Department of English

University of Toronto

Cross Listed Courses

JEH2020HF  (*was formerly listed as ENG2020HF
(*NOTE: This course is also posted under English 2000 Series Courses here.)

The early modern period was fundamentally shaped by waves of human migration unprecedented in western European history. From the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492) to the flight of the Huguenots from France (culminating in the late 1680s), European Christian culture sought to protect its changing notions of religious purity by expelling and/or enclosing the Other, thereby triggering an ongoing diasporic discourse. In addition to migrations catalyzed by religion, the movement of people from rural to urban centers transformed many of Europe’s cities into crowded and diversely constituted metropolises. This seminar will explore exile, refugeeism, and diaspora across literary and historical texts and contexts. We will familiarize ourselves with a range of current theories and approaches to the study of diaspora with the aim of developing methodologies for investigating the diasporic discourses engendered by real and imagined experiences of early modern exile. As a cross-disciplinary seminar, we will draw upon texts, methods, and critical theories that inform both historical and literary critical approaches to this topic. We welcome students in English, History, Comparative Literature, and Religion.

Questions we will consider include: In what ways is the current critical discourse regarding diaspora useful for a study of exile and refugeeism in the context of a pre-nationalized Europe? How did English dramatic literature represent the dynamics of exile and how did exiles participate in shaping English literature in this period? In an era when English plays were censored for their explicit references to violence against strangers, how were ideas and ideals of tolerance also emerging? In what ways did the exile put definitional pressure on the civic categories governing access to citizenship and enfranchisement (such as citizen, stranger, denizen, alien, and naturalized subject)? We will also query the sometimes-celebratory tone of discussions of cultural mixing in order to ask how we can rethink these ideas and their attendant subject categories (the hybrid subject, the exile, the trans-national) in a more grounded and contextualized way. The interests of seminar participants will further shape our inquiries.

Seminar members will have the opportunity to participate in events related to the Jackman Humanities Institute 2011-2012 annual theme, “Location/Dislocation,” and may elect to present paper proposals to the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies conference (Spring 2012), “Exile, Expulsion, & Religious Refugees.”

Locating Exile, an archive-based assignment 10%.
Active and Informed Participation 20%.
Short Scholarly Paper (8-10 pp) & Presentation 20%.
Research Portfolio & Prospectus 50%.

Scheduling Note: It is a requirement of the seminar that all participants attend three Jackman Humanities Institute workshops during the course of the semester: “Theorizing Exile” Friday, September 17; “Location/Dislocation” Friday & Saturday, October 21-22; “Imperial States” Friday & Saturday, November 18-19. Attendance and participation in the October and November workshops will be in lieu of attending the regularly scheduled seminars on Thursday, October 20th and Thursday, November 17th.

Date & Time: Thursday - 3- 6 pm
Room: JHB 718, Jackman Humanities Building

COL 2100H

(Prof. Franco Moretti is the Visiting Northrop Frye Professor, Centre for Comparative Literature)



Course description: An attempt to understand the nature of the ruling class of modern times, mixing literary representations and sociological diagnoses. The seminar will begin by considering some great archetypes [Robinson Crusoe, Weber's Protestant Ethic, Hirschmann's Passions and Interests], devote a couple of meetings to the Victorian paradox [Communist Manifesto, Smiles's Self-Help, the Gothic Revival and the Victorian nude, In Memoriam], and conclude with some reflections on the bourgeois woman [Ibsen's Dollhouse], and the metamorphosis of the entire problematic at the European periphery [Verga's Mastro-don Gesualdo].

NOTE: 7 spaces for Ph D. students from the Department of English have been set aside in this seminar, which will be offered at an accelerated pace during the month of September, beginning before Labour Day.  Eight class meetings of three hours each (from 6-9 p.m.) are scheduled for the following dates: September 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20 and 22.

Evaluation will be as follows: Class Participation: 10%; Presentations: 30% ; Final Paper: 60%.

Admission to this course is competitive and restricted to Ph. D. students. Students interested in securing a place in the class must apply by e-mail to the Director of Graduate Studies in English by June 1st, sending a c.v., along with a cover letter that outlines the importance of the seminar to their studies.


Time/Dates: 6-9pm/September 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20 and 22.

Room: Centre for Comparative Literature, Isabel Bader Theatre,
3rd floor, Linda Hutcheon Seminar Room

MST 3112S
(*NOTE: This course is also posted under English 1000 Series Courses here.)

This seminar will explore the links uniting localization and identity in a selection of Old and Middle English texts. It will examine what is at stake in geographical positioning and how a collective sense of self can be expressed in spatial terms. Related issues, for instance the constructions of centres and peripheries, the drawing of boundaries, strategies of ‘othering’, or the opposition between the familiar world and the wilderness, will also be addressed.

Date & Time: Friday 2 – 4 pm
Room: 301, Lillian Massey


In Blackface White Noise, Michael Rogin makes the claim that the three most significant changes in American cinema history, the development of analytical editing and classical narrative (Birth of a Nation), the introduction of sound (The Jazz Singer), and the introduction of Technicolor (Gone With the Wind) were all constructed around the racial oppression of African Americans. While the overall accuracy of Rogin’s film history is debateable, it does remain true that these films are considered landmarks in the development of the cinema, and that consideration of them has often overlooked their racial formations. This course will focus on race in film, but will shift from an emphasis on the body, to a focus on the metaphysics of spatial relations in the cinematic and their relationship to notions of racialized geometries and geographies. Over the course of the semester, we will explore such issues in discrete units, such as: animation, minstrelsy, and the screen as boundary between real and ideal; the black western and the regulation of national space; the musical, rhythm, the ludic imaginary; and race and the transnational.

Date & Time: Wednesdays 12-2, Thursdays 2-4
Room 223 Innis College

For further information or assistance with enrolment please contact:
Tony Pi Programs Assistant,
Innis College, University of Toronto
Room 233A Innis College,
2 Sussex Avenue
Phone: 416-978-5809

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