Department of English

University of Toronto

6000 Series Course Descriptions

ENG6171HS
Writing a Journal Article
T. Keymer

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 ready for submission to a scholarly journal of the student's choice. 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 wrifting (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 Course 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 including abstract (50%).

Term: S-TERM (January 2022 to April 2022)
Date/Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Mondays
Location:
RM JHB 718 (Room Change) (Jackman Humanities Building, University of Toronto, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: IN-PERSON 

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ENG6182HF
Eating Well
S. Salih

Course Description:
In 2019, a report by Oxford University Researchers found that adopting a plant-based diet was the single most significant intervention consumers could make in the face of climate disaster. Others counter that ‘eating meat is one of the things that makes us human.’ Derrida says the moral question isn’t whether one eats or doesn’t eat this or that. Is it possible to eat well in the Anthropocene, an era in which ‘what it means to be human’ is invoked with increasing frequency? Are there ethical omnivores? What do these questions have to do with students of English Literature? During this course, we will study a range of thinkers who have engaged with the issue of eating, eating well, eating others, and (sometimes) ‘what it means to be human.’

In How to Live Together, Roland Barthes is concerned with the philosopher’s food; Friedrich Nietzsche and Jacques Derrida also reflect on this issue. Feminist theorists such as Carol Adams and Susan Fraiman regard not eating other species as an essential to feminist care ethics, while three fictions by J.M. Coetzee represent the problem of eating well, particularly during times of political crisis. Peter Singer and Michael Pollan offer contrasting views of the ethics of eating well and eating others. We won’t resolve these questions but we may at least, as Nietzsche says, gain some insight into ‘a question on which the “salvation of humanity” depends . . . the question of nutrition’ (Ecce Homo, ‘Why I am so clever’).

Course Reading List:
Carol Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat, Roland Barthes: Mythologies (extracts), How to Live Together, The Empire of Signs (extracts), Walter Benjamin, ‘Food,’ J.M. Coetzee: Foe (optional), Disgrace, Life & Times of Michael K, The Lives of Animals, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Jacques Derrida, ‘Eating Well’ (Points. Interviews 1974-1994), The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow), Josephine Donovan, Carol Adams (eds.), The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics, Susan Fraiman, ‘Pussy Panic vs. Liking Animals: Tracking Gender in Animal Studies’ Critical Inquiry (2012), Donna Haraway, When Species Meet, Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals, We Are the Weather, Peter Singer: Animal Liberation, The Life You Can Save, The Animal Studies Collective, Killing Animals (texts subject to change

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Participation, including one response to week’s readings: 10+10%
Abstract: 15%
Essay (4000 words): 40%
Conference presentation: 25%

Term: F-TERM (September 2021 to December 2021)
Date/Time: 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, Mondays
Location:
ONLINE DELIVERY (SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor. 

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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 will illustrate lectures and seminars.
Secondary Texts: Online readings and reference works will supplement a textbook, to be ordered to the University of Toronto Bookstore. Some of your predecessors' projects are available online at http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/DiasporicEnglishes2007.htm .

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
This is an introductory course. The course requirements are: Short reports (best 3 of 6: 30%), a proposal with bibliography (10%), a presentation (15%), a final research paper (35%), and participation (10%).

Term: S-TERM (January 2022 to April 2022)
Date/Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Tuesdays
Location:
RM JHB 616 (Room Change) (Jackman Humanities Building, University of Toronto, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: IN-PERSON

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ENG6519HF
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 sometimes refer to them by their geographical provenance-African literature, say, or Sumerian art-or perhaps by their historical moment-Ottoman architecture, or postcolonial Indonesian poetry. More and more, the catch-all category of World Literature has begun to hold sway in influential places, and is changing the shape of how we think, learn, and write about non-Western aesthetics, as well as how we participate in our "own" complex cultures. If we can imagine a literature that truly goes under the heading of the 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 carefully through the history and influential writings of postcolonialism as a method designed to challenge to 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 (September 2021 to December 2021)
Date/Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Tuesdays
Location:
ONLINE DELIVERY (SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor. 

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ENG6531HS
Trees
A. Ackerman 

Course Description:
Trees, writes botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer, "are our teachers." This course looks at what trees teach in multiple ways. In creation myths and totem poles, in tales of metamorphosis of humans into trees, in meditations on snowy woods, in woodcarving, in a cozy fire, in paper itself, trees are a site of nature-culture. "[T]heir merely being there," John Ashbery archly suggests, "Means something." This course investigates the meaning of trees in diverse genres and traditions as well by walking through streets and parks. The seminar will introduce students not only to eco-criticism, theories of wilderness and colonialism, but also to botany and the Wood-Wide-Web or "dendrocommunication." Stories of trees speak of settler-indigenous relations and of global warming. German forester Peter Wohlleben suggests that trees communicate "daily dramas and moving love stories" among themselves. The first half of the course will range from creation myths to children's literature to poetry of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The second will focus on two major novels of the past decade, Annie Proulx's Barkskins and Richard Powers's Overstory, which respond to climate change via tales of deforestation, elevating trees over human characters.

Course Reading List:
Dr. Seuss, "The Lorax"; Shel Silverstein, "The Giving Tree"; Emily Dickinson, "Four Trees"; John Ashbery, "Some Trees"; Joyce Kilmer, "Trees"; Blake, "A Poison Tree"; DH Lawrence, "Letter from Town: The Almond Tree," "Trees in the Garden," WC Williams, "Winter Trees"; "The Spirit in the Tree: Story from the Zulu tribe of South Africa"; Philip Larkin, "The Trees," Sylvia Plath, "Winter Trees"; Frost, "Birches," "The Sound of the Trees"; Aldo Leopold, "Sand County Almanac"; Annie Proulx, Barkskins; Richard Powers, The Overstory; Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants; Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How they Communicate-Discoveries from a Secret World; Ralph H. Lutts, The Nature Fakers: Wildlife, Science and Sentiment; Timothy Leduc, A Canadian Climate of Mind: Passages from Fur to Energy and Beyond; William Cronon, ed. Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature; Eduardo Kohn, "How Forests Think": Toward an Anthropology beyond the Human; Greg Garrard, Ecocriticism

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:

Term: S-TERM (January 2022 to April 2022)
Date/Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Thursdays
Location: RM UC 257 (Room Change) (University College, 15 King's College Circle, U of T) NB: MAKE-UP CLASSES APR 14 and 21.
Delivery: IN-PERSON

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ENG6549HS
Reproductive Justice, Feminist Theory, American Literature
N. Morgenstern 

Course Description:
This course will seek to contextualize and theorize questions of reproductive rights in American literature and culture in relationship to what a range of black feminist theorists have called "reproductive justice." We will focus on particular historical periods (and their afterlives), prioritizing the relationship between reproductive politics and chattel slavery in the United States, the ideology of Republican motherhood and the sanctification of domesticity, the so-called "eugenic feminism" of the progressive era, contexts for and critiques of life vs. choice in relationship to second-wave feminism and evangelical Christianity, and, finally, the rise of a movement for a more inclusive model of reproductive justice. We will read a range of literary texts by authors including, Herman Melville, Kate Chopin, Sui Sin Far, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison and Maggie Nelson. We will also read critical and theoretical works by Saidiya Hartman, Sophie Lewis, Barbara Johnson, Alys Weinbaum, Silvia Federici, Chikako Takeshita and others. Subjects for consideration will include reproductive slavery and its afterlives, the ethics of infanticide, the relationship between social and sexual reproduction under neoliberalism, pregnancy and theories of subjectivity, surrogacy and reproductive technology, incarceration and reproductive rights, and environmentalism and the decision to reproduce.

Course Reading List:
We will read a range of literary texts by authors including, Herman Melville, Kate Chopin, Sui Sin Far, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison and Maggie Nelson. We will also read critical and theoretical works by writers including Saidiya Hartman, Sophie Lewis, Barbara Johnson, Alys Weinbaum, Silvia Federici, and Chikako Takeshita

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Participation 20% Oral Presentation 20% Final Essay 60%

Term: S-TERM (January 2022 to April 2022)
Date/Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Thursdays
Location:
RM JHB 718 (Room Change) (Jackman Humanities Building, University of Toronto, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: IN-PERSON

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ENG6552HF
Law and Literature
S. Stern

Course Description:

O.W. Holmes: "The life of the law has not been logic but experience."

O.Wilde: "Experience is the name we give to our past mistakes."

Each week we will read several articles, along with several short stories and novels during the term. We will begin with a consideration of some of the questions and criticisms that scholars have recently raised as they have sought to justify or reorient the field. We will then look at some of the specific problems connecting law and literature at various points since the Renaissance. After a more intensive look at current theoretical debates, we will take up various problems at the intersection of law and literature: legal fictions, forms of legal writing and explanation, and the regulation of literature through copyright law. Next we will focus on two legal problems that have also occupied literary thinkers: the problem of criminal responsibility and literature's ability to document human thought and motives, and the question of privacy in criminal law, tort law, and fiction. We will end by considering possible future directions for law and literature. The course requirements will include a final paper and two or three response papers for presentation in class.

Each unit includes some required readings and a number of suggested sources for students who are interested in doing further research in a particular area.

Course Reading List:
Each unit includes some required readings and a number of suggested sources for students who are interested in doing further research in a particular area.
Some of the questions we will discuss include:

Course Methods of Evaluation and Requirements:
Course requirements: regular class participation (10%); seminar presentations as scheduled during the term (10%); essay/research term paper (80%).

Term: F-TERM (September 2021 to December 2021)
Date/Time: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Wednesdays
Location: RM LW J230 (University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Jackman Law Building, 78 Queens Park, Toronto, M5S 2C5)
 
Delivery: IN-PERSON

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ENG6560HS
Visual Media and Human Rights Work
C. Suzack 

Course Description:
Visual media plays an important role in advancing human rights work. From its recognition as a site that directs the spectator's gaze to themes conveyed by human rights struggles and failures, to its pedagogical aims of providing viewers with a framework from which to act on behalf of others, documentary film participates in dramatizing and making proximate the future work that remains to be done by human rights mechanisms. In this course, we will explore how visual media in the form of documentary film participates in this practice. We will screen films associated with literary texts to ask how visual media widens the scope of representation associated with human rights narratives and assess the degree to which film, like literature, disrupts settler-colonial nation-states representational practices that project a "fantasy of victims in the image of perpetrators" in order to justify "retrospectively what perpetrators have done" (Moore "Film After Atrocity"). Course readings and class discussions will focus on literature, film, and legal cases to explore how these texts overlap and diverge.

Course Reading List:
Texts Sophia A McClennen and Alexandra Schultheis Moore, Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights (2015) (selections); Joseph Slaughter, Human Rights Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law (2007); Sonia M. Tascón, Human Rights Film Festivals: Activism in Context (2014); Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse: A Novel (2012); Richard Van Camp, The Lesser Blessed (1996); Katherena Vermette, The Break (2016); Richard, K. Sherwin. "Visual Jurisprudence." 57 NYL Sch. L. Rev. 11 (2012-2013); Kathleen Mahoney, "The Untold Story: How Indigenous Legal Principles Informed the Largest Settlement in Canadian Legal History," 69 UNBJL 198 (2018); Mayo Moran, "The Problem of the Past: How Wrongs Became Legal Problems." UTLJ 69.4 (2019): 421-472; Victor Li, "Documentaries are shaping public opinion and influencing cases." ABA Journal, August 1, 2020; Bonaparte v. Canada, (2003) 30 CPC (5th) 59; Baxter v. Canada (Attorney General), (2006) 83 O.R. (3d) 481.
Films The Boys of St. Vincent. NFB, 1992; Indian Horse. Dir. Stephen S. Campanelli, 2018; Nostalgia for the Light. Dir. Patricio Guzmán, 2010; The Lesser Blessed. Christina Piovesan, 2013; Rhymes for Young Ghouls. Dir. Jeff Barnaby. Montreal: Entertainment One Films, 2013; Finding Dawn. Dir. Christine Welsh, 2006.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Participation; weekly short essays; research essay.

Term: S-TERM (January 2022 to April 2022)
Date/Time: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Mondays
Location: 
RM JHB 616 (Room Change) (Jackman Humanities Building, University of Toronto, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: IN-PERSON

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ENG6818HF
Social Robots in the Cultural Imagination
M. Goldman 

Course Description:
This course will explore the production and portrayal of social robots in the cultural imagination in conjunction with literary and religious myths of creation. While the course looks back to the history of AI and early literary accounts of robots in the 1960s, it concentrates on modes of production and on works written in or after the 1990s when western society experienced "the development of a fully networked life." The course will explore the ethical and aesthetic questions raised by the intersection between the production and the imaginative portrayals of transhuman relationships. Questions to be considered in interpreting developments in AI and in reading literature about social robots in light of the religious and classical myths-include: how is creation figured? What or who is created and why? Who plays God? Who serves as Eve/Adam? Who is cast as Satan? What is the locus of the Garden? What constitutes power/knowledge? And, finally, how does a particular treatment of the social robot potentially alter our understanding of the foundational imaginative intertexts and, by extension, notions of divinity, humanity, gender, animality, and relations of kinship and care.

Course Reading List
Novels:
1. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (1967) 2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968) 3. Speak by Louisa Hall (2015)
Films and TV series: 1. Ex Machina 2. West World 3. Robot and Frank 4. Her
Plays:
1. Half Life by John Mighton 2. Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison
Secondary Sources and Human Resources:
1. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle
2. Analyses of real-world development of social robots: a. ElliQ: robot companion https://www.intuitionrobotics.com/elliq/ b. Sophia et. al.: http://www.hansonrobotics.com/robot/sophia/ c. Erika: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87heidlFqG4 d. Geminoid DK: a) test https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZlLNVmaPbM b) in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSLe7xrP4jQ e. Kismet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KRZX5KL4fA
3. Teresa Heffernan's SSHRC-funded project: "Where Science Meets Fiction: Social Robots and the Ethical Imagination" (see: http://socialrobotfutures.com/)
4. Amelia DeFalco's research and writing on social robots, aging, and care work. Her research project, Curious Kin: Fictions of Posthuman Care, investigates non-human care, both actual and imagined. This work examines representations of companion animals and robots in literature, film, television, and advertising to explore how posthuman dependencies might transform our understanding of "humane" care and the human.
5. U of T is home to the newly created Vector Institute, The Vector Institute (VI), whose mandate entails driving "excellence and leadership in Canada's knowledge, creation," and using "artificial intelligence (AI) to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians." I have spoken to Richard Zimmel and he is interested in fostering connections among the VI and the Humanities.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Evaluation:
Online synchronous participation (including some combination of timely responses to posts/group chat questions/discussion of final research paper) = 10%
Each week students will be required to be prepared to answer orally a question provided online after our class; students will also be asked to write up a 1 page response to this question or a question that you have designed (double spaced, 12 pt. font); these brief response papers are due 2 hours prior to class; you need to submit them to both the assignment page and the discussion page on the following dates: Sept. 17, Sept 24, Oct 1; Oct. 8; Oct 15, Oct. 22; Oct 29; Nov. 5; Nov. 19 and Nov. 26. Note: You will need to submit all of your responses in a single Word file online on the final class (Dec. 3) so I can review your progress over the term; Grade: the ten, 1 page max. written responses (250 words approx.), one for each literary work = 30%
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. 7 pages). [Oral presentation and response to questions from the class = 5% of total grade; written version of seminar which, if necessary, can be revised in the light of questions and/or further research = 25% of final grade; total = 30%]
Final Research Paper
In-class presentation of final research topic (5 min. max.) on final research essay (due final class) = complete/incomplete Dec. 3, 2020
Final Research Essay (15 pages max. not including endnotes and work cited) = 30%

Term: F-TERM (September 2021 to December 2021)
Date/Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Fridays
Location:
ONLINE DELIVERY (SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor.  Delivery: CHANGED TO ONLINE (SYNCHRONOUS) DELIVERY 

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ENG6822HF
Critical Theory and Science and Technology Studies
A. Slater 

Course Description:
Scholars in the humanities are increasingly drawn to debates concerning the social impact of science and technology. These interdisciplinary conversations often balance the rigors of scientific method alongside the interpretive power of the humanities. How has critical theory combined with science and technology studies (STS) to interpret and challenge scientific discourse across the years? This course will provide an introduction to important intersections between critical theory and STS. With an eye to the latest developments in these overlapping fields, we will investigate the nature of these interdisciplinary formations. From the 1960s "science wars" to critical code studies in the age of ubiquitous computing, this course will provide a grounding in methods and arguments that have shaped how literary and humanistic inquiry lay claim to the world of science and technology.

Course Reading List:
Readings may include: Stacey Alaimo, Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self (2010) Ruha Benjamin, excerpts from Race After Technology (2019) Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, excerpts from Objectivity (2007) Paul Edwards, excerpts from A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (2010) Alexander Galloway, excerpts from Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization (2004) Donna Haraway, "The High-Cost of Information in Post-World War II Evolutionary Biology..." (1981-82) and "A Manifesto for Cyborgs" (1985) Evelyn Fox Keller, excerpts from Refiguring Life: Metaphors of Twentieth-Century Biology (1995) Bruno Latour, excerpts from Science in Action (1987) Luciana Parisi, excerpts from Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space (2013) Kim TallBear, "Narratives of Race and Indigeneity in the Genographic Project" (2007) Priscilla Wald, excerpts from Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative (2008)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
(2) Student Presentations: 15%; Short Paper: 15%; Session Participation: 10%; Discussion Board Posts (online): 10%; Final paper: 50%. (Penalties for lateness: half letter grade per day late without prior extension.)

Term: F-TERM (September 2021 to December 2021)
Date/Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Mondays (CHANGED DAY)
Location:
ONLINE DELIVERY (SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor. 

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ENG6844HS
The Roots of Autotheory: Nietzsche, Milner, Barthes
M. Ruti 

Course Description:
This course consists of a close reading of three major thinkers whose mode of writing anticipated what since the turn of the twenty-first century has come to be known as autotheory: a combination of autobiographical meditation and theoretical reflection. The thinkers in question are Friedrich Nietzsche, Marion Milner, and Roland Barthes, all of whom wrote aphoristically, elliptically, and personally about topics such as self-fashioning, self-actualization, living a meaningful life, opposing normativity, creativity, love, desire, loss, mourning, relationality, solitude, and the interplay of light and shadow in human existence. For all three, writing and living were inextricably intertwined, with the result that they produced deeply self-reflexive texts that are characterized by lively stylistic innovation. Their topics were timeless and their bold rhetorical originality has left an indelible imprint on subsequent thinkers interested in combining the personal with the theoretical. The purpose of this seminar is simple: to explore the poignant theoretical contributions and stylistic acrobatics of three authors who possessed an unusually keen eye for the complexities of human life and to consider the relationship between living, thinking, and writing that these authors foregrounded.

Course Reading List:
Friedrich Nietzsche: Untimely Meditations; The Gay Science; Ecce Homo. Marion Milner: A Life of One's Own; An Experiment in Leisure; Eternity's Sunshine. Roland Barthes: Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes; A Lover's Discourse; How to Live Together; The Preparation of the Novel

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Seminar participation: 20% Paper Proposal: 20% Final 20-25 page paper: 60%

Term: S-TERM (January 2022 to April 2022)
Date/Time: 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Wednesdays
Location/Delivery: CHANGED DELIVERY - 
ONLINE DELIVERY (SYNCHRONOUS), via teleconferencing.  Link to be sent to students directly by the instructor. 

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ENG6848HF
Representing Vandalism
N. Mount 

Course Description:
Marking walls, defacing monuments, burning books, blowing up statues, breaking windows...for as long as humans have created things, they have also wilfully defaced and destroyed them. What is vandalism? Who does it, and why? Does vandalism also create? Can a transhistorical, humanist approach to vandalism offer new perspectives on old and new forms of vandalism that period-specific historians and (more recently) social scientists may have missed? These are the working questions of my current research/book. Besides key theoretical discussions of vandalism old and new, this inter-disciplinary seminar will explore representations of vandalism in both "fact" and fiction, media coverage and creative literature. Our topics of conversation, and potentially of your own research and essays, will include such things as state-sponsored vs. citizen vandalism, cultural vandalism, political vandalism, literary vandalism, the vandalism of art, art as vandalism, vandalism for fun and vandalism for profit.

Course Reading List:
Readings tentative, confirm with instructor. Theory/historical sources: readings in David Freedberg, The Power of Images (1989); Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1974); A.H. Merrills, “The Origins of Vandalism,” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 16.2 (2009); Harriet I. Flower, The Art of Forgetting: Disgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture (2004); Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, “On the Abolition of Images” (1522); Calvin, "Inventory of Relics" (1543); Bartolomé de Las Casas, “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies” (1542); Milton, Eikonoclastes (1649); Dario Gamboni, The Destruction of Art: Iconoclasm and Vandalism Since the French Revolution (1997); Charles C. Danto, The Abuse of Beauty (2003); Tobin Siebers, Disability Aesthetics (2010). Fiction: Graham Greene, “The Destructors” (1954); Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962); Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953); Alice Munro, "Vandals" (1993); Tom Drury, The End of Vandalism (1994)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Course marks will be determined by short written weekly responses (20%), seminar participation (20%), and a 5,000-word research paper (60%).

Term: F-TERM (September 2021 to December 2021)
Date/Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Wednesdays
Location: RM SS 2120 (Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3G3)
Delivery: IN-PERSON ** First two weeks of classes in September 2021 taught online.

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