Department of English

University of Toronto

2023 Summer Courses

2023 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 











 





 

2023 Summer Graduate Course Descriptions  

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


ENG1551HF
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
 
K. Gaston

Course Description:

This course explores Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the context of several different critical approaches, such as historicism, formalism, intertextuality, and textural criticism.  We read the Canterbury Tales in their entirety, examining some of the interpretive issues with which recent Chaucer criticism has been most concerned, and considering relevant ancient and medieval sources and analogues.

Course Texts:
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. Readings will also include secondary articles and essays as well as selected sources for Chaucer's poetry. (All reading will be in Middle English or Modern English translation).

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
One short essay, one longer essay (15-18 pages), annotated bibliography, oral presentation, class participation.
Previous work in Middle English (or permission of the instructor) is a pre-requisite for this class.

Term: F-TERM (Summer May 2023 to June 2023)
Date/Time: TBA
Location: TBA
Delivery: TBA 


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ENG5963HF
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."  In Ulysses, Joyce turned to the well-known myth of a previous time in an effort to give shape to the much less obvious myths of his own time. Our primary question in this seminar will be: what did Joyce think he was doing in writing these stories and novels, how did that affect the way that he wrote them, and why did those narrative innovations become such a primary influence on the aesthetic of modernism? Joyce went out of his way, time and time again, to present himself as someone on a mission, someone who must not be stopped or Irish culture in particular, and World culture in general, would suffer. As we look at Joyce’s fiction through the lenses of major theoretical approaches to in this seminar (psychoanalytic, feminist, post-colonial, Marxist, modernist—to name the most prominent), we will also maintain, throughout the course of the seminar, a keen interest in "the reality of experience" as Joyce would have witnessed it—the rise of advertising and commodity culture, as well as the birth of a new Art form: cinema.

Course Reading List:
TBA

Course Method of Evaluation:
TBA

Term: F-TERM (Summer May 2023 to June 2023)
Date/Time: TBA
Location: TBA
Delivery:
TBA 


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ENG6188HF
Land, Myth and Translation in a Time of Crisis
A. Most

Course Description:
In Braiding Sweetgrass, Potawatomi botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer re-tells the Turtle Island and Garden of Eden creation stories, and imagines the fateful conversation that ensued when the two met. In this course, students will engage with Genesis 1-3 through the lens of the conversation Kimmerer proposes, asking how a reparative reading of this foundational cultural narrative might offer a strategy for meeting environmental crisis. By comparing different English versions of the Bible, students will explore how translation progressively stripped the language of Genesis 1-3 of its animacy and the story of its deep connection to land, enabling the myth to become a justification for colonization and environmental degradation. Then, utilizing apocryphal stories, Near Eastern mythology, ancient and medieval commentary from the Jewish and Christian traditions as well as ecocritical and translation theory, we will listen for echoes of an animate land-based cosmology present within the Biblical text. The course will culminate in an off-site workshop, where students will enact "re-story-ation," drawing the re-animated biblical myth into conversation with the land itself.
    
Course Reading List:
Readings will include texts such as:
Martin Shaw, Scatterlings and Smoke Hole (selections)
Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement
Richard Powers, “A Little More Than Kin,” Emergence Oct 2021
Genesis 1-3 (in three translations: KJV, JPS, and Everett Fox)
Ancient Near Eastern Myths; Gilgamesh, Inanna, Tiamat (translations TBD)
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass (selected essays)
Thomas King, The Truth About Stories
Leanne Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back (selected essays)
Naomi Seidman, Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation (selections)
Mary Jane Rubenstein, Pantheologies: Gods, Worlds, Monsters (selected chapters)
Rachel Havrelock, “The Mother of Life and the Infertility of Eden,” in Eve: The Unbearable Flaming Fire.  and “Home at Last: The Local Domain and Female Power,” in The Bible and Feminism: Remapping the Field.  
Stephen Greenblatt, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve (Chapters 1-3)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:

Term: F-TERM (Summer May 2023 to June 2023)
Date/Time: TBA
Location: TBA
Delivery:
TBA 


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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 (Summer May 2023 to June 2023)
Date/Time: TBA
Location: TBA
Delivery:
TBA 


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ENG6531HF
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 tales of metamorphosis of humans into trees, in meditations on snowy woods, in woodcarving, in a cozy fire, in paper itself, trees are sites 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, exploring trees in the environment we share. Most of the class will take place outside. 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. Readings will range from Gilgamesh and Ovid's Metamorphoses to children's literature to modern poetry to 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:

Participation in discussion, walks and field trips (20%). Short online responses to reading (20%). Presentations (20%). Research Essay (40%).

Term: F-TERM (Summer May 2023 to June 2023)
Date/Time: TBA
Location: TBA
Delivery:
TBA 


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