Department of English

University of Toronto

5000 Series Graduate Course Descriptions

ENG5066HS
Realism in the Time of the Anthropocene
T. Dancer

Course Description
What does literary realism look like in the time of the anthropocene? If the anthropocene is a truly "anti-anthropomorphic concept," as Timothy Morton states, then it suggests the world is one in which the fate of humanity is deeply imbricated with the fates of many other entities. Moreover, it is one in which we can no longer take for granted the bifurcation between humans and nature (between masterful, intentional agents and the stable background of the natural world) and, therefore, entails finding ways to conceive of the world as both constructed and real. This seminar examines how contemporary novels develop new modes of realism in response to the conditions of life in the anthropocene. Though we will be primarily interested in how new concepts of agency, causality, and ontology implicit in many theories of the anthropocene challenge and alter the practices of literary realism, we will also examine how novels themselves offer valuable resources and narrative models consonant with the project of an anti-anthropomorphic realism.

Course Reading List
Novelists: Richard Powers, Ian McEwan, David Mitchell, Emily Mantel. Others: Timothy Morton, Bruno Latour, Kate Marshell, Isabella Stengers, Michel Serres, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Mike Hulme, Fredric Jameson

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Response Assignments: 20%; Participation: 25%; Final Paper: 55%

Term: S-Term (Spring Term:  January - April 2017) 
Date/Time: Wednesday, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 617 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG5288HS
American Literature: Temporality Studies
M. Gniadek

Course Description
American literary studies has recently taken a “temporal turn.” In this course we will examine this trend as it manifests itself in the study of the nineteenth century in particular. We will consider recent critical work that recasts the relationship between history and romance in nineteenth-century American literature and work that historicizes changing attitudes toward time in the period—from the long epochs of geology to the precision of clock time. We will explore how recent arguments about time in nineteenth-century American studies intersect with queer studies, print and material culture, and questions about genre. We will ask how attention to time might help us to reconsider dominant methodologies, like historicist approaches to literature, and also raise productive questions about the periodization of literature. And we will ultimately ask: is there indeed an emerging field recognizable as “temporality studies”? What are the limitations of this paradigm?

Course Reading List
Primary texts considered may include works by Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Ik Marvel (Donald Grant Mitchell), Harriet Prescott Spofford, and Sarah Orne Jewett. Critical readings will include essays and selections from recent influential studies of American literary history and/or time such as: Thomas Allen, A Republic in Time: Temporality and Social Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (2007) Pete Coviello, Tomorrow’s Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America (2013) Wai Chee Dimock, Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time (2008) Elizabeth Freeman, Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (2010) Dana Luciano, Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America (2007) Lloyd Pratt, Archives of American Time (2009)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Weekly short writing assignments, In-class presentation, Annotated bibliography, Final essay

Term: S-Term (Spring Term:  January - April 2017)
Date/Time: Tuesday, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 614 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG5300HS
Avant-Garde Aesthetics and Politics in Contemporary Poetry
M. Xie 

Course Description:
This seminar focuses on the poetic writings that have appeared in the United States and Britain since the 1950s under various categorizations: for example, avant-garde, linguistically or formally innovative, experimental, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, late modernist, neo-modernist, postmodernist, or conceptualist. We will closely examine key works by the following Anglo-American poets from the 1950s to the present: Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Lyn Hejinian, Charles Bernstein, Denise Riley, Lisa Robertson, J. H. Prynne, Keston Sutherland, Kenneth Goldsmith, Caroline Bergvall. We will place their writings in relation to their historical, intellectual and political contexts and explore the following topics and issues: aesthetics and politics; theories of the avant-garde and poetic experimentalism; ideological implications of subject matter and poetic forms; tradition and originality; language, the arts and mediality.

Course Reading List:
Poetic texts will be drawn from books by the following: Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Lyn Hejinian, Charles Bernstein, Denise Riley, Lisa Robertson, J. H. Prynne, Keston Sutherland, Kenneth Goldsmith, Caroline Bergvall.
Plus a selection of critical writings by these poets and other critics.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Informed participation 20%; presentation 20%; annotated bibliography 15%; final research paper 45%.

Term: S-Term (Spring Term:  January - April 2017)
Date/Time: Thursday, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room SS 2101 (Sidney Smith, 100 St. George Street)

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ENG5526HF
Monuments of Modernism
M. Cobb

Course Description
Modernism is much more than a literary period—it's a capacious, abstract field that also refers to movements in art, architecture, music, and thought that resist straightforward historical understanding and precise definition. So this course will serve as a graduate-level introduction to the intricacies and varieties of modernism and its elusive, tricky "spirit." We'll orient ourselves in this vast field by closely reading its enduring major canonical literary works in English: James Joyce's Ulysses; Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway; T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland; William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!; Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons; and Ezra Pound's The Cantos.

Course Reading List
James Joyce's Ulysses; Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway; T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland; William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!; Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons; and Ezra Pound's The Cantos.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Seminar Presentation, Class Participation, and Final Research Paper.

Term: F-Term (Fall Term:  September - December 2016)
Date/Time: Monday, 2:00pm- 4:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room UC 255 (University College, 15 King's College Circle)

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ENG5717HF
The CanLit Boom of the 1960s 
N. Mount

Course Description
Canada saw a literary explosion in the 1960s unlike anything this country has ever experienced before or will again. The long decade between the late 1950s and the mid-1970s saw the emergence of the best known, most respected names in Canadian literature, names that continue to dominate Canadian classrooms, anthologies, and prize lists. These are the names most people still think of when they think of Canadian writing, names like Margaret Atwood, Marie-Claire Blais, George Bowering, Leonard Cohen, Mavis Gallant, Margaret Laurence, Dennis Lee, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Al Purdy, Mordecai Richler, and Michel Tremblay, among others. An outgrowth of my forthcoming book The Rise and Fall of CanLit (Anansi, 2017), this seminar explores the principal causes, products, and legacies of the CanLit Boom of the 1960s. 

Course Reading List
Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences, 1949-1951, Sheila Watson, The Double Hook (1959), John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958), George Grant, Lament for a Nation (1965), Hubert Aquin, “The Cultural Fatigue of French Canada” (1962), Hugh MacLennan, The Watch That Ends the Night (1959), Hubert Aquin, Next Episode, trans. Sheila Fischman (1965), Leonard Cohen, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956), Austin Clarke, The Meeting Point (1967), Dennis Lee, Civil Elegies (1972), Alice Munro, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968), Margaret Atwood, The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970), Mavis Gallant, Home Truths (1981), Alistair MacLeod, The Lost Salt Gift of Blood (1976). All books will be available at the Bob Miller Book Room, 180 Bloor St. West. 

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Course marks will be determined by seminar participation, including short written weekly responses (40%), and a 5,000-word research paper (60%).

Term: F-Term (Fall Term:  September - December 2016)
Date/Time: Thursday, 1:00pm- 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG5784HS
Modernizing Poetry
M. Woodland

Course Description 
This course will focus on the poetics of modernism as embodied in several key volumes of the 1920s: Eliot's The Waste Land, Moore's Observations, Pound's A Draft of XVI Cantos, Williams' Spring and All, and Stevens' Harmonium. Among other matters, we will consider the peculiar aesthetic and intellectual challenges these authors present to their readers and, in some cases, to each other. We shall also attend to the much-discussed "political" implications of their formal innovations.

Course Reading List  
Eliot, The Waste Land (Norton), The Waste Land: A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts Including the Annotations of Ezra Pound (Harcourt); Stevens, Collected Poems (Vintage); Williams, Spring and All (New Directions); Moore, Becoming Marianne Moore, ed. Robin G. Schulze (U of California); Pound, A Draft of XXX Cantos (New Directions)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements 
One presentation (15%); one short essay (20%); one term paper (45%); participation (20%).

Term: S-Term (Spring Term:  January - April 2017) 
Date/Time: Monday, 11:00am - 1:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 617 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG5793HS
Theories of Modernist Canadian Fiction
C.Hill

Course Description
This course enters the debate about the nature, origins, and generic and cultural boundaries of Canadian modernist fiction. We will read a diverse selection of modern(ist) Canadian works, including several that have only recently been rediscovered. Our discussions will be informed by important critical statements on modernism in Canada and abroad, and we will consider and challenge some prominent readings and configurations of modern writing in Canada. We will also ask some important theoretical and canonical questions: Why have some of Canada's most experimental modernist works been neglected by critics and readers? How have conceptions of Canadian modernism been shaped by various "schools" of Canadian literary criticism? Does Canada's modernism differ significantly from European and American modernisms? Is modernism a useful concept in the Canadian context, or does our early twentieth-century fiction require a new theoretical paradigm?

Course Reading List
Primary texts considered include novels and short fiction by Jessie Georgina Sime, Raymond Knister, Morley Callaghan, Irene Baird, Hugh MacLennan, A. M. Klein, Elizabeth Smart, Mavis Gallant, Sheila Watson, and Leonard Cohen. Short critical readings by scholars of Canadian and international modernisms will also be required for the weekly seminars.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Seminar / discussion format. Essay Prospectus (optional) (5%); Research Paper (50%), Seminar Presentation (30%), Informed Participation (15%).

Term: S-Term (Spring Term: January-April 2017)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 11:00am-1:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street) 

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ENG5801HF
Kinship in Indigenous and Asian Canadian Literatures
(Kinship: Politics & Poetics) 
S. Kamboureli

New Course Description:  
Although kinship no longer signifies exclusively in terms of consanguinity or cultural filiation, and it is best understood as a web of relations across multiple fronts, it continues to figure prominently in ways that point to some fundamental epistemic shifts. Focusing on Indigenous and Asian Canadian literatures, this course will examine kinship as a matter of biogenetics and contingency, as well as a trope of conduct that points to new approaches to the cultural and political issues in Canadian literary studies today. Key issues we will address are: how blood operates as a double sign of inheritance and of brutality that both affirms and disturbs the reciprocity attached to kinship; what happens when blood’s flow becomes a sign of contamination and impurity; how kin relations are actualized “in the idiom of the land”; how genetic engineering recasts kinship in ways that both threaten and re-align “natural relationality”; and what literary means authors employ to materialize new forms of kinship. Our ultimate goal will be to understand kinship as both a problematized and desirable condition but also as a methodological trope that demands a re-evaluation of the politics of intimacy and of the social and affective bonds among people/s.

New Course Reading List:
Novels: King, Thomas. The Back of the Turtle. 2014. Lai, Larissa. Salt Fish Girl. 2002. Lee, Maracle. Ravensong. 1993. Lee, Sky. Disappearing Moon Cafe. 1990. Mathur, Ashok, Jonathan Dewar, and Mike Degagné, eds. Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation through the Lens of Cultural Diversity. Ottawa: 2001 (selections). Robinson, Eden. Monkey Beach. 2000.

Critical / Theoretical Material (Tentative List): Butler, Judith. “Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?” Differences, 13, 1 (Spring 2002): 14-44. Butler, Judith. Antigone’s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death. New York: Columbia UP, 2000 (excerpts). Carsten, Janet. “Introduction.” In Cultures of Relatedness: New Approaches to the Study of Kinship. Ed. Janet Carsten. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. Faubion, James. The Ethics of Kinship. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001 (excerpts). Henderson, Jennifer and Pauline Wakeham, eds. Reconciling Canada: Critical Perspectives on the Culture of Redress. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2013 (selections). Justice, Daniel Heath. “‘Go Away, Water!’: Kinship Criticism and the Decolonization Imperative.” Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective. Ed. Craig S. Womack, et al. Oklahoma: U of Oklahoma P, 2008. 147-68. Lai, Larissa. “Epistemologies of Respect: A Poetics of Asian / Indigenous Relation.” Critical Collaborations: Indigeneity, Diaspora and Ecology in Canadian Literary Studies. Ed. Smaro Kamboureli and Christl Verduyn. Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2013. Rabinow, Paul. “Artificiality and Enlightenment: From Sociobiology to Biosociality.” In Incorporations. Ed. Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter. New York: Zone, 1992. Strong, Thomas. “Kinship Between Judith Butler and Anthropology? A Review Essay.” Ethnos, 67, 3 (2002): 401-418. 

New Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:  
One seminar report (15 minutes long): 20% One conference-length paper (8-10 pages): 30% Final essay: 40% Informed Participation: 10%.

Term: F-Term (Fall Term:  September - December 2016)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 614 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG5854HS
The Global South: Hemisphere and Diaspora
D. Cruz

Course Description:

Literary scholarship has been invigorated by what has been called the transnational and hemispheric turn, a mode of scholarship that questions the primacy of the nation-state even as it recognizes continued forms of domination and oppression. Resisting easy binaries of resistance or complicit acceptance, hemispheric critical geographies instead examine what Caroline Levander and Walter Mignolo have called “re-existence,” as they theorize alternate modalities of existence, community formation, and cultural production. In this seminar, we will examine one model of hemispheric analysis: the Global South. Our first objective will be to meditate upon a series of questions that connect studies of the Global South to critical histories, aesthetics, and authorial practices in the study of twentieth century and contemporary literature about the global south and its diaspora: How have authors imagined the Global South and the diaspora, and how have these spaces functioned historically and geopolitically? How do authors reframe these spaces, often associated with a long history of violence and oppression, as offering possibilities that disrupt normative definitions of race, gender, and sex? Along the way, we’ll examine the complexities of these sites and communities. Our second objective will be to analyze the Global South as linked to form, aesthetics, and genre. We’ll build upon a rich history of scholarship that explores the vexed relationship between literary aesthetics; the representation of race, class, gender, and sexuality; and empire, globalization, and diaspora (to name just a few). In addition to work explicitly tied to the global south, we’ll also read criticism in new Southern studies, rural studies, gender and sexuality studies, and transnational American Studies.

Course Reading List:
Primary texts (subject to revision): Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007); Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies (1999); Kiran Desai, Inheritance of Loss (2006); Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer (2015); Monique Truong, Bitter in the Mouth (2010); Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing: A Novel (2016); Chimandah Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (2013); Gina Apostol, The Gun Dealer’s Daughter (2013); Mia Alvar, “In the Country” (2015); Eric Hayot, The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014).

Secondary and Theoretical Texts (subject to revision): Essays and chapters by Arjun Appadurai, Stephen Best, Pheng Cheah, Edouard Glissant, Yogita Goyal, Susan Koshy, Lisa Lowe, Caroline Levander; Gayatri Spivak; Ranahit Guha, José David Saldivívar.

Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Paper proposal and annotated bibliography (10%), Presentation (10%), Participation (20%), Research Paper (60%)

Term: S -Term (Spring Term: January - April 2017)
Date/Time:  Thursday,  11:00am - 1:00pm,  2 hours
Location:  Room
JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG5905HF
Introduction to African-Canadian Literature
G. E. Clarke 

Course Description:

African-Canadian literature unsettles the classical tropes of Canada--the idea of 'two solitudes' and the symbol of the 'Great White North'--because it is an upstart assembly of multitudinous 'solitudes,' of disparate folks who are also citoyens de couleur (whether they say so or not). But African-Canadian literature also upsets the iconic notions of the African Diaspora--'double-consciousness' and Afrocentrism—for it espouses a polyphonous consciousness that voices disparate shadings and timbres of 'blackness.' African-Canadian authors highlight issues around identity, migration, 'national' belonging, 'ethnicity,' 'accent,' multiculturalism, gender, sexual orientation, and (racial) hybridity. We will examine early texts, mid-20th-Century texts, as well as contemporary creativity in literature, music, and film, to determine the ways, if any, in which African-Canadian literature adds distinctive tones and resonance to Diasporic African culture. Is it CanLit in African mask? Is it a 'chilled' or 'bleached' extract of African, African-American, or Caribbean literature? Or is it its own 'ting' or 'thang', requiring original, critical lenses?

Course Reading List
We will meet in seminars that utilize student presentations. Students will also write one major paper each term.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Seminar: 30%; Essay: 50%; Participation: 20%.

Texts MAY include anthologies edited by G.E. Clarke, Wayde Compton, and Djanet Sears; plus critical or creative writings (or both) by Andre Alexis, Ho Che Anderson, Dionne Brand, Austin Clarke, G.E. Clarke, Wayde Compton, Afua Cooper, Malcolm Gladwell, Lawrence Hill, Dany Laferriere, Suzette Mayr, Motion, M. NourbeSe Philip, Djanet Sears, and Rinaldo Walcott. We will also 'audition' films and music.

Term: F-Term (Fall Term: September - December 2016)
Date/Time: Tuesday, 1:00pm- 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room UC 255 (University College, 15 King's College Circle)

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ENG5991HF 
Postcolonial Tragedies: Theory, Literature, Criticism
A. Quayson


Course Description:
This course will survey the debates on literary tragedy from a postcolonial perspective. Theories of tragedy from Aristotle, Hegel, AC Bradley, George Steiner, Martha Nussbaum and David Scott will be explored for viewpoints on tragedy, which will in their turn be tested against a number of literary texts in the postcolonial literary tradition. Works by Achebe, Soyinka, Marquez, Kincaid, Ondaatje, and Toni Morrison will be discussed.

Course Reading List:
Selections from Aristotle, Hegel, AC Bradley, George Steiner, Martha Nussbaum, and David Scott. Chinua Achebe, Arrow of God; Wole Soyinka, Death and the King's Horseman; Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient; Gabriel Garicia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude; Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Weekly response papers. Annotated bibliography End-of-term paper Presentations

Term: F-Term (Fall Term:  September - December 2016)
Date/Time: Friday, 1:00pm- 4:00pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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