Selected Courses

Undergraduate Courses

ENGL 1080: Critical Reading and Writing 1 is an introduction to such literary forms as poetry, short fiction, drama, and the essay. Emphasis is placed on critical reading and writing: analysing texts, framing and using questions, constructing essays, organizing paragraphs, quoting and documenting, revising and editing.

ENGL 2122: Introduction to World Literature in English introduces students to the significant body of literature written in English that stands outside the British/North American canon. In this course, students are introduced to both colonial and postcolonial literature from a range of countries.

ENGL 2813: Poetics of the Image introduces students to the fundamentals of visual literacy, a literacy that is crucial for the analysis of both still and moving images. The course is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in visual analysis, familiarizing them with both the vocabulary and the methodologies necessary to examine static and moving images critically. A close examination of visual, textual, and aural signifiers in a variety of images – from the advertisement to the photograph to the moving images of film – allows students to explore the workings of the visual, draw out the interconnectedness of image and text, and consider questions of context, framing, focus, angle of vision, etc.

ENGL 3143: Introduction to the Graphic Novel introduces students to the serious analysis of the semiotics, poetics, and politics of the graphic novel, showing the range of textual and pictorial forms available to the contemporary cartoonist and submitting some of the major works of the form to scrutiny.

ENGL 3158: Canadian Literature 1970 to the Present explores the constitution, presentation and maintenance of self in contemporary Canadian literature. In addition, this course introduces students to current debates regarding the critical analysis of life writing. Through a close reading of theoretical works that pay particular attention to the representation of the autobiographical, students explore the ways in which identity makes sense in light of modern preoccupations with modes of perception and interpretation, memory, the body, and the post-Cartesian self.

ENGL 3817: Writing and Gender II explores the constitution, presentation and maintenance of gendered identities in literature written in English. In addition, this course introduces students to current debates in gender studies. Through a close reading of theoretical works that pay attention to representations of women and men, constructions of femininity and masculinity and sexual politics, we examine how and to what extent recent literary representations of gender make sense in relation to modern preoccupations with modes of perception and interpretation, identity, space and time.

ENGL 3841: Contemporary Autobiography: Graphic Memoir explores the constitution, presentation and maintenance of identities in contemporary graphic memoirs, that is, autobiographies that rely heavily on visual graphics to tell their story. A critical analysis of literary texts by a diverse range of comic artists highlights divergent ways in which words and images come together to probe how identity (both private and public identity) intersects with social roles and expectations, sexuality, illness and power in society.

ENGL 4101: Critical Theory II is designed to offer an introduction to theories of reading and critical analysis with an emphasis on late twentieth-century literary theory. This course approaches literary theory as an invaluable toolkit for the practice of critical reading. In it, students learn the boundaries that define the most popular theories of the late twentieth century, the sorts of questions each methodology permits, and how critical theory can be used to read a variety of cultural texts.

Graduate Courses

ENGL 7003: Trends in Contemporary Literary Theory explores trends in contemporary literary theory as they have developed over the past three or so decades. A critical overview of major schools of thought guides discussions about the role of theory in critical reading practices. Significant attention is given to how the work of contemporary theorists can inform and enrich the reading of literature. In other words, the practical application of theory is central to the course.

ENGL 7082: Studies in Critical Theory I: Showing and Telling: Photography in Twentieth-Century Literature provides an interdisciplinary investigation of the role of photography in contemporary literature from the Western world, with particular emphasis on the post-war period until the present day. A critical overview of the state of research on photography in fiction, from ekphrasis to the actual reproduction of photographs in literature, guides discussions about photography's relation to memory, identity, truth, death, and knowledge.

ENGL 7082: Studies in Critical Theory I: Graphic Storytelling considers established and emerging storytelling techniques of both multimodal and purely visual graphic narratives. Particular attention is given to the unique grammar of the comics medium to ask how graphic narrative responds to the conventions of narrative and genre. To better understand how this form of storytelling structures perception and knowledge, an examination of a variety of graphic narratives—each with a unique storytelling style—will be informed by recent work in literary theory, visual cultural studies, and the growing field of comics studies.

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