Department of English

University of Toronto

2020 Summer Courses

2020 Summer Graduate Course Timetable (TBA) & Course Descriptions


NB: Department ACORN Enrolment for Summer F/S/Y courses: Date TBA

Scroll down to go to Course Descriptions.  Please note specific dates below.

2020 Summer Graduate Course Descriptions

ENG4903HF
Herman Melville's Democratic Navigations
P. Downes

Course Description:
This course reads major works by Herman Melville (1819-1891), from Typee (1846) to Billy Budd (posthumously published in 1924). Discussions will be supplemented by secondary readings that approach Melville's fiction from the perspective of American political history or that engage with theories of democracy and representation. Melville's fiction will be enlisted to inform debates over economic, racial and gender equality and to help us imagine one or another kind of sea-change in our social, political and environmental worlds. No previous familiarity with Melville or American literature is required.

Course Reading List:
Typee; Moby-Dick; Billy Budd and Other Stories; Battle Pieces.

Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Presentation (20%); Research Essay (80%)

Term: SUMMER F-Term (May-June 2020)
Date/Time: TBA 2 hours
Location: Rm. JHB TBA

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ENG5030HS
The Child at the Social Limit in Contemporary American Fiction 
N. Morgenstern

Course Description:
This course will consider representations of liminal or “wild” childhood in contemporary American fiction, psychoanalysis, and philosophy. Is the child merely a proto-adult, temporarily lacking in the requirements of full citizenship and full responsibility, or does childhood name a constitutive and irreducible dimension of human being? What is the relationship among human rights, animal rights, and the rights of the child? How have changing relationships to parenthood and to the ethics of reproduction affected narrative representations of the parent-child relationship? This course will read recent critical writing on the figure of the child and the politics of reproduction as well as novels and films depicting children and their guardians in states of ethical and existential crisis. Topics for consideration will include the history of the figure of the child and childhood in the West, psychoanalysis and the child, queer theory and the child, protective parenting and the ethics of reproduction (reproduction and environmental crisis, the politics of transnational adoption and global surrogacy), the enduring and shifting function of the maternal and the paternal, children’s rights.

Course Reading List:
Readings will include: Rousseau, Émile; Kant, A Treatise on Education; Ruddick, Maternal Thinking; Arendt, “The Crisis in Education,” Winnicott, Playing and Reality; Solomon, Far From The Tree; Edelman, No Future; Stockton, The Queer Child; Bhaba, “The Child –What Sort of Human?”; Guenther, The Gift of the Other; Overall, Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate; Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am; Morrison, A Mercy ; Donoghue, Room; McCarthy, The Road; Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin; Vann, Legend of a Suicide; McAdam, A Beautiful Truth; Roth, American Pastoral; Bechdel, Are You My Mother?; Jonze (dir.), Where the Wild Things Are; Villeneuve (dir.) Prisoners

Course Requirements and Method of Evaluation:
Seminar Participation (20%); Oral Presentation (20%); Final Essay (60%).

Term: SUMMER F-Term (May-June 2020)
Date/Time: TBA 2 hours
Location: Rm. JHB TBA

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ENG5524HF 
Modernism and Temporality (Modernism, Modernity and the Crisis in Temporality)

 G. Leonard

Course Description:
My presentation of modernist writers from 1895 to 1937 will explore how Wilde, Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Stevens, Yeats and Rhys register the crisis brought on—both in psychological models of subjectivity and aesthetic models of representation—by the progressive disenchantment of the modern world (to use Weber’s phrase). Even as the mysteries of Religion yield to the calculations of Science, the lived experience of “time” becomes more and more strange. Joyce will design the “epiphany”; Woolf will devote enormous attention to “the moment”; Rhys will document the way the unbearable burden of “time,” separated from “meaning” drives the addictive behaviours so prevalent in modernity. Without eternal verities intersecting causal sequence, time becomes a burden. Woolf will also look for secular equivalencies of formerly transcendent potentialities: the bond between Septimus and Mrs. Dalloway, for example, flourishing in the most unlikely manner, despite Sir William Bradshaw’s corrosive scientific method of “conversion” and “proportion,” reducing “human nature” to just another kind of “rough beast.”. Eliot’s Tiresias, adrift in modern London, is a helpless witness, watching people burrow deeper and deeper into an imminent secularity that forever promises a satisfaction that never arrives. Finally, Jean Rhys’s remarkable 1937 novel Good Morning, Midnight seems to herald the arrival of Yeats’s “rough beast” in the form of a rapidly spreading fascism, one that brings on the midnight of World War II.

Course Reading List: 
Readings:

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; James Joyce, selections from Dubliners; Virgina Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land; Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight.
Critical Works (from which Selections will be drawn):
Charles Taylor: Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, A Secular Age; Couze Venn: Occidentalism: Modernity and Subjectivity (2000); Walter Mignolo: The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. (2011); Fredric Jameson: A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present (2002); Anthony Giddens: Modernity and Self-Identity (1991); Edward Said: Culture and Imperialism; Michael Gillespie: The Theological Origins of Modernity (2009); Marshall Berman: All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (1992); Maureen Perkins: The Reform of Time: Magic and Modernity (2001)
Essay Collections:
NowHere: Space, Time and Modernity (1994), ed. Roger Friedland; Myth and the Making of Modernity: The Problem of Grounding in Early Twentieth Century Literature (1998), eds. Michael Bell, Peter Poellner; Religions of Modernity: Relocating the Sacred to the Self and the Digital (2010), eds. Stef Aupers and Dick Houtman.

Course Requirements and Method of Evaluation:
10 percent weekly response; 20 percent presentation; 70 percent final essay.

Term: SUMMER F-Term (May-June 2020)
Date/Time: TBA 2 hours
Location: Rm. JHB TBA

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ENG6015HF
Experimental Narrative and/as Narrative Theory
D. Newman 

Course Description:
Narrative theory is a field in its own right, but it also offers a set of critical methods and analytical tools with broad applicability across literary studies-including feminist and queer, postcolonial, Marxist and psychoanalytic criticism. This course has two complementary aims. First, it surveys core concepts and elements of narratology, providing a toolkit of concepts and methods that students will have at their disposal in their future research. Second, it explores the productive relationship between narrative theory and experimental narratives: how narrative theories are challenged but also *created* by experimental literary practice, especially in modern and contemporary fiction. The course therefore examines not only how innovative narratives force theory to revise and reinvent its models, but also how they might themselves be profitably read as narrative theory. Focusing on issues of reported speech, unreliability, temporal order, and the relationship between narrative form and content, we will read fiction and nonfiction narratives in conjunction with foundational texts by narrative theorists.

Course Reading List:
Narratives: Martin Amis, Time's Arrow; Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad; Nella Larsen, Passing; David Lodge, Thinks...; stories by authors including Sherman Alexie, Samuel Beckett, Ted Chiang, E. M. Forster, Jamaica Kincaid, James Joyce and Alice Munro; excerpts from books including Alison Bechdel, Akwaeke Emezi, Mohsin Hamid and Edna O'Brien; films by Sarah Polley and Bart Layton. Theory and Criticism: David Herman, The Cambridge Companion to Narrative Theory, Suzanne Keen, Narrative Form, and Gerald Prince, A Dictionary of Narratology (2nd ed). Excerpts and essays by H. Porter Abbott, Wayne Booth, Monika Fludernik, Gérard Genette, Susan Lanser, James Phelan, Brian Richardson, Marie-Laure Ryan, Judith Roof and Robyn Warhol.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements: 
Participation: 15%; Seminar presentation: 15%; Exercises in Style: 20%; Essay proposal: 10%; Final essay: 40%.

Term: SUMMER F-Term (May-June 2020)
Date/Time: TBA 2 hours
Location: Rm. JHB TBA

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