Undergraduate English Courses

2017-18 FALL/WINTER COURSES

1000 Level Courses

1000-level courses initiate students to the university-level study of English literature. Students will be introduced to the rich diversity of English literature and to the scholarly research tools which make the study of English possible. Discussions, activities and assignments focus on close reading practices which allow students to move beyond arguments based primarily on questions plot. Students will be expected to begin to develop their own critical point of view and to take responsibility for their own engagement with the texts at hand. 1000-level courses are an ideal way to enter an English module, but they also provide the foundations of analysis and argument essential to university-level scholarship in any text-based discipline (e.g. history, philosophy, sociology, classics, etc.). Learn more >>

1020E - Understanding Literature Today
By studying a broad range of exciting and important literary works from the past and present, this course will increase your understanding and appreciation not just of the richness and power of the works themselves, but also of the role of literature in reflecting and shaping our perceptions of the world and of ourselves. 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 1020E / 001 J. Boulter Syllabus
Fall/Winter 1020E / 002 A. Schuurman Syllabus
Fall/Winter 1020E / 003 (Evening) A. Conway Syllabus

1022E - Enriched Introduction to English Literature
This course provides an enriched survey of the major genres, historical periods, and critical approaches to English for students with a particular interest in literature and culture. In lecture and small group tutorials, you will study poetry, prose, and drama with special emphasis on developing superior analytical and writing skills. 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 1022E / 001 D. Bentley Syllabus 

1027F - The Storyteller’s Art I: Introduction to Narrative
Storytelling defines who we are and our relation to the community, the nation, and the world. This course explores the rich and diverse traditions of storytelling: such as, oral tales, short stories, classic fiction, and graphic novels. Instruction by lecture and tutorials; emphasis on developing strong analytical and writing skills. 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 1027F / 001 C. Keep Syllabus

1028G - The Storyteller’s Art II: Topics in Narrative - The Rise of the Machines
This course explores a particular theme, mode, or genre of storytelling. Consult the Department of English for details of current course offerings. Instruction is by lecture and tutorials; emphasis on developing strong analytical and writing skills. 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 1028G / 001 C. Keep Syllabus

2000-2099 Level Courses (No prerequisites)

2017 - Reading Popular Culture
"If Shakespeare were alive today, he'd be writing for television." This course addresses the many forms of popular culture, including television, music, popular fiction and film, urban myths, and celebrities. The aim of this course is to encourage students to develop a critical understanding of all aspects of popular culture. 3 lecture hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 2017 / 002 (Evening) N. Joseph Syllabus 

2018A - The Culture of Leadership I: Heroes, Tyrants, Celebrities
This course addresses the complex nature of leadership represented in key works of literature and culture, from Malory to Alice Munro, Shakespeare to David Mamet. We will focus on the ethical dilemmas and moral choices faced by leaders to ask what role a leader plays: hero, manager, thinker, strategist, artist, figurehead, authority? 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2018A / 001 (Evening) J. Faflak Syllabus

2033E - Children’s Literature
This course examines the development of literature for and about children from its roots in fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and nonsense literature. Animal stories, adventure tales, picture books, and domestic novels will be considered alongside visits to fantasy realms like Wonderland, Neverland, or the Land of Oz. A central focus will be the assumptions about children and childhood that shape these texts, all produced by adults based on what they believe children enjoy, want, or need. 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 2033E / 001 G. Ceraldi Syllabus 
Fall/Winter 2033E / 002 G. Ceraldi Syllabus 
Fall/Winter 2033E / 650 (Online) C. Suranyi Syllabus 

2041F - Fall Theatre Production - Macbeth
In this course, students participating in the Department of English and Writing Studies' Fall Theatre Production, Macbeth, explore in theory and practice approaches to text in performance. Only students working as an actor, director, stage manager, assistant stage manager, lighting, set or costume designer may enroll. Please note: Auditions will be held March 21-23, 2017 so that students may register and receive a course credit for their part in the production. Permission of the Chair of Undergraduate Studies required to enroll. 3 lecture/tutorial hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2041F / 001 J. Devereux Syllabus 

2071FG - Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction
From Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, a consideration of the history and development of science fiction. Will include science fiction themes such as the Other, new technologies, chaos theory, cybernetics, paradoxes of space/time travel, first contact, and alien worlds. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2071F / 001 (Evening) A. MacLean Syllabus
Winter 2018 2071G / 650 (Online) A. MacLean Syllabus

2072F - Speculative Fiction: Fantasy
A study of the purposes and historical origins of fantasy, and modern developments in fantasy: alternate worlds, horror or ghost stories, sword & sorcery, heroic fantasy. May include writers such as Tolkien, Simmons, Peake, Herbert, Beagle, Rowling. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2072F / 650 (Online) M. Stephenson Syllabus 

2072G - Speculative Fiction: Fantasy
Wizards, vampires, fairies, and the Chosen One – these figures are no longer confined to a genre ghetto but have instead moved to the mainstream. This course examines the roots of the fantasy genre in novels such as Dracula and The Lord of the Rings and considers how the tropes of the genre have been reproduced and transformed by authors like J.K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman. We will examine the continuing appeal of stories about magic, whether they involve supernatural intrusions, visits to the realm of faerie, or extraordinary powers hidden in apparently ordinary places. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 2072G / 001 G. Ceraldi Syllabus 

2074F - Mystery and Detective Fiction
Mystery stories explore matters of life and death. They engage problems involving the law, justice, and morality. They address fundamental questions of identity and agency. This course introduces students to the critical study of popular mystery and detective fiction from a range of historical periods and national contexts. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2074F / 001 M. Jones Syllabus 

2075F - Cultures of Blood: The Contemporary Gothic
Horror has mass appeal, producing a contemporary culture saturated in images of blood for entertainment’s sake. This course looks at horror since World War II, primarily in literature but also in film, video, dance, and photography. It asks: what anxieties does horror register? How do monsters reflect what terrifies us? 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2075F / 001 S. Bruhm Syllabus 

2091F - Special Topics - Girls on Fire: Constructions of Girlhood in Young Adult Dystopian Fiction (cross-listed with Women's Studies 2211F)
Many YA dystopian novels published recently feature strong female protagonists who openly rebel against the totalitarian societies they live in. In this course, we will consider how the recent spate of Young Adult dystopian fiction simultaneously subverts and affirms gendered expectations facing many young women in the 21st century. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2091F / 001 M. Green-Barteet Syllabus 

2091G - Special Topics - The Creativity of Madness (cross-listed with Music 3860B)
This course explores the creativity of madness and the madness of creativity. Starting with an examination of the history of madness and historical and cultural attitudes toward madness, we will address the general equation between madness and creativity through various works of literature and culture as a way of engaging students in the creative (and often chaotic) process of ‘thinking outside of the box’ of accepted cultural, social, and ethical norms of thought and behavior. We will thus explore creativity and of madness as both definitions and symptoms of humanity in order to explore how we often avoid thinking about their more complex nature. We will bring in works and characters primarily from the music and literature to frame the questions and guide conversations. We will approach and assess student comprehension and experience of course material through lectures, tests, reflections, short essays, large and small group discussion, play activities, workshops.

Above all we want students to gain an appreciation of how “play ... is the very essence of thought” and to open themselves to a more compassionate and productive understanding of how madness and creativity are intimately connected – and necessary to the planet’s survival. 3 lecture hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 2091G / 001 Faflak/Younker Syllabus

2092F - Special Topics - The Many Faces of Harry Potter
This course will examine the Harry Potter series in relation to the multiple genres that it draws on, including the gothic novel, detective fiction, fantasy, adventure, and even the dystopian novel. We will read all seven books alongside other novels and short stories that illustrate the generic conventions Rowling is working with. There will also be opportunity to consider the translation of the series into film. 3 lecture hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2092F / 001 (Evening) G. Ceraldi Syllabus 

2096F - Special Topics - Winter is Coming: A Game of Thrones
Like most universities, Western has a coat of arms: two Lions rampant double queued issuant Ermine Ducally crowned Gold; in base a Stag trippant of the second; on a Chief of the third a Sun Rising Gules. This looks like a composite of several sigils from George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire (our heraldic device is alarmingly close to that of Joffrey Baratheon), but then the eye falls on our motto: Veritas et Utilitas, Truth and Usefulness. What could be less true or useful than fiction, especially fantasy fiction? The aim of this course is to earn its place in Western’s coat of arms. Our emblem is not the Baratheon stag, or Lannister lions, or Martell rising sun, but the one Western places “in Chief”: an Open Book proper edged and Clasped Or. We shall go deep into Martin’s books and deep into their historical sources to find both veritas and utilitas. 3 lecture hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2096F / 001 J. Leonard Syllabus 

2100-2999 Level Courses

2000-level courses welcome students into the community of literary scholarship. Literary surveys focus on the development of textual traditions across time while courses in theory introduce students to the multitude of tools available for text analysis. Developing research skills and methods of investigation will allow students to begin to articulate their own questions and to situate their own analysis within the discourse of previous scholarship. Assignments will demand independent study in which students develop and explore their own areas of interest and grapple with the difficulties and challenges of the discipline. For students in an English module, 2000-level courses provide the basic tools necessary for more advanced and independent study. For non-English students, 2000-level courses are an excellent way to complement other modules while indulging in some of the great literature available in the language. Learn more >>

These courses require prerequisites. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have successfully completed all course prerequisites and that they have not taken an antirequisite course, as stated in the Academic Calendar.


2180G (formerly 2680FG) - Sport in Literature (cross-listed with Kinesiology 3378G)
A study of sport as portrayed through works of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry whose central focus is sport. The principal aim of the course is to examine the nature and significance of sport through a survey of sport literature with an emphasis on the novel. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 2180G / 001 Mcparland Syllabus

2200F - History of Theory and Criticism
An introduction to important issues in the history of literary criticism and theory from Plato to the twentieth century. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2200F / 001 J. Plug Syllabus 

2201G (formerly 2210FG) - Contemporary Theory and Criticism
This course builds on the historical foundations of English 2200F/G to concentrate on important issues in contemporary literary theory and criticism. English 2200F/G is recommended as preparation for English 2201F/G. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 2201G / 001 D. Huebert Syllabus

2202FG (formerly 2230FG) - Studies in Poetics
An introduction to important issues and concepts in the theory and analysis of poetry from different periods. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 2202F / 001 M. Bassnett Syllabus 
Winter 2018 2202G / 001 J. Schuster Syllabus

2301E (formerly 2307E) - British Literature Survey
This course investigates the changing forms of literature produced in the British Isles from the Middle Ages to the present. It addresses key movements and styles through careful analysis of both major authors, such as Shakespeare, Austen, Woolf, or Yeats, and some less well-known yet engaging figures. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 2301E / 001 M. Stephenson Syllabus 

2401E (formerly 2308E) - American Literature Survey
This course offers a survey of important texts and authors from the Puritan and Revolutionary periods to the present. It addresses not only the major movements and styles of American literature associated with such authors as Poe, Dickinson, Twain, Hemingway, and Morrison, but also the innovative work of less familiar Indigenous and ethnic authors. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 2401E / 001 (Evening) K. Stanley Syllabus 
Fall/Winter 2401E / 002 A. MacLean Syllabus

2501E (formerly 2309E) - Canadian Literature Survey
What does literature tell us about the making of a nation and its citizens? Spanning the period from imperial exploration to Confederation to the present day, this course examines Canada’s vibrant literary culture. Students will encounter a diverse range of genres and authors, from accounts of early explorers to current internationally acclaimed and award-winning writers. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 2501E / 001 D. Pennee Syllabus (prelim)

2601E (formerly 2310E) - Global Literatures in English Survey
This course offers students a great opportunity to survey of the links between and among different literary traditions and innovations across such diverse geographic regions as Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, and the Caribbean. Through close reading of literary texts written in English, students will explore how cultures produce different--often competing--ways of making meaning. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 2601E / 001 N. Joseph Syllabus 

3000-3999 Level Courses

3000-level courses allow students to focus on topics, whether an historical period, a cultural tradition or a literary theme, which pique their own critical curiosity. Class discussions will address the interactions of texts with one another, with their historical moment or with larger social trends. Students will also explore how scholarship has evolved over time and learn how to place their own thought and writing within a developing and ongoing critical tradition. Advanced research skills, tailored to specific critical problems, will allow students to develop habits of independent exploration and analysis which will lead to nuanced and persuasive written work which fully participates in the discipline of English studies. Typically, students in an English module will be enrolled in 3000-level courses in their third and fourth years. A reasonable amount of choice in the modules will allow English students to pursue their own interests while becoming members of an academic community. Students not in English modules will find courses which stimulate their critical imaginations while complementing their own module offerings. Learn more >>

These courses require prerequisites. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have successfully completed all course prerequisites and that they have not taken an antirequisite course, as stated in the Academic Calendar.


3200F (formerly 2240FG) - Feminist Literary Theory
An introduction to critical debates in twentieth-century feminist literary theory. Students will study (1) the diversity of feminist approaches to literature, literary production, the politics of language, questions of genre and subjectivity; and (2) the intersections among feminist literary theories, postcolonialism, Marxism, anti-racist criticism, queer theory, and post-structuralism. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3200F / 001 A. Young Syllabus 

3201G (formerly 2250FG) - Introduction to Cultural Studies
An introduction to cultural studies methodology and theory, and the history of cultural studies as a discipline. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2017 3201G / 001 P. Wakeham Syllabus

3202G (formerly 2260FG) - National and Global Perspectives on Cultural Studies
An examination of the history, practice, and goals of cultural studies in various national, para-national, and diasporic contexts, with attention to Australia, Britain, Canada, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Trinidad, and the United States, and to cultural studies contributions to critical and postcolonial theory. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3202G / 001 T. Phu Syllabus

3300 (formerly 3001) - History of the English Language
A study of the historical development of English phonology, morphology, orthography and syntax from Old English to the modern period. At the same time, we examine the changing roles of English (commercial, literary, and administrative) and the different varieties of the language available to its many speakers. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 3300 / 001 M. Fox Syllabus 
Fall/Winter 3300 / 650 M. Fox Syllabus 

3315E - Disenchanted Chaucer: Authority and Literature in Medieval England
The Middle Ages are often, and correctly, characterized as deeply conservative. Faith in the authority of secular rule, domestic hierarchies and ecclesiastical structures dominated personal and social ideologies. In late medieval England, however, the crown was beholden to the counsel and consent of competing political interests, the household was fashioned according to idealized and practical models at odds with one another, and the church was torn by both theological and financial controversies Poets of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries recognized the competing impulses of their age and produced a wide variety of literature which critiqued, challenged and, at times, attempted to support the status quo.

This course will explore some of the most compelling literature written in English, although our special focus will be on the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, his contemporaries and immediate successors. In order to study Middle English literature you must be able to read Middle English, so we will also study the grammar, pronunciation and rhythms of Middle English in its many forms. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 3315E / 001 R. Moll Syllabus 

3320G - Dangerous Desire in the Renaissance
Love and desire are complicated emotions, both today and in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We will examine the profuse complexity of Renaissance love poetry, by men and women, queer and straight, including writers such as Shakespeare, Wroth, Donne, Barnfield, Spenser, Wyatt, Sidney, Marlowe, Herrick, Carew, Suckling, Marvell, and Philips. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2017 3320G / 001 M. Bassnett Syllabus

3321F - Paradise Lost
This half-course will examine such topics as Milton’s grand style, Satan, epic heroism (is Paradise Lost an epic or anti-epic?), the nature of innocence, what it means to “fall,” and whether there can be a “fortunate fall.” Attention will also be paid to seventeenth-century politics, science and astronomy. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3321F / 001 J. Leonard Syllabus 

3331G - Adapting Shakespeare
Shakespeare invented few of the plots of his plays; instead he used others’ writing.  Later artists (including stage and film directors, playwrights, and novelists) have likewise drawn on Shakespeare's plays as inspiration. This half-course explores this range of “Shakespearean adaptation” through close study of two or three major plays. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2017 3331G / 001 J. Devereux Syllabus

3332F - Money in Renaissance Drama
Seventeenth-century England saw enormous changes in the distribution of money. Dramatists responded in diverse ways to the social disruption caused by new patterns of wealth and impoverishment. Plays studied on this half-course present cityscapes populated by predators and swindlers, nostalgic evocations of lordly hospitable practices, and meditations on greed. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3332F / 001 J. Purkis Syllabus

3337E - Shakespeare and the Drama of his Age
Shakespeare wrote at the birth of the English-language professional theatre. With the advent of paying customers, it was suddenly possible to earn a living as a professional actor or professional playwright – or in Shakespeare’s case, both. But Shakespeare didn’t write his plays in a vacuum. He was one of a constantly-evolving group of playwrights – friends and rivals – who learned from each other even as they competed for audiences. This year-long course sets Shakespeare’s drama alongside the drama of his fellow playwrights. The reading is not yet finalized, but is likely to include The Merchant of Venice and Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta; The Taming of the Shrew and Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed; Romeo and Juliet and Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore; The Winter’s Tale and Heywood’s A Woman Killed with Kindness; and The Tempest and Massinger’s The Renegado. Students who have already taken English 3227E are welcome to enroll. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 3337E / 001 M.J. Kidnie Syllabus 

3341G - Sex, Death, and Philosophy: Libertinism and Eighteenth-Century British Literature
The restoration of the monarchy in 1660 ushered in a new and sometimes frightening era of philosophical, social, and sexual freedom. This course explores Libertinism, a subversive doctrine that challenged cultural and sexual norms, through the poems, plays, and prose of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3341G / 001 M. McDayter Syllabus

3350E - The Nineteenth-Century Novel: Austen to Hardy
During the nineteenth century novels became the privileged medium in which British society viewed itself as a whole made up of interrelated parts. The period also saw unprecedented change in novelistic technique and in the business of publishing novels. This course will study these and other developments in prose fiction. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 3350E / 001 J. Devereux Syllabus 

3351G - Romantic Revolutions
Revolt, radicalism, counter-revolution, reaction, reformation; hope, crisis, peace, war, invention, imagination, catastrophe, wonder, terror. What shadows did revolution cast upon the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? This course examines a range of texts that reflect Romantic and post-Romantic transformations, upheavals, and reversals in aesthetic, socio-political, scientific, and/or psychological thought and writing. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3351G / 001 M. Mazur Syllabus 

3361F - Sherlock Holmes and the Fiction of Detection
This course studies the detective figure in nineteenth-century literature and culture, including the legacy of specific literary figures and how they have influenced derivative multimedia content today. Possible topics include: the science of deduction; evidence and forensic practices; panopticism and the society of surveillance; the role of the detective in modernizing police work; and, the concomitance between Gothic and sensation fiction and the clinical and forensic recognition of specific psycho-sexual disorders. We will also address questions of race, class, and gender where the literary detective has been used to advance specific political and polemical ideologies, all while exploring literary criminology as an interdisciplinary field that bridges critical cultural and literary analysis with criminal profiling. The course will also address subsequent film, television, and graphic novel adaptations of iconic characters and the real-world crimes of late nineteenth-century that helped shape the fiction of detection and expand public interest in crime, including those committed by Jack the Ripper, H.H. Holmes and his “Murder Castle,” as well as the “Lambeth Poisoner” Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, among others. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3361F / 001 M. Arntfield Syllabus 

3369F - Topics in Nineteenth-Century Literature - Pre-Raphaelite Literature and Art: From Romanticism to Modernism (cross-listed with SASAH 3390F)
This course will explore a narrow topic with nineteenth-century literature. It may concentrate on a shorter historical span, a particular genre, or use some other principle of selection. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3369F / 001 D. Bentley Syllabus 

3370G - Modernism and the Birth of the Avant-Garde
Fascinated by innovation and revolution, modernism is obsessed with the new, celebrating the speed, alienation, and fragmentation of modernity. Yet it is also steeped in nostalgia, in a world dashed by modernity itself. This course offers a range of texts that explore modernist re-imaginings of art, politics, psychology and identity. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3370G / 001 G. Donaldson Syllabus

3371F - Contemporary Experimental Literature
Several contemporary poets and fiction writers express a profound dissatisfaction with traditional literary genres, preferring to focus on radical innovations in technique. This course examines a range of texts that offer a more clinical approach to writing, inspired by such structures as dreams, arbitrary constraints, and game theory. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3371F / 001 J. Boulter Syllabus

3372F - Drama of the Irish Literary Revival
The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, site of new dramatic forms as well as political rioting, was at the centre of the Irish Literary Revival of the early twentieth century. This course examines the beginnings of the theatre in 1904 and explores the function of drama within the Irish literary tradition. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3372F / 001 J. Devereux Syllabus 

3470F - American Cult Classics
This course explores movements or genres with passionate followings and transgressive or countercultural themes. How did these cult traditions emerge and how can we explain their appeal? Topics may include religious or illicit countercultures, American gothic fiction, Beat literature, hard-boiled detective fiction, and sci fi. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3470F / 001 J. Schuster Syllabus 

3480G - Topics in American Literature - Reading America Now
How does the American literary imagination engage contemporary issues?  This course approaches recent American fiction and poetry to explore national identity, sexual and racial difference, social and economic injustice, and the significance of media technology. Readings may be accompanied by studies of contemporary visual culture and music. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3480G / 001 K. Stanley Syllabus

3490G (formerly 3666FG) - American Drama
This course will focus on the home in US drama. The living room is perhaps the most ubiquitous of settings in American drama, but it is a complex space, a battleground upon which larger conflicts in American culture are staged. Through our observations of plays such as Death of a Salesman, Our Town, A Raisin in the Sun, and Hamilton, we will ask such questions as: how does the home define the concepts of work and leisure, male and female, old and new, poor and rich, foreign and domestic, public and private, comfort and danger? How are larger national ideologies (for example, the American dream or the concept of race) articulated through the home? How is the nation a home? Finally, how do different artistic movements (such as realism and expressionism) and genres (such as the comedy, the living room drama, and the musical) approach these issues differently? Coursework will include presentations, two essays, and a final exam. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3490G / 001 A. MacLean Syllabus

3571G - Be/Longing: Global Literature in Canada
Where is “here” for writers of migrant and diasporic heritages living in Canada? How might writing from “elsewhere” reshape individual and collective understandings of what it means to be Canadian? Canada’s official Multiculturalism Act is not new, yet the trend of interest in awarding and consuming literary works by migrant and diasporic writers has risen sharply only recently. Why? Is “multiculturalism” still a useful framework for understanding this trend or Canada’s identity? This course will study a rich variety of answers to these and other questions in selected works by Nino Ricci, Guillermo Verdecchia, Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip, Rohinton Mistry, Anita Rau Badami, David Chariandy, Kim Thuy, and Rawi Hage. We will attend to the literariness of these works, compare them to answers in other art forms, and contextualize them in selected readings in current scholarship (e.g., studies of diaspora, immigration, citizenship, trauma, globalization, neoliberalism, critical multiculturalism, and critical race studies). 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3571G / 001 D. Pennee Syllabus

3580F (formerly 3777FG) - Topics in Canadian Literature - Creativity and the Local
A Community Engaged Learning Course
. This course explores the rich literary cultures of Southwestern Ontario. Through Community Engaged Learning projects, field trips to local cultural sites, and guest speakers, students will learn how creativity grows out of, interacts with and transforms this place, and will draw on their own creativity to support and contribute to local culture. Reaching back to the Regionalist movement in literature, performance, and visual art of the 1970s and extending to the present moment, readings, lectures, and activities will help students think about how local literature (and the institutions and activities that emerge from it) accesses the public and builds communities, relates people to the environment and landscape in which they live, connects the local to national and transnational cultures, retrieves and revalues hidden stories and histories, and represents a diversity of voices and values. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3580F / 001 M. Jones Syllabus 

3670F - Global Indigenous Literatures (cross-listed with Women's Studies 3363F)
This course engages with the cultures of storytelling and literary production of different Indigenous peoples across the globe. In reading this literature with attention to the distinct cultures, territories, and histories of particular Indigenous nations, this course will also consider what unites Indigenous peoples on an international level. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 3670F / 001 J. Emberley Syllabus

3680G (formerly 3880FG) - First Nations Literatures (cross-listed with First Nations 3880G)
This course will introduce students to a diverse range of Indigenous cultural practices, primarily North American, which might include oral narratives, writings, and visual and performance materials. Students will also consider how these practices both shape and are shaped by specific historical and geographical contexts. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3680G / 001 P. Wakeham Syllabus

3778G - Modern Drama and the Theatre of the Absurd
In the twentieth century, art and drama reacted to the cataclysmic events of two world wars and the profound changes in society and culture that followed. This course explores the theory and practice of absurdist theatre, from Dadaism through the work of such authors as Beckett, Ionesco, and Pinter. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 3778G / 001 J. Devereux Syllabus

4000 Level Courses

4000-level courses are designed for Honors students (whether those in an HSP or a Double Major). Fourth-year, non-Honors students with a 70% average may also enroll in 4000-level courses. These courses typically explore narrowly defined topics: a particular work or author, a brief historical moment, or a clearly defined theoretical issue. Students and faculty will engage with the texts at hand and the surrounding critical tradition. Deploying and expanding their critical skills, students will find and explore their own research questions while situating their argument within an ongoing conversation. 4000-level seminars are an opportunity for sustained, independent study within the structure of a communal seminar. The small, seminar setting prepares English students for continued study at the graduate level. 4000-level courses are typically not suitable for students not in English modules unless the topic specifically compliments the student’s work in their home module. Learn more >>

4290F – From Pixels to Papyrus: A Brief History of the Things We Read
Description TBA. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 4290F / 001 M. McDayter Syllabus

4330G - Seminar in Renaissance Literature (Brescia College)
Description TBA. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 4330G / 530 J. Doelman Syllabus

4360G – Weird Science: Representations of the Supernatural in Late-Victorian Fiction
Description TBA. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018 4360G / 001 C. Keep Syllabus 

4371F – Seminar in 20th-Century British Literature (Brescia College)
This seminar will consider twentieth-century English and American literature encounter with modernity through the vibrancy and variety of the city.  Literary tropes established in the nineteenth century are altered and adapted to the changing urban environment, but continuities abound and such tropes mediate our experience of "the city". We will read several texts (Simmel, le Corbusier, de Certeau, and others) that discuss aspects of the city both in its imagined form, its planning, and in its lived experience alongside literature, mostly fiction but some poetry and film as well, that will inform our understanding of how urban space is represented, mediated, and experienced in the twentieth-century. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017 4371F / 530 B. Diemert Syllabus 

4380G – Contemporary British Fiction
Description TBA 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018  4380G / 001 A. Lee Syllabus

4471F – Seminar in American Literature (King's University College)
Description TBA 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017  4471F / 570 L. Dicicco Syllabus

4572G – Seminar in Canadian Literature (King's University College)
Description TBA 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018  4572G / 570 I. Rae Syllabus

4871F – Seminar in Literary Studies (Huron University College)
Description TBA 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2017  4871F / 550 N. Brooks Syllabus

4881G – Seminar in Literary Studies (Huron University College)
Description TBA 3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2018  4881G / 550 J. Vanderheide Syllabus

4999E - Thesis
English 4999E is individual instruction in the selection of a topic, the preparation of materials, and the writing of a thesis. Students who wish to take this course must apply to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies, Department of English and Writing Studies. This course is restricted to students in fourth year of an English Program with a minimum A average. Additional registration in 4000-level English courses require permission of the Department. See Undergraduate Thesis Course for details. 1.0 course

Fall/Winter 4999E / 001 Various Consent form .pdf

Western Academic Timetable >

2017 SPRING/SUMMER COURSES

Distance Studies (May 8 - July 28)

1020E - Understanding Literature Today
By studying a broad range of exciting and important literary works from the past and present, this course will increase your understanding and appreciation not just of the richness and power of the works themselves, but also of the role of literature in reflecting and shaping our perceptions of the world and of ourselves. 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour, 1.0 course

Summer 1020E / 650 A. Schuurman Syllabus syllabus
Summer 1020E / 651 M. Hartley Syllabus syllabus

2033E - Children’s Literature
Readings from significant books written for children, selected primarily for literary quality. Some attention will be given to the historic evolution of "Children's Literature" as a separate class, but the principal aim of the course will be to consider the nature and development of the two major genres: nonsense verse and romance. 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour, 1.0 course

Summer 2033E / 650 C. Suranyi Syllabus syllabus

2071FG - Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction
From Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, a consideration of the history and development of science fiction. Will include science fiction themes such as the Other, new technologies, chaos theory, cybernetics, paradoxes of space/time travel, first contact, and alien worlds. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Summer 2071FG / 650 J. Kelly Syllabus syllabus

2072FG - Speculative Fiction: Fantasy
A study of the purposes and historical origins of fantasy, and modern developments in fantasy: alternate worlds, horror or ghost stories, sword & sorcery, heroic fantasy. May include writers such as Tolkien, Simmons, Peake, Herbert, Beagle, Rowling. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Summer 2072FG / 650 J. Kelly Syllabus syllabus

2308E - American Literature Survey
This course offers a survey of important texts and authors from the Puritan and Revolutionary periods to the present. It addresses not only the major movements and styles of American literature associated with such authors as Poe, Dickinson, Twain, Hemingway, and Morrison, but also the innovative work of less familiar Indigenous and ethnic authors. 3 hours, 1.0 course

Summer 2308E / 650 T. Phu Syllabus syllabus

Intersession (May 15 - June 23)

2033E - Children’s Literature
Readings from significant books written for children, selected primarily for literary quality. Some attention will be given to the historic evolution of "Children's Literature" as a separate class, but the principal aim of the course will be to consider the nature and development of the two major genres: nonsense verse and romance. 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour, 1.0 course

Summer 2033E / 001 G. Ceraldi Syllabus syllabus

Course listings may be subject to change. See Academic Timetable for date, time, and location of specific courses. See Undergraduate Sessional Dates for more details and deadlines for 2017 and 2018.

Course Outline & Catalogue Archive

For your convenience, we have created an archive of English courses previously offered, as well as the related syllabi made available to us. Please click here to read a more thorough description of an English course previously offered or to download an old syllabi.