Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG415H1F L0101

ENG415H1F    L0101    W1-3
Advanced Studies Group 1: Literary Citizenship
Professor Robert McGill

Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 716
Email: robert.mcgill@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course: Literary citizenship involves participation in building and sustaining cultural communities through things from podcasts and micro-presses to reading series and book clubs. Examining Toronto-based activities, some with a local focus and others with a national or transnational emphasis, we’ll investigate how and why they developed, whom they serve, and what functions they perform. As we do so, we’ll consider the economics and demographics of contemporary publishing, the effects of new media on book culture, the use of literature in fostering literacy and social justice, and the relationship between literary citizenship and the state. We’ll also practise literary citizenship ourselves through blog posts and book reviews, while students will conduct independent research into literary-citizenship initiatives. The course will cultivate expertise regarding a wide range of possibilities for literary citizenship while attending to broader issues such as the valuing of literature, labour, and community in the twenty-first century.

Required Reading: (subject to change) Lori A. May, The Write Crowd: Literary Citizenship and the Writing Life; André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs; Gail Pool, Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America (excerpt); Roy MacSkimming, The Perilous Trade: Book Publishing in Canada 1946-2006 (excerpt); Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production (excerpt); Catherine A. Mackinnon, Only Words (excerpt); websites for PEN Canada, The Writers’ Union of Canada, Toronto Arts Council, The Love Lettering Project, Story Planet, and Coach House Press.

First Three Authors/Texts:  (subject to change) Lori A. May, The Write Crowd: Literary Citizenship and the Writing Life; André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs; Gail Pool, Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America (excerpt).

Method of Evaluation:
Class participation (15%); blog post and responses (15%); book review (15%); report proposal and outline (10%); report (40%); report presentation (5%).
Link to ARTSCI Calendar Course Descriptions.

Link to ARTSCI 2016-17 Timetable with Room Allocations.

Return to 400 Level Courses.

Return to 2016-17 Fall-Winter Courses.

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