Department of English

University of Toronto

6000 Series Course Descriptions

ENG6012HS
Forms of Disability
K. Williams

Course Description:
This course works at the unruly conjunction of disability theory and literary studies. We will consider how disability in literary texts operates as a site of formal innovation-beyond reading disability as a plot device or trope, and beyond character diagnosis-and engage disability as a concept that evokes the capacity of literature to represent difference and shape experience. Understanding disability theory as a lens for new and emerging inquiry in literary studies, this course will also ask: how might close attention to literary forms and histories productively complicate dominant paradigms of disability theory? We will read some works that have proven especially influential or contested (for example, William Shakespeare's Richard III and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), but the bulk of our readings will be drawn from theoretical and critical material, alongside case studies that consider disability in relation to questions of poetics, temporality, language, and performance.

Course Reading List:
Primary theoretical and critical readings include:
Michael Bérubé, The Secret Life of Stories
Rosemarie Garland Thomson, Extraordinary Bodies and Staring: How We Look
Lennard Davis, Bending Over Backwards
Robert McRuer, Crip Times
Tobin Siebers, from Disability Theory and Disability Aesthetics
Melanie Yergeau, Authoring Autism
Ellen Samuels, Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race
Kim Q. Hall, ed. Feminist Disability Studies
Ato Quayson, Aesthetic Nervousness
David Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder, Narrative Prosthesis
Adams, Reiss, and Serlin, eds. Keywords for Disability Studies
Michael Davidson, Concerto For the Left Hand
Henri-Jacques Stiker, A History of Disability.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Perfect attendance and engaged participation in seminar discussions, 20%; Short responses, 30%; Final research paper (c. 6,000 words), 50%

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2020)
Date/Time: Thursdays, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
 

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ENG6063HS
Novel Theory Now
T. Dancer

Course Description:
This course takes off from the unanswered question posed by Timothy Bewes and Nancy Armstrong at the 2018 Novel Studies conference: does the contemporary novel require a new theory of the novel? I take this question as a provocation, a claim that novel theory, despite seeming old fashioned, may provide as important a window on the contemporary as other economic, political, and ecological approaches. This course will introduce students to the field of novel theory in order to explore its utility, value, and shortcomings as a framework for the study of contemporary fiction. We will explore the ways that contemporary novels transform (or not) the fundamental claims and categories of our long standing theories of the novel, and what such transformations tell us about the status of the novel in and for contemporary life.

Course Reading List:
Mikhail Bahktin, Gyorgy Lukacs, Virginia Woolf, Eve Sedgwick, Nancy Armstrong, Ian Watt, Edward Said, Zadie Smith, David Mitchell, Yoko Tawada, Tom McCarthy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Bruno Latour, John Dewey, Alan Turing, Ruth Ozeki, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hari Kunzru. (Subject to change)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Participation (20%) weekly seminar presentations - March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 (20%), informal writing and responses - January 14, 21, 28; February 4, 11.  Response take home essay - April 10 (40%), Essay/Research paper - April 16 (20%).

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2020)
Date/Time: Tuesdays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 614 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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ENG6065HF
Repetition in Modern Thought and Culture
U. Esonwanne

Course Description:
Solemnly, Søren Kierkegaard predicted that repetition would not only "play a very important rôle in modern philosophy," but that modern philosophy would teach us that life itself "is a repetition." Modern thinkers since Kierkegaard have returned repeatedly to the problematic of repetition, be this in history (Marx), psychic processes (Freud), ethnology (Eliade), philosophy (Deleuze), or literary theory and criticism (Bloom, Miller, and Said). Now if contemporary art, like the Human Sciences, teaches us that life is a repetition, we must ask what precisely life and art repeat, how, and under what circumstances. Are we, like the anthropologist in Amitav Ghosh's In an Antique Land, fated to constantly "recognize" our stories in other media and, thereafter, compelled to retell them in a psychologically redemptive incantatory pattern? Such are the issues that this course will address.

Course Reading List:
Depending on availability, primary texts include Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth; The Odyssey; O Brother, where art thou?; The Kingdom of This World; Robinson Crusoe; Friday; Prospero's Daughter.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Course conduct will consist of open discussions, seminar presentations and, where necessary, lectures. Evaluation will be based on seminar presentations (30%), a mini-conference presentation 20%, and a research paper 50%

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2019)
Date/Time: Mondays, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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ENG6162HF
The Poetics of Melancholy
E. D. Harvey


Course Description:
This course examines the theory and figuration of melancholy in psychoanalysis and poetry. We will read Freud's Mourning and Melancholia as a work that establishes the psyche's relationship with loss and establishes the foundation of unconscious object relations. Freud revised his conception of the ego as an elegiac formation in The Ego and the Id, where he reconceives the nature of identification and mourning in ways that create a powerful legacy for thinking about loss. We'll explore subsequent theorizations of melancholy through such figures as Melanie Klein, Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, Thomas Ogden, Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler, and Giorgio Agamben. Our investigations will consider gender, history and anachronism, affect, and scripting grief in poetic form. How does the poet engage the past, silence and absence, and how is the lost object encrypted within the text? Central works will include Anne Carson's poetry, drama, and lyric essays (Anthropology of Water, Canicula di Anna, The Glass Essay, and "Variations on the Right to Remain Silent.")

Course Reading List:
New Course Reading List (no. 1): Freud, Mourning and Melancholia, The Ego and the Id; Anne Carson, "The Anthropology of Water," "Canicula di Anna," "Variations on the Right to Remain Silent," "The Glass Essay".

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
One short (20-minute) oral presentation (25%); active participation in class discussion (10%); prospectus for research essay and bibliography (15%); and one research essay (15-18 pages) (50%).

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2019)
Date/Time: Wednesdays, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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ENG6171HS
Writing a Journal Article
C. Schmitt

Note: This course is restricted to English PhD and PhDU students.

Course Description:
Writing publishable work: without doubt the single most important ability for success in the academy but rarely explicitly taught in graduate school. This course teaches it. Students will choose the best paper (or the paper they judge to have the most potential) from their first-term coursework. Via workshopping and in response to feedback from their peers and the instructor, they will take that paper through a series of expansions and revisions to produce, by term's end, a polished article. The final assignment will be to submit that article to a journal to be considered for publication. Along the way students will locate fitting venues for their work; identify and emulate successful aspects of recently published articles they consider the best in their field; evaluate academic writing for its style as well as its argument (recognizing that, in the humanities at least, the two are inseparable); and develop habits that enable them regularly to write and revise. Above all, they will come to think of themselves as writers: people for whom writing is not a sporadic activity driven by deadlines but a quotidian part of who they are and what they do.

Course Reading List:
Our main guide throughout the term will be Eric Hayot's Elements of Academic Style, which we'll read cover to cover. We'll also scrutinize examples of powerful academic writing (including those "recently published articles they consider the best in their field" referred to above). And of course students will read and reread their own and each other's writing, the real centrepiece of the course.

Course Methods of Evaluation and Requirements:
A series of assignments including participation (10%), a writing accountability log (10%), a journals research assignment (20%), written comments on classmates' drafts (10%), and a final, polished article (50%).

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2020)
Date/Time: Tuesdays, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG6181HF
Permaculture and Literature
A. Most

Course Description:
Developed in the 1970s as a form of sustainable farm planning, permaculture (a contraction of "permanent agriculture") has evolved into a full-scale ecological design methodology, used in architecture, urban planning, landscape design, and curriculum development. Building on the foundations laid by the recent publication of Perma/Culture by Routledge, this course challenges students to use permaculture in radically new ways. We will ask: What might it mean to our work as literary critics to use ecological principles to shape how we read and write? How might this kind of critical practice shift the ways in which we teach, communicate and behave in the world? Following our introductory session on campus on September 11 at 1pm, the course will get underway with an intensive two-day weekend workshop on September 14 & 15 on the core principles of permaculture. Students will then return to the classroom to apply what they have learned. Assigned readings will include extracts from Perma/Culture, ecocritical theory, and a few short works of fiction and poetry which we will use to experiment with this new way of reading. In the final four weeks of class, students will select texts from their own fields of interest and use them as case studies to explore the literary and environmental potential of reading in this new way.

Course Reading List:
Readings will include Molly Wallace and David Carruthers, eds. Perma/Culture and Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby; a Permaculture textbook (exact title TBD); Stories, essays or poems by authors such as Donna Haraway, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Michael Pollan, Henry David Thoreau, Wendell Berry, Amitav Ghosh and Ursula K. LeGuin; and presentation texts selected by the students.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Class participation (20%), Short Response papers (20%), Case Study Presentation and Final Essay (60%).

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2019)
Date/Time: Wednesdays, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, 2 hours
NOTE: This class includes a required two-day intensive urban permaculture training session on Saturday, September 14 from 2-6pm and Sunday, September 15, 1-5pm. Location still to be determined, will be accessible via TTC. There will be no class on Wednesday, October 9 (due to Yom Kippur). Due to the required 8-hour workshop, the course will end a few weeks before the end of term. Final class is scheduled for Wednesday, November 13.
Location: Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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ENG6365HS
Diasporic Englishes 
C. Percy

Course Description:
A survey of diasporic Englishes, with strong emphases on lexicon, morphology, syntactical structure, and pronunciation in their distinctness from "standard English". Attention will be given to the historical and cultural circumstances that have informed these transformations. While we survey specific developments (such as, for instance, Englishes in Scotland, Canada, the Caribbean, India, and on the internet), these varieties will illustrate more general developments and dynamics of language variation in the diaspora. General topics may include concepts and terms for describing language; language contact and language change; pidgins and Creoles; the use of English as a primary language, and official second language, and an international language; globalization; language planning; issues pertaining to the codification and teaching of 'non-standard' Englishes; the dynamics of the Creole continuum and of language-mixing in literary and non-literary texts.

Course Reading List:
Primary Texts:
Literary and non-literary texts (TBA) will illustrate lectures and seminars.
Secondary Texts: A course reader will supplement reference works and a textbook such as Edgar W. Schneider’s Postcolonial English: Varieties around the World (Cambridge UP, 2007). Your predecessors’ projects are available online at http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/DiasporicEnglishes2007.htm

Course Requirements and Method of Evaluation:
This is an introductory course. The course requirements are Short reports (best 3 of 6: 30%), a proposal with bibliography (10%), a presentation (this is the "class taught on your topic" - you don't have to change anything: 15%), a final research paper (35%), and participation (10%). 

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2020)
Date/Time: Mondays, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG6494HF
Psychogeography and the Mapping of Literary Space
S. Radović

Course Description:
First proposed by Guy Debord in his 1955 essay “Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography,” the term “psychogeography” is defined as “the study of the specific effects (and affects) of the built environment (intended or not) on the emotions and actions of individuals.” (Buchanan, Oxford Dictionary of Critical Theory, 2010, pp. 390-91) As an impulse to experience urban spaces in radically new and imaginative ways, the concept “psychogeography” will guide our inquiry into the ways contemporary literature seeks to diagnose and re-imagine actual space. We will focus on select 20th and 21st century fiction and non-fiction that explore the effects of spatial perception on the individual and communal psyche. Our aim is to examine the way imagined and, in some cases, even hallucinated spaces reflect the contemporary problems of spatial surveillance, control and dispossession while at the same time revealing the need and strategies of ordinary users to overcome their spatial alienation and reclaim their environment.

Course Reading List:
"Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography" (Guy Debord), "Formulary for a New Urbanism" (Ivan Chtcheglov), "Of Other Spaces" (Michel Foucault), The Production of Space (Henri Lefebvre), "Terrain Vague" (Ignacio de Sola-Morales), "The Uncanny" (Sigmund Freud), The Politics of Public Space (Setha Low and Neil Smith, eds.), Psychogeography (Merlin Coverly), The Architectural Uncanny (Anthony Vidler), Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers (Stephen Graham), Non-Places (Marc Augé), Explore Everything (Bradley L. Garrett), The City and the City (China Mieville), The New York Trilogy (Paul Auster), The Haunting of Hill House (Shirley Jackson), High-rise (J.G. Ballard), The Shining (Stephen King), Kindred (Octavia Butler)

Course Requirements and Method of Evaluation:
Participation (15%), class facilitation (15%), Essay prospectus (20%), Final Essay (50%).

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2019)
Date/Time:  Fridays, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, 2 hours
Location:  Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG6519HF (NEW COURSE ADDED MAY 23, 2019)
Postcolonial Theory and the World Literature Debates
A.F. Raza Kolb

Course Description:  
When publishers, scholars, and critics talk about the prismatic literary and cultural traditions outside the West, they more and more frequently use the term “World Literature” to describe their object. This term now holds sway in influential places and is changing the shape of how we think, learn, and write about non-Western aesthetics. If we can imagine a literature that truly goes under the heading of “World,” what can we possibly exclude? What might we gain by using this term, and what might we lose? What histories are attached to the various names and classifications we assign to culture, and how does cultural “othering” uphold or resist forms of economic, political, and military dominance? In this course we will work through the influential writings of postcolonialism—a method designed to challenge hegemonic forms of representation, cultural production, and study. In the second half of the semester, we will turn our attention to the historical underpinnings and current critics of World Literature.

Course Reading List:  
Readings will include works by Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, C.L.R James, Maryse Condé, Edouard Glissant, Goethe, Marx, Fredric Jameson, Franco Moretti, Pascale Casanova, Anne McClintock, Indra Sinha, Yusuf Idris, and more.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
participation: 20%
short paper: 20%
presentation: 15%
final research paper: 45%

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2019)
Date/Time:  Tuesdays, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 3 hours
Location:  Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG6521HF
Literature and Medicine: Corpus, Theory, Praxis
A. Charise

CourseDescription:
This seminar is a critical introduction to the interdisciplinary field of literature and medicine: its key texts, current theoretical frameworks, and contemporary scenes of practice. We will consider the basics of illness narratives (including thematics like pain, ethics, and the medical encounter), alongside distinctive formal conventions and genres (like memoir, clinical writing, lyric, speculative fiction). We will also consider the implications of the past two decades' enthusiastic uptake of literary concepts by the health professions- "narrative" and "close reading" especially-for the purposes of enhancing clinical competencies like compassion, empathy, and the "humanizing" of medicine. How might we, as scholars of literary studies, better theorize the emergence of literary sensibilities in the twenty-first century clinic? Why would the deployment of literary concepts, tools, and methods constitute such a fraught moment in the historical debate regarding the value of the humanities? This seminar's deliberate interweaving of literary writings with theoretical texts is intended to complement our ongoing consideration of praxis as it regards literature and medicine. To this end, students will also be provided the opportunity to develop transferable skills in "narrative medicine," a workshop-based, practical methodology that expands the purview-or pushes the limits-of contemporary literary studies.

Course Reading List:
Our readings will consist of a provocative range of theoretical and literary texts mostly drawn from 20th- and
21st- century sources, including: Charon et al, The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine; Jurecic, Illness as Narrative: Composition, Literacy, Culture; Puig de la Bellacasa, Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds; McEwan, Saturday; Baruch, Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers; Lee, On Such A Full Sea; Rankine "The Health of Us," Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (selections). Other essays and shorter writings may include: Arthur Frank, Arthur Kleinman, Susan Sontag, Charon, Johanna Hedva (Sick Woman Theory), Lisa Boivin, Brenda Isabel Wastasecoot, Dodie Bellamy (When the Sick Rule the World), and selections from relevant publications including The Intima and Ars Medica. Students will be urged to make use of course materials to advance their own writing and research projects.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Short essay/position paper (methodological/theoretical) (20%), participation (10%), in-class seminar presentation (20%), final project (50%).

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2019)
Date/Time: Mondays, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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ENG6529HS
Critical Animal Studies
S. Salih

Course Description:
During this course we will make some approaches towards what Derrida has called ‘the philosophical problematic of the animal.’ Through close readings of contemporary texts (theory, fiction, documentary, auto/biography), we will address questions such as the following: How is ‘life’ divided into ‘animal’ and ‘human,’ and what are the ethico-philosophical effects of such acts of measurement and separation? What are the consequences of adding ‘species’ to race, class, gender and sexuality as an equivalent identity category? Are all these categories founded on the distinction between ‘human’ and ‘animal’? Is the preoccupation with the mobile species boundary ‘human’/‘animal,’ a principally Euro-Western one? What are the ethico-discursive consequences of drawing parallels between the subjection of nonhuman animals and that of particular groups of human animals? Indeed, should we talk in terms of ‘animal genocide’ as Derrida does? What does it mean if human freedom has as its material condition of possibility the absolute control over the lives of nonhuman others (Wolfe)? If the word ‘animal’ is an interpretive decision that carries metaphysical, ethical, juridical and political consequences, how is it possible to name, or even to think, ‘the animal’ (e.g. Derrida’s ‘l’animot’)? What would be the possible effects within cultural studies, critical theory, and literary studies, of theorizing the nonhuman animal as a subject category that is not separated from other subject categories by speciesist distinctions?

Course Reading List:
Our reading is likely to include a number of the following texts, subject to availability:

Theoretical:
Carol J. Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat. A Feminist Vegetarian Critical Theory
Andre Bazin, ‘Death every afternoon’
J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
Jacques Derrida, ‘The animal that therefore I am (more to follow)’
Matthew Calarco, The Question of the Animal
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
Cass R. Sunstein and Martha C. Nussbaum (eds.), Animal Rights. Current Debates and New Directions
Cary Wolfe, Animal Rites. American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory
---. (ed.), Zoontologies. The Question of the Animal

Fictional :
J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace

Documentary/Auto/biographical:
Sue Coe, Dead Meat
Werner Herzog, Grizzly Man

Course Requirements and Method of Evaluation:
Participation, including one response to week’s readings: 10+10%; Abstract (500 words): 10%; Abstract workshop: 5%; Essay(4000 words): 40%; Conference presentation: 25%.

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2020)
Date/Time: Mondays, 3:00 am - 6:00 pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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ENG6847HS
From CanLit to Canlits: The Re-formation of a Literature
S. Kamboureli

Course Description:
What shapes a literature as an institution and as a canon? How do institutional structures and sociocultural conditions influence the formation of a literary tradition and its study? What constitutes and what may de- constitute a settle culture's literature? What is the relationship of literature to the nation state and to public discourses? What shapes a literature's political unconscious? What conditions influence the critical approaches we adopt? What is the relationship between social media discourses, especially those about #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, and literature as an institution? These are the overarching concerns that will frame this course's focus on CanLit as a discipline. More specifically, adopting a historical perspective, the first part of the course will examine CanLit's foundational anxieties and desires that have characterized its preoccupation with national discourses, and its gradual shift away from thematics to anti-thematic approaches and back to a thematics inflected by political and ethical concerns; the second part will focus on the controversies and scandals that have shaken CanLit as of late, and which have taken place almost exclusively in the social media.

Course Reading List:
Literary texts: Rawi Hage, Cockroach; Rachel Zolf, Janey's Arcadia; Catherine Bush, Accusation.
Critical Texts: Hannah McGregor, Julie Rak, and Erin Wunker, "Introduction: Living in the Ruins, or, 150 Years of F*ckery," Zoe Todd, "Rape Culture, CanLit, and You," Lorraine York, "How Do We Get Out of Here? An Atwood Scholar Signing Off" and Laura Moss, "On Not Refusing CanLit" from Refuse: CanLit in Ruins, ed. McGregor et. al.. Diana Brydon, "Introduction: Reading Postcoloniality, Reading Canada," Barbara Godard, "Notes from the Cultural Field: Canadian Literature from Identity to Hybridity," Jeff Derksen, "National Literatures in the Shadow of Neoliberalism," and a few other critical essays TBA.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Seminar Presentations (date as selected): 35%; Essay/ Research paper: 45%; informed participation and written weekly responses: 20%.

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2020)
Date/Time: Mondays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 614 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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ENG6890HF
Reading Auerbach's Mimesis
C. Warley

Course Description:
It is no exaggeration to say that Erich Auerbach's Mimesis is the most influential book of literary criticism ever written. Mimesis offers a tour of what Auerbach calls "manifested reality" from Homer and the Bible to Virginia Woolf. The book is thrilling: Auerbach is a better close reader, a better historian, and a better philologist than just about anyone who has ever lived. But-almost miraculously-Mimesis is also a pleasure to read. Literary criticism, Auerbach constantly stressed, must be a work of art, and in Mimesis he shows us all how criticism should be done. It is a book whose beauty still takes your breath away. We will read Mimesis and selected articles of Auerbach. Particular attention will be given to the use of Auerbach in Jacques Rancière's Aisthesis, as well as recent criticism by Aamir Mufti, James Porter, Alex Woloch, Jane Newman.

Course Reading List:
Auerbach, Mimesis Rancière, Aisthesis Time, History, and Literature: Selected Essays of Erich Auerbach, ed. James I. Porter, trans. Jane O. Newman

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Participation and Engagement (20%). Initial close reading (20%). 500-word point of discussion on reading (15%). Final paper no more than 3500 words (45%).

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2019)
Date/Time: Thursdays, 9:00 am - 11:00 am, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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