Department of English

University of Toronto

Cross-listed Courses

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Please note: Cross-listed Courses are taught by English Faculty cross-appointed with other departments. Additional Cross-listed courses will be posted here as they become available.

For more courses open to English graduate students, please see
Courses of Interest.

Book History & Print Culture

Introduction to Book History
H. Murray

Offered in the Fall Term and required of all students in the BHPC Program, this foundational course provides an introduction to basic topics such as the semiotics of the book; orality and writing systems; book production from manuscript to the latest computer technology; the development of printing; the concept of authorship; copyright; censorship; the economics of book production and distribution; libraries and the organization of information; principles of bibliographical description; print in other formats (newspapers, magazines, advertisements, etc.); reading and readership; editorial theory and practice. We will also study artifacts and tools of the tradein situ through visits to the Fisher Rare Book Library, Massey College Press, and Coach House Press. Enrolment normally limited to students registered in the BHPC Program. May be available to students outside the program by Permission of Instructor.

F-Term, September - December, 2015
Monday 2pm-5pm
Room: MacLean Hunter Room, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Centre for Comparative Literature


Sovereignty: Hobbes and His 20th-and 21st-Century Successors
M. Nyquist

In discussing sovereignty, contemporary political theorists inevitably refer to Hobbes, reference to whom often legitimates or critiques contemporary conceptions of governmentality or power. Known as an apologist for royal absolutism in his own time, Hobbes is now usually regarded as the first theorist of the modern state and of liberalism. What is the significance of this often tacit re-evaluation? Further questions to be explored include, what understanding of “liberty” and the “political” do various 20th and 21st century theorists bring to their readings of Hobbes’s texts? What specific textual interpretations, if any, do they provide for their readings? What do later philosophers make of Hobbes’s view that sovereignty originates within the household, where it is held by the father, and/or slave-master? In this course, we will read Hobbes’s major political treatises alongside the major 20th and 21st theorists who have drawn on him. Efforts will be made to situate Hobbes’s treatises historically with reference to seventeenth century debates on sovereignty and selected contemporaneous political theorists. Throughout the course, we will explore tensions between the readings produced by historical contextualization and those presupposed or developed by modern theorists.

17th Century texts to include Thomas Hobbes’s Elements of Law, De Cive, Leviathan; Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace; John Milton, Political Writings. Contemporary theorists to include (alphabetically) Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer, Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, Walter Benjamin, “Critique of Violence”; Jacques Derrida’s The Beast and the Sovereign; Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended, Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political and Political Theology, and Leo Strauss, The Political Philosophy of Hobbes.

Course Work and Evaluation
Seminar facilitations 20%
Essay on one seminar facilitation 10%
Book or Paired Article Report 15 %
Participation 25%
Final Essay 30%

F-Term, September - December 2015
Thursdays, 10am-1pm

Room: Centre for Comparative Literature, Isabel Bader Theatre, 3rd floor, Linda Hutcheon Seminar Room (BT319)

Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies

A. Ackerman

Adaptation, a term of art and biology, raises questions about origins, evolution, and what brings art to life. Like the word performance, adaptation refers to a product and a process. It prompts artists to investigate relations between media, modes, and environments. Stories adapted from folklore have been translated from oral tales to written texts to ballets to movies to music, and so on. What may be gained and lost in the process? Do adaptations acknowledge what is lost? In some sense, all works of art are adaptations; none are totally original. In this seminar we start with Aristotle’s Poetics and Sophocles’ adaptation of the Oedipus legend, before turning to treatments of the Pygmalion myth by Ovid, Shaw, Lerner & Loewe, and others. Next, we examine adaptations of news and historical documents in Living Newspapers, Anna Deavere Smith’s Fires in the Mirror, and Annabel Soutar’s Seeds. Finally, we focus on adapting fiction, using Herman Melville’s story “Bartleby, the Scrivener” as a case study. We will study Linda Hutcheon’s Theory of Adaptation and aspects of artistic form, and create our own adaptations in the theatre.

Fall, Wednesdays 10-1 in the Luella Massey Studio Theatre, 4 Glen Morris Street

Centre for Medieval Studies

The Exeter Book of Old English Verse
A. Walton

Course Description:
The late tenth-century Exeter Book is one of the four major codices containing Old English verse, and includes the greatest variety of vernacular poems of any surviving Anglo-Saxon manuscript. In this series of seminars, readings, translations, and presentations, we will consider a range of saints’ lives, elegies, riddles, translations, snippets of Germanic legend, and adaptations from Latin in the Exeter Book. With its eclectic mixture of both native secular heroic poetry and verse that draws deeply on the imported Latin Christian tradition, the Exeter Book offers a unique and compelling snapshot of the literary culture of Anglo-Saxon England.

S-Term, January - April 2016
Thursdays, 2pm-4pm
 Room: LI 301, Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen's Park

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