Department of English

University of Toronto

2019 Summer Courses


2019 Summer Graduate Course Timetable 

& Course Descriptions

NB: Department ROSI/Acorn Enrolment begins ______ for Summer F/S/Y courses

Scroll down or click on Course code to go to Course Descriptions.  Please note specific dates below. (*NOTE: Room locations, TBA.)








2 hours


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3pm - 5pm

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3 hours

2019 Summer Graduate Course Descriptions

John Donne: Theory and Context
E. Harvey

Course Description:
This course will examine John Donne's poetry (Songs and Sonets, Elegies, Satires, verse letters, Anniversaries, Metempsychosis, Divine Poems) and some of his prose (selections from Ignatius his Conclave, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, and sermons) in relation to recent developments in literary theory, especially historical phenomenology, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and feminism. We will consider Donne's cultural and historical context (the structure of professions, court and city, the Inns of Court, religion, emergent science), his relationships to patrons, particularly as they are addressed in his verse letters, the epithalamia, and in the Anniversaries, his constructions of and responses to gender, and his changing poetic and linguistic style (intertextuality, poetic form, poetic career). The course's concentration on subjectivity will allow us to investigate the imbrication of the seventeenth-century discourses of science, medicine, and the relationship between the body and the soul. In addition to reading Donne's poetry and prose, we will include some theoretical and critical texts and pay significant attention to the history of Donne's critical reception.

Course Reading List:
The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne, Ed. Charles M. Coffin, Modern Library, 2001.

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 (15-20 pages) (50%).

Term: Summer F-Term (May-June 2019)
Date/Time: TBA, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB TBA (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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Pathological Forgetting In Canadian Literature
M. Goldman

Course Description:
This course examines contemporary biomedical and aesthetic representations of what might best be termed pathological modes of forgetting. To a great extent, the theoretical context for this course is provided by philosopher Ian Hacking's observations concerning western culture's ongoing preoccupation with "the sciences of memory." Given current understandings of the modern self as a melding of memory and will the lack of sustained attention to the complex cultural meanings of pathological memory loss and of Alzheimer's, in particular, is a surprising oversight. Drawing on the research of scholars in the sciences and the social sciences, this course turns to literary and aesthetic discourses to analyze their formal structures as well as the political and ethical stakes involved in biomedical and aesthetic discourses that portray memory loss associated with illness.

Course Reading List:
1. M. Laurence. The Stone Angel
2. M. Ignatieff. Scar Tissue
3. J. Mighton. Half-Life
4. A. Munro. "The Bear Came over the Mountain" and Away from Her
5. M. Richler. Barney's Version
6. M. Redhill. Goodness
7. C. Adderson. The History of Forgetting

Books are available at The Bob Miller Book Room
180 Bloor Street West, Lower Concourse
Toronto, ON M5S 2V6
Telephone: (416) 922-3557
Fax: (416) 922-4281

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
Each week students will be required to be prepared to answer orally a list of questions handed out the previous week (or sent to you via e-mail; students will also be asked to chose one question from the list and to write up a 1-2 page response (double spaced, 12 pt. font) that will be handed in at the end of each class-no late submissions will be accepted without permission of the professor. [One-page responses = 15% of grade]

Each student is responsible for one seminar report to be presented orally (max. 15 min.). The report should, where appropriate, analyze the intersections between the theory and the fiction under consideration. A written version of the report is due the week following the oral presentation (max. 8 pages). [Oral presentation and response to questions from the class = 10% of total grade; written version of seminar which, if necessary, can be revised in the light of questions and/or further research = 30% of final grade.]

There is one major research paper, which may develop out of your seminar but should include (theoretical and fiction) material not read on the course (max. 20 pages). [Research paper = 45% of final grade]. 

Term: Summer F-Term (May-June 2019)
Date/Time: TBA, ___ hours
Location: Room JHB TBA (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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American Pastoral: Agriculture and Environment in American Literature
(partially taught on location at Bela Farm); Dates/Times specified below*
A. Most

Course Description:
American Pastoral will explore how American writers have imagined and represented the human relationship to non-human nature over the course of more than two centuries. We will read canonical works of American environmental literature as well as key works of eco-criticism in light of twenty-first century environmental realities, analyzing the relationship between narrative and environment in order to build a compelling set of literary approaches equal to the urgent challenges of our contemporary moment. **Bela Farm is a beautiful 100-acre centre for creative responses to global environmental crisis located about an hour northwest of Toronto in Hillsburgh, ON. The farm has toilet and shower facilities, an indoor / outdoor kitchen (with fridge and running water) designed for immersive educational retreats, and a variety of indoor/outdoor classroom spaces.

Course Reading List:
(Some titles still subject to change)
Primary Texts: Bill McKibben, Eaarth; Henry D. Thoreau, Walden, Civil Disobedience and Other Writings; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass; Willa Cather, My Antonia; Rachel Carson, Silent Spring; Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Philip Roth, The Counterlife; Cormac McCarthy, The Road; Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; Dave Eggers, Zeitoun; plus selected poems and short essays.
Secondary Texts: Selections from the work of Raymond Williams, Leo Marx, Lawrence Buell, William Cronon, Greg Garrard, Annette Kolodny, Jonathan Bate, Paul Outka, Stacey Alaimo, Ursula Heise, Timothy Morton, Rebecca Solnit and Elizabeth Kolbert.

Course Requirements and Method of Evaluation:

Class Participation 20%, Book Report 15%, Presentation 25%, Final Essay 40%.

Term: Summer F-Term (May - June, 2019. See detailed dates below) 
Date/Time: TBA
Location: JHB TBA (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street); and at Bela Farm and Room JHBTBA

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James Joyce: Modernism, Modernity, Mythology
G. Leonard

Course Description:
Joyce's biographer, Richard Ellmann, once remarked "we are still learning to be Joyce's contemporaries." It's an observation Joyce might well have been pleased to hear if we judge from this note he sent to his publisher in an effort to get his first work, Dubliners, published: "I seriously believe that you will retard the course of civilisation in Ireland by, preventing the Irish people from having one good look at themselves in my nicely polished looking-glass." A character in Ulysses remarks, "Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance". In a similar manner, Joyce's fiction has been the happy hunting ground of literary critics and theorists seeking to maintain their balance. No literary theory of the past 50 years has failed to touch down at some point on Joyce's work. As a result it is sometimes difficult to approach the fiction as something other than a paradigm of any number of methodologies. This seminar will not entirely avoid that fate, and student seminar presentations/discussions will be designed to interrogate the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches, and yet our primary question will be what did Joyce think he was doing in writing these stories and novels, and what does he appear to have accomplished in doing so? Orienting one's reading of a text through authorial intention has always been a problematic approach to say the least, and yet Joyce went out of his way, time and time again, to present himself as someone on a mission, someone who must not be stopped unless we seek "to retard the course of civilisation". His character Stephen Dedalus is no less messianic: "I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race." Youthful hubris? Probably. But, given what Joyce accomplished, also pretty much on the mark. Accordingly, while we will encounter and review all the major approaches in this seminar, we will also maintain an interest throughout in "the reality of experience" Stephen set out to encounter, especially as it pertains to the formation of an aesthetic that would become modernism --an aesthetic forged, in large part, in the "smithy" of what we now call modernity. More specifically, this "smithy" included the rise of advertising and commodity culture, the birth of a new Art form (cinema), and the corresponding explosion of form and content in futurism, dadaism surrealism, and impressionism.

The texts for Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a young Man and Ulysses will be ordered at the Bob Miller bookstore. A packet will be prepared with selections gleaned from the bibliography below.

Course Reading List:
Berman, Marshall. All that is solid melts into air: the experience of modernity. 1987.
Charney, Leo. Cinema and the invention of modern life.
Felski, Rita. The gender of modernity
Fornäs, Johan. Consuming media: communication, shopping and everyday life. 2007.
Gillespie, Michael Allen. The theological origins of modernity.
Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, 1995.
Jameson, Fredric. A singular modernity: essay on the ontology of the present. 2002.
Misa, Thomas J. Modernity and Technology.
Smart, Barry. ¬Facing modernity: ambivalence, reflexivity and morality, 1999 ----------------

Attridge, Derek. The Cambridge companion to James Joyce
Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959)
Herr, Cheryl. Joyce's Anatomy of Culture
Joyce, Stanislaus. My Brother's Keeper: James Joyce's Early Years
Kershner, R.B. Joyce, Bakhtin, and Popular Literature: Chronicles of Disorder
Leonard, Garry. Advertising and commodity culture in Joyce. ------------------. Reading Dubliners again: a Lacanian perspective
North, Michael. Reading 1922: A Return to the Scene of the Modern

Armstrong, Tim. Modernism: a cultural history
Caws, Mary Ann. Manifesto: a century of isms
Caughie, Pamela L. Disciplining Modernism.
Kolocoroni, Vassiliki. Modernism: an anthology of sources and documents
Levenson, Michael Harry. The Cambridge companion to modernism
Nicholls, Peter. Modernisms: a literary guide
Whitworth, Michael H. Modernism.

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
10 % Participation (weekly two page position papers); 20% Twenty Minute Presentations followed by student-led discussion; 70% Final essay. 20 pages.

Term: Summer F-Term (May-June 2019)
Date/Time: TBA, ____ hours
Location: Room JHB TBA (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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