Course Descriptions 200-Level

This page gives fuller descriptions of 200-level courses based on past syllabi. Note that the specific details of syllabi can vary from term to term, so there may be some variation in course content. See the Undergraduate Calendar for official catalogue descriptions.

Survey of British Literature 1 (ENGL 200A): This course is designed to give a broad overview of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the eighteenth century. We will be examining a wide range of texts for what they can tell us about the development of form and genre, authorship and readership, history and politics. The material will demand that you think constantly and critically about how and why we reconstruct literary history, why historical contexts are central to understanding literature and, most importantly, why reading literature of the past is crucial to understanding our own cultural contexts.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.
Also offered online.

Survey of British Literature 2 (ENGL 200B): This course introduces students to the three principal historical periods of British literature dating from the late eighteenth century to the mid‐twentieth century: the Romantic, the Victorian, and the Modern. Students will learn to recognize some of the characteristic forms and interests of these three periods, and also to trace patterns of influence and ideas that link the periods together. They will learn to read with close attention to detail and to analyse ow meaning is created in language. In addition, the course will introduce students to some of the major forms of literature (e.g., poetry, novel, essay).

Prereq: Level at least 2A.
Also offered online.

The Short Story (ENGL 201): This course is designed as an overview of the short story in English. We will read stories from a variety of geographies, histories, and narrative traditions, from Ireland to India, from the Southern Gothic to the autobiographical. We will examine the history and theory of the short story as a distinct narrative form. We will incorporate earlier stories that challenge the history of the short story as a twentieth-century form, later stories that challenge its generic norms, and stories in translation that have influenced the tradition in English. 

The Bible and Literature 1 (ENGL 202A): In this course you will become familiar with the major stories and themes of the Old Testament. You will also be introduced to the Old Testament's major genres, symbols, and poetic structures. At the end of the course you will be able to anticipate New Testament elements in the Old Testament and to recognize allusions to the Old Testament in a variety of literary works.

Also offered online.

The Bible and Literature 2 (ENGL 202B): A study of the major stories, themes and literary characteristics of the New Testament of the King James Bible and of its influence on English literature. More information coming soon.

Designing Digital Images and Hypertext (ENGL 203): This course draws on multiple theoretical perspectives to introduce students to the fundamental principles of multi-modal communication design in its social context. It teaches students to analyze and critique, design and produce, interactive interfaces using images, text, and hypertext. Specifically, students will learn an advanced design grammar while mastering key design principles. 

Prereq: Honours English students only.

Designing Digital Video (ENGL 204): This course introduces students to the principles of designing time-based multi-modal communication in a social context. Students will analyse, design, and produce video for use in a variety of digital platforms, including e-learning and business applications.

The Canadian Short Story (ENGL 205R): Exploration of the Canadian short story, from its beginnings - in the bush, in the north, on the land, in the small towns - through the struggles of an urbanizing society to the present. Students will be expected to work in some depth with individual authors.

Writing Lives (ENGL 206): This course studies the ways the self is constructed through text by examining a variety of life-writing approaches, organized from youth to old age, along with theories of identity, memory, gender, narrative, cultural studies, and autobiography as a genre. More information coming soon.

Forms of Fantasy (ENGL 208A): This course deals with contemporary fantasy narratives, in literature and other media, and the myths and legends that inspire them. The main objective of this course is to examine how fantasy worlds are built, and how those fantasy worlds engage (or fail to engage) with social and political issues in the real world. We will begin by learning different ways of defining the genre and learning a few different political frameworks (feminism, critical race theory, disability studies) we can use to evaluate the genre. Then, students in this class will answer questions such as: How do fantasy narratives shape our understanding of world history? How are social or political issues represented in fantasy narratives? Whose fantasy is represented? How do traditionally underrepresented groups create their own fantasy worlds?

Science Fiction (ENGL 208B): The course examines works that generally fall under the generic heading "science fiction." Texts will include examples of various science fiction sub-genres, including Utopian and anti-Utopian science fiction, social science fiction, "gadget" science fiction, parapsychology, and alternate worlds fiction. The course will examine the literary, social, and political significance of individual texts and explore the nature of science fiction as a genre.

Studies in Children's Literature (ENGL 208C): This course will develop a critical understanding of the genre of children's literature. Throughout the course we wil explore the historical construction of children's literature as well as the internal structure of the specific texts we will be reading. By exploring the recurring themes of these texts and how these themes shift between texts, we will also begin to understand what "child" means and has meant at various points in western history over the past four hundred years.

Also offered online.

Women's Writing (ENGL 208E): This course explores a range of women's writing and the social and cultural contexts in which they made their voices heard.

Gothic Monsters (ENGL 208G): A study of monstrosity, fear, terror, and horror in the gothic mode from its origins to the present, with attention to the ways various genres (from the novel to new media) represent gothic sexualities, genders, politics, and aesthetics. More information coming soon.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Arthurian Legend (ENGL 208H): In this course, we will examine Arthurian romances of the Medieval period, notably those of Chrétien de Troyes, the father of Arthurian romance, alongside more contemporary works of Arthurian legend such as Arthur Philips’ postmodern novel The Tragedy of Arthur. We will also explore Arthurian works in a diversity of other genres and mediums including documentary, drama, films, and music. The course will introduce major Arthurian characters including King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, Guenevere, Lancelot, and Mordred while exploring themes such as courtly love, magic, chivalry, the grail quest, adultery, religion, imperial conquest, father-son relationships, and the supernatural. These texts will also be read formally, historically, and theoretically. 

Detective Fiction (ENGL 208K): This course is designed to introduce you to the expansive and generative genre of detective stories or crime fiction, and to some of the critical thought that surrounds it. We will read a variety of detective texts from Canada, the United States, and Britain, both to see how the genre has changed across time, and to analyse how detective fiction has adapted to and responded to changes in cultural contexts. Because the field of detective stories, novels, television shows, and films is enormous, we will focus on novels and short stories in our main reading list, but you will have the opportunity to explore other mediums and genres.

Race and the Literary Tradition (ENGL 208L): How have ideas of race been represented, transmitted, and resisted in the canon of literature in English over the centuries? Topics may include the invention of race, Eurocentrism and imaginative geography, racial beauty myths, internalized racism, and issues of gender, sexuality, and colonialism.

Travel Literature (ENGL 208M): The course examines the forms and functions of travel literature as a genre. Topics that may be covered include representation of travel as adventure, discovery, pilgrimage, and escape; travel and tourism; travel and gender; and travel and colonialism.

Sex and Marriage in Literature (ENGL 208N): An examination of changing attitudes toward sex and marriage as those attitudes are expressed in literary works written in English during the various periods of literary production from the medieval period to the modern age. Objectives include coming to an understanding of the ways in which sexuality and marriage are culturally constructed , and the ways those constructions have changed over time; recognizing the role of literature in informing as well as reflecting those constructions; considering the issues involved in depicting sex and marriage in literature; and encountering some major literary and cultural theories which articulate these questions.

Advanced Academic Writing (ENGL 209): This course will explore relationships between audience, situation, purpose, and form in academic writing in the disciplines. One of the best ways to learn to write is by writing, and for that reason students in this course will be asked to do a lot of inventing, drafting, and revising. Sharing work with others, either in peer-response sessions or in collaborative writing groups, promotes learning about writing by widening the response writers get to their work. Finally, reading constitutes another importrant component of learning to write and guidance from texts will help you answer questions you may have or suggest ways to go about the business of writing.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Genres of Creative Writing (ENGL 210C): This course introduces students to both contemporary and historical forms of creative writing. Students will explore genres of poetry, prose, and/or drama through their own writing. Students will also investigate the culture of publishing, learn key revision strategies, and workshop the writing of their peers to develop their critical abilities.

Genres of Technical Communication (ENGL 210E): This course explores writing, presentation, and design across various genres of technical communication, with a primary focus on printed and/or online computer documentation. We will be primarily concerned with the theory and application of rhetoric in document analysis and design; that is, what makes a “good” (or bad) technical document? How can we improve upon existing industry practices? Although we will be drawing from the text throughout the term, much of the course will be focused on practical applications of analysis and design.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Genres of Business Communication (ENGL 210F): Assignments in English 210F will introduce you to the major genres of business writing, and help you develop the critical thinking skills necessary to define your purpose and audience—why and for whom you are writing. You will also develop your ability to write persuasively using key rhetorical principles and appeals to ethos, logic, and emotion. You will learn how to present an argument for common real world scenarios such as recommending a course of action or maintaining trust and goodwill with your clientele. But most importantly, English 210F will help develop your ability to communicate in a professional, concise, and appropriate style for the business world.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.
Offered only online.

Grant Writing (ENGL 210G): The course covers researching, organizing, drafting, and editing proposals and applications for government grants for organizations. Topics may include interviews with domain experts, working with proposal guidelines and checklists, establishing milestones and expectations, using past proposals as models, treating individual sections as separate sub-genres, and creating coherence and flow in the final draft.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Arts Writing (ENGL 210H): A study of the various forms, processes, and modes of publication of professional writing in the arts. The course will consider both freelance writing and writing within institutional contexts. Pracice in research, writing, and editing will be emphasized.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Legal Writing (ENGL 210I): A study of the principles, processes, and various forms of writing used in the practice of law and drafting of legislation. The history and structure of legal writing, including current debates about plain language, will be examined.

Technical Editing (ENGL 210J): This course will introduce students to practices and tools of technical editing, such as language and format editing, verification and fact-checking, style guide consistency, discourse appropriateness, and the use of profession-specific software. More information coming soon.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Literatures (ENGL 211): This course is an introduction to indigenous literatures in Canada. We will read works in several genres—novels, poetry, drama, essay, oratory, autobiography, and more. We will study texts that date back to the 19th century or earlier, as well as more recent texts, with an eye to connecting them, thereby creating an awareness of how the past continues to shape the present. Our analyses will be informed by indigeneous literary criticism, which draws our attention to how indigenous literatures affirm indigenous knowledge, world views, and values.

Convict Literature (ENGL 212): This course examines the representation of the prison experience in literary works written by or about prisoners as well as the legal contexts of their imprisonment. More information coming soon.

Literature and the Law (ENGL 213): A study of literary works that involve legal matters and/or have led to litigation on such grounds as obscenity, treason, heresy, libel, and plagiarism. More information coming soon.

Canadian Children's Literature (ENGL 217): A study of 19th- and 20th-century Canadian literature for children. More information coming soon.

Mennonite Literature (ENGL 218): A study of poetry and fiction by authors of Canadian Mennonite heritage, since 1962. The course will include a close examination of selected texts considered in the context of the various historical and cultural conditions that affected their production.

Languages and Society I (ENGL 220A): This course examines the role that languages play in multilingual societies from a linguistic perspective. It focuses on topics such as dialects, language contact and change, bilingualism, language choice, and language and identity. Students will learn to approach the complex intersection of languages and society through a discourse analytical lens. You will gain a better understanding of how language or how texts are constructed and function in different social contexts. Through Discourse Analysis, you will be able to discuss concepts and phenomena such as discourse, culture, ideology, discourse schemata, coherence and cohesion of texts, power, social identity, intertextuality, genre, literacy, medium, intention. In this course, you will develop a metalanguage and a skill set to reflect on and discuss texts and discourse in general critically. 

Languages and Society II (ENGL 220B): This course examines the role that languages play in multilingual societies from a social and cultural perspective. It focuses on topics such as plurilingualism and multilingualism, language maintenance and loss, language planning and politics, multilingual and heritage language education. Students will learn to understand and to appreciate the multiple facets of multilingualism in society with a focus on society as a whole, the individual, education and multilingual discourses. You will be able to explain concepts and phenomena such as mother tongue, heritage language, identity, the European Union policy on multilingualism, the discourse of integration, and linguistic landscapes. You will gain a practical understanding of these concepts and phenomena based on examples of several language groups, including Slavic, English and German language varieties, and you will be able to apply them to other languages and varieties. In this course, you will develop a metalanguage and a skill set to reflect on the role of languages in society critically. 

American Literature and Popular Culture (ENGL 247): The subject of this course is the vast, lively field defined by the relationship between literature (usually considered "high") and popular culture (usually considered "low"), and by the history of their interaction in the United States. Media covered may include books, movies, and television shows.

Literature for an Ailing Planet (ENGL 248): Can the humanities change how cultures relate to environments and the natural world? This course surveys environmental thought in works of literature and in popular culture.

Literary Theory and Criticism (ENGL 251): What exactly are we doing when we study literature? By examining a selection of critical methods and theoretical approaches, this course will enhance understanding of the many different emphases, values, and priorities critics bring to literature, and the many available perspectives on what constitutes literature's significance.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.
Also offered online.

Irish Literature and the "Troubles" (ENGL 260): A study of Irish literature written during and about the "Troubles" (1916-1923; 1968 - present), focussing on the relationship between literature and its social, historical, and cultural contexts. More information coming soon.

Fiction and Film (ENGL 275): A study of the relationships between written and cinematic narrative, focussing on adaptations of fiction to film and the different narrative techniques of each medium. Students will examine a range of works in both fiction and film, explore technical, theoretical, and contextual matters relating to narrative representation in fiction and in film, and develop an increased capacity to write effectively about narrative representation.

Literatures of Migration (ENGL 280): This course explores the literatures of one or more diasporic communities in North America (for example, African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, South Asian) and topics such as memory, generational difference, and cultural hybridity. More information coming soon.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Global Shakespeare (ENGL 290): An introduction to Shakespeare's continuing influence, focusing on adaptations and appropriations of his works in various media by contemporary writers, artists, and directors around the globe.

Prereq: Level at least 2A. 

Global Literatures (ENGL 291): An examination of literature from around the world that explores such themes as colonialism, migration, transnationalism, and the global. More information coming soon.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (ENGL 292): This course provides a survey of the multidisciplinary field of rhetorical studies. In addition to introducing key concepts, theoretical frameworks, and critical debates, this course examines the role of rhetoric in a range of academic disciplines and social contexts.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Introduction to Digital Media Studies (ENGL 293): This course aims to introduce students to the ways in which new media of all types is examined and studied in the humanities. My hope is that by surveying many different types of new media and new media cultures students can determine what types of media they would like to examine for the final project and in their future studies. The connecting theme in this class is “media changing culture and culture changing media”, most of our discussions will revolve around how people and their culture(s) change technology by using it, and by portraying it in art, and how technology has then changed the way we live and the way we make art. By focusing on this reciprocal relationship between art culture and technology we will be able to see the connections between how technology is created, adopted, and made obsolete and how we portray and use that technology in our lives and art.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Game Studies (ENGL 294): This course introduces students to the field of humanities-based game studies. Topics may include the debate between ludological (rules-based) and narratological (story-based) approaches, procedural studies, platform and software studies, gamification, games and adaptation studies, and games as rhetorical objects.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Social Media (ENGL 295): This course surveys the popular social media landscape and charts scholarly approaches, both methodological and theoretical, to understanding and analyzing social media texts. Potential topics include memes, social networks, fan communities, digital identity, labour, sociality, trolling, ownership, and regulation. This course will enable you to critically analyze social media texts; evaluate the source, content, audience, and effects of social media; identify organizational and regulatory constraints in the social media system; understand and reproduce the codes of media texts such as memes and viral content; and assess key issues in social media such as regulation, labour and privacy.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.