5000 Series Course Descriptions (Twentieth and Twenty-first Century British and Irish Literature; Canadian Literature; American Literature; World Literatures in English)

Black Forms: Critical Race Theory and Diasporic Literature

A. Thomas 

Course Description

What can critical race theory tell us about literary form? How might practices of formal analysis contribute to an understanding of the study of difference? This course proposes an exploration of the relation between literary form and critical race theory. Using critical comparative approaches from a range of humanistic and theoretical fields, we will pay particular attention to experimentation and genre and consider, on the one hand, global discourses of race (particularly Blackness), and, on the other, 20th and 21st century Black and diasporic literature and theory whose experiments with form trouble, challenge, or construct notions of identity, group, relation, and race.

Course Texts

Readings may include Hortense Spillers, Sylvia Wynter, Harriet Jacobs, Charles Chesnutt, Edouard Glissant, C Riley Snorton, W.E.B. Du Bois, Derek Walcott, M Nourbese Philip, Tiffany Lethabo King, Toni Morrison, Dionne Brand.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements

Participation: 20%; Seminar Presentation: 20%; Final Paper (15 pages): 50%; Course reflection: 10%.

Term: F-TERM (September 2022 to December 2022)
Date/Time: Wednesday / 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: In-Person

Justice and Form in Contemporary Canadian Ecopoetry

T. Aguila-Way

Course Description

This course will focus on Canadian ecopoetry, a form of poetry that is inspired by "nature" but departs from traditional nature poetry by engaging with environmental politics. We will begin with selections of late twentieth century poetry that is not consciously ecological yet evokes various forms of ecological interrelatedness. We will then read contemporary ecopoetry that self-consciously investigates the role of language and poetry in responding to current environmental crises. In reading this body of work, we will pay special attention to the diversity of formal and aesthetic strategies that Canadian ecopoetry encompasses, from the activism of Rita Wong and Stephen Collis, to the linguistic experimentalism of Dionne Brand and Canisia Lubrin, to the scientifically inspired poetics of Adam Dickinson and Christian Bök, to the anti-colonial aesthetics of Leanne Simpson and Craig Santos Perez. We will consider such questions as: What formal experiments are contemporary Canadian poets drawing upon in order to respond to the pressures of living in a 21st century marked by anthropogenic change? Can a poem be considered "ecological" even if it is not explicitly concerned with "nature" or the "environment"? How does contemporary ecopoetry speak to the intersections between environmental, social, and racial justice? ?

Reading List

Daphne Marlatt, Steveston
Rita Wong, forage
Rita Wong and Fred Wah, beholden: a poem as long as the river
Stephen Collis, Once in Blockadia
Adam Dickinson, Anatomic
Christian Bök, The Xenotext: Book 1
Dionne Brand, Ossuaries
Kathryn Yussof, A Billion Black Anthropocenes Or None
Canisia Lubrin, The Dyzgraphxst
Leanne Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love
Craig Santos Perez, Habitat Threshold
Brenda Ijima (ed), eco language reader (selections)
*Plus a selection of critical essays and chapters by Charles Olson, Laura-Gray Street and Ann Fisher-Wirth, Heather Milne, Rita Wong, and Lynn Keller, among others.

Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements

Seminar presentation & report (20%); seminar participation (15%); conference presentation (25%); final research paper (40%).

Term: F-TERM (September 2022-December 2022)
Date/Time: Thursday / 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: In-Person

Class, Culture, and American Realism

N. Dolan

Modern South Asia in Literature and Media

R. Mehta