colonialism, and race theory.  Students will consider how these theories and methods are used in literary and cultural analysis by applying them to a selection of short stories. They will also explore broader questions about how different theoretical approaches have been combined in critical practice, about how they have affected the way learn literature, and about the various ways “theory” has changed (or not) the discipline of English and how it continues to do so today. Writing assignments, presentations, and online collaborations invite students to summarize and apply the theories and methods that they have learned, to think through the ways different theoretical approaches intersect, and to reflect on the significance and relevance of ‘theory’ to critical practice.


Completing the Third-Year Honours Program

PREREQUISITES: An overall high second-class standing in the 2nd year and a first or a high second-class standing in English.

120 total credits are required. At least 48 credits must be taken in English courses numbered 304 and above (an additional six credits of elective work may be granted if a student shows that an elective provides a significant addition to his/her work in literature). Students contemplating an Honours program are strongly advised to complete Faculty requirements in science and language before entering the program.

English Honours students are also required to take courses in the following areas:

a. At least one course from each of the following areas (minimum 9 credits):

1. Old and Middle English Studies: 342*, 343, 344, 346
2. Sixteenth-Century Studies: 347, 348
3. Seventeenth-Century Studies: 349, 350
* may count either here or as language credit

b. At least one course from two of the following areas (minimum 6 credits), one of which must be in Canadian Literature unless that requirement has already been met in the second year:

1. Eighteenth-Century Studies: 351, 353
2. Nineteenth-Century Studies: 355, 361, 362, 364
3. Twentieth-Century Studies: 365, 366, 368, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 377, 378, 379

c. At least 3 credits of language or rhetoric from ENGL 307-331 or ENGL 342

In addition, students will be required to take four sections of senior seminars, 491 and 492 (for a total of 12 credits), in their third and fourth years. These may be taken at any time and in any order, but must include at least three credits of ENGL 491 and at least three credits of ENGL 492. They must also take ENGL 499, the Honours Essay (for 3 or for 6 credits) which is best taken in their fourth year.

Students also take 15 credits of upper-level English electives (ENGL 304 and higher.)

English Honours students also need 42 credits of non-English courses and at least 48 credits in 300- and 400-level courses. Please note that upper-division courses in Creative Writing may not be counted towards English Honours requirements.