2020 Summer Session

Below is a provisional schedule for the 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

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

"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

There is currently no course description available for this course. Please check back with us in March 2020.

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.

See ENGL 330-98A Distance Learning

Upper-level Literature

Term 1
MW, 6:00 - 9:00 PM

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

“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 or 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 nineteenth 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 and the rise of the professional writer.  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 such as M.R. James, Margaret Oliphaunt, Charlotte Riddell, Elizabeth Gaskell, E. Nesbit, and Robert Louis Stevenson (and possibly others).

Evaluation will be based on two short essays and a term paper, participation in discussion (both in class and 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

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

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

See the Distance Learning for full description of this course.