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


2 hours


3 hours


3pm - 5pm

2 hours


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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Milton, Globalism, and the Post-national
P. Stevens

Course Description:
The early 21st-century is distinguished by the degree to which the nation-state which emerged so powerfully in the early modern period has come to be perceived as undesirable, obsolete, or anachronistic. "Modernity," says the economist Paul Collier, increasingly "strings identity between one pillar of individualism and one of globalism: many young people see themselves as both fiercely individual outsiders in their surrounding society, and as citizens of the world." For many educated elites and young people, the imagined community is not, then, the nation but the "world," a discursive polity imagined not through print so much as electronic media, television and the internet. This course seeks to reappraise the work of Milton and other 17th-century architects of the nation-state in the light of this dramatic new context: in particular, it seeks to understand the degree to which a new universal or global community is already taking shape in contemporary religious and political thought as it is somewhat ironically preoccupied with the nation. The focus of the course is Milton but other writers to be studied include Virgil, St Paul, Shakespeare, Raleigh, and Harrington.

Course Reading List: (subject to revision)
Texts: Required: Milton, John Milton: The Major Works (Oxford); Virgil, Aeneid (Penguin); St Paul, Epistles (AV Bible); Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice (Oxford); Raleigh, History of the World (Oxford); Harrington, Oceana (Cambridge); Course Reader
Recommended: Paul Collier, Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century (Penguin); Alain Badiou, St Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (Stanford); Stevens & Loewenstein, Early Modern Nationalism and Milton's England (Toronto).

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
Class participation, 10%; seminar presentation, 35%; research essay (5,000 words), 55%.

Term: F-Term (May - June 2019)
Date/Time: TBA, 3 hours
Location: Room TBA (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

Pathological Forgetting In Canadian Literature COURSE CANCELLED
M.. Goldman

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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 TBA) 
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

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