Department of English

University of Toronto

5000-Level Course Descriptions

ENG5050HS (NB: TIME CHANGE)
Law, Literature and Liberal Culture in the United States 1776-1865
N. Dolan

Culture orients the human self by imposing charged symbolic boundaries on time and space, on moral behavior, and on social affection or solidarity. In modern liberal-democratic society the authority to establish such boundaries is (at least partially) transferred from religious tradition and the ancestral to the secular and publicly negotiated instrumentality of the law(s). Between the American Revolution (1776-84) and the Civil War (1860-65) an extraordinary set of laws, legal opinions, public addresses, and quasi-legal public documents -- the Declaration of Independence; The Constitution; The Federalist; The Bill of Rights; the opinions of the Marshall and Taney Supreme Courts, including the Dred Scott decision; Webster’s “Reply to Hayne”; the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address – played a decisive role in defining the boundaries of a new kind of liberal-democratic culture in the United States, spatially embodied in new, rapidly expanding, and violently contested national territory. In this course we will attend both to the cultural-symbolic dimension of these foundational legal-political documents, and then to a selection of major works of antebellum American imaginative literature to assess how these literary texts engage, enact, question, or attempt to revise or re-imagine the new boundaries thus established. The goal will be to try to understand how imaginative literature interacted with law in the space of civil society during this era to symbolically shape and reshape a liberal culture.

Course Requirements
Reading List:
In addition to the public documents above, we will likely consider some of the following works: Crevecouer’s Letters of an American Farmer (1782); Jefferson’s letters and Notes on the State of Virginia (1781,82); Cooper’s The Pioneers (1823) or The Last of the Mohicans (1826); Lydia Maria Child’s Hobomok (1824) as well as selections from her political writings; Charles Grandison Finney’s Lectures on Revivals of Religion (1835); selected Emerson essays and antislavery writings (1836-60); Thoreau’s Walden (1845) and essays; Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of a Slave (1845) and other writings; Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845); Emily Dickinson’s poems (1840’s to 1870’s); selected writings of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (1848-1860); Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850); Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851) and/or selected stories, including “Benito Cereno” (1855); Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852); Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig (1859); Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861); Elizabeth Stoddard’s The Morgesons (1862); and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855,56,60,65).

Method of Evaluation:

Students will be required to write one term paper (70%), to make one class presentation (15%) of a relevant work of theory or history from a provided list of secondary works, and to participate constructively in class discussions (15%).

Term: S-Term (January - April 2015)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 6:00pm - 9:00pm, 3 hours (NB: TIME CHANGE)
Location: Room JHB718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG5150HF
British Modernism, 2004-Present
J. Gang
 
This course’s title is not a typo. “British Modernism, 2004-present” will have two intertwined goals. The first will be coverage of British and Irish fiction from roughly 1900 to 1950—the period most identified with the aesthetic and cultural practices of modernism. The second goal will be surveying the past ten years of modernist studies and teaching students to orient themselves within a rapidly evolving field. Topics of discussion will likely include: the “new” modernist studies; modernism and empire; global modernisms; print culture and media history; psychoanalysis, cognitive science, and affect studies; queer theory and feminism; the changing canon; the rise of academic literary criticism; modernism and analytic philosophy; and computational criticism. Students will also have the opportunity to hone their skills at three important critical forms: the abstract, the conference presentation, and the article-length paper.

Course Requirements
Reading List:
 
Literary readings will include novels by Conrad, Joyce, Forster, Lawrence, Woolf, Waugh, Greene, Barnes, Beckett, and others. Critical and theoretical readings will be drawn from the past ten years of modernist studies.
NB: Students are advised that there will be readings required for the meeting of the first class in September.  Students can expect an email from the professor with more information about these readings by the middle of August.

Method of Evaluation:
Article-length paper (50%); conference presentation (20%); course participation (20%); abstract (10%).

Term: F-Term (September - December 2014)
Date/Time: Thursday, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

 
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ENG5540HS 
Modernism and Its Media: Fiction and Theatre in the Age of Film and Radio
L. Switzky

Modernism might be defined by radical formal experimentation in the arts as much as by uncanny new perceptual experiences in everyday life: the severing of voice and body on telephone wires, the crackle of phonograph recordings that made dead voices speak again, the "annihilation of time and space" on highspeed railway journeys. This course offers a reading of major works of literary and theatrical modernism through the crises--and euphoria--surrounding the emergence of new optical and sonic media (primarily film and radio), and the wild array of strategies that artists in established media (fiction and drama) developed to resist, incorporate, and critique the screens, transmitters, and inscription devices of mass culture. While we will focus primarily on questions of mediation and immediacy, other topics will include: theories of absorption and estrangement; machine logic vs. human desire; the purity or impurity of media boundaries; liveness and presence; the modernist crowd; points of contact between primitivist ritual and mechanized man; democratic and anti-democratic attitudes in the arts.

Course Requirements
Reading List:

The course will comprise three groups of readings. We will examine nineteenth-century treatises on the mediation of perception (Goethe, Helmholtz, Baudelaire, Ruskin, Tolstoy, Wagner) as well as theoretical accounts of how new technological developments formed the modernist sensorium (Benjamin, Kracauer, Arnheim, Williams, Kenner, Kittler, Crary, Gunning, Bolter and Grusin, Gitelman, Wollaeger, Deleuze). Most of our time, however, will be dedicated to case studies of modernist novelists and playwrights: Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, Anita Loos, Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett.

Method of Evaluation:
1st paper - 30%; 2nd paper - 30%; participation - 10%; presentation (including 3 response papers) - 30%.

Term: S-Term (January - April 2015)
Date/Time: Thursday, 6:00pm - 9:00pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
 
 
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ENG5572HF COURSE CANCELLED August 13, 2014
The City as Archive: Missing Histories, Social Memory, Canadian Writing
K. Vernon

What kind of social memory do Canadian cities produce? This interdisciplinary course explores the relationship between urban space, collective memory, and writing, with a particular focus on memories of raced, gendered and sexual histories in the postindustrial Canadian city. We begin with an investigation of how cities remember, and how the phenomenon of collective memory gets produced. From there we move on to an exploration of the impact of modernist urban “renewal” and postmodernist urban gentrification projects on Canadian cities. We consider the erasures of particular raced, classed and gendered presences and their histories from Canadian city-spaces, from the repression of Indigenous geography to the deracination of inner-city black neighbourhoods, to the peripheralization of working class communities and marginalization of women in the sex trade. We consider the effects of these erasures on social memory, and explore the archival work that contemporary Canadian writers perform in recovering the city’s lost memories.

Course Requirements
Reading List:

Allen, Lillian. "Rub a dub style inna Regent Park"; Revolutionary Tea Party; Audiocassette. Toronto: Verse to Vinyl, 1986; Boyd, George, Consecrated Ground. Winnipeg: Blizzard, 1999; Cooper, Afua. "Remembering Africville." Unpublished paper, 2007; Compton, Wayde, Performance Bond. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp, 2004; deVries, Maggie. Missing Sarah: A Vancouver Woman Remembers Her Vanished Sister. Toronto: Penguin, 2003; Maracle, Lee. “Goodbye Snauq.” Our Stories: Aboriginal Voices on Canada’s Past, ed. Tantoo Cardinal, et. al. Toronto: Doubleday, 2004; Murakami, Sachiko. The Invisibility Exhibit. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2008; Scofield, Gregory. Singing Home the Bones. Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 2005; Stone, Anne and Amber Dean, eds. Special Issue of West Coast Line 53: Representations of Murdered and Missing Women. Burnaby: West Coast Review Publishing Society, 2007; Vidaver, Aaron, ed. Special Issue of West Coast Line 41: Woodsquat. Burnaby: West Coast Review Publishing Society, 2004. Select readings from: Bowen, Anna. Urban Spaces of Racialization: White Ethnicity and Gentrification in Toronto. Toronto: U of T Press, 2007; Crinson, Mark. Urban Memory: History and Amnesia in the Modern City. New York: Routledge, 2005; Halbwachs, Maurice. The Collective Memory, trans. Francis J. Ditter Jr., and Vida Yazdi Ditter. New York: Harper and Row, 1980; Huyssen, Andreas. Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2003; Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House, 1993; Lay, David. Gentrification in Canadian Inner Cities: Patterns, Analysis, Impact, and Policy. Vancouver: UBC Department of Geography, 1985; Nora, Pierre. Les Lieux de mémoire. Paris: Gallimard, 1984; Rose, Albert. Regent Park: A Study in Slum Clearance. Toronto: U of T Press, 1958; Rossi, Aldo. Architecture. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1991; Smith, Neil, and Peter Williams, eds. Gentrification of the City. Boston: Allen & Urwin, 1984; Wilcox, Alana and Jason McBride, eds. uTOpia: Towards a New Toronto. Toronto: Coach House Books, 2005.

Method of Evaluation:
Class Presentation 10%, Second Class Presentation 25%, First Paper 25%, Term Research Paper 30%, Participation 10%. 

Course Cancelled August 13, 2014
 
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ENG5610HF
Space and the Education of Desire: Postcolonialism and Diaspora
A. Quayson

Course Description
Even though both Postcolonial and Diaspora Studies share similar interests in varied concepts such as space, nation, transnationalism, migration, homeland and nostalgia, the disciplinary histories of the two fields have set their methods and subjects into distinct domains of research and analysis. The aim of this course then is to bring the two fields together to debate the relationship between space and the education and production of desire. The following questions will form the core concerns of the course: What is space and how do spatial concepts apply in studies of postcolonialism and diaspora? Is postcolonial melancholy equivalent to diasporic nostalgia? Is the memory of a homeland the same as the memory of tradition, precolonial or otherwise? Is the trauma of dispersal similar to the trauma of colonization? How do diasporic and postcolonial subjects give an account of the past(s) that produced them? What is the relationship between indigeneity, diaspora and postcolonialism? Is there a theoretical language by which to connect the circulations of diasporas to those of colonizers and of labour migrants from the early modern period to the present day?

Course Requirements
Texts (provisional for now):

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Chinua Achebe, Arrow of God
Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Derek Walcott (selected poems)
Junot Diaz, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Mohamed Hanif, A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces

Supplementary literary texts will include:
Shakespeare, The Tempest and Merchant of Venice
Sophocles, Philoctetes
Salman Rushdie, Satanic Verses
JM Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

Components
Participation: 10%
Class Presentation of Responses to Texts: 15%
Thesis proposal: 15%
Annotated Bibliography (20 items): 20%
Final Paper (3,500 words): 40%

Term: F-Term (September - December 2014)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 9:00am - 11:00am, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 
 
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ENG5751HF
Novelists and Terrorists
M. Levene

This new course will focus on an old subject: the relation of art and violence. But the seminar will concentrate on the changing textures of that relationship from the end of the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. In particular, we will examine how the weapon of irony and the recourse to modified pastoral resolutions of political conflict—both weapon and recourse virtually patented by Conrad—give way under the stress of twentieth-century mass movements and ideologies to narratives about messianism and the social effectiveness of literature. As the novelist Bill Gray, drawn out of self-floating reclusiveness into the turmoils of the Middle East, puts it in DeLillo’s Mao II, “novelists and terrorists are playing a zero-sum game . . . What terrorists gain, novelists lose . . . The danger they represent equals our own failure to be dangerous.” How selected novels represent and gauge this (im)balance will occupy our discussions.

Course Requirements
Reading List:
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes; Doris Lessing, The Good Terrorist; Paul Theroux, The Family Arsenal; Don DeLillo, Mao II and Falling Man; J.M. Coetzee, The Master of Petersburg; Nicholas Shakespeare, The Dancer Upstairs; Robert Stone, Damascus Gate.

Method of Evaluation:
The course will be conducted as a seminar. Students will be responsible for at least one presentation that will be re-worked and submitted (together 20%). Regular participation (20% of the grade) is expected. A final research paper (25 pages and 60%) is due about three weeks before the end of term.

Term: F-Term (September - December 2014)
Date/Time: Thursday, 6:00pm - 9:00pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

 
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ENG5787HS
The Poetics of Haunting in Canadian Fiction
M. Goldman

For many years, Canada was renowned for its supposed lack of ghosts. In 1833, Catherine Parr Traill proclaimed: “As to ghosts or spirits they appear totally banished from Canada. This is too matter-of-fact country for such supernaturals to visit.” Over a hundred years later, Canadian poet and critic Early Birney echoed her sentiments stating that “it’s only by our lack of ghosts we’re haunted.” These assertions, however, need to be revisited because contemporary Canadian literature is obsessed with ghosts and haunting. A host of writers, including Margaret Atwood, Anne Marie MacDonald, Jane Urquhart, Timothy Findley, Michael Ondaatje, Daphne Marlatt, Kerri Sakamoto, Joy Kogawa, Eden Robinson, and Dionne Brand have taken pains to map the intricacies of haunting. This course will focus on the spectral effects in contemporary Canadian fiction. Questions to be considered include: how does living with ghosts entails a politics of memory, of inheritance, and of mourning that continues to shape Canadian literature? As well, if ghosts signal the return of a secret, something repressed, then what types of secrets (ranging from familial to national) are encrypted in the texts under consideration? What is the impact of haunting on textual production; for instance, to what extent is abjection (understood textually as an impulse toward decomposition, disintegration and the breaking-up of language) the structuring principle of haunting? To address these questions, the course will draw on psychoanalytic, feminist, post-colonial, and post-structuralist theory.

Reading List:
Works by S. Watson, G. Anderson-Dargaatz, J. Steffler, Urquhart, M. Atwood, D. Brand, T. King, among others.
Some background in Canadian literature.

Course Requirements:
Seminar. Each student is responsible for at least one seminar report based on the reading for the week (frequency dependent on class size), a weekly response paper (2 pages), and one long research paper (20 pages). Regular participation is expected.

Description of Assignments:
1. Each week students will be required to be prepared to answer orally a list of questions handed out the previous week (or sent to you via e-mail; students will also be asked to chose one question from the list and to write up a 1-2 page response (double spaced, 12 pt. font) that will be handed in at the end of each class—no late submissions will be accepted without permission of the professor. [One-page responses = 15% of grade]
2. 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. 8 pages). [Oral presentation and response to questions from the class = 10% of total grade; written version of seminar which, if necessary, can be revised in the light of questions and/or further research = 30% of final grade.]
3. There is one major research paper, which may develop out of your seminar but should include (theoretical and fiction) material not read on the course (max. 20 pages). [Research paper = 45% of final grade].

Term: S-Term (January - April 2015)
Date/Time: Friday, 11:00am - 1:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
 
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ENG5851HF    COURSE CANCELLED June 12, 2014
Faulkner and the American South
M. Cobb
Quite famously, William Faulkner had a formal desire: "I'm trying to say it all in one sentence, between one Cap and one period." Certainly he tried, although his punctuation feels more often like an exclamation point than a period. And it's this emphatic, furious formalism that will be our focus as we distinguish Faulkner's modernism from the more typically Southern Gothic features of other writers of Southern U.S. Literature. We will start with four of William Faulkner's novels—The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, and Absalom, Absalom! And then we'll read three other pieces of literature about the American South: Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood; and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. We'll be concerned with the dominant themes that animate professional and amateur readings of Southern literature: slavery; race; class; gender; violence; regionalism; agrarian economics; the shadow effects of Northern industrialization; the Great Migration; incest; sexuality; religion; the legacies of the Civil war; and so forth. But we're going to be especially attentive to the manner in which Faulkner created a livid modernist poetics to articulate these themes, and how these expressive strategies contrast with other major writings and representations of the South.

Course Requirements
Reading List:
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
Light in August, William Faulkner
Absalom, Absalom! , William Faulkner
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
Wise Blood, Flannery O'Connor
A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams

Method of Evaluation:
Active, lively seminar participation, with the hope of learning skills geared toward contributing to an intellectual community and conversation beyond the seminar room (20%). One conference paper-style class presentation on one of the assigned pieces of literature or "theory" (35%). One fifteen to twenty-page research paper, clearly demonstrating the following: a) knowledge of a field of primary and secondary sources; b) the intellectual questions that make the writing of the paper necessary; c) writing and argumentation that has publishable promise (45%). 

Course Cancelled June 12, 2014

ENG5905HF
African-Canadian Literature
G. E. Clarke

This course reads a representative sample of texts by African-Canadian writers to note the various registers and conceptions of black identity dependent on origins, Canadian region, and ethnic affiliations. African-Canadian literature writes a multiculturalism that is subversive within official, state multiculturalism.

Course Requirements
Required Texts:

Anderson, Ho Che. King: The Special Edition.
Brand, Dionne. Thirsty.
Clarke, Austin. Choosing His Coffin.
Clarke, George Elliott. Whylah Falls.
Cooper, Afua. The Hanging of Angélique.
Hill, Lawrence. The Book of Negroes.
Philip, M. NourbeSe. Zong!
Sears, Djanet. Harlem Duet.

Method of Evaluation:
Seminar presentation: 30%
Research paper: 50%
Participation: 20%

Do not plagiarize. (When in doubt, quote.)
“Participation” requires presence: engaging in discussion and raising questions.

Requirements:
1) Read texts thoroughly and be prepared to comment on them spontaneously.
2) Submit assignments punctually: No late papers accepted without a medical excuse or official equivalent.

Structure:
Seminar discussion.

Term: F-Term (September - December 2014)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 11:00am - 1:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room UC248 (University College)
 
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ENG5968HS
Actuality, Documentary, Reality
A. Maurice

Course Description
This course will examine various presentations of the real in film and television. From the earliest motion pictures to documentaries and current “reality-based” media, the urge to represent the real has driven the development of new genres and sparked a century of debates. In this course, we will interrogate the terms “actuality,” “documentary,” and “reality” in order to think about the shifting definitions of and demands the real in film and other visual media. We will also ask why there is an often-strained relationship between the aesthetic of realism and the representation of the “real world.” In looking at various representations of ‘reality,” we will explore the relationship between form and content, both in the works themselves and in critical debates about realism, representation, aesthetics, ethics, technology, and politics. What counts as “real”? How does the re-enactment function within discourses of documentary realism? How do new technologies affect the demand for — and even the definition of — reality on screen? We will look at early, classic and contemporary examples of documentary and other reality-based forms; we will also look at documentary works that “mimic” fiction and at fictional works that “mimic” documentary in order to think about the potentially uncanny effect produced by these texts. In addition to watching films, we will also read essays in film studies, literary criticism, and critical theory.

Films may include: Early Lumière and Edison shorts; Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929); Drifters (John Grierson, 1929); Salesman (Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerein, 1968); Primate (Fred Wiseman, 1972); The Class (Entre les murs, Laurent Cantet, 2008); Cinema Verite (Shari Sringer-Berman, 2011); Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008); Standard Operating Procedure (Errol Morris, 2008); The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010); Our Daily Bread (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 2005); Catfish (Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, 2010); Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010); and Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, 2012)

Authors may include: Andre Bazin, Phil Rosen, Kristen Whissel, Vivian Sobchack, Siegrfried Kracauer, John Grierson, Walter Benjamin, and others

Term: S-Term (January - April 2015)
Date/Time: Thursday, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: IN313 (Innis College, 2 Sussex Ave.) 


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