Available Courses for Winter 2017

Fri. Dec. 2, 2016

Language and Culture | ENGL-2804.3-050 | Wednesday | 6:00pm – 9:00pm | K. Malcolm | Cross-listed: ANTH-2406-050 and LING-2101-050

This course is considered the introductory course to the fascinating area of language and culture. A background in linguistics is not required; however, an interest in the subtleties of communication is. The course begins with a consideration of issues related to language in different temporal and geographical contexts like bilingualism and multilingualism. After this, the course moves into an exploration of various social dialects relating to age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Although varieties of English in daily life are the focus of the course, the textbook introduces students to research pertaining to other languages and cultures as well. Geographical, temporal and social dialects are discussed from the perspectives of linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics for the most part, but also from a systemic functional linguistic perspective. Although theoretical terms are introduced in this course, the development of a sophisticated metalanguage is not the primary goal. Rather, an increased awareness of the way language and culture are interrelated is. The course will be through informal lectures, group work, and individual reflection.

Topics in Canadian Literature | ENGL-3709.3-002 | Tuesday and Thursday | 10am – 11:15pm | J. Jacobson-Konefall

This course focuses on a topic in Canadian Literature and Culture which varies from year to year. Possible topics are: memoirs and life writing; the gothic; travel writing; historical fiction; Canadian comics; Black Canadian writing; trauma and memory; Mennonite Writing; representations of disability; dystopias; and bestsellers and prize winners. Students should consult the English Department website for more specific information about the iterations of this course. This course may be repeated once when the topic varies.

Topics in Indigenous Texts and Cultures: Historical and Contemporary Indigenous Representations | ENGL-3723-761 | Online | P. DePasquale | Cross-listed: IS-3723

This course focuses on a range of literary and non-literary works, many available on the internet, fundamental to a study of the history of colonialism, stereotypes, and racism in North America, with emphasis on the experiences of Canadian indigenous peoples. Students will examine, discuss, and research historical and contemporary representations of Indigenous peoples across a range of media, including literature, visual art, film, video, and music. The course also examines the contributions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists, artists, community members, scholars, and other working to question, critique, and move forward from older paradigms and perceptual frameworks. No previous knowledge of Indigenous histories or cultures is required. This course fulfills the Indigenous Course Requirement.

Race and Biologism | ENGL-3724.3-002 | Wednesday | 6:00 – 9:00 | J. Wills

This course covers three approaches to thinking about the relationship between race and biologism and the literary/social narratives they inspire: 19thc. biological determinism; 20thc. social relativism; and 21stc. genomic identitarianism. We will analyze fiction as well as critical works from each period, authored by writers of colour as they interact with—and often challenge—the ways that biology and race are imagined as (dis)connected. The course is divided by historical moments, but also by different literary modes and forms of expression. We will focus on the ways that progressive white “allies” try to navigate race science on behalf of people of colour and the ways that POC write back to both liberal and conservative uses of race science.

Textual Analysis | ENGL-3800.3-003 | Tuesday and Thursday | 1pm – 2:15pm | K. Malcolm | Cross-listed: LING 3001 and ANTH 3405

Textual Analysis is a course that gives you several tools for making discoveries about texts from a variety of sources and for a variety of purposes. As you learn these tools you are welcome to explore whatever types of communication fascinate you. Would you like to see how politicians use language to avoid commitment;  scientists  to create an illusion of fact; how creative writers create suspense and humour; how men speak differently than women? Whatever your communicative interests, this course will give you the tools to explore them.

Non-Honours students should seek permission of the instructor to register in 4000-level courses

Advanced Studies in Young People’s Cultural and Literary Texts | ENGL-4160.3-001 | Tuesday | 10:00 – 12:45 | H. Snell

This course offers a focused study of an area of young people's texts and cultures, such as narrative fiction and film, digital or material culture. It may be organized as an exploration of texts and cultures of a particular period, consider a figure, genre, or theme across a range of historical periods and/or contemporary moments. Possible topics include Victorian children's literature, the tween and the teen, revisionist fairy tales, and transnational literacy. Consult the English Department website for a description of the course being offered in any given semester. Students may repeat this course for credit when the topic area varies.

Individual Authors: Jane Austen | ENGL-4341.3-001 | Wednesday | 2:30 – 5:15 | K. Ready

The focus of this section (subtitled “Adapting Jane Austen in the New Media Age: Cyborgs and Sensibility?”) is Jane Austen. Of general interest will be Austen’s reception history and the establishment of Austen studies in the twentieth century, as well as the emergence of a devoted fan culture that has produced a significant body of fan fiction and regularly scheduled fan events around the world. Of special interest will be the innumerable adaptations and continuations of Austen’s novels, not only in print, but also in television, film, and new media. In addition to Austen’s novels, we will look at a selection of adaptations and continuations in various media in order to determine exactly how Austen has been and continues to be adapted today, paying attention to the impact of shifting gender and other politics. As a theoretical framework we will draw from the overlapping fields of “adaptation studies,” “game studies,” and “new media studies” in order to understand the effect and implications of the transposition of original texts into other media forms.

Topics in Canadian Literature: Canadian Poetry | ENGl-4710.3-051 | Tuesday | 6:00 – 9:00 | N. Besner

This course offers a study of an area of Canadian literature not covered by the general courses in Canadian literature. It may, for instance, involve the study of a limited number of authors or an historical period, or it may focus on one or two genres or on critical theory in relation to Canadian literature.

Comparative Literature: Graphic Bio | ENGL-4740.3-052 | Wednesday | 6:00 – 9:00 | C. Rifkind

This seminar course explores how contemporary alternative cartoonists are using comics to depict the complex interplay of history, power, celebrity, notoriety, and personality that shapes the art of biography. We will read a range of graphic biographies about figures whose life narratives are variously contested and controversial, including Abraham Lincoln, Nat Turner, Margaret Sanger, Marie Curie, Johnny Cash, Ana Mendieta, Chanie Wenjack, and Alan Turing. We will take a cultural studies approach to explore the texts in relation to other media (film, music, television, photography) and recent theoretical developments in comics and life writing studies.
The forms and styles of the graphic biographies vary widely, from sketchy black-and-white to vibrant colour, and from realism to expressionism. In addition to undertaking aesthetic and formal analysis of each text, we will investigate how lives and life narratives are shaped by race, religion, gender, sexuality, and citizenship. We will draw on comics theory and biography theory to consider how each of the texts deals with the biomythologies of their subjects. Throughout, we will frame our discussions with a set of theoretical problems: whose lives enter collective memory and how? what are the ‘facts’ of a life? how can comics construct and deconstruct biography’s promise of intimate knowledge of the subject? how can we get a feel for the person and what they felt?

Students need no prior experience reading comics, nor any familiarity with the relevant theories, just an intellectual curiosity about this surprisingly complex area of popular culture and a willingness to participate in the collaborative environment of the seminar.

Topics in Gender, Literature, and Culture | ENGL-4901.3-001 | Wednesday 2:30 – 5:15 | H. Milne

This course introduces students to some of the key thinkers, issues, and concepts in the field of Queer Theory. We will begin by reading Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, and Eve Kosovsky Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet, three texts that helped to lay the foundations of the field. We will then examine how queer theory has evolved over the past twenty-five years in relation to social and cultural changes that have occurred within queer culture. We will also consider how it has intersected with and informed other areas of theoretical and critical inquiry including psychoanalysis (Leo Bersani, Lee Edelmen), affect theory (Lauren Berlant, Sara Ahmed, Ann Cvetkovich), performance studies (Jose Esteban Munoz), Marxism and critical theory (Michael Warner, Lisa Duggan), and critical race and postcolonial studies (David Eng, Jasbir Puar). Together, we will practice using queer theory as an analytical tool for examining film, literature, television, and current events. Students at the 4000 and 7000 levels will read the same texts but 7000 level students will produce longer papers and assignments.