Brief Description of Course: This course offers an introductory study of English-Canadian prose and poetry from the eighteenth century to the present day by identifying landmarks in the Canadian literary tradition and by examining the historical, cultural, and political forces that have both shaped and challenged these CanLit milestones. The course will begin by analyzing the writings of Canada’s eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pioneers and settlers, and will, then, revisit Canada’s settler-colonial history from Indigenous literary perspectives. We will continue by discussing the confluence of Romantic and nationalist influences in Confederation poetry during the late nineteenth century; the evolution of realist fiction during the twentieth century; the formal experimentation that modernized Canadian poetry in the mid-twentieth century; and diversity in women’s writing during the late twentieth century. The course will close by exploring contemporary multicultural narratives—within contexts such as postmodernism, black writing, and Asian-Canadian fiction—and queer literature in Canada.
Required Reading: Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water (Harper-Collins); Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion (Vintage). Excerpts by Samuel Hearne, David Thompson, Frances Brooke, Catharine Parr Traill, Susanna Moodie. Poetry by Charles Sangster, Archibald Lampman, Duncan Campbell Scott, A. J. M. Smith, P. K. Page, Irving Layton. Short stories by Sinclair Ross, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Eden Robinson, Austin Clarke, Dionne Brand, Madeleine Thien, Shyam Selvadurai, Beth Brant. Course Reader and novels available at the University of Toronto Bookstore (214 College Street, 416-640-7900).
First Three Authors/Texts: Hearne; Thompson; Brooke.
Method of Instruction: Lectures and tutorials.Method of Evaluation: One short essay (25%), one long essay (35%), one final examination (25%), class participation (15%).