Department of English

University of Toronto

2022 Summer Courses

2022 Summer Graduate Course Timetable (TBA) & Course Descriptions


*Please note: Course Timetable, scheduled times, delivery method, descriptions, reading lists, and/or locations are TBA and may be subject to change.

Department of English ACORN Enrolment for Summer F courses: TBA

 Time   Monday Tuesday   Wednesday Thursday  Friday 


 
 

2022 Summer Graduate Course Descriptions  

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


ENG5524HF
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). As the eternal mysteries of Religion yield to the temporal calculations of Science, the lived experience of "time" becomes more and more corrosive to human sensibility. How do modernists reconfigure their aesthetics in response to this? Wilde creates an allegory of a death-phobic sociopath; Conrad shows the turn from the sacred object to the fetish; Joyce will prioritize the "epiphany" which seeks the momentous in the momentary; Woolf, too, devotes enormous attention to "the moment," seeking to protect it from relentless applications of "proportion" and "conversion". Finally, we will explore the way Rhys documents how ever- present "time," isolated from "meaning," becomes an unbearable burden that drives the compulsive and addictive behaviors that are interwoven into the very experience of modernity both at the level of the intersubjective and the intra-subjective.

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

Term: Summer F-TERM (May 2022 to June 2022)
Date/Time: TBA
Location: TBA.

Top of Page

Return to 2021-2022 Graduate Course Timetable

Return to Graduate Courses


ENG5580HF
American Pastoral: Agriculture and Environment in American Literature
A. Most

Course Description:
In this course, we will both experience and critique the broad environmental implications of the urban "use" of nature -- whether for art, criticism, or personal rejuvenation -- by engaging with pastoral texts while physically enacting the movement from urban to rural and back again. We will read and discuss canonical American environmental and agricultural literature as well as key works of eco-criticism in light of twenty-first century environmental realities, analyzing the relationship between narrative, environment, and material experience in order to build a compelling set of literary and theoretical approaches equal to the urgent challenges of our contemporary moment. This is an experimental course designed to unite theory and practice by engaging in graduate-level study both on the St. George campus of U of T and on Bela Farm in Hillsburgh, Ontario.  Students are encouraged therefore to think creatively not only about the pastoral form, its expressions, and its applications but also about the impact and potential of land-based experiential learning as a way of exploring these questions.

Pedagogical Methodology:
The environmental humanities asks us to look not only at texts, but also at our relationship to nature, language, our own bodies, and the world around us through new lenses and using a variety of different senses and media. To that end, each student will create an experiential presentation on the farm which engages in a rigorous, sophisticated and creative way with both the texts and the land itself. The location on the farm, the weather, the plant and animal life, the sounds and smells can all be a part of the argument. While presentations certainly involve speaking, I ask students to think imaginatively about the multiple ways one might develop and express rigorous interpretations of texts through embodied and land- based experiences such as going for a walk, cooking or eating together, farm work, or exploring plant and animal life.

Schedule:
May/June condensed format; 12 class sessions in six weeks. In Week One, we will have two class meetings on campus. Weeks Two and Three will be devoted to doing the reading and preparing presentations. In Week Four, we head to Bela Farm for five nights and six days. At the farm, we have formal class sessions as well as experiential modules designed to connect the readings to the life of the farm (beekeeping, foraging walks, vegetable gardening, tending chickens, and workshops on pastoral poetry or landscape painting). In Week Five, students return to the city to reflect on their farm experience on-line and work on their conference papers. In Week Six, we devote our two final class sessions to a mini-conference on campus.
Location: 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. Students will spend the week studying, camping and cooking meals together.

Course Reading List:
Primary Texts: Genesis (King James Bible); Shakespeare, As You Like It; Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (selections), Frederick Jackson Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History;" Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass; Henry D. Thoreau, selections from Walden and "Walking"; Willa Cather, My Antonia; Rachel Carson, Silent Spring; Wendell Berry, Essays from The Art of the Commonplace and selected poetry; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Barry Lopez, The Rediscovery of North America, Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma; plus additional selected poems and short essays.
Secondary Texts: Selections from the work of Raymond Williams, William Cronon, Carolyn Merchant, Annette Kolodny, Cate Sandilands, Stacey Alaimo, Ursula Heise, bell hooks, J. Drew Lanham and others to be determined.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Class Participation 20%, Presentation 30%, Final Project 50%.

Term: Summer F-TERM (May 2022 to June 2022)
Date/Time: See above.
Location: TBA.

Top of Page

Return to 2021-2022 Graduate Course Timetable

Return to Graduate Courses


ENG6015HF
Experimental Narrative and/as Narrative Theory
D. Newman

Course Description:
This course explores innovative 20/21C narratives as incitements to advance and revise narratology. Narratology is a field in its own right, but it also offers critical methods and analytical tools with broad applicability across literary studies-including feminist, queer, postcolonial, Marxist and psychoanalytic criticism. This course has two complementary aims. First, it aims to provide a toolkit of narratological concepts and methods that students might use in their future research. Second, it explores the productive relationship between narrative theory and experimental narratives: how narrative theories are challenged and spurred by experimental literary practice (as well as by innovations in other media including film, comics and videogames). We will also explore key aspects of narrative, notably narrators and temporal structure, as ways through which narratives "argue" with pre-existing genres, power-structures and ways of seeing. Throughout the course we will attend closely to the wide-ranging scholarship on narrative theory and criticism. Like the narratives we will read, seminars will be conducted in the spirit of exploration and experiment. We will theorize and classify texts and techniques, but the pleasure and challenge will be in letting the narratives take us to the limits of theory.

Course Reading List:
Novels such as Martin Amis's Time's Arrow, Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Good Squad or Meena Kandasamy’s Exquisite Cadavers; and several short narratives and novel excerpts by authors including Samuel Beckett, Claire-Louise Bennett, Paul Bowles, NoViolet Bulawayo, Rachel Cusk, Lydia Davis, Ernest Hemingway, Nella Larsen, James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, Ian McEwan, Lorrie Moore, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Vladimir Nabokov, Edna O'Brian, Tommy Orange, Claudia Rankine, and John Wideman. Texts may include films such as Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell or James Ward Byrkit's Coherence and games such as Davey Wreden's The Stanley Parable. Theory and Criticism: David Herman (ed), Cambridge Companion to Narrative and Suzanne Keen, Narrative Form; essays by narratologists including Mieke Bal, Astrid Ennslin, Monika Fludernik, Gérard Genette, Emma Kafalenos, Susan Lanser, James Phelan, Brian Richardson, Dan Shen, Marie-Laure Ryan, and Robyn Warhol.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Participation (15%); two pre-circulated position papers (15% and 20%, totalling 35%); essay proposal (10%); final essay (40%).

Term: Summer F-TERM (May 2022 to June 2022)
Date/Time: See above.
Location: TBA.

Top of Page

Return to 2021-2022 Graduate Course Timetable

Return to Graduate Courses


ENG6816HF
Artificial Life
L. Switzky

Course Description:
Artists and scientists have long dreamed of creating life out of non-living materials. Today we are surrounded by speaking, "thinking" technology, from personal digital assistants to artificial intelligence that suggests what to buy and how to vote. But if your Smartphone is alive in some sense, is it alive in the same way as you are, or as an animal is? This course offers an exploration through literature, drama, and film of the artistic, ethical, and political questions raised by anthropomorphic technology, from automata and robots to chatbots, synthetic intelligence, and clones. We regularly engage in imaginative projection to animate fictional characters in books and video games. This class asks what these familiar vivifying acts can tell us about our encounters with personified technology and digital entities-our "evocative but not relationally authentic companions," as Sherry Turkle calls them. We will also examine the persistence of magical and animistic tendencies in science and technoscience, our moral and emotional obligations to animate technology (and its responsibilities to us), and what artificial life demonstrate about the thresholds and capabilities of human minds and bodies. We will focus in particular on questions of labor, language use, gender, race, enslavement, sincerity, and enchantment.

Course Reading List:
While we will consider some texts from before the twentieth century (e.g. Aristotle’s account of machines as slaves in the Politics), most of our reading, watching, and playing will be more recent. Novels, short fiction, and plays will include texts by Ted Chiang, Caryl Churchill, Philip K. Dick, Annie Dorsen, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Richard Powers, among others; theoretical readings will include Mark Fisher, Deborah Levitt, Masahiro Mori, Gilbert Ryle, Teri Silvio, and Alan Turing, among others; and we will consider films and games by Mike Bithell, Alex Garland, Stanley Kubrick, Porpentine, Zachtronics, and others. A complete list will be made available in the spring of 2022.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Attendance and participation (15%); three brief papers/presentations, written and delivered orally during the term (15% per paper/presentation); final paper prospectus demonstrating original research (10%); final paper/project (30%)

Term: Summer F-TERM (May 2022 to June 2022)
Date/Time: See above.
Location: TBA.

Top of Page

Return to 2021-2022 Graduate Course Timetable

Return to Graduate Courses

 

Site Information:

Site Tools:

Click below for directions to the University of Toronto!

University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Map of St. George Campus
UTM
Map of Mississauga Campus
UTSC
Map of Scarborough Campus

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.