2024-2025 Course Timetable

Courses and room assignments are listed in the Timetable Builder.

100 Level

The courses in our 100 series introduce students to the study of English literature at the university level through broad courses that introduce the major literary forms via examples drawn from different times and places. These courses aim to develop writing, reading, and critical skills, and frequently require some oral participation in tutorial groups. Essays at the 100 level typically do not require research or secondary sources. 

200 Level

Courses in the 200 series provide historically, geographically, generically, or theoretically grounded introductions to the study of English literature. These include the four "gateway" courses required of Specialists and Majors--introductions to the major national-historical fields (British, Canadian, and American) that comprise literatures in English--as well as a wide range of courses that will prepared students for further study. Coursework at the 200 level may require some research and the beginnings of familiarity with scholarship on the subject. Students will often be expected to participate orally in class or in tutorial groups. English 200-level courses are open to students who have obtained standing in 1.0 ENG FCE, or ANY 4.0 University-level FCE, or who are concurrently taking one of ENG110Y1, ENG140Y1, ENG150Y1. 

300 Level

At the 300 level, courses advance into a particular period or subject within a literature or literary genre: contemporary American fiction, for instance, or a particular topic in Shakespeare studies. Courses at this level introduce students to research skills and typically require essays that incorporate some secondary sources. The smaller size of many of these courses frequently demands a greater degree of oral participation. Most English 300-level courses are open to students who have obtained standing in at least 4.0 FCE, including 2.0 ENG FCE. 

400 Level

Courses in the 400 series are both advanced and focused, unique courses created by Department faculty that often relate to their own research. Active student participation, including oral presentations, is an important part of these courses. Courses at the 400 level require a substantial research essay for which the student has significant input into framing the research question. Please note, beginning with the 2019-20 FAS Calendar, for NEW 2018 program students, English 400-series courses are open to students who have obtained standing in at least 9.0 FCE, including 4.0 ENG FCE, and who have completed ENG202H1, ENG203H1, ENG250H1, and ENG252H1.

Notes on the Timetable, Enrollment Regulations and Procedures

1. For updated information on room assignments and course changes, consult ACORN. When enroling in courses, important to pay attention to the session ( F, S, or Y) and LEC section numbers.

Changes to Reading Lists and Instructors - Students should note that changes to scheduling, staffing, reading lists, and methods of evaluation may occur anytime thereafter. When possible, changes to the course schedule will appear on ACORN. Students should avoid purchasing texts until the reading list is confirmed by the instructor during the first week of classes. Students wishing to read listed texts in advance are advised to use copies available at both the University and public libraries.

3. Enrollment in all English courses is limited by Department policy. First-year students may enroll in any 200-series course if they are concurrently enrolled in ENG110Y1, ENG140Y1 or ENG150Y1. In some 200-series courses and all 300-series courses, priority is given to students enrolled in an English program. In 400-series courses, priority during the first round of enrollment is given to fourth-year students who require a 400-series course to satisfy program requirements. To ensure maximum availability of 400-series courses, fourth-year Specialists are allowed to enroll in only 1.0 400-series ENG FCE and fourth-year Majors are allowed to register in only 0.5 400-level ENG FCE. During the second round of enrollment the priority is lifted and the course is open to all students who meet the prerequisites.

ENG100H1F & S - Effective Writing

Section Number: LEC5101             

Time(s): Thursday 6-9 pm ONLINE SYNCHRONOUS

Instructor(s): Dierdre Flynn

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD 


ENG102H1F - Literature and the Sciences

Section Number: LEC0101 

Time(s): Monday 1-2 pm, Wednesday 1-3 pm

Instructor(s): Daniel Bergman

Brief Description of Course: Literature has always provided a place for the imaginative exploration of science, technology, and the physical universe. For students interested in literary treatments of science and scientific problems, concerns, and methods. Topics that may be explored include: the role and status of the scientist within literary history; artificial intelligence as a literary subject; and fiction’s relationship to factuality and objectivity.      

Assumes no background in the methods and techniques of literary scholarship. This course may not be counted toward any English program.

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: In-class quizzes; reading reflections; 2 short essays; final exam


ENG140Y1 - Literature for Our Time  

Section Number: LEC0101                                

Time(s): LEC Friday 2-4 pm, TUT Friday 12 pm - 1 pm or 1 pm -2 pm

Instructor(s): Adam Hammond

Brief Description of Course: This course explores how recent literature in English responds to our world in poetry, prose, and drama. In the fall term we’ll visit some famous and not-so-famous landmarks of late-nineteenth and twentieth-century literature: a dusty laboratory in a side-street in London, a sunny beach in Italy, a smoke-filled apartment in Harlem, a hotel bar in Chicago. In the spring term, our guides will be closer to our own time, living writers and more recent books. In both terms, emphases will include literature’s reasons for being, its formal qualities, historical context, relation to other media, and relevance to our moment in time.

Method of Evaluation: Assignment #1 (Adaptation); Assignment #2 (Creative Intervention or Literature in Context); Essay Outline; Essay; Weekly tutorial response; Participation in tutorial.


ENG150Y1 - Literary Traditions 

Section Number: LEC0101           

Time(s): LEC Monday 1-3 pm; TUT Wednesday 1-2 pm or 2-3 pm

Instructor(s)John Rogers

Email:  johnd.rogers@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course: An exploration of some of some of the greatest works of literature composed over the course of the last three thousand years. In the fall term, we begin with the Mesopotamian Enuma Elish, Homer’s epic The Odyssey, the lyrics of Sappho, and selections from the Hebrew Bible. We trace the exciting and controversial influence of those ancient works on our understanding of story-telling, nation-building, the creation of the world, and the meaning of the human. The fall term concludes with the Islamic Sufi poet Rumi, Dante’s Inferno, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The winter term will be devoted to examining Milton’s Paradise Lost, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. The course concludes with a study of Ling Ma’s 2018 post-apocalyptic novel Severance.

Method of Evaluation: 

  • Informal discussion posts (15%)
  • Participation (15%)
  • Two short essays (25%)
  • Two brief quizzes per term (20%)
  • Final essay (25%)

ENG196H1F - Cook the Books

Section Number: LEC0101        

Time(s): Tuesday 2-5 pm

Instructor(s)Prof. Andrea Most and Chef Miriam Streiman

Email:  andrea.most@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course: If, as a famous French philosopher once said, “You are what you eat”, then what are we?  What do our food choices reveal about who we are and what we value?  What story does the food we eat tell about our relationship to the world around us?  In this class, we examine all kinds of stories about growing, preparing, and eating food in order to understand how culture shapes the choices we make about the food we eat.  But we don’t stop there: through cooking and eating together, we begin to tell new stories about our food and our relationship to the planet that provides it. Co-taught with a professional chef, this course combines literary analysis with cooking classes, multi-sensory presentations, and food-oriented field trips. Restricted to first-year students.

Method of Evaluation: Class Participation and Reading Responses (25%), Short Essay (15%), Group Presentation (30%), Final Potluck and essay (30%)


ENG197H1F - Time Travel & Narrative

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Wednesday 1-3 pm

Instructor(s)Thom Dancer

Email: thom.dancer@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course: This is a literature course focused on time travel narratives. We will read and analyse novels, short stories, television episodes, and movies that contain time travel elements. We will consider what time travel stories offer us as readers, how they might comment upon social, political, and historic issues. Though the course will occasionally take up time travel logic and paradoxes, the course is primarily a literature course and will practice skills of reading and analysis. Restricted to first-year students.

Required Reading: Octavia Butler, Ursula Le Guin. Jeffrey Landis, Greg Egan, Kate Heartfield, H.G. Wells, Max Beerbohm, Tasmyn Muir, and others. 

First Three Authors/Texts: The Time Machine, “Another Story,” “Ripples in the Dirac Sea”

Method of Evaluation: Literary Analysis Paper, Time Line Assignment, Reading Quizzes, Verbal Participation 


ENG198H1S - Representing Disability

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Wednesday 1-3 pm

Instructor(s): Katherine Williams

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD


ENG199H1F - Tree Stories

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s):  Thursday 10 am -12 pm

Instructor(s)Alan Ackerman

Brief Description of Course: Trees are all around us. We climb them, tell stories about them, write on paper, at desks, in homes made from them. But most people tend to take them for granted. This course considers how we imagine trees in works of art and legend and what trees can teach us about our own place in the world. We will read stories and poems as well as exploring the trees around campus and the environment we share. Restricted to first-year students

ENG202H1F - Introduction to British Literature I

Section Number: LEC0101                            

Time(s): Lectures Tuesday 10 am-12 pm; TUT Thursday 10–11 am or 11 am - 12 pm

Instructor(s): Carroll Balot

Brief Description of Course: A survey of English literature from its beginnings in the Anglo-Saxon period through Milton in the late seventeenth century, emphasizing major authors, movements and periods, and formal analysis. Central themes will include the relationship between the heroic code and Gospel values; the shift from a providential to a scientific cosmology; love, both sacred and secular; individualism and alienation in the transition to modernity; and sin, shame, and forgiveness. We will employ a variety of approaches to literary analysis, including New Historicism, Psychoanalytic Criticism, New Criticism, and modes of political and affective reading.

First Three Authors/TextsBede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People; The Ruin; Beowulf. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Concise Volume A – Fourth Edition

The Medieval Period - The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century - The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century (2024)

Method of Evaluation: Response papers, short essay, midterm, final examination, participation.


ENG202H1S - Introduction to British Literature I

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): LEC Monday 11 am - 1 pm; TUT Wed 11 am -12 pm or 12-1 pm

Instructor(s)Matthew Sergi

Brief Description of Course: ENG 202 is an introduction to early British literature, exploring works in poetry, prose, and drama, from the earliest English writing to the end of the seventeenth century. A course covering the literature of such a broad span of time—a full millennium (c. 670 through the 1660s)—must leave out many more important works than it includes; as a result, different versions of ENG 202, from one term to another, will include noticeably different approaches and arrays of readings. This version of ENG 202 is organized around community-building, connection, and play: we will discover that the roots of British literature grow out of social practices in which texts are read among friends—and, often, composed by multiple hands or voices. The earlier we go (our readings will be in reverse chronological order, so we’ll start with the latest works first!), the more we’ll consider early literature as an occasion to convene in fellowship and fun, to co-conceive temporary or imaginary societies with fanciful rules, to step together outside of the purely reasonable into the wildernesses and otherworlds of the possible. We’ll do our best to create full-class meetings and tutorials that are true gatherings, building real and lasting community among readers, who have something genuinely enjoyable to share together — just as the early makers and audiences of our class texts did, or aimed (or claimed!) to do.

Visit https://premodernity.net/eng-202 for ENG 202’s most recent full syllabus and schedule.

Method of Evaluation: 

Engagement and Participation in tutorial sessions, 15%

Final Exam, 15% Real-Time Comprehension Questions, asked at the end of each class session, 15%

Actual Attendance during at least 20 of our 24 class sessions, 10%

Mid-Term Assignment (can take the form of an essay, OR two in-class presentations, OR two in-class dramatic performances), 22.5%

Final Assignment (can take the form of an essay, OR two in-class presentations, OR two in-class dramatic performances), 22.5%


ENG203H1F - Introduction to British Literature II 

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): LEC Tuesday 10 am-12 pm; TUT Thursday 10-11 am or 11 am -12 pm

Instructor(s): Michael Johnstone

Brief Description of Course: This course will highlight key authors, texts, and forms/genres of British literature from the late 1600s to the early 1900s. Covering poetry, drama, fiction, and critical prose, we will look at the work of writers such as John Dryden, Aphra Behn, Alexander Pope, Eliza Haywood, Samuel Johnson, William Wordsworth, Byron, Robert Browning, George Eliot, George Bernard Shaw, T.S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf. We will focus on the evolving conception of the self (individual, social/cultural, political, sexual/gendered) as expressed through genre.

Required Reading: TBD 

Method of Evaluation: Essay #1 (15%), Essay #2 (35%), Reading Quizzes (10%), Test (25%), Tutorial Participation (15%)


ENG203H1S - Introduction to British Literature II

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): LEC Monday 2-4 pm, TUT Wednesday 2-3 pm or 3-4 pm

Instructor(s): Simon Dickie

Brief Description of Course: Our goal in this course is to learn the conventional periodization of British literary history from 1660-1900, and the major genres and authors associated with each period. In the process, we will learn the specialized terminology of literary criticism: how to recognize verse forms, metres, and rhyme schemes; prose style, tone, point of view, allusion, adaptation, and much more. In lectures – and especially in weekly tutorials – students will practice using this terminology for detailed close reading of primary texts. This well-informed close reading will then be the focus of your essays and final exam.

Method of Evaluation: 

  • 3 Quizzes on the literary history, terms, and concepts of each period (12-15 short answers, 25 minutes, in tutorial) 5% each = 15%
  • Short Close-Reading Assignment (500 words) 10%
  • Essay (1500 words) 30% Tutorial and Class Participation 10%
  • Final Exam (during Exam Period) 35%

ENG213H1F - The Short Story

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 11 am -1 pm, Thursday 11 am -12 pm

Instructor(s)Sarah Caskey

Brief Description of Course: The short story is a dynamic literary form. Protean and flexible, the genre can accommodate a diversity of literary styles and modes of experimentation. This course will examine a selection of short stories written in English since the late nineteenth century to the present by some of the foremost practitioners as well as emerging writers in the field. In our reading, we will pay particular attention to the form of the short story itself, and to the specific ways the authors interpret and use the capacities of the genre. We will augment our reading by reviewing critical theories of the short story that attempt to define and conceptualize the genre. We will also explore what kinds of stories get told, and what large questions get asked in these narratives that span across time and place. This course assumes the critical view that short stories present a spectrum of formal and thematic possibilities, and are a powerful and exciting literary mode for exploring the authors’ complex worlds.

Required Reading: The Broadview Introduction to Literature: Short Fiction. Second Edition.

First Three Authors/Texts: James Kelman, “Acid”; Alasdair Gray, “The Star”; Anders Nilsen, “Towards a Conceptual Framework.”

Method of Evaluation: Passage Analysis (25%); Essay (40%); Final Assignment (25%); Participation (10%).


ENG215H1S - The Canadian Short Story

Section Number: LEC0101 

Time(s): Tuesday 11 am -1 pm, Thursday 11 am -12 pm ONLINE SYNCHRONOUS

Instructor(s)Sarah Caskey

Brief Description of Course: The short story is a demanding and exhilarating art form. As the Canadian literary critic W. H. New observes, it “calls upon its readers to perceive the breadth of vision that is condensed into a small compass.” Canadian writers have made outstanding contributions to the genre and this course examines Canadian short fiction written in English since the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. The short stories selected for analysis reflect a variety of authors, as well as diverse periods, regions, literary styles, thematic interests, and experimentation within the genre. Together, the stories attest to the vitality of the genre in this country and the important role Canadians writers have played in shaping the form.

We will focus on reading individual stories closely, with attention to form and structure, and to relating seemingly disparate stories to one another, synthesizing ideas that connect them into a larger short-story literary tradition. Teaching the stories close to chronological order means we can grasp much of the history of literary influence and the growth and development of the genre in Canada within the boundaries of the syllabus. Throughout the term, we will explore the place of the short story in Canadian literary culture and its exciting intersection with issues including identity, storytelling, and art.

Required Reading: Course readings will be available on the Library Reading List through Quercus.

First Three Authors/Texts: Michael Crummey, Harry Robinson, Thomas King.

Method of Evaluation: Passage Analysis (25%); Essay (40%); Final Assignment (25%); Participation 10%).


ENG220H1F - Introduction to Shakespeare

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 10 am-12 pm, Wednesday 10-11am

Instructor(s): Philippa Sheppard 

Brief Description of Course: More than any other author, Shakespeare’s works have shaped our language and our arts, the way we think and see ourselves. He is performed in every language and culture, been adapted to every medium. This course will explore six of Shakespeare’s plays, arranged chronologically and within genre. With reference to performances caught on film, and founded on historical background, we will discuss the dramatization of theme, character, structure, setting and language. We will endeavour to keep in mind the exigencies of the theatre in Shakespeare’s time and in our own. Shakespeare was, after all, a consummate man of the theatre. His plays are blueprints for shows on stage. We will remain open to the plethora of meanings and interpretations suggested by these blueprints in all their infinite variety

Required Reading: Henry IV Part 1, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear.

Method of Evaluation: One in-class essay (20%); one take-home essay (35%); one three-hour exam (35%); participation (10%). I will take attendance each online class, and make note of oral contributions, to arrive at the participation mark. Attendance is important. Handing in an outline for the take-home essay is mandatory, and receives a 2 mark bonus on the essay if properly executed.


ENG220H1S - Introduction to Shakespeare

Section Number: LEC0101       

Time(s): Tuesday 1-3pm & Thursday 1-2pm

Instructor(s): Katherine Williams

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD


ENG234H1F - Introduction to Children’s Literature

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 10 am -12 pm, Thursday 10-11 am

Instructor(s)Deirdre Baker

Brief Description of Course: Have you ever really looked at Where the Wild Things Are? Wondered why The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is still going strong? Felt vague unease on reading Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Beauty and the Beast? We’ll be considering these matters as well as changing notions of the child/child reader; ways class, gender, ideology and historical context are embedded in books for kids and teens; and how the ‘hidden adult’ may or may not be working on impressionable minds. 

Method of Evaluation: short essays; close reading exercise; participation/discussion


ENG235H1F - The Graphic Novel

Section Number: LEC0101 

Time(s): Tuesday 12-1 pm, Thursday 12-2 pm

Instructor(s): Andrew Lesk

Brief Description of Course: In ENG235, an introductory course, we will examine the rhetorical uses of comics in order to think through the course theme Youth. Concomitantly, we will explore the following questions: To what rhetorical purposes are comics used? How is "truth" represented/constructed through visual and textual rhetoric? What is the relationship between the novel and its social context, and how is that represented by the visual codes of these texts? 

Required Reading: TBD

First Three Authors/Texts: Clowes, Laboucane, Barry

Method of Evaluation: Essay, Tests, Quiz


ENG237H1S - Science Fiction

Section Number: LEC0101 

Time(s): Tuesday 11 am -1 pm, Thursday 11 am -12 pm

Instructor(s)Michael Johnstone

Brief Description of Course: This course will treat science fiction (SF) as a significant literature and mode of expression that has reflected and responded to our rapidly changing modern world in distinct ways since the late 19th century. During the term, we will attempt to develop a working definition of science fiction not just by identifying its tropes and conventions, but also by understanding what it does that sets it apart from other genres and from mainstream literature. To do so, we will explore the encounter with the alien (or, Other), how technoscience affects the possibilities of identity in the future, and themes of dystopia/utopia. Overall, we will approach SF as a literature of sociocultural critique that explores challenging and profound questions about the human condition through the lens of technoscience.

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: Essay #1 (20%), Essay #2 (45%), Reading Quizzes (10%), Test (25%)


ENG239H1S - Fantasy and Horror

Section Number: LEC0101 

Time(s): Tuesday 1-3 pm, Thursday 10 am -11 am

Instructor(s): Jim Hansen

Brief Description of Course: Fantasy and Horror are perhaps the most disrespected of literary genres, yet major thinkers like Sigmund Freud, Julia Kristeva, and Tzvetan Todorov have explored them and taken them seriously. If you’re a fan or reader of either of these genres, then this is the course for you. During the course of the Semester, we will explore a range of texts in order to see how fantasy and horror come to represent, interrogate, and embody some of our most basic cultural concepts and prejudices. We’ll start by defining the tropes of these genres, and then we’ll go on to explore their philosophical and ideological implications. We’ll investigate how the hero’s journey defines fantasy, how defending the home defines horror, and how concepts like the monstrous and the grotesque bind fantasy and horror together.

Method of Evaluation: reading quizzes, online forums, 2 short papers, and a final exam.


ENG240Y1Y - Old English Language and Literature

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10-11 am

Instructor(s)Renée Trilling

Brief Description of Course: Old English is the language spoken and written in England between roughly 500 and 1100 AD. In this course, you will encounter the very oldest English literature in its original form—the tales of kings, battles, heroes, monsters, and saints. The course begins with intensive work on Old English grammar and translation practice before we move on to more in-depth study of the literature and culture of early medieval England. 

Method of Evaluation: Quizzes and homework; daily preparation and participation; mid-course test; paleography assignment; short reflective writing; final essay


ENG250H1F - Introduction to American Literature

Section Number: LEC5101

Time(s): LEC Monday 6-8 pm; TUT Wednesday 6-7 pm or 7-8 pm

Instructor(s)Scott Rayter

Brief Description of Course: This course will introduce students to a variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, essays, and slave narratives, by a number of writers seen as key figures in American literature but also some who are less well-known, and we will examine how their works reflect national and individual concerns with freedom and identity, particularly in relation to race, gender and sexuality

Method of Evaluation: Passage analysis, essay, take-home exam, participation in tutorials


ENG250H1S - Introduction to American Literature

Section Number: LEC0101 

Time(s): LEC Monday 2-4 pm; TUT Wednesday 2-3 pm or 3-4 pm

Instructor(s)Michael Cobb

Brief Description of Course: This course will introduce students to a variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, essays, and slave narratives, by a number of writers seen as key figures in American literature but also some who are less well-known, and we will examine how their works reflect national and individual concerns with freedom and identity, particularly in relation to race, gender and sexuality. 

Method of Evaluation: Passage analysis, essay, take-home exam, participation in tutorials


ENG252H1F - Introduction to Canadian Literature

Section Number: LEC0101 

Time(s): LEC Tuesday 3-5 pm TUT Thursday 3-4 pm or 4-5 pm

Instructor(s): Tania Aguila-way

Brief Description of Course: This course will introduce students to a selection of major texts and critical discussions in Canadian literature. We will read selections of poetry, prose, and drama from the nineteenth century to the present day, situating our literary texts in relation to their cultural and historical contexts. Lectures and discussions will address topics such as the role of settler colonialism in shaping the Canadian literary canon; the role of literature both in constructing Canada’s national identity and in documenting its historical past; Indigenous literatures; and multiculturalism and diasporic writing in Canada.

Required Reading: Selections from authors such as Thomas King, Brian Maracle, Susanna Moodie, Mary Ann Shadd, F.R. Scott, Dorothy Livesay, Fred Wah, M. NourbeSe Philip, Canisia Lubrin, Madeleine Thien, and Joshua Whitehead, plus L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, and Marie Clements’s The Unnatural and Accidental Women.

First Three Authors/Texts: Thomas King and Brian Maracle; Susanna Moodie; Mary Ann Shadd.

Method of Evaluation: 

Mid-Term                                   15%

Tutorial assignment                   20%

Term Paper                                30%

Tutorial participation                  10%

Final Exam                                25%


ENG252H1S - Introduction to Canadian Literature

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): LEC Mondays 12-2 pm;  TUT Wednesdays 2-3 pm or 3-4 pm  

Instructor(s): Vikki Visvis

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 Reaading:

1. Course Reader 

2. Thomas King: Green Grass, Running Water (Harper-Collins)

3. 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, and Beth Brant in Course Reader

Method of Evaluation: Short essay: 4–5 pages (25%); Long essay: 8–10 pages (40%); Final examination: 2 hours (25%); Participation (10%).  


ENG254H1F -  Introduction to Indigenous Literatures

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 1-3 pm, Wednesday 1-2 pm

Instructor(s): Rebecca Hogue

Brief Description of Course: This course will introduce fiction, poetry, oratory, and more from only a small sampling of the over 1000 Indigenous nations across North America and Oceania. Thematically we will consider a variety of issues that inspire Indigenous story-telling: environmental and social justice; gender and sexuality; land rights and city life; militarization and extractive capitalism; the law and tribal recognition; education and much more. In our readings, we will ask, how do the oral, visual, sonic, cosmological, environmental, or political contexts influence Indigenous authors and their writing? With attention to specific histories and traditions, while also considering shared experiences, we will explore how literature plays a role in expressing contemporary Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination around the world.

Required Reading: Selections from authors such as Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo), Zitkala-Ša (Yankton Dakota), Tommy Orange (Cheyenne), Peter Blue Cloud (Mohawk), D’Arcy McNickle (Salish Kootenai), Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Quandamooka and Peewee), Linda Hogan (Chicasaw), Albert Wendt (Samoan), Deborah Miranda (Esselen and Chumash), Patricia Grace (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa and Te Āti Awa), and Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner (ri-Majel).

Method of Evaluation: 
Discussion Posts                    10%
Response Papers                   15%
Short Paper                             25%
Participation                            15%
Final Paper                             35%


ENG270H1F - Introduction to Colonial and Postcolonial Writing

Section Number: LEC5101

Time(s): Monday 6-9 pm

Instructor(s): Bárbara Simões

Brief Description of Course: In the imperial context, literature has long been used as a tool for exhorting cultural power. In this course, we examine the colonial archive for its representations of race, indigeneity, sexuality, and capital accumulation. We familiarize ourselves with the aesthetic and political modes of resisting colonial power around the world by studying postcolonial texts that rewrite or revise an earlier English work.

Here are some of the questions to be pursued in this course: How do postcolonial authors, with their texts, reject stereotypes or misrepresentations that might have been created by colonial literature? How can these postcolonial rewrites expose the colonial archive for alternative readings? Can these alternative readings change the way the colonial archive is interpreted and received? Besides literary texts, our objects of study may include photographs, film, and digital media.

Method of Evaluation: The first 50% of your grade will be made up of essays and in-class presentations, The remaining 50% is comprised of Engagement and Participation, Attendance (at all sessions) and Informal reading responses.


ENG273Y1Y - Queer Writing

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 3-5 pm, Thursday 3-4 pm

Instructor(s): Andrew Lesk

Brief Description of Course: A survey of novels, plays, poetry, and essays, written from the 1900 to present day, by authors who either self-identified or currently identify as gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or queer. Historical and sociological context will be provided by academic and newspaper articles and films. 

Required Reading: Includes selections from Woolf, Baldwin, Highsmith, Renault, Rechy, and Bechdel. 

First Three Authors/Texts: Woolf, Baldwin, Highsmith. 

Method of Evaluation: Short Essay, Longer Essay, Tests, Quizzes, Participation. 


ENG280H1F - Critical Approaches to Literature

Section Number: LEC0101            

Time(s): Monday 1-3 pm, Wednesday 1-2 pm

Instructor(s)Christopher Warley

Brief Description of Course: This course has to negotiate two competing demands: that it explain why anyone would care about “approaching” literature in today; and that it offer an introduction to some influential “critical approaches.”  There is no definitive solution to this dilemma, but it can be turned into a fun opportunity.  Our provisional response will be to use the first chapter of Jacques Rancière’s Aisthesis for some reasons why you might want to write or read literary criticism today; and to survey some critics and philosophers Rancière relies on.  Readings will probably include Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Brooks, Arnold, Du Bois, Adorno, Benjamin, Barthes, Foucault, Said, Sedgwick.

Required Reading: TBA

Method of Evaluation: Several short responses, final test


ENG286H1F - Literature and Data

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): LEC Tuesday 11 am -1 pm; TUT Thursday 11 am - 12 pm or 12-1 pm

Instructor(s): TBD

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD


ENG287H1S - The Digital Text

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): LEC Monday 4-6 pm; TUT Wednesday 4-5 pm or 5-6 pm 

Instructor(s): TBD

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD


ENG289H1F - Introduction to Creative Writing

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s):  LEC Tuesday 3-5 pm TUT Thursday 3-4 pm or 4-5 pm

Instructor(s): David Chariandy

Brief Description of Course

This course will introduce students to the informed practice of creative writing.  You will read fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction ‘as writers,’ developing a practical vocabulary for how these genres work and learning how authors themselves have interpreted their efforts.  Drawing upon model texts, you will compose different types of writing, ‘pitch’ and work on a larger creative project, and submit a final portfolio that will include a self-study of your progress during the semester.

The goals of this course are to encourage you to become a more engaged and creative reader, to allow you to try different types of writing, and to prepare you for more advanced creative writing classes.  In addition to studying a variety of model texts from acclaimed authors, we will study at least one book by a professional writer who will visit the class and share their perspectives on the profession and vocation. 

First Three Authors/Texts: Short Text by Audre Lorde, Alistair MacLeod, and Lydia Davis

Method of Evaluation: Workshop participation and exercises, Reading responses and compositional exercises, Drafting of a creative writing project, Final portfolio.


ENG289H1S - Introduction to Creative Writing

Section Number: LEC5101

Time(s): Tuesday 6-9 pm

Instructor(s): Ian Williams

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD 

Method of Evaluation: TBD


JWE206H1S - Writing English Essays 

Section Number:  L0101

Time(s): LEC: Monday 11am – 1 pm TUT: Wednesdays 11 am-12 pm or 12-1 pm or 1-2 pm

Instructor(s): Vikki Visvis

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD

ENG302Y1 - English Renaissance Literature

Time(s): Monday 1-3 pm, Wednesday 1-2pm

Instructor(s)Christopher Warley

Brief Description of Course: I imagine this course as an antidote to the pessimism and resignation of contemporary life, because it introduces Renaissance literature and the many sorts of rebirths that literature, ever since, makes possible.  The poetry, prose, and drama that erupts in the sixteenth century does something amazing: it imagines that human beings are historically diverse, and it generates a conception of art that creates future possibilities by unraveling any claim to an absolute point of view.  The course traces these rebirths by focusing especially on the legacy of Petrarchan poetics and ending with Romeo and Juliet and the 2021 film West Side Story.  Writers will probably include Petrarch, Wyatt, Luther, Montaigne, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Lanyer, Herbert, Herrick; from the classical past Virgil, Catullus, Ovid, Augustine; and criticism including Freccero, Burckhardt, Spitzer, Auerbach, Derrida, and Rancière.

Method of Evaluation: Several shorter papers, final test


ENG303H1S - Milton

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Thursday 1-4 pm

Instructor(s)John Rogers

Brief Description of Course

A study of the writing of John Milton (1608-74), with a look at some examples of his outsized influence on the literary, political, and religious writing of succeeding centuries. The course will examine his major poetic works, paying particular attention to Paradise Lost, the epic that the blind poet wrote with the controversial ambition of rewriting the Bible and reimagining the universe.

We will explore Milton’s noisy effort to reinvent the sound and feel of English poetry. And we will confront his systematic attempts to use literature to force a rethinking of his age’s burning questions of political, religious, and cultural life, especially those of sovereignty, regicide, censorship, slavery, terrorism, physical disability, the relation of the sexes, the right to divorce, the path to heavenly salvation, and the very identity of God himself. At the term’s end, we will descend briefly into the hallucinatory world of William Blake, the Romantic poet and artist whose graphic novel in verse, The Book of Urizen, is a brilliant parody of Milton’s Paradise Lost. We’ll look additionally at Milton-related works of fiction by Ursula Le Guin and Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Students will find Paradise Lost especially exciting for its attempts to question and reframe traditional understandings of sexual hierarchy and cultural and religious authority.

Required Reading: The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, ed. Kerrigan (Modern Library). Additional material will be made digitally available on the course’s Quercus site

First Three Authors/Texts: : Milton’s “Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” Comus, and the sonnets “How Soon Hath Time” and “When I Consider.” These three texts are available in the Modern Library edition, as well as downloadable from the course site on Quercus.

Method of Evaluation: Shorter 4-page essay (20%); longer 6-page essay (35%); two brief quizzes (10% each); two directed reading responses, posted under “Discussions” on Quercus (10% total), and spirited class participation (15%).


ENG308Y1Y - Romantic Literature

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 10 am -12 pm, Wednesday 10-11am 

Instructor(s): Michael Johnstone

Brief Description of Course: This course will explore how writers of the British Romantic period (roughly, 1780 to 1832) responded to and participated in a time of intense and profound artistic, cultural, political, and social change at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. We’ll consider a range of themes and ideas central to the literature of the time, such as the sublime and the beautiful, revolution, gender and women’s rights, the Gothic, nature, slavery and abolition, form and genre, and imagination. Readings will focus on the works of authors such as Anna Laetitia Barbauld, William Blake, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Godwin, John Keats, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Ann Radcliffe, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Charlotte Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, and William Wordsworth.

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: Fall Essay (20%), Fall Test (15%), Fall Participation (10%), Winter Essay (30%), Winter Test (15%), Winter Participation (10%)

What excites me about teaching this course is a love for the intense burst of literary experimentation and innovation and variety of the Romantic period, prompted by the experience of revolution. What is the nature of the Self? What is the power of the mind and imagination? How can literature play a direct role in changing the world for the better?


ENG311H1S - Medieval Literature 

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 3-5 pm, Thursday 3-4 pm

Instructor(s)Carroll Balot

Brief Description of Course: This course is an introduction to non-Chaucerian medieval literature for advanced undergraduates, with an emphasis on close reading. Our goal will be to formulate and enact a reading practice for each work that grows out of the unique demands of the text itself, considering the way these works have distinctive visions of the world and our place in it. We will also consider the meaning of the Middle Ages to modernity and the cultural impact of medievalism. Topics will include medievalism and nostalgia; death, grief, and consolation; imagining other worlds; and the sanctification of the body. This course will enable students to explore a very different worldview, characterized by a belief in an ethically comprehensible universe, and to consider the ways that our interest in the middle ages fulfills modern psychic needs.

Required Reading: The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Vol.1: The Medieval Period and Pearl (Broadview). The books are available as a package in the university bookstore.

First Three Authors/Texts: Eco, “Dreaming of the Middle Ages”; Malory, Morte Darthur (selections); Marie de France, Guigemar and Yönec.

Method of Evaluation: Short responses; 5-6 page essay; term tests; participation.


ENG320Y1 - Shakespeare

Section Number: LEC0101              

Time(s): Tuesday 1-2 pm, Thursday 1-3 pm

Instructor(s)Lynne Magnusson

Brief Description of Course: : A close study of selected plays and poems, this course equips students to explore Shakespeare’s themes and achievement in relation to plot construction, linguistic experimentation, genre, and stage craft. Attention will be paid to shaping influences, especially Shakespeare’s grammar-school education focused on classical literature and language arts. We will consider how the plays engage with early modern social and political contexts, including family, gender and sexuality, race and class; court, city, and country; theatre and print culture; nation and empire. We will reflect on how Shakespeare became such a major cultural icon, the continuing resonance of his work across the centuries, and re-interpretations today. The course also introduces some current developments in Shakespeare studies.

Method of Evaluation: Two short assignments (10% x 2), two essays (20% x 2), two term tests (10% x 2), issue sheets (10%), class participation/discussion (10%).

What excites me about teaching this course are the moments when – just as the rapt attention of the onlookers brings Hermione’s statue to life in The Winter’s Tale – our collaborative in-class close reading reawakens the joy of Shakespeare’s monumental art.


ENG323H1F -  Austen and Her Contemporaries

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 1-3 pm, Thursday 1-2 pm

Instructor(s)Tom Keymer

Brief Description of Course: Jane Austen is one of the most popular canonical novelists, yet also one of the most underestimated, often seen as a purveyor of wish-fulfilling romance. In this course we approach Austen by asking a series of associated questions about form, content, and context. How far was her fiction constrained, and how far was it enabled, by the emerging conventions of the novel genre and the dictates of consumer demand? What was new, distinctive, or otherwise important about her narrative technique and her social or moral vision? How far, and in what ways, was her writing conditioned by the turbulent politics of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars era? Is it right to read her as a conservative moralist, a progressive satirist and social critic, or as something of both? 

Two of Austen’s major novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion) are at the heart of the course, and we will take the opportunity presented by the Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition to compare these works with writings left unpublished at her death, notably her epistolary story Lady Susan and the unfinished novel Sanditon. For context, we will also read a short novel by Austen’s radical contemporary Mary Wollstonecraft (The Wrongs of Woman) and extracts from other writers whose work Austen probably or certainly knew. As a way to understand the literary marketplace that Austen had to navigate, the course also includes an “adopt a book” research assignment. Using primary online resources (Eighteenth-Century Collections Online, the Corvey Collection 1790-1840, and journalism databases such as 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers and 19th Century British Library Newspapers), each student will choose an obscure work of fiction or other writing published in Austen’s lifetime, analyze its literary qualities, and research its publication, newspaper marketing, and reception in reviewing periodicals. 

Method of Evaluation: In-class commentary test (25%); “Adopt a book” research assignment (35%); Final essay (30%); Informed and energetic participation (10%).

What students will find unique about this course is the emphasis on original individual research. Training will be provided in relevant digital humanities techniques, especially the use of full-text databases of rare books and periodicals in order to generate and analyze research results. In an age of exciting print proliferation, and when (for one Austen character) “newspapers lay everything open,” there is much to be learned through strategic use of the huge primary-source databases now available online.


ENG329H1F - Contemporary British Fiction

Section Number: LEC5101

Time(s): Monday 6-9pm

Instructor(s): Sara Salih

Brief Description of Course: During this half-year course we will be studying novels by writers based in Britain whose work addresses notions of ‘Britishness’ through the medium of fictional history and, in the case of Sebald, via investigations into memory and memorializing.  All of the novels on the syllabus are to some extent preoccupied with one or both of the world wars and the ways in which these events shaped ideas about nationality, national belonging and nationalism, preoccupations which continue into the present-day.  Through their fictionalizations of the past, each of these novels engages with questions of nationality, ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality, and these in turn press upon notions of Britishness.  In our discussions, we will think about the unstable nature of ideas of nationality and the ways in which they may shift over time.  We will also consider why representations of the past continue to be so popular in contemporary British fiction and the culture more broadly, and we will discuss the ways such representations may or may not hold a mirror up to the present. 

Required Reading: 

  1. Pat Barker, Regeneration 
  2. Andrea Levy, Small Island 
  3. Ian McEwan, Atonement 
  4. Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day 
  5. W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn 

Method of Evaluation: Abstract, essay, in-class essay, participation


ENG329H1S - Contemporary British Fiction

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 3-6 pm

Instructor(s): Thom Dancer

Brief Description of Course: This is a course on contemporary fiction without regard to nation. This course looks at five 21st-century novels that actively thematise and reflect on what it means to be contemporary. It is a commonplace that Anglophone culture is undergoing one of the most rapid transformations in human history; developments in science, media, technology, and communication are radically revising how we understand our lives, our relationship to our physical environment, and our relations to others. We will ask how the contemporary novel at once reflects upon and prepares us for living, knowing, and acting in the unprecedented world in which we find ourselves. In order to address these concerns, we will read and think about novels as they engage in larger political, scientific, and philosophical conversations about the contemporary condition.  

Required Reading: David Mitchell, Zadie Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro, Kate Atkinson, Tom McCarthy, Colson Whitehead, David Shields, (subject to change).

First Three Authors/Texts: Klara and the Sun, Cloud Atlas, On Beauty

Method of Evaluation: Research Paper, Reading Responses, Participation, Group Project


ENG330H1F - Medieval Drama    

Section Number: LEC0101             

Time(s): Monday 2-4 pm, Wednesday 2-3 pm

Instructor(s)Matthew Sergi

Brief Description of Course

Medieval English players considered all types of play and game (sports, role-play, music, gambling, etc.) to be part of the same genre, but they never called any of it “drama” or “theatre” — let alone “literature” or “high art.” To strudy medieval drama, then, we have to roughen up our sense of what a dramatic text can be in the first place. In ENG 330, we will read from edited (but not translated) versions of most of the Middle English play texts that are known to survive from before 1485, focusing on the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. No prior experience with Middle English (e.g., “Lyke as theos hynes, here stonding oon by oon”) is necessary: much of our first five weeks will be dedicated to Middle English translation skills. We will at once rely on the work of prior drama editors and learn to resist editorial assumptions about performance by interacting with rawer dramatic texts. Since most medieval plays were copied from texts meant primarily for insiders’ eyes — for players, not readers — we must attend as much to their implicit cues for action as we do to their dialogue, often asking volunteers (no pressure) to test out play scenes live in class. That kind of reading requires us to (and thus helps develop our ability to) better see the cultural concepts we take for granted — regarding drama, storytelling, belief, seriousness, taste, mortality, repression, and play — and to think outside our modernity.

Visit https://premodernity.net/eng-330 for ENG 330’s most recent full syllabus and schedule.

Method of Evaluation: 

Engagement and Participation in class discussion sessions, 15%

Real-Time Comprehension Questions (CQs), asked at the end of each class session, 17.5%

Actual Attendance during at least 19 of our 23 class sessions, 10%

Translation/Edition Assignment, due during Week V, 17.5%

Middle English Comprehension Test, in class during Week V, 17.5%

Staging/Performance-Based Analysis Essay, due at the end of term, 22.5%

What students will find unique about this course is that they will often be asked to overturn their prior assumptions about what a play has been, and can be.

Students will find [assigned course reading] especially interesting because who and how we are has always depended, and depends increasingly, on how we consume entertainment – so finding practices in the past that unsettle the given assumptions of modern entertainment can shake the conceptual furniture underneath us.

What excites me about teaching this course is that it activates students as researchers, allowing them to uncover truly new evidence in often understudied texts.


ENG331H1S - Drama 1485-1603

Section Number: LEC0101              

Time(s): Monday 2-4 pm, Wednesday 2-3 pm

Instructor(s)Matthew Sergi

Brief Description of Course

We can reliably call British plays composed after 1603 “modern,” of which the earlier portion is “early modern,” while we call all British plays composed before 1485 “medieval.” Such periodizing labels do not adhere as easily to the period between 1485 and 1603, during which London-based styles and conventions gradually eclipsed a diversity of other regional performance traditions across Britain, some of which faded out of fashion, and others of which were forcibly prohibited. What is gained when drama becomes modern, and what is the cost of that gain, even now? What can be recovered? What should be left behind? ENG 331 will ask these questions in open-ended discussion, while introducing students to a representative sampling of dramatic literature generated across Britain during this steeply shifting, and stunningly fertile, transitional period, organizing its tour geographically, so that repeated returns to London are counterbalanced by drama and in-depth historical contexts from sixteenth-century Cheshire, Yorkshire, East Anglia, Cambridgeshire, Coventry, Wales, and Central Scotland. Students will learn the basics of British geography, and sixteenth-century history, in the process; many of our discussions will ask volunteers (no pressure) to act out dramatic dialogue in class. We will turn increasingly to the fascinating Records of Early English Drama to study archival evidence of the wide array of dramatic practices that did not leave play-scripts behind.

Visit https://premodernity.net/eng-331 for ENG 331’s most recent full syllabus and schedule.

Method of Evaluation: 

Engagement and Participation in class discussion sessions, 15%

Real-Time Comprehension Questions (CQs), asked at the end of each class session, 17.5%

Actual Attendance during at least 20 of our 24 class sessions, 10%

Edition Critique and Recitation, due during Week VI, 20%

Early English Geography/History Test, in class during Week VI, 12.5%

Archival Research Essay, due at the end of term, 25%

What students will find unique about this course is that it asks them to reconsider (but not reject) their own inherited aesthetic-formal habits as historical constructions – and to delve on their own into some truly raw archival material.

Students will find the assigned course reading especially interesting because: who and how we are has always depended, and depends increasingly, on how we consume entertainment – so finding practices in the past that unsettle the given assumptions of modern entertainment can shake the conceptual furniture underneath us.

What excites me about teaching this course is that it gives students the opportunity to challenge, critique, and reframe the “medieval”/“modern” model that I’m currently wrestling with in my own research.


ENG335H1S -  Drama 1603-1642

Section Number: LEC5101             

Time(s): Wednesday 6-9 pm

Instructor(s): Katherine Williams

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD


ENG340H1S - Modern Drama

Section Number: L0101

Time(s): Monday 10 am -12 pm, Wednesday 10-11 am

Instructor(s)Philippa Sheppard

Brief Description of Course: This course explores twelve major plays of the first half of the twentieth century -- an era of rapid social and political change – in the light of new intellectual and artistic movements such as Naturalism, Surrealism, Feminism and Socialism. Using clips from filmed productions, we will delve into performance history to arrive at a better sense of what makes these seminal dramas as important today as in their own time.

Required Reading: Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; Strindberg’s Miss Julie; Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya; Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest; Yeats’ On Baile’s Strand (online); Synge’s Playboy of the Western World; Glaspell’s Trifles; Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author; Shaw’s Saint Joan; Brecht’s Galileo; O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.

Method of Evaluation: One in-class essay (20%); one take-home essay (35%); one three-hour exam (35%); participation (10%). I will take attendance each class, and make note of oral contributions, to arrive at the participation mark. Attendance is important. Handing in an outline for the take-home essay is mandatory, receiving a 2 mark bonus on the essay if properly executed.

What students will find unique about this course is it focuses solely on the best examples of Modern drama, instead of on novels or poems.

Students will find these plays especially interesting because they emerge from different cultures, covering a fascinating range of topics from sexual jealousy and aristocratic lifestyles to spousal murder and drug addiction.

What excites me about teaching this course is introducing plays that are consistently remounted to a new generation of students/spectators.


ENG341H1F - Postmodern Drama

Section Number: LEC0101              

Time(s): Tuesday 10 am -12 pm, Thursday 10-11 am

Instructor(s)Philippa Sheppard

Brief Description of Course: This course investigates twelve major plays of the turbulent post World War II era -- an era of rapid social and political change – in the light of new intellectual and artistic movements such as: Absurdism, Feminism, and Post-Colonialism. Clips from filmed productions will act as a springboard for discussions about changing modes of performance in these exciting works of drama which are as important today as in their own time.

Required Reading: Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Miller’s The Crucible, Osborne’s Look Back In Anger, Beckett’s Happy Days; Pinter’s The Homecoming; Churchill’s Vinegar Tom; Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman; Friel’s Translations, Shepard’s True West, Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Stoppard’s Arcadia, Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience.

Method of Evaluation: One in-class essay (20%); one take-home essay (35%); one three hour exam (35%); participation (10%). I will take attendance each class, and make note of oral contributions, to arrive at the participation mark. Attendance is important. Handing in an outline for the take-home essay is mandatory and receives a 2 mark bonus on the essay grade if properly executed.     

What students will find unique about this course is that it focuses entirely on the best examples of drama instead of novels or poetry.

Students will find these plays especially interesting because they cover a surprising range of topics from witchcraft and Western films to tribal ritual suicide and the gentrification of Toronto neighbourhoods.

What excites me about teaching this course is introducing plays that are consistently remounted in theatres across the world to a new generation of students/spectators.


ENG347H1Y - Victorian Literature

Section Number: LEC0101              

Time(s): Monday 11 am -1 pm, Wednesday 11am-12pm

Instructor(s): Hao Li

Brief Description of Course: This is a critical introduction to major genres of Victorian literature. It offers an opportunity to explore how novelists, poets and (non-fictional) prose writers respond to crisis and transition: the Industrial Revolution, the Idea of Progress, and the Woman Question; conflicting claims of liberty and equality, empire and nation, theology and natural selection; the Romantic inheritance, Art for Art’s Sake, Fin de siècle, and Decadence. What students will find unique about this course is the rhetorical analysis of non-fictional prose works, which will likely help improve their own essay writing. Students will find the multi-genre setup especially interesting because they get to see how works of different genres converse with each other in responding to the same historical issues. What excites me about teaching this course is the intellectual stimulation the works will offer and the open-ended discussion they tend to generate. The reasonable course reading load will also allow students to read the works and think about them before class discussion.

Required Reading: 

  1. Arnold, Matthew. Culture and Anarchy. Ed. Stefan Collini. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993.
  2. Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. 1847. Ed. Ian Jack. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 
  3. Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. 1860-1. Ed. Margaret Cardwell. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.
  4. Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure. 1895. Ed. Patricia Ingham. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.
  5. Victorian Prose and Poetry. Eds. Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1973.
  6. A Quercus course reader.

(Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 are available at the U of T Bookstore)

First Three Authors/Texts: : Emily Brontë, Tennyson, Carlyle

Method of Evaluation: Two essays, two tests, informed participation (including eight Quercus discussion board entries).


ENG348Y1 - Modern Poetry to 1960

Section Number: LEC0101              

Time(s): Tuesday 12-2 pm, Thursday 12-1pm

Instructor(s): Ming Xie

Brief Description of Course: This course is a special study of the representative poets of the modern(ist) period. The course aims for an in-depth engagement with some of their most significant works and a critical understanding of their poetic theories, modes, and techniques, as well as their intellectual and cultural perspectives. What students will find unique about this course is the distinction between the chronologically modern (i.e. a modern poem that is apparently more “traditional” than “modernist”) and the radically modern (i.e. “modernist”) and the tension between these two modes of consciousness. Students will find the assigned course readings especially interesting for their engagement with historical, political, and cultural issues that continue to impact our contemporary era and for their range of formal innovations and revolutionary modes of representation and reading practices. Students will be intrigued by the depth of anxieties and the variety of opportunities inherent in modern and modernist poetry. Our primary focus will be on developing skills of close reading and comparative analysis, in order to understand these challenging poetic works and their intellectual contexts.

Method of Evaluation: 

  • Informed participation, 10%
  • First essay, 20%
  • Mid-term test, 15%
  • Second essay, 30%
  • Final test, 25%

ENG349H1F - Contemporary Poetry

Section Number: LEC0101    

Time(s):  Tuesday 3-4 pm, Thursday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s)Ming Xie

Brief Description of Course: This course introduces the work of contemporary poets such as Bishop, O’Hara, Creeley, Plath, Hughes, Larkin, Heaney, Ashbery, Walcott, Hejinian, and Duffy, in a variety of poetic styles and movements. It aims to provide an in-depth engagement with some of their representative works and a critical understanding of their poetic, intellectual, and cultural perspectives. What students will find unique about this course is the variety of ways of thinking about what in fact constitutes “the contemporary” and what “the poetic” might be. Students will find the assigned course readings especially interesting for their engagement with topical issues of our contemporary era, as well as their range of both traditional forms and new formal experiments. Our primary focus will be on developing skills of close reading and comparative analysis, in order to understand thought-provoking works and their intellectual contexts and to build confidence in critical interpretation and evaluation.

Method of Evaluation: Participation, 15%; essay 1, 25%; essay 2, 35%; final test, 25%.


ENG350H1S -  Early Canadian Literature - CANCELLED

Section Number: LEC0101    

Time(s):  Tuesday 2-4 pm, Thursday 2-3 pm

Instructor(s): Nick Mount

Brief Description of Course: According to the most well-known literary critic Canada has yet produced, early Canadian literature is “as innocent of literary intention as a mating loon.” Perhaps—but literature’s intentions were not always literary. This course explores the literary and extra-literary intentions of literature in Canada up to the First World War. Yes, of course we will read Anne of Green Gables. But there are stranger, bloodier, and funnier stories than Anne’s to come out of early “Canada.” 

Method of Evaluation: Two essays and in-class participation.


ENG352H1F -  Canadian Drama

Section Number: LEC0101    

Time(s):  Tuesday 2-5pm

Instructor(s): George Elliott Clarke

Brief Description of Course: We will read seven Canadian playwrights who take their cues from the Bard of Avon, and who thus riff off (or rip off) Bill Shakespeare’s canon, recasting his plots and characters to address our contemporary concerns regarding classism, environmentalism, imperialism, racism, and sexism. We will examine Canadian rewrites and/or adaptations of Othello, Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, and King Lear to determine how well they ‘re-engineer’ the Elizabethan dramatist to suit our own time. The playwrights? Gass, Macdonald, O’Brien, Pierre, Sears, and Shields. We will also read Keith Garebian’s biography of William Hutt (1920-2007), perhaps Canada’s greatest Shakespearean actor, to appreciate better how Canadians have reinterpreted ‘Billy S.’ (Note: Extensive knowledge of Shakespeare's plays is not a prerequisite for this course.)

Method of Evaluation: Two in-class essay-writing assignments and participation.

What excites me about teaching this course is interacting with theatre people, those devotees of acting, playwriting, stagecraft in all of its endless permutations. Moreover, teaching Canadian Drama is always a delight for me because I know that plays are the very best way to see into the psyche and the soul of the nation or culture from which they originate. Whenever and wherever a Canadian play is staged, the nation itself is put on trial–whether for tragic or for comedic effect.


ENG353Y1 -  Canadian Fiction

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 11 am-12 pm, Thursday 11 am-12 pm

Instructor(s)Tania Aguila-Way

Brief Description of Course: This course will offer a survey of Canadian Fiction from the nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on novels and a few representative short stories. Lectures will situate our primary texts in their cultural and historical contexts, always paying attention to the relationship between thematic content and narrative form. Class discussions will address subjects such as the role of storytelling in building community and nation; the role of fiction in documenting the past and speculating on the future; the relationship between Canadian Fiction and Indigenous storytelling traditions; and the influence of diasporic writing in Canada.

Required Reading: Works by Chelsea Vowel, Catherine Parr Traill, Charles G.D. Roberts, Sinclair Ross, Elizabeth Smart, Mordecai Richler, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Wayson Choy, Dionne Brand, Thomson Highway, Shyam Selvadurai, Larissa Lai, Madeleine Thien, Souvankham Thammavongsa, David Chariandy, Suzette Mayr, Paola Ferrante, and Casey Plett.

First Three Authors/Texts: Chelsea Vowel, Catherine Parr Traill, Charles G.D. Roberts

Method of Evaluation: 

Short Essay #1 15%

Short Essay #2 20%

Final Essay    30%

In-class reading responses 20%

Class participation  15%

What students will find unique about this course is its combination of canonical texts with works by lesser known and emergent Canadian authors.

Students will find course readings especially interesting because of how they speak to longstanding, but also timely, questions regarding national identity, the ethical dimensions of writing and reading fiction, and the role of fiction in imagining more just and sustainable futures in times of crisis. 

What excites me about teaching this course is sharing the richness and diversity of Canadian fiction with my students.


ENG354Y1 - Canadian Poetry

Section Number: LEC5101

Time(s): Thursday 6-9 pm

Instructor(s)Vikki Visvis

Brief Description of Course: A study of English-Canadian poetry from the nineteenth century to the present day. This survey course will begin with an analysis of poems from the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly the confluence of Romantic and nationalist influences in the works of Confederation Poets. We will continue with a discussion of poetry in Canada from 1920 to 1960, addressing the modernism of the Montreal Group, debates over “native” or nationalist and “cosmopolitan” or internationalist poetic influences, and mid-century women’s poetry. The course will close with an examination of late twentieth and early twenty-first-century poetry. Special attention will be given to issues of masculinity; women writing desire; formal experimentation in concrete, sound, and second-wave feminist poetry; multiculturalism, particularly Jewish-Canadian, Indigenous, and “Africadian” poets; and ecological poetry in Canada.

Required Reading: Course Reader with poetry by Charles Sangster, Isabella Valancy Crawford, Charles G. D. Roberts, Duncan Campbell Scott, Archibald Lampman, E. Pauline Johnson, A. J. M. Smith, F. R. Scott, A. M. Klein, Dorothy Livesay, E. J. Pratt, Earle Birney, Irving Layton, Raymond Souster, Louis Dudek, P. K. Page, Miriam Waddington, Margaret Avison, Jay Macpherson, Anne Wilkinson, Al Purdy, Michael Ondaatje, Patrick Lane, Margaret Atwood, Lorna Crozier, Dionne Brand, Daphne Marlatt, Betsy Warland, Phyllis Webb, bp Nichol, Lola Lemire Tostevin, bill bissett, Christian Bök, Eli Mandel, Leonard Cohen, Anne Michaels, Beth Brant, Lee Maracle, Marilyn Dumont, Gregory Scofield, Don McKay, Robert Bringhurst, Dennis Lee, and Jan Zwicky. Michael Ondaatje, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (Vintage); Margaret Atwood, Journals of Susanna Moodie (Oxford); Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red (Vintage); George Elliott Clarke, Whylah Falls (Polestar). Course Reader available on course Quercus site. Texts by Ondaatje, Atwood, Carson, and Clarke available at the University of Toronto Bookstore (214 College Street, 416-640-7900). 

Method of Evaluation: One first-term essay (20%); one second-term essay (30%); one first-term test (15%); one final examination (25%); class participation (10%). 

What students will find unique about this course is its combination of approaches—both historical contextualization and close formal engagement—to the study of over almost 200 years of Canadian poetry. 

Students will find assigned course readings especially interesting because they reveal the evolutionary changes, rich diversity, and surprising uniqueness of Canadian poetry. 

What excites me about teaching this course is working with students to unearth their own interpretive responses to Canadian poetry.  


ENG357H1F -  New Writing in Canada

Section Number: LEC0101              

Time(s): Thursday 1-4 pm

Instructor(s): Samaro Kamboureli

Brief Description of Course: This course is as much about “new writing” in Canada as about what “new” and “writing” can mean. 

What and how does new signify—historically, culturally, socially, generically, aesthetically—when applied to writing in Canada? Is it possible to conceive of newness as referring to something entirely new, unalloyed by what came before it? New in relation to what? What happens when the new becomes old news? To answer these—and related questions—we’ll think of newness temporally and relationally: in relation to what precedes it, i.e., how it reforms or deconstructs what it departs from. And since the epithet new is inextricably related to modernity, progress, and innovation, we’ll also engage with some of the contexts and politics of these concepts.

Our discussions will focus on a selection of Canadian authors whose works will expose us to a range of “new” textualities. From the first novel by Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel that reimagines the classic settler novel The Last of the Mohicans* and the semi-fictionalized autobiography of a nude dancer that has become a cult comic to a speculative narrative by Larissa Lai about a dystopic future of bioengineering that still remains tied to ancient mythologies and to an Inuit film that invites us to view it as a visual scripting of oral literature about the last shaman in Nunavut, we’ll encounter beguiling characters, uncanny circumstances, and unconventional writing styles that stretch the horizon of the familiar and test the limits of the new.

Tentative Texts: Jordan Abel, Empty Spaces; Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, dirs., The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (film); Larissa Lai, Salt Fish Girl; Suzette Mayr, The Sleeping Car Porter; Sylvie Rancourt, Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer; Fred Wah, Diamond Grill; and a course pack that will include a sampling of “old” and “new” avant-garde poetry as well as a small selection of critical essays.

*Not required reading but highly recommended: James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans (1826) and/or its 1992 film adaptation (both available at Robarts and on the course reserve).

First two authors: Mayr, Wah

Method of Evaluation (subject to change): 

  • Active participation & attendance 15%
  • Debate teams (collaborative project) 15%
  • Essay (6-8 pp.) 35%
  • “Innovative” essay (3-4 pp.) 20%
  • In-class test 15%

ENG364Y1 -  American Literature 1900 to present

Section Number: LEC0101              

Time(s): Tuesday 2-4 pm, Thursday 2-3 pm

Instructor(s): Augustus Durham

Brief Description of Course: This course explores the past 200 years of American literature through a corresponding exploration of the color blue, as motif, as theme, as touchstone, indeed as sign for one’s interiority. Utilizing various forms of media, including film, sound, television, and text, this class looks at the cultural phenomenon of the color blue in its variance therefore: music genre, melancholic comportment, color palette, national sentiment, race play, poetic muse. By examining blue in all of its shades--ranging from texts such as M. NourbeSe Philip's Zong! to Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Derek Jarman's Blue to Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous--the class argues that, insofar as American culture is concerned, being kind of blue is a descriptor of everything.

Method of Evaluation: Weekly homework, Personal Essay, Midterm, Final Project

What students will find unique about this course is the specificity of how a color is experienced along lines of difference.

Students will find assigned course readings especially interesting because the ways of thinking about a color are more vast than one imagines.

What excites me about teaching this course is students implementing what they have learned to educate each other about a color at the end of the course.


ENG365H1S - Contemporary American Fiction

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 2-5 pm

Instructor(s): Scott Rayter

Brief Description of Course: How do contemporary American fiction writers deal with the politics of representation in their works, particularly in relation to identity—be it national, historical, sexual, gender, ethnic, or racial—and within a larger postmodern context of questioning subjectivity itself? 

Method of Evaluation: Passage analysis, essay, take-home exam, participation


ENG367H1F - African Literatures in English

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 3-5 pm, Wednesday 3-4 pm

Instructor(s)Comfort Azubuko-Udah

Brief Description of Course: This course is an exploration of some of the foundational as well as emerging concerns and investments of African literatures in English. The texts we will read and discuss will allow us to dive into some of the foundational conversations in the field, while also making room for topics and voices that are newer or quieter. Course materials will inform introductory lessons and conversations on postcolonialism, African feminisms, nationalisms, the history of African literatures in English, the rise of the novel in Africa, oral literature and African poetry, and African genre fiction.

Method of Evaluation: Three 2-page close reading essays, in-class work and discussion participation, quizzes, and a peer review assignment.

What excites me about teaching this course is witnessing students discover and learn to appreciate a variety of texts they might not have encountered otherwise. It is also particularly exciting to witness lively participation during class discussions, which enhances the learning experience for everyone. The class atmosphere is encouraging, and class time is structured to provide ample opportunity for both small group and whole class discussions, framed by short lectures and guiding questions from me.

What students have found unique about this course is the peer review assignment, which comes with detailed and helpful guidelines for reviewing and revising an essay. Students appreciate that it provides a structured system for receiving feedback from multiple reviewers, and also emphasizes writing and close reading skills as core course objectives.


ENG371H1F - Topics in Indigenous, Postcolonial, and Transnational Literatures: Pacific Islands Literature

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 4-5 pm, Wednesday 3-5 pm

Instructor(s): Rebecca Hogue

Brief Description of Course: This course centers Indigenous writing from the Pacific Islands, not as “islands in a far sea” but as Tongan writer Epeli Hau’ofa powerfully reinscribed, a “sea of Islands.” Engaging with a multitude of textual forms, we will be inspired by Banaban scholar/activist/poet Teresia Teaiwa’s notion of the “polygenesis” of Pacific Islands literatures; that is, how Pacific Islands literatures have multiple and intersecting artistic and historic influences. We will read oral histories, navigational charts, paintings, photographs, poetry, fiction, personal narratives, film, carvings, tattoo, and regalia. Discussions will analyze the roles of storytelling practices in historical and contemporary ecological and political relationships, including climate change, demilitarization, sovereignty, the protection of sacred sites, and more.

Required Reading: Selected readings from Patricia Grace (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa and Te Āti Awa), Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner (ri-Majel), Albert Wendt (Samoan), Vilsoni Hereniko (Rotuman), Terisa Siagatonu (Samoan), Selina Tusitala Marsh (Samoan and Tuvaluan), Haunani-Kay Trask (Kanaka Maoli), Déwé Gorode (Kanaky), Konai Helu Thaman (Tonga), Jully Makini (Solomon Islander), Grace Mera Molisa (ni-Vanuatu), Tayi Tibble (Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou), Brandy Nālani McDougall (Kanaka Maoli)

Method of Evaluation: 
Discussion Posts                    10%
Response Papers                   15%
Short Paper                             25%
Participation                            15%
Final Paper                             35%

Students will find Pacific Islands Literatures especially exciting for their creative engagements with multiple artistic forms and their interrogations of power, gender, capitalism, and environmental issues.


ENG372H1S - Topics in Indigenous, Postcolonial, and Transnational Literatures: Feminisms of Colour

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Thursday 2-5 pm

Instructor(s): Rijuta Mehta

Brief Description of Course: What does feminism do? How does it shift the questions of race and empire? This course will introduce you to some key concepts and debates in and around the field of Feminist Cultural Studies. We will engage with texts by racialized practitioners of resistance, work through theoretical debates about speech and silence—especially focusing on why BIPOC life activities are seen as resistance acts—and bring our insights to bear upon questions of global feminist solidarity in media forms.

Method of Evaluation: Essays, Class Discussion, Media Project or Seminar Presentation


ENG373H1F - Topics in Pre-1800 British Literature: King Arthur, Britishness, and Empire

Section Number: LEC0101             

Time(s): Tuesdays 1-2 pm, Thursdays 1-3 pm

Instructor(s): Sebastian Sobecki

Brief Description of Course: Why has King Arthur enthralled readers for the last 1000 years? While the romances, or adventure tales, about his Knights of the Round Table may have been told and re-told across all cultural forms, medieval England’s original Arthurian literature holds up a mirror to the deepest fears and dreams of its audiences. These romances idealise adultery, negotiate the role of women, and lay the foundations for the British Empire. 

More than any other variety of medieval writing, romances connect the literature of the Middle Ages with that of both earlier and later periods. They blend Classical myth with Celtic mystique, oriental exotica with local issues. Romances tell stories about King Arthur and his court, the Crusades, and ancient English princes. In this course we will explore the romance tradition in England, with special attention to the origin and development of the Arthurian canon, the political meaning of Englishness and Britishness, the self-examination of courtly ethics and gender relations, and the ideological origins of the British Empire. The course will not only examine the aristocratic culture of medieval England but will also demonstrate how premodern writings inform the literature of later periods. 

Method of Evaluation: Attendance and Participation (20%);  Presentation (20%); First Essay (20%); Write-A-Romance Project (20%); Final Essay (20%)

What students will find unique about this course is how it inverts their ideas of the Middle Ages. 

Students will find the course reading especially interesting because it shows just how creatively medieval audiences imagined the role of women and the world human relationships, how they experimented with ideas of empire and colonialism, and how they wished to escape their own realities. 

What excites me about teaching this course is that it allows students to eavesdrop on intimate relationships between medieval people and listen to their innermost secrets: their desire for power and their need to be loved. 


ENG373H1F - Topics in Pre-1800 British Literature: Early Modern Romance

Section Number:  LEC0201             

Time(s):  Wednesday 1-3 pm, Friday 1-2pm

Instructor(s)Andrea Walkden 

Brief Description of Course: The narrative form known as romance was both old and new for early modern readers. Stories of knight errantry, supernatural marvels, and sexual temptations were familiar from the medieval chivalric tradition. But a rising generation of writers, including Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Mary Wroth, transformed this popular genre into the period’s most sophisticated and outrageous mode of literary art. We will connect their experiments in narrative to the age’s debates over mobility and migration, promiscuity and chastity, gender fluidity and performance, marriage and friendship. And we’ll explore, too, how romance invites readers to extend its fictional universe, anticipating the online communities of contemporary fanfiction. Along the way, we will encounter a diverse cast of superhuman, human, and other-than-human characters as we explore the shifting landscapes of romance fiction in relation to the religious and racialized geographies of the Mediterranean basin, the African continent, the British islands, and the Atlantic world.

Method of Evaluation: five informal and exploratory discussion posts (25%), participation (15%), two essays, of around 4-6 pages (60%)

What students will find unique about this course is the opportunity to read obsessively, vicariously, propulsively—in the same way they might binge watch an entire season of a show on TV.


ENG373H1S - Topics in Pre-1800 British Literature: Shakespeare's Tragi-Comedies

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 10 am - 12 pm, Thursday 10-11 am

Instructor(s): Philippa Sheppard

Brief Description of Course: Shakespeare, from 1608 onwards, responded to his company’s adoption of an indoor venue, Blackfriars, and new aesthetic demands from his audience, by helping to pioneer a fresh genre of drama: the tragi-comedy or romance. Influenced by Greek myths and epics, the sophisticated court masque, and folk- and fairy-tale, these five late plays are linked by common themes: reconciliation, renewal and wish-fulfilment. These tragi-comedies provoke questions about the nature of power, family identity, and the role of the arts in society. Recent productions on stage and screen will animate our study.

Required Reading: Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Two Noble Kinsmen.

Method of Evaluation: One in-class essay (20%); one take-home essay (35%); one three-hour exam (35%), participation (10%). I will take attendance each class, and make note of oral contributions, to arrive at the participation mark. Attendance is important. Handing in an outline for the take-home essay is mandatory, receiving a 2 mark bonus on the essay if properly executed.

What students will find unique about this course is it brings together three relatively obscure Shakespeare plays, two co-authored, with two famous ones.

Students will find the plays especially interesting because they treat a remarkable range of topics from incest and magic to sexual rivalry and madness.

What excites me about teaching this course is that at least three of these plays will be utterly fresh to my students. More Shakespeare to love!


ENG374H1S - Topics in Pre-1800 British Literature: Premodern Ecologies - CANCELLED

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 1-3 pm, Wednesday 1-2 pm

Instructor(s)Andrea Walkden

Brief Description of Course: What might it mean to think with the premodern past about our environmental histories and futures? In this course, we will set literary works written before 1700 alongside contemporary reporting on the Anthropocene, the relatively new (and still contested) term for our current geological epoch. Together we will explore how recent debates about climatic change, migration, habitation, population, sustainability, extraction, and resource depletion find their unlikely counterparts and, in some instances, their conceptual beginnings in premodern practices, figurations, and modes of thought. As we extend our ecocritical inquiries backward, we will also be alert to the ways in which earlier artists, writers, and readers can reorient our current perceptions of non/human personhood, the planetary Earth system, and the precarity of the living world. Our course readings will be located primarily in the real (and unreal) landscapes and wetscapes of the British islands. But we will also be spending time on the frozen tundra of the Arctic, at the bottom of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, among the interstellar colonies of the Hainish universe, and along the coastlines of the Caribbean.

Primary texts include selections from Genesis and book 1 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses; the medieval quest narrative, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (in modern translation); voyage narratives by George Best and José de Acosta; John Lyly’s pastoral drama, Galatea; Shakespeare’s forest comedy, As You Like It; lyric cogitations on vegetable and animal life by Andrew Marvell, Hester Pulter, Edmund Waller, and Margaret Cavendish; and essays by the experimental scientists, naturalists, and encyclopaedists, Philemon Holland (the translator of Pliny’s Natural History), John Evelyn, and Thomas Browne. Critical, conceptual, and creative readings to include works by Rachel Carson, Amitav Ghosh, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Method of Evaluation: five informal discussion posts (25%); in-class participation (15%); a 4-page experimental essay, creative or critical (25%); a 6-page final essay or an 8-10-page revision and expansion of the experimental essay (35%).

What excites me about teaching this course is the opportunity to explore what the premodern past can tell us about life today on our disrupted planet.


ENG374H1S -  Topics in Pre-1800 British Literature: Medieval English Travel Writing

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Tuesday 1-2 pm, Thursday 1-3 pm

Instructor(s): Sebastian Sobecki

Brief Description of Course: Despite the lack of cars, trains, and planes, the medieval world felt, in many ways, no smaller than ours: adventurers, crusaders, fishermen, mercenaries, penitents, pilgrims, spies, students, traders, all travelled widely throughout and beyond Europe in the Middle Ages. Medieval people were fascinated with the worlds that lay beyond their town or country, beyond Europe, beyond Jerusalem, beyond the seas, beyond the known.  

This course will concentrate on a range of travel accounts and voyage tales, from the Asian wonders of John Mandeville’s Travels to the role of King Richard Coeur-de-Lion during the Crusades. In addition to less familiar texts, such as the graphic war accounts of John Page’s Siege of Rouen and John Kay’s Siege of Rhodes, we will work with new editions of the oriental romance Floris and Blancheflour, the pilgrim guidebook The Stacions of Rome, Chaucer’s mysterious account of magic in The Squire's Tale, and King Arthur’s conquests in the Alliterative Morte Arthure.  

In our readings we will encounter imagined places (Australia, Brazil) and real ones, such as the end of the world. Our weekly themes will follow our textbook, which was specifically written for this course: 'Places, Real and Imagined', 'Maps the Organisation of Space', 'Encounters', 'Languages and Codes', 'Trade and Exchange', and 'Politics and Diplomacy'

Method of Evaluation: Attendance and Participation (20%); ‘Adopt A Map’ Research Assignment (20%); First Essay (20%); Rome Pilgrim Project (20%); Final Essay (20%)

What students will find unique about this course is that it explores premodern ideas of race and geography, conflict and cultural encounter. 

Students will find our textbook, Anthony Bale and Sebastian Sobecki, ed., Medieval English Travel: A Critical Anthology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), especially interesting because it includes some of the most exotic and surprising literature to have survived from the Middle Ages. 

What excites me about teaching this course is to see how the encounter with the global Middle Ages - its fears, monsters, and topographies – changes our own sense of self and place in the world.  


ENG377H1F - Topics in Theory, Language, Critical Methods: Literature and Psychoanalysis

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 2-3 pm, Thursday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s): Carroll Balot

Brief Description of Course: As a “talking cure” involving empathetic listening, reflection, and exploratory interpretations, psychoanalysis has many similarities with literary criticism. We will read some of the foundational texts of the psychoanalytic tradition, beginning with Sigmund Freud and including Melanie Klein, Wilfrid Bion, Donald Winnicott, Thomas Ogden, and Jacqueline Rose, Joyce McDougall, Christopher Bollas, and others. Rather than developing a single psychoanalytic methodology, we will discuss the development of new perspectives and place these theories in dialogue with literary works and films such as Pat Barker’s Ghost Road, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, and Christopher Nolan’s Memento. This course will enable students to consider the psychological dynamics of creativity and the transformative experience of reading.

Method of Evaluation: Short response papers; term tests; essay; participation.


ENG378H1F -  Special Topics: Victorian Realist Novels

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 12-3 pm

Instructor(s): Audrey Jaffe

Brief Description of Course: The realist novel was the dominant genre of the Victorian period, and a powerful force in what Ian Watt dubbed “the rise of the novel” from the eighteenth-century on. And yet there is very little agreement about what realism was, and a great deal of critical debate about what constituted it. Some novels create a “reality effect” so powerful that we forget we are reading about imaginary persons and events, while others use what seem like “unreal” tactics to take on the idea of the real. Students who are interested in any aspect of novel-reading will find their understanding enhanced by this course. 

Required Reading: (subject to change): Dickens, Hard Times; Eliot, Adam Bede; Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge; Trollope, An Autobiography; Gissing, New Grub Street. 

Method of Evaluation: Two essays, 20% and 25%; active class participation and class presentation, 30%; Term test, 25%. 


ENG378H1F -  Special Topics: Paris, Harlem: 'Lost Generation' Modernist Literatures on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Monday 2-5 pm

Instructor(s): Michael Cobb

Brief Description of Course: Harlem and Paris were two important geographical points of reference for American Modernist innovation in the 1920s (and beyond). This course will investigate the differences and similarities of the work done “at” each location, and we’ll make a case for how modernist literature has always had multiracial, multi-ethnic resonances that intertwine modernist experimentation with desires for political, social, and cultural equity. Along the way, we’ll pay special attention to the ambience, mythology, excitements, and disappointments of Harlem and Paris. Authors to be studied: Ernest Hemingway, Nella Larsen, Richard Bruce Nugent, Jean Toomer, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alain Locke, among others.

Method of Evaluation: Research Paper/Project; Class Participation; Midterm Test

What excites me about teaching this course is…bringing together modernist literatures that are often taught in isolation.

Method of Evaluation: Short response papers; term tests; essay; participation.


ENG378H1F - Special Topics: African American Literature 

Section Number: LEC0301

Time(s): Tuesday 10 am - 12 pm & Thursday 10-11 am

Instructor(s): Augustus Durham

Brief Description of Course

This course chronicles black authors’ encounters with whiteness through genres including autobiography, poetry, science fiction, satire, film, music, the critical essay, and fiction. We will examine what it means to be wight—a word that denotes at once a being that is alive, active, flexible, humane, haunting and haunted—contrasting it against its homophone, white, suggesting mastery. By being attentive to this verbal play, the goal is to equip ourselves with the tools to form our own canons inside and outside institutional boundaries, inclusive of texts such as slave narratives from Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Jacobs to fiction from James Baldwin and Octavia E. Butler, and build cannons to fortify spaces better than those we inhabit.

Method of Evaluation: Weekly Homework, Midterm, Final Project

What students will find unique about this course is the multiple genres we will experience through the wide array of readings.

Students will find the assigned readings especially interesting because lthough much of the readings will be dated, they speak to the current moment.

What excites me about teaching this course is exposing students to texts that, while difficult, allow us to struggle with them together.


ENG378H1F - Special Topics: Early Victorian Novels: Social Problem Novels, Feminism, and Detective Fiction

Section Number: LEC0401

Time(s): Tuesday 1-2 pm, Thursday 1-3 pm

Instructor(s): Cannon Schmitt

Brief Description of Course: British novels from the middle of the nineteenth century still speak to us—in part because so many of their concerns remain our concerns: questions of gender and sexuality, social class, and race and colonialism, among many others. In this course, we will read fiction that addresses those questions and, in the process, reshapes the very form of the novel: Elizabeth Gaskell’s industrial novel, Mary Barton; Charlotte Brontë’s feminist Bildungsroman, Jane Eyre; Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, one of the founding texts of “sensation fiction”; and Charles Dickens’s first-person narrative of hope and disappointment, Great Expectations.

Method of Evaluation: Informed participation (15%), short passage analysis (20%), paper (35%), term test (30%)


ENG378H1S -  Special Topics: Contemporary BIPOC Canadian Literature - CANCELLED

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 2-4 pm, Wednesday 2-3 pm

Instructor(s): Vikki Visvis

Brief Description of Course: This course will study contemporary BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People-of-Colour) Canadian fiction and poetry. We will begin by examining literary depictions of Black bodies in motion, whether travel, escape, relocation, or migration. Specifically, we will consider how the travels of a queer, Black train porter challenge conventional representations of the Canadian Pacific Railway; how Black jazz musicians attempting to escape Nazi Europe reveal the prominence of aural responses to sound in racial discrimination; how a Black couple relocating under the strains of neoliberalism confronts the marked differences between Jamaican and American Black cultures; and how formal experimentation enacts the repercussions of forced migration during the slave trade. We will continue with an investigation of colonial legacies and cultural resurgence in works by Indigenous women writers. With an emphasis on BIPOC speculative fiction, the course will examine the legacies of residential schools and settler-colonialism, be it broken kinship relations, intergenerational trauma, or internalized racism. In response to these outcomes, we will investigate how these works emphasize the value of cultural resurgence through reclaimed custom, reserve community, and Anishinaabe law. The course will close with an analysis of states of in-betweenness in literature by People-of-Colour. By addressing the pressures of residing between a country of origin and Canada, between first- and second-generation migrants, or between a present-tense reality and a speculative future, readings will foreground the insidiousness of cultural essentialism, the strain on family relations, and the vulnerability to abuse for People-of-Colour who have immigrated to Canada. 

Required Reading: Suzettte Mayr, The Sleeping Car Porter; Esi Edugyan, Half-Blood Blues; Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves; Alicia Elliott, And Then She Fell; Kevin Chong, The Double Life of Benson Yu; poetry and short stories by Dionne Irving, Kaie Kellough, Eden Robinson, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Rohinton Mistry, Madeleine Thien, and Djamila Ibrahim. 

Method of Evaluation: Essay—4 pages (25%); Essay—8 pages (40%); Final exam—2 hours (25%); Participation (10%). 

What students will find unique about this course is … its focus on writers from diverse ethnic backgrounds who reveal the cultural and aesthetic richness of contemporary Canadian literature. 

Students will find assigned course readings especially interesting because … of their willingness to mine idiosyncratic experiences—both fantastic and realistic—from traditionally excluded perspectives in formally innovative ways.  

What excites me about teaching this course is … collaborating with students to explore how those who have been socially marginalized can reshape our understanding of Canadian cultural and literary form. 


ENG379H1F - Special Topics: The Contemporary Graphic Novel

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 10-11 am, Wednesday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): Jim Hansen

Brief Description of Course: Since the end of the cold war, we’ve witnessed the graphic novel go from a rarely discussed form to a major industry. Comics and graphic narratives offer specific visual and textual elements that differ from any other literary genre. The course will explore some of the important and award-winning texts from the post-cold war era in order to discuss the political, historical, and aesthetic implications of some of our most thought-provoking and underrecognized contemporary works of art.

Texts for the class may include: Fun Home, Superman: Red Son, Persepolis, My Favorite Things is Monsters, Gender Queer, Ducks, It’s Lonely at the Center of the Earth, I Thought You Hated Me, Palestine, and Kent State

Method of Evaluation: three short papers, online forums, and two exams.


ENG379H1F - Special Topics: Alice Munro

Section Number: LEC0201             

Time(s): Tuesday 3-4 pm, Thursday 3-5 pm

Instructor(s): Sarah Caskey

Brief Description of Course: When Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Laureate for Literature in 2013, she was acknowledged as a “master of the contemporary short story.” This assessment represents the widely shared view that Munro has radically reshaped and reimagined what the short story can do. But her achievement is not limited to innovation with the short-story genre, but extends to rethinking the place of storytelling in our lives more generally and more profoundly. By way of close readings, this course will explore Munro’s writing from early pieces to her latest. Critical reception to her writing will reveal her investigations of region, gender, social class, literary realism, modes of perception, memory, identity construction, and above all, the processes of storytelling.

Students will find it especially interesting to focus on the work of a single author. With this deeper dive, we will be able to appreciate the way Munro develops, refines, and revises her thematic concerns and narrative interests in startling ways from one collection to another and across her body of work.

What excites me about teaching this course is encountering Munro’s absolute genius in her intricately constructed stories. Munro’s narratives have multiple layers, multiple levels, and eschew a single plot or a single point of view. Instead, they offer a large vision and an exhilarating experience of trying to make sense of life’s ambiguities through storytelling. An Alice Munro story captures the fullness and complexity of life, and this course seeks to explore the fullness and complexity of Munro’s literary aesthetic.

Required Reading: Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women (1971) and Alice Munro: My Best Stories (2009) will be available from the UofT Bookstore. Other story selections will be available on the Library Reading List through Quercus.

First Three Authors/Texts: “The Peace of Utrecht,” Lives of Girls and Women, “The Beggar Maid.”

Method of Evaluation: Short Passage Analysis (25%); Essay (40%); Final Assignment (25%); Participation (10%).


ENG379H1F - Special Topics: Modern American Literature, 1900-1950

Section Number: LEC0301             

Time(s): Wednesday 2-5 pm

Instructor(s): Scott Rayter

Brief Description of Course: We will look at how American writers’ works from the first half of the twentieth century reflect national and individual concerns with freedom, identity, and sexual politics. What does “America” mean during this period and how does it come to be understood in relation to “the modern” and to “modernity,” and expressed and represented though the literature of American modernist writers?

Method of Evaluation: Passage analysis, essay, take-home exam, participation


ENG379H1S -  Special Topics: Late Victorian Novels: Gothics, Science Fiction, and Imperial Romances

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 11 am -1 pm, Wednesday 1-2 pm

Instructor(s): Cannon Schmitt

Brief Description of Course: A time of social, political, and literary tumult, the late Victorian era witnessed the publication of novels that would come to be iconic, including H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We will read both—as well as less universally known but equally compelling texts like Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure and Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone. In every case we will have the opportunity to think through the relation between literary form and historical change, analysing how specific styles and genres emerged to treat specific political questions, such as empire, and scientific discoveries, such as evolution.

Method of Evaluation: Informed participation (15%), short passage analysis (20%), paper (35%), term test (30%)


ENG379H1S -  Special Topics: Genres of Citizenship in American Literature

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Tuesday 3-5 pm, Thursday 3-4 pm

Instructor(s): Daniel Bergman

Brief Description of Course: What can literature tell us about what it means to belong somewhere, or about how the borders of this belonging are determined? Such questions stand at the centre of this course, which explores how U.S. fiction experiments with genre as a way of bringing political and literary definitions of group membership together. This semester, we will read works of American literature that experiment with a variety of genres (including romance, science fiction, and autobiography) to interrogate how the boundaries of citizenship are currently policed, as well as how these boundaries might be expanded. Alongside these literary texts, we will examine important theoretical contributions to the joint study of genre and citizenship. Together, our aim will be to develop definitions of literary and political citizenship capable of doing justice to the intersectional complexities of American identity-making.

Method of Evaluation: In-class close reading assignment; secondary source analysis; essay proposal; final essay; informed participation.

What students will find unique about this course is its focus on primary texts written in a wide variety of literary styles and secondary sources drawn from a wide variety of academic disciplines (literature, law, political theory, and anthropology, to name a few).

What excites me about teaching this course is the opportunity to draw connections between literary texts and real-world events.


ENG382Y1 - Literary Theory

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 1-3 pm, Wednesday 1-2pm

Instructor(s): Jim Hansen

Brief Description of Course: This course will introduce students to some of the issues and debates central to contemporary literary studies. If you have ever wondered why people interpret texts, and even certain events, as they do, then this is the course for you. The class will begin by exploring the ways in which three profoundly different thinkers, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, introduced a peculiarly suspicious form of reading, a way of interrogating texts and the world that looks beneath the surface and doubts that what you see is what you get. We will go on to explore how literary critics in the 20th and 21st centuries reacted to this Modern “hermeneutic of suspicion,” applying it and critiquing it from a variety of political, psychological, and philosophical positions. Finally, the course will engage with literature’s relationship to the environment, to disability, and to questions of sexual and racial difference. For the most part, this course charts a history of ideas, and although we will read and refer to poems, films, and stories, the bulk of our coursework will revolve around reading, discussing, and writing about theoretical and philosophical essays.

Method of Evaluation: active class-participation, online forums, four short papers, and four exams.


ENG388H1S - Creative Writing: Poetry

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Wednesday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s)Noor Naga

Brief Description of Course: This course is for aspiring poets who wish to deepen their craft. Most seminars will feature a discussion of some aspect of craft as well as an in-class writing exercise or workshop. Students will be expected to produce six poem drafts over the course of the semester and to workshop each other’s poems in small groups, providing oral and written feedback. The final assignment is a portfolio of five revised poems introduced by an Author's Statement. 

Method of Evaluation: Six poems (30%); workshop feedback (30%); class participation (10%); final portfolio (30%).

What excites me about teaching this course is the sheer scale of growth over the course of the semester. Most students arrive with very little experience reading contemporary poetry (or writing it) and leave with a sophisticated and practiced understanding of the craft. 


ENG389H1F -  Creative Writing: Short Fiction

Section Number: LEC0101             

Time(s): Wednesday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): Noor Naga

Brief Description of Course:  This course is for aspiring fiction writers who wish to deepen their craft. Most seminars will feature a craft discussion as well as an in-class writing exercise or workshop. Students will be expected to produce three stories of varying lengths over the course of the semester and to workshop each other’s stories in small groups, providing oral and written feedback. The final assignment is a portfolio of revised stories introduced by an Author’s Statement.

Required Reading:  Classmates’ writing as well as published short fiction by authors such as NoViolet Bulawayo, Bharati Mukherjee, Anne Carson and Daniel Keyes (subject to change).

Method of Evaluation: Three short stories (25%); workshop feedback (30%); class participation (10%); final portfolio (35%).

Even students who have little experience writing fiction will be amazed at the quality of the stories they are able to produce by the end of the semester.


ENG394H1S -  Creative Writing: Literary Journalism

Section Number: LEC0101             

Time(s): Wednesday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s): TBD

Brief Description of Course:  TBD

Required Reading:  TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD


ENG394H1S - Creative Writing: Language is Material: Creating Chapbooks

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Friday 1-4 pm

Instructor(s): Claire Battershill

Brief Description of Course: This creative writing course on chapbooks will take a project-based approach: each student will write and make their own small book over the course of the semester. Students will write a sequence of poems, a long poem, a short story, a series of flash fiction pieces, or sequence of experimental works and design and produce 25 copies to share with their classmates and communities. Drawing inspiration from visits to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the Massey College Library, we will consider chapbooks (and related genres such as zines, literatura de cordel, small artists’ books, and small-run pamphlets) as vehicles for creative work and contextualize our own creative efforts within the rich history of small and micropress literary production. Students in this course will be thinking about the whole of their works, designing the books intentionally to reflect the materials they’re writing about and honing their literary aesthetics as they learn how to make books. No experience in book arts or crafts is required: students will receive hands-on material education, learning from Toronto artists in the fields of papermaking, letterpress printing, and bookbinding. Through low-stakes exercises and prompts, we will also be exploring the notion of language as a material and theorizing materiality, repetition, multiples, and graphic art as these relate to writing. 

What students will find unique about this course is that they will have the opportunity to write and make their own books, share copies with their peers, and read their work in a public launch at the end of the semester.

Students will find Write, Fold, Print, Staple especially interesting because in it the poet Jim Johnstone connects the work we do in this class with a strong history and community of small and micropress publications in Canada.

What excites me about teaching this course is seeing the student projects come to life and watching student writing find material forms that suit the work. I also love connecting the history of books with the contemporary creative practice.

Method of Evaluation: 

30% draft and prototype book

20% process documentation and reflection on methods

30% final edition

20% participation and collaboration

ENG480H1F -  Advanced Studies Seminar: Ishiguro and the Novel

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 1-3pm 

Instructor(s)Thom Dancer

Brief Description of Course: Kazuo Ishiguro is arguably the most influential English language novelists working today.  His work takes up matters of science, ethics, fantasy, truth & propaganda, responsibility, hope, love, and art.  He has worked in science fiction, fantasy, weird fiction, historical fiction, and more.  This course will introduce students to the wild and strange world of Ishiguro and explore his influence and importance to the contemporary novel.  

Method of Evaluation: Reading Quizzes, Participation, Research Paper 


ENG480H1F -  Advanced Studies Seminar: Life Writing in Canada

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Wednesday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): Smaro Kamboureli

Brief Description of Course: “Late Modernity,” writes Lauren Berlant, “has spotlit intimate relations. Families, feelings, and love lives have been opened to public politics through diverse pressures of globalization, digitization, the mass media, and social movements.” From a celebrity memoir to a refugee’s life in fragments, from a nude dancer’s comic strip narrative to dating apps, from family recipes to a doctoral dissertation that is a collage of concrete poetry, photos, legal documents, and personal anecdotes, this course will invite you to think critically as active members of what Berland calls “intimate public.” By introducing you to the versatility and complexity of contemporary life writing as a genre and putting life-writing texts in dialogue with a selection of critical and theoretical material, the course will ask questions about what feeds the impulse to share one’s life story; the performativity of the life-writing subject; the risks and rewards of making one’s intimate life public; the agency gained in writing a memoir, especially in relation to collectivities; and the impact of digital technologies and social media on memoirs today.

Tentative texts: 
Jordan Abel, NISHGA
Pamela Anderson, Love
Billy-Ray Belcourt, A History of My Brief Body
Sylvie Rancourt, Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer
Y-Dang Troeung, Landbridge: Life in Fragments
Diane Tye, Baking as Biography: A Life Story in Recipes

Method of Evaluation: Class collaborative presentation on online life writing (e.g., from Tiktok, Facebook, and blogs); class participation; essay.


ENG480H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: TBD

Section Number: LEC0101 

Time(s): Thursday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): TBD

Brief Description of Course: TBD

Required Reading: TBD

First Three Authors/Texts: TBD

Method of Evaluation: TBD


ENG480H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: Anne Carson and the Aesthetics of Antiquity

Section Number: LEC5101

Time(s): Monday 6-8pm

Instructor(s): Michael Cobb

Brief Description of Course: This course is a seminar on Anne Carson’s most influential work:  Eros the Bittersweet; Autobiography of Red; If Not, Winter; The Beauty of the Husband; Short Talks; and Decreation.  We’ll pursue Carson’s major themes (translation; poetry; fragmentation; indirection; tragic love; mythology, among others) as we pay particular attention to how crucial “antiquity” might be to the vitality of a very modern, iconoclastic voice in international letters.  We will wonder why we’re so drawn to antiquated things too. 

Method of Evaluation:  Class Presentation; Class Participation; Final Paper/Project


ENG481H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Representing Vandalism

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): Nick Mount

Brief Description of Course: Marking walls, defacing monuments, burning books, blowing up statues, breaking windows…for as long as humans have created things, they have also willfully defaced and destroyed them. What is vandalism? Who does it, and why? Does vandalism also create? Can a transhistorical, humanist approach to vandalism provide new perspectives on old and new forms of vandalism that period-specific historians and social scientists may have missed? These are the working questions of my current research. Besides key theoretical discussions of vandalism old and new, this inter-disciplinary seminar will explore representations of vandalism in both “fact” and fiction. Our topics of conversation, and potentially of your own research and essays, will include such things as state-sponsored vs. citizen vandalism, cultural vandalism, political vandalism, the vandalism of art, art as vandalism, vandalism for fun and vandalism for profit. 

First Three Authors/Texts:TBDMethod of Evaluation: Course marks will be determined by seminar participation, including short written weekly responses (25%); a 1,000-word preliminary essay and literary review (25%); and a 2,000-word final essay (50%). 


ENG481H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: The Graphic Novel 

Section Number: L0101

Time(s): Monday 12 pm-2 pm

Instructor(s): Andrew Lesk

Brief Description of Course: Many graphic novels and comics are based on what might loosely be termed "the outsider" trope. Often rooted (perhaps unsurprisingly, though not exclusively) in autobiographical narratives, these works suggest not only the artist's engagement with the liminal and the transgressive but also how their outsider bearing reflects and reflects upon the larger national psyche. The heterogeneity of the works we are studying offer unique (if not necessarily nationalist or nation-based) perspectives on art and the role of the artist. 

Method of Instruction: seminars; discussion.

Method of Evaluation: seminar and paper; test; quiz; research essay; participation. 


ENG481H1S -  Advanced Studies Seminar: Modern Literary Medievalism

Section Number: LEC5101

Time(s): Wednesday 6pm-8pm

Instructor(s): Caroll Balot

Brief Description of Course: Modern Literary Medievalisms is a seminar exploring four novels that engage intertextually with medieval literature to explore grief, disenchantment, forgiveness and healing. In our weekly conversations we will consider these works as aesthetic experiences, cultural commentaries on modernity and accounts of trauma and loss. Our goal will be to work together to formulate an understanding of the way that the Middle Ages functions in these works and in our cultural imaginary as a space of fantasy and maternal holding.

Required Reading: Lauren Groff, Matrix; Sian Hughes, Pearl; Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant; JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit; Beowulf, Sir Orfeo; Marie de France’s lais and fables; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Pearl.

First Three Authors/Texts: Groff, Matrix; Marie de France, lais and fables; Hildegard of Bingen, selections.

Method of Evaluation: Short weekly responses, presentations, seminar paper.


ENG482H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Black Epics of the Americas

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): George Elliott Clarke

Brief Description of Course: In his Poetics (ca. 335 BCE), Aristotle ranks the drafting of epic poetry as the crowning achievement for any bard seeking deathless acclaim. Thus, many British, canonical poets pursued this aim, from Spenser to Milton, from the Brownings (each spouse separately) to Tennyson. However, some Black poets of the Americas, accepting the Aristotelian hierarchy of poetic attainment, have inked epic–in English, French, and Spanish–to add a Black voice to the Western literary tradition, but also to renew and recast epic as book-length (narrative) poetry that centres Black people and Black history, even addressing the sins of slavery, the crimes of colonialism, and the rancour of racism. Thus, we will read notable examples of book-length (narrative) poetry by Brathwaite, Castro, Cesaire, Compton, Dove, Harris, Trethewey, and Walcott. (All texts will be in English.)

Method of Evaluation: Two in-class essay-writing assignments and participation.


ENG482H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Ecocriticism

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Wednesday 11am-1pm

Instructor(s): Andrea Most

Brief Description of Course: In this land-based course, we utilize a wide variety of ecocritical approaches – along with historical and literary texts -- to help us hear the stories buried within two locations on the University of Toronto campus: Back Campus and Philosopher’s Walk. Class takes place outdoors, where students share the stories they have unearthed in their research and interpret them through the prism of the theoretical readings. The course culminates in a storytelling tour designed and conducted by the entire class, creating a layered ecocritical history of a site at the very centre of our campus.

Method of Evaluation: Class Discussion (25%), Weekly Responses (30%), Presentation (20%), Final Project (30%)


ENG482H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: Tom Jones: The First Comic Blockbuster

Section Number:  LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 1-3pm

Instructor(s): Simon Dickie

Brief Description of Course: A rare opportunity to read closely, and at a manageable pace, one of the greatest and most influential comic novels in the language. First published in 1749, Fielding’s Tom Jones was an immediate bestseller and the subject of ferocious controversy. While enemies attacked the book for its bawdy humour and low morals, others realized that Fielding had effectively invented “a new species of writing.” Over time, the book’s blend of picaresque and romance structure would lead to several generations of European Bildungsromane. Fielding’s narrative innovations were taken up by Austen, Dickens, and Eliot, and made Tom Jones a valuable case study for literary theorists (including Bakhtin, Iser, and Genette). Concentrating on a single text enables us to pursue three larger aims. First, we will understand Tom Jones within its historical and cultural context, including the social and political structures of eighteenth-century Britain; the law; religious differences; gender and sexuality. Second, we will have time to analyse, precisely and unrelentingly, Fielding’s techniques as a writer. As the course goes on, we will build up a sizeable list of these techniques and find terminologies for them. Third, since Fielding is one of the most playful and evasive prose stylists in the English tradition, we will bring to this novel the sort of rigorous close reading that is normally reserved for poetry.

Method of Evaluation: 

  • Close-reading exercise (3-4 pages, 750-1000 words) 20%
  • Three responses/questions to the day’s reading (200 words each) 20%
  • posted on Quercus’ discussion board page
  • Final paper (8-10 pages, 2000-2500 words) 45%
  • Active and informed participation 15%

ENG482H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Tracking the Sound 

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Thursday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): Augustus Durham

Brief Description of Course: We are made to believe that if we see spectacles of suffering—the mangled body of Emmitt Till, the ongoing deaths of black and brown and indigenous people at the hands of the police, the piling of bodies from COVID—it can spur people to action. And yet inaction in the cause of justice or reparation makes up “business as usual.” But what if we listen before we see—what might that do? Although the camera produces both photographs and films, soundtracks are equally important to these media because they tell stories through affect, setting the mood for love to blossom or foretelling the monster behind the curtain. Sound is a sensory experience which sets up the nature of this course: something may be gained by listening in collectively and then unpacking both the context of these soundtracks and what they project about the broader society when they premiered in tandem with a feature-length work. 

In this course, we will do just that, listening to various black film soundtracks in community. In class meetings, we will listen to a soundtrack for one half of class and then discuss what we listened to and read about the soundtrack, the artist who produced it, or the cultural moment of the work during its other half. In these ways, we will be, literally and figuratively, tracking the sound together. 

Method of Evaluation: Weekly Homework, Personal Essay, Midterm, Final Project


ENG483H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: 'Human'/'Animal':Theories of 'Animalness' and 'Humanness'

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Monday 1pm-3pm

Instructor(s): Sara Salih

Brief Description of Course: What would be the effects within cultural studies, critical theory, and literary studies of theorizing the nonhuman animal as a subject category that is not separate from other subject categories? We will be reading philosophical, theoretical and literary texts, as well as discussing two autobiographical works and one film. The texts on this course are not uniquely or even primarily literary, and they vary widely in levels of ‘difficulty.’ We will discuss recent philosophical debates concerning e.g. animal rights, the meat industry, consumption, science, language, time, death, killing, biology, gender, race, anthropocentrism. 

Required Reading: TBC subject to availability

  • Carol Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat 
  • Matthew Calarco, Zoographies.  The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida 
  • J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace 
  • J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals 
  • Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow) 
  • Peter Singer, Animal Liberation 

Articles 

  • Kennan Ferguson, ‘I [HEART] MY DOG’ (online: Political Theory vol. 32, no.3, June 2004, pp.373-95) 
  • Emmanuel Levinas, ‘The Name of a Dog, or Natural Rights’ (in Difficult Freedom.  Essays on Judaism
  • Susan Fraiman, ‘Pussy Panic vs Liking Animals.  Tracking Gender in Animal Studies.’  (online: Critical Inquiry 2012, 39.1, pp.89-115) 
  • Barbara Smuts, ‘Encounters with Animal Minds’ (online: Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8: 5-7, 20001, pp.293) 

Method of Evaluation: TBC according to numbers: Abstract, essay, workshop participation, participation, presentation     


ENG483H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: Shakespeare’s Aisthesis

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Wednesday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s): Christopher Warley

Brief Description of Course: This seminar returns to an old issue—the “autonomy” of Shakespeare’s art. How and why does a Shakespeare play “make sense”? In what sense is it its “own world”? And what is the relation of this artistic autonomy to life “outside”? We will try to revivify these perennial, dusty, questions with the help of Jacques Rancière. “Art exists as a separate world,” he peculiarly insists, “because anything whatsoever can belong to it.” Since the Renaissance, art can be about anything and anyone, and so its autonomy is, Rancière argues, democratic. Rancière has made “aesthetics” into an exciting topic over the last twenty years, and we will set out with the hunch that what he calls “aisthesis” can perk up the otherwise predictable field of Shakespeare. Plays will probably include I Henry IV, Hamlet, and The Winter’s Tale, along with whatever criticism seems necessary or fun.

Method of Evaluation: discussion, two papers


ENG483H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: Utopia/Dystopia

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Friday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): Andrea Walkden

Brief Description of Course: When Thomas More coined the word “utopia” in 1516, he exploited the way this new term, with its origin in ancient Greek, could mean either “good place” (eu-topos) or “no place” (ou-topos). Four hundred years later, readers of More’s Utopia would further complicate the meanings of the word by introducing another term “dystopia” or “bad place,” applying it sometimes to the newly imagined worlds of science fiction and sometimes to the ideal commonwealth described by More himself.

In this seminar, we will be exploring the conceptual and creative resources of dys/utopian fiction for reconfiguring perceptions of the world. Together, we will consider how this most rule-bound and risk-taking of genre challenges our understanding of the normative and the ideal, shaping alternative stories around our present moment. Students will be encouraged to pursue their own lines of inquiry from among our topics of discussion, including bioethics and biopolitics; sexual communism and eugenics; dispossession and migration; game design and utopian design; the closed society and global connectedness; totality and the ideology of the system; morality, biology, and the technosphere. Our primary texts will be Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), Francis Godwin’s The Man in the Moone (1638), Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World (1666), Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (1923), short stories by Ursula K. Le Guin, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2004), Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves (2017), and Ling Ma’s Severance (2018).

Method of Evaluation: Participation, including writing workshops (15%); generating discussion topics for two class sessions (20%); short experimental essay (20%); final project, creative or critical, to be developed in stages (40%); class presentation about your final project (5%)


ENG484H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Fantasy Worlds in Lewis, Jones, and Pullman

Section Number:  LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 1-3 pm

Instructor(s): Deirdre Baker

Brief Description of Course: Lewis’s Narnia stories have had a long after-life. In this course we’ll be looking at Lewis’s Narnia chronicles; the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, which responds in part to Lewis’s books; and works by Diana Wynne Jones, who was taught by Lewis (and Tolkien). In what ways are these writers imagining whole worlds, ecosystems, and species interdependencies in their fantasy? How does the threat of “paradise lost” – or at the very least, under threat - play out in their depiction of Narnia and other worlds? In what ways do ideas of place and ecology constitute the fundamental heart of these fantasies? How might the medieval territory of the soul reflected in Lewis’s work bleed into an interpretation of these fantasies and illuminate today’s environmental and climate crisis? We’ll be exploring these and other questions…

Method of Evaluation: Four short reading response papers; a research essay; research proposal and essay outline; participation in discussion.


ENG484H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Romantic Pastoral

Section Number: LEC0201

Time(s): Wednesday 11 am-1 pm

Instructor(s): Karen Weisman

Brief Description of Course: There are many competing definitions of pastoral, but we generally understand pastoral poetry to evoke a world of ease and simplicity within a harmonious and gentle landscape. The apparent simplicity of pastoral is frequently subjected to ironic disruption, and this course will study the aesthetic, political and cultural implications of Romantic pastoral poetry and its place within the larger historical tradition of pastoral and of nature writing.

Method of Evaluation: Presentation (with orally delivered close-reading assignment) 25%; informed class participation 10%; written prospectus (as preparation for research essay) 15%; Final research essay 50%


ENG484H1S -  Advanced Studies Seminar: Literary Toronto: Imagining and Writing the City

Section Number: L0101

Time(s): Thursday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s): Sarah Caskey

Brief Description of Course: Writing about Toronto: exploring, mapping, and imagining Toronto are ventures that many notable contemporary writers have undertaken in their literary works. In this course, we will examine the fictional works of six contemporary writers which engage in meaningful ways with the city. These authors’ literary styles and approaches to imagining and writing Toronto are varied. But they all underscore the insight that a city should be understood as a process, idea, imaginary space, or site of transformation, in addition to a geographical place or physical setting.

Our explorations begin by examining Toronto as a developing multicultural city with attention to its buildings and bridges built by immigrants. We will then consider it as a vertical space that accommodates not just a multiplicity of peoples, but also the history of their personal trauma. Expanding our approach, we will consider the limits of certain discourses of the multicultural city, critiquing representations of Toronto as an urban mosaic to reveal its complex social, economic, and racial dynamics in private dwellings and on individual streets. These investigations will take account of the city as a place to locate Indigenous presence in the past and present, as well as be the site of Indigenous dreams and imaginings. We will also acknowledge the suburban spaces and natural environments often eclipsed by a monolithic view of urban Toronto, with the recognition of pluralized identities in Scarborough and its Rouge River. In all, we will consider the role of these fictional works in imagining, writing, and representing the city as dynamic and diverse, as well as the role of these works in mapping a livable future in the city.

Required Reading: Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion; Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces; Dionne Brand, What We All Long For; Michael Redhill, Consolation; Cherie Dimaline, Red Rooms; David Chariandy, Brother.

First Three Authors/Texts: Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion; Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces; Dionne Brand, What We All Long For.

Method of Evaluation: Seminar Presentation (20%); Thesis and Annotated Bibliography Assignment (30%); Final Essay Assignment (40%); Class Participation (10%).


ENG485H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Milton, Globalism, and the Post-National

Section Number: L0101

Time(s): Friday 1-3 pm 

Instructor(s)Paul Stevens

Brief Description of Course: The early 21st-century in the West is distinguished by the way the nation-state which emerged so powerfully in the early modern period has come to be perceived as undesirable, obsolete, or anachronistic. “Modernity,” says the economist Paul Collier, increasingly “strings identity between one pillar of individualism and one of globalism: many young people see themselves as both fiercely individual outsiders in their surrounding society, and as citizens of the world.” For many educated elites and young people, the imagined community is not, then, the nation but the “world,” a discursive polity imagined not through print so much as electronic media, television and the internet. According to Anthony Giddens, the electronic revolution “liberates space from place.” This course seeks to re-appraise the work of Milton and other 17th-century architects of the nation-state in the light of this dramatic new context: in particular, it seeks to understand the degree to which a new universal or global community is already taking shape in contemporary religious and political thought about the nation. The central question, if not the only question, the course seeks to address is this: is the nation-state the antithesis or the harbinger of globalism? The focus of the course is Paradise Lost but other texts to be studied include the Torah, St Paul’s Epistles, Virgil’s Aeneid, Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, and Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.   

Method of Evaluation: Class participation 15%, Seminar presentation 30% ,Final essay (4-5,000 words) 55% 


ENG485H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: Ezra Pound, Modernism, and Beyond

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Thursday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s): Ming Xie

Brief Description of Course: The work of Ezra Pound engages with a wide range of issues in his time and beyond. This course is a critical exploration of Pound’s major works in relation to his fundamental concerns as a modernist poet. Topics and issues may include: image, persona, rhythm; form, materiality, subjectivity; history and mysticism; relations between aesthetics, politics and economics; gender and sexuality; translation, treason, and tradition. The course aims to provide students with an in-depth engagement with Pound’s most significant works and a critical understanding of his poetic theories, methods, and techniques, as well as his intellectual and cultural perspectives. The course also aims to help students strengthen skills in close reading and critical interpretation.

Method of Evaluation: 

  • One close-reading essay, 20%
  • One research essay, 40%
  • One 15-minute oral presentation, 20%
  • Seminar participation and discussion, 20%

ENG486H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Canadian Speculative Fiction

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Monday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s): Vikki Visvis

Brief Description of Course: If speculation beyond the directly observable natural world is the hallmark of speculative fiction, then, the emphasis on realism in historical surveys of Canadian fiction means the elision of genres such as science fiction, fantasy, and horror. However, Canadian literature betrays a marked commitment to speculative fiction, from Margaret Atwood’s now archetypal feminist dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale to the inception of cyberpunk with William Gibson’s Neuromancer. This course will specifically examine how works of Canadian speculative fiction respond to three timely issues: American socio-politics, Canadian settler-colonialism, and experiential displacement. We will begin by appraising how Canadian futuristic dystopian narratives offer critiques of and convey anxieties about the socio-political dynamics of their US neighbours, whether in terms of misogyny, reproductive rights, religious extremism, totalitarianism, terrorism, biological warfare, a second American Civil War, and climate change. We will continue by evaluating how Indigenous “Wonderworks,” Indigiqueer speculative fiction, and Afrofuturism not only uncover Canada’s own problematic history of residential schooling, two-spirit discrimination, anti-Black racism, and ghettoization but also celebrate the power of cultural resurgence to combat settler-colonial legacies. The course will close by considering how post-apocalyptic pandemic settings and the genre of cyberpunk display the dynamics of displacement and alienation, be it as a stateless refugee or as post-human. Ultimately, by investigating the ways Canadian speculative fiction responds to American socio-politics, marginalized cultures, and conditions of displacement, this course exposes how fantastic worlds are far from escapist avoidance; they are, in fact, vehicles for new forms of critical engagement that educate us about our immediate reality and enable us to navigate our future. 

Required Reading: Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale; Omar El Akkad, American War; Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves; Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring; Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven; William Gibson, Neuromancer; selected short stories from Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction, Ed. Joshua Whitehead.

Method of Evaluation: Five short response assignments (1–2 pages each) 15%; Participation 10%; Seminar presentation (15 minutes) 20%; Essay proposal and annotated bibliography 20%; Final long essay (15–18 pages) 35%. 


ENG486H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: Virginia Woolf

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s): Adam Hammond

Brief Description of Course: A career-spanning study of Virginia Woolf as a novelist, literary critic, and social theorist.

Method of Evaluation: Seminar presentation, annotated bibliography, essay outline, essay, participation.


ENG487H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Cultures of Correspondence: Early Modern Literature and Letters

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Wednesday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s)Lynne Magnusson

Brief Description of Course

Studying early modern letters and the culture of correspondence opens up an extraordinarily rich world of new research opportunities. The celebratory sentiments of Camillo in Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale are a commonplace: letters could make people seem “together though absent,” embrace “as it were from the ends of opposed winds.” But with endlessly disruptive gaps in distance and time as the basic conditions of epistolary communication, how exactly did letters construct and maintain social relations? How did literary writers envision epistolary culture – Shakespeare, for example, as he incorporated letters into the drama or Donne as he combined his own self-reflexive epistolary practices with verse-letter experiments? In an era when humanists like Erasmus transacted their intellectual lives in letters, theorized the epistolary genre in new forms of rhetoric, and made letters a primary focus of pedagogical materials, what impact had they either on literary representations or on everyday practices of letter-writing?

In terms of the letter itself, how might present work in such fields as material culture and manuscript studies help us defamiliarize the letter as artefact and the complex practices of letter-writing? In terms of social participants, how might we expand our attention beyond a writer-recipient binary by imagining such epistolary networks as a quadrangle encompassing the co-labour of writers and senders, secretaries and scribes, messengers and carriers, addressees and readers? How might modern-day discourse pragmatics or conversation analysis help us appreciate the complex linguistic dance of early modern letters? Given that letters were a principal outlet for women’s writing, what insights do they offer into women’s lives and the evolution of gendered subjectivity? How do they explain the growing reach of nascent commercial empires in America and India? What opportunities arise from the recent digitization of formerly hard-to-access archives? These and many other related questions provide the substance of what you will be invited to explore in this research-oriented advanced English seminar.

Method of Evaluation: Your own research project, developed in stages (research proposal, class presentation, final paper) – 60%; “first words” and “issue sheets” on weekly readings (20%); transcription exercise (10%); well-informed in-class participation (10%).


ENG488H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Building and Unbuilding the Bildungsroman: Novel Constructions of Identity

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Tuesday 1-3 pm

Instructor(s): Audrey Jaffe

Brief Description of Course: The Bildunsgsroman is conventionally defined as a novel of development.  But in many ways it also undoes that idea, challenging the idea of the unitary self as well as any familiar concept of  “development.” We will read novels considered classic examples of the genre as well as other possible candidates for membership in it from a variety of periods and contexts, re-evaluating its meaning and that of the concepts that have typically been used to define it ("narrative"; "development"; identity") with the assistance of relevant criticism and theory.

Required Reading: Bronte, Jane Eyre; Dickens, David Copperfield; Shelley, Frankenstein; Barrie, Peter Pan; Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go.

Method of Evaluation: Two essays, 20% and 25%; active class participation and presentation, 15% each; term test, 25%


ENG488H1S - Advanced Studies Seminar: Darwin and Literature

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Wednesday 10 am-12 pm

Instructor(s): Cannon Schmitt

Brief Description of Course: Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution revolutionized biology and related disciplines such as paleontology and ecology, providing them with what continues to serve as their fundamental assumption: that life changes over time by means of natural and sexual selection. Surprisingly, that theory also transformed non-scientific fields, including especially literary production. We will begin by reading Darwin himself. We’ll then turn to several nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels and short stories deeply influenced by his work. Along the way we’ll pay particular attention to matters of temporality, literary form, character, sexuality, and race. Among other things, the course will provide an exciting, practical immersion in the field of studies of science and literature.

Likely texts, in addition to Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, include H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, Jack London’s The Sea-Wolf, and short stories by D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, and others.

Method of Evaluation: Informed participation (15%), short passage analysis (20%), paper (35%), term test (30%)


ENG489H1F - Advanced Studies Seminar: Aesthetic and Decadent Movements

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Wednesday 3-5 pm

Instructor(s): Hao Li

Brief Description of Course: The late Victorian period was characterized by, among other changes, a reaction against the aesthetic, religious, and sexual mores of the mid-Victorian period. In this seminar, we shall focus on aspects of this development through a study of literary writers associated with the Aesthetic and Decadent Movements. Our main emphasis is on their formal sensibilities. Issues to be explored include the New Hedonism; Anarchism; gender crisis; relations to the Pre-Raphaelites, the Symbolist Movement and early Modernism, etc. What excites me about teaching this course is the opportunity to engage with the rigorous thinking and close analysis of the students. The reasonable course reading load will also allow students to read the works and think about them before class discussion.

Required Reading: 

Pater, Walter. Studies in the History of the Renaissance. Ed. Matthew Beaumont. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010;

Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Ed. Joseph Bristow. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006;

All other readings will be provided on Quercus.

First Three Authors/Texts: Dante Gabriel Rossetti; William Morris; Walter Pater

Method of Evaluation: One essay, one seminar starter, informed participation.


ENG498H1F - Advanced Creative Writing Seminar: Long Prose Writing

Section Number: LEC0101

Time(s): Thursday 2-4 pm

Instructor(s): David Chariandy

Brief Description of Course: This course will offer advanced students of creative writing the opportunity to pursue a novel project within a rigorous and supportive workshop context.  We will spend considerable time closely reading and discussing each other’s writings.  We will also analyze short ‘model’ novels, observing how voice, plot, details, dialogue, vernacular, ‘consciousness,’ etc., discrepantly manifest in this fluid and open genre.  We will discuss reflections by writers on their profession and vocation.  We will also consider the origins, benefits, and limitations of existing workshop practices.

Required Reading: Essay-length texts as well as two short contemporary novels (e.g. Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, Kim Thúy’s Ru, Natasha Brown’s Assembly).

Method of Evaluation: Participation, Research/Reading log, Presentation on novel project, Final portfolio of work.