2024 Summer Courses

*Please note:

  • Summer Course Timetable, scheduled times, delivery method, descriptions, reading lists, and/or locations are TBA and are subject to change.
  • Department of English ACORN Enrolment for Summer F courses: TBA
  • Monday, May 20 Victoria Day - no classes on the Holiday

*Summer 2024 Graduate English Course Timetable (TBD)













































ENG1582HF L0101

Piers Plowman

Gaston, K.

Course Description:

A study of Piers Plowman, the fourteenth-century alliterative dream vision famously described as “a commentary on an unknown text.” This course will focus on the B-text of the poem with excursions into the A and C texts, giving special attention to issues including economic and social justice, poverty and perfection, legal and literary representation, learning and study, and the relationship between Latin and the vernacular. Throughout, we will investigate the way that Piers uses literary form to express and analyze ethical and spiritual dilemmas. We will also survey major literary critical approaches to the poem and its late fourteenth century context.

Course Reading List:

  • The Vision of Piers Plowman: B-Text, ed. A. V. C. Schmidt (if available)
  • Piers Plowman: A New Annotated Edition of the C-Text, ed. Derek Pearsall
  • Emily Steiner, Reading Piers Plowman (Cambridge, 2013)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:

  • Final paper 35%;
  • Midterm paper 25%;
  • In-class presentation and response 20%;
  • Class participation 20%.


Term: SUMMER F-TERM (May 2024 and June 2024)
Date/Time: TBA 2 hours
Location: Room TBA  
Delivery: In-Person

ENG5284HF L0101

Canadian Animal Stories: Ethics and Aesthetics

Aguila-Way, T.

Course Description:

This course will explore intersections between Canadian literary studies and the interrelated fields of critical animal studies and animal narratology. Anchored in seminal readings by Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Cary Wolfe, Donna Haraway, and J.M. Coetzee, the first half of the course will introduce some of the key ethical and representational questions that inform the interrelated fields of critical animal studies and animal narratology: What role does language play in mediating the boundary between humans and non-human animals? What power does literature have to imagine animals without erasing their "significant otherness" (Haraway)? Are certain literary forms more suited to this challenge than others? The second half of the course will take the lessons we have gleaned from our readings in critical animal studies and animal narratology to query the role of animals within the Canadian literary imagination. What is at stake in declaring, as Charles G.D. Roberts once did, that the animal story is a distinctly “Canadian genre”? In what ways has the Canadian literary imagination instrumentalized animals to bolster the English Canadian projects of “white civility” (Coleman) and settler-colonialism? And how have Canadian writers used literary aesthetics to imagine more ethical ways of being with animals?

Course Reading List:

Theoretical Texts: Martin Heidegger, Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics; Jacques Derrida, The Animal that Therefore I Am; Cary Wolfe, “In the Shadow of Wittgenstein’s Lion”; Donna Haraway, When Species Meet; David Herman, Narratology Beyond the Human; Mario Ortiz-Robles, Literature and Animal Studies; Lori Gruen, Entangled Empathy; Nicole Shukin, Animal Capital; J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals; Ursula Heise, Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Animals.

Literary Texts: Charles G.D. Roberts, The Kindred of the Wild Grey Owl, Pilgrims of the Wild; Barbara Gowdy, The White Bone; Marian Engel, Bear; Margaret Atwood, Surfacing; Don McKay, Birding, or Desire; Adam Dickinson, Kingdom, Phylum; Alyssa York, Fauna; Thomas King, The Back of the Turtle; Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, A Short History of the Blockade.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements

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


Term: SUMMER F-TERM (May 2024 and June 2024)
Date/Time: TBA 3 hours
Location: Room TBA  
Delivery: In-Person

ENG6188HF L0101 

Land, Myth and Translation in a Time of Crisis (INSTRUCTOR CHANGED COURSE - July 2023)

Most, A.

Course Description

In Braiding Sweetgrass, Potawatomi botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer re-tells the Turtle Island and Garden of Eden creation stories, and imagines the fateful conversation that ensued when the two met. In this course, students will engage with Genesis 1-3 through the lens of the conversation Kimmerer proposes, asking how a reparative reading of this foundational cultural narrative might offer a strategy for meeting environmental crisis. By comparing different English versions of the Bible, students will explore how translation progressively stripped the language of Genesis 1-3 of its animacy and the story of its deep connection to land, enabling the myth to become a justification for colonization and environmental degradation. Then, utilizing apocryphal stories, Near Eastern mythology, ancient and medieval commentary from the Jewish and Christian traditions as well as ecocritical and translation theory, we will listen for echoes of an animate land-based cosmology present within the Biblical text. In addition to conventional seminar sessions, the course will include a number of experiential workshops on different storytelling modes, in which students will enact “re-story-ation,” drawing the re-animated biblical myth into conversation with the land itself.

Course Reading List

Readings will include texts such as:
Martin Shaw, Scatterlings and Smoke Hole (selections)
Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement
Richard Powers, “A Little More Than Kin,” Emergence Oct 2021
Genesis 1-3 (in three translations: KJV, JPS, and Everett Fox)
Ancient Near Eastern Myths; Gilgamesh, Inanna, Tiamat (translations TBD)
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass (selected essays)
Thomas King, The Truth About Stories
Leanne Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back (selected essays)
Naomi Seidman, Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation (selections)
Mary Jane Rubenstein, Pantheologies: Gods, Worlds, Monsters (selected chapters)
Rachel Havrelock, “The Mother of Life and the Infertility of Eden,” in Eve: The Unbearable Flaming Fire.  and “Home at Last: The Local Domain and Female Power,” in The Bible and Feminism: Remapping the Field.  
Stephen Greenblatt, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve (Chapters 1-3)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements (TBC)

  • Weekly Council Contributions  20%

  • Class Participation 20%

  • Final Project Written Component 40%

  • Final Project Presentation Component 20%

Term: SUMMER F-TERM (May 2024 and June 2024)
Date/Time: St. George Campus (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
Location: Room TBA  
Delivery: In-Person


Writing More-than-Human Lives

Ackerman, A.

ENG6560HF L0101 

Visual Media and Human Rights Work (COURSE ADDED - July 2023)

Suzack, C.

Course Description:

Visual media plays an important role in advancing human rights work. From its recognition as a site that directs the spectator’s gaze to themes conveyed by human rights struggles and failures, to its pedagogical aims of providing viewers with a framework from which to act on behalf of others, documentary film participates in dramatizing and making proximate the future work that remains to be done to secure the protection of human rights. In this course, we will explore how visual media in the form of documentary film participates in these practices. We will screen films associated with literary texts to ask how visual media widens the scope of representation associated with human rights narratives and assess the degree to which film, like literature, disrupts settler-colonial nation- states representational practices that project a “fantasy of victims in the image of perpetrators” in order to justify “retrospectively what perpetrators have done” (Moore “Film After Atrocity”). Course readings and class discussions will focus on literature, film, and legal cases to explore how these texts overlap and diverge and assignments will provide opportunities to explore the aesthetic features of film and theoretical arguments associated with human rights.

Course Reading List


Sophia A McClennen and Alexandra Schultheis Moore, Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights (2015) (selections); Joseph Slaughter, Human Rights Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law (2007); Sonia M. Tascón, Human Rights Film Festivals: Activism in Context (2014); Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse: A Novel (2012); Richard Van Camp, The Lesser Blessed (1996); Katherena Vermette, The Break (2016); Richard, K. Sherwin. “Visual Jurisprudence.” 57 NYL Sch. L. Rev. 11 (2012-2013); Kathleen Mahoney, “The Untold Story: How Indigenous Legal Principles Informed the Largest Settlement in Canadian Legal History,” 69 UNBJL 14 198 (2018); Mayo Moran, “The Problem of the Past: How Wrongs Became Legal Problems.” UTLJ 69.4 (2019): 421-472; Victor Li, “Documentaries are shaping public opinion and influencing cases.” ABA Journal, August 1, 2020; Bonaparte v. Canada, (2003) 30 CPC (5th) 59; Baxter v. Canada (Attorney General), (2006) 83 O.R. (3d) 481. 


The Boys of St. Vincent. NFB, 1992; Indian Horse. Dir. Stephen S. Campanelli, 2018; Nostalgia for the Light. Dir. Patricio Guzmán, 2010; The Lesser Blessed. Christina Piovesan, 2013; Rhymes for Young Ghouls. Dir. Jeff Barnaby. Montreal: Entertainment One Films, 2013; Finding Dawn. Dir. Christine Welsh, 2006. 

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements (TBC)

Participation; weekly short essays; research essay. 

Term: SUMMER F-TERM (May 2024 and June 2024)
Date/Time: St. George Campus (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
Location: Room TBA  
Delivery: In-Person