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Course Descriptions 300-Level

This page gives fuller descriptions of 300-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.

Honours Literary Studies (ENGL 301H): Through lectures, discussion, and presentations by visiting faculty, this course provides Honours students with an enriched survey of the discipline of literary studies. Topics of discussion will be drawn from bibliography and research methods, critical approaches to literature, literary history, genre studies, rhetoric, media perspectives, and other areas of scholarly interest. The course naturally organizes itself around two interrelated questions: (1) What is the object of these studies? (i.e., what is literature?); (2) How are these studies conducted?

Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours English Literature or Honours English Literature and Rhetoric students.

Special Topics in Digital Design (ENGL 303): In this course students will learn advanced digital design theory. They will participate in workshops with professional designers, develop specialized digital materials and contribute signature work to their Digital Portfolio.

Designing with Digital Sound (ENGL 304): An introduction to sound analysis and production, with emphasis on film and video games. Students will be introduced to the theory and practice of digital audio. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the basics of acoustic theory, to understand the basics of digital audio, to make their own audio recordings, to interpret and analyze the use of sound in media, and to create and mix multi-track sounds for podcasting or media.

Old English 1 (ENGL 305A): An introduction to the English language in its earliest form and to English prose in pre-Conquest England, examining Old English prose style, its principal practitioners, and their world view. More information coming soon.

Old English 2 (ENGL 305B): An introduction to Old English poetry, noting in representative Old English poems those things about its purpose, style, and its audience which make it unique but which also provide the beginnings of the English poetic tradition. More information coming soon.

Introduction to Linguistics (ENGL 306A): This course covers the core areas of linguistics: phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Linguistics is a science, very different in its approach to language from the literary and rhetorical approaches with which you may be familiar. You will have to learn to see language abstractly, like a geologist looks at rocks, an astronomer at stars. We study what it means for a native speaker to know and use a language: they need to know the sounds, the words, the way words group together, and how those word groups fit into a web of meaning. We're also going to see how that knowledge interacts with other, nonlinguistic areas of cognition—in particular, perception, categorization, abstraction processes, and reasoning—to get some purchase on the way we express and exchange ideas and thoughts through weird little noises or marks on a page or lines and circles on a screen, like these ones.

Also offered online.

Modern English Grammar (ENGL 306B): Introduction to modern English grammar and structure - its meaningful forms and syntax. Several methods of analysis will be employed and evaluated, including the traditional, structural, transformational-generative, and functional. We will examine grammar not as a set of rigid rules, but as a set of strategies that we employ to produce coherent communication.

Prereq: ENGL 306A

Historical Linguistics (ENGL 306C): Introduction to historical-reconstruction and comparative analysis, including phonological, morphological, and syntactic changes as they manifest themselves in language. More information coming soon.

Prereq: ENGL 306A

The History of English (ENGL 306D): Introduction to the linguistic history of English from earliest documents to the present, with some consideration of various modern dialects. Important themes include the fact that language, languages, and language change are systemic; that the history of English has been affected by political and cultural events; and that nearly everything in the history of English has left its traces on the English of today.

Introduction to Semiotics (ENGL 306F): Semiotics is the discipline that studies the capacity of humans (and, in some respects, non-humans) to make, disseminate, and comprehend signs. What is a sign? Basically, a sign is anything that can stand for something else. Obviously, then, the range of semiotic inquiry is very broad—from the language you use, the way you sit, the clothes you put on, the way you wear your hair, the car you drive or the bus you take, etc. In this course we'll have three main tasks: to study the history and theory of semiotics; to learn the vocabulary and methodology of semiotics; and to practice this vocabulary and methodology on all kinds of everyday things.

Approaches to Style (ENGL 306G): Theories of style and approaches to the stylistic analysis of both literary and non-literary texts. Students will consider contributions to the study of style from such areas as traditional stylistics, new criticism, formalism, affective stylistics, speech-act theory, discourse analysis, and sociolinguistics. 

Classical Rhetoric (ENGL 309A): A study of rhetorical theories from the Classical period (Pre-Socratic to Augustine) with an emphasis on how these theories reflect changing attitudes towards language, reality, and the self. In order to situate the origins of rhetoric in its social and historical context, the course will explore the complex relationship between rhetoric and culture in Classical Greece (law, politics, theatre, and philosophy). With this context in mind, the course then examines the appropriation of Greek rhetorical theory by the Romans, who viewed the pursuit of rhetoric as the loftiest ideal of human existence.

Prereq: Level at least 2B.

Medieval to Pre-Modern Rhetoric (ENGL 309B): A study of rhetorical theories and practices from late antiquity and the medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods. This course is designed to broaden your knowledge of the rhetorical tradition in the context of medieval and early modern history. We will explore the theory and practice of rhetoric as it is reformed and re-envisioned by readers of ancient rhetoric, first in Europe, then in England. The period we will examine made classical rhetoric central to education, to religious practice, to moral philosophy, and to court politics. From about 1300 to about 1700, the practice of rhetoric and its terms of art were essential to negotiating English identity in both personal and political contexts. We will assess the ways in which this period deployed the classical rhetorical tradition, transforming it into a system that could explain a wide range of complex phenomena from human emotion to a new scientific practice. 

Prereq: Level at least 2B.

Contemporary Rhetoric (ENGL 309C): An examination of contemporary rhetorical theory and its relationships to criticism, interdisciplinary studies, and digital applications. We will survey the key authors, concepts, issues, and debates of contemporary rhetoric and place them in a practical context. The course will focus on the work of  contemporary rhetoricians such as Richard Weaver, I. A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Stephen Toulmin, and Chaim Perelman, and will concentrate on contemporary rhetoric at work in culture through power relations, discourse, sexuality, race, media, advertising, and propaganda. Recognizing with Kenneth Burke “how overwhelmingly much of what we mean by ‘reality’ has been built for us through nothing but our symbol systems,” we will examine theories of rhetoric to better understand the pervasiveness of rhetoric in our ways of knowing.

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

Speech Writing (ENGL 309E): The analysis, writing, and editing of speeches. Analysis will focus on the reading and viewing of several famous 20th-century speeches using theories of communication. Writing and editing will focus on implementing oral/aural communication strategies.

Prereq: Level at least 4A English Rhetoric and Professional Writing.

The Discourse of Dissent (ENGL 309G): A study of the social, historical, and rhetorical dimensions of collective action. Topics may include health and welfare movements, civil rights and anti-war protests, and environmentalism. Potential activities include historical analyses of resistance groups, rhetorical analysis of texts of resistance, and even collective action as a group project.

Chaucer 1 (ENGL 310A): This course is an introduction to the poetic work of Geoffrey Chaucer, the fourteenth-century poet often hailed as the father of the English literary tradition. All texts will be read in Middle English and ongoing instruction in the language will be provided. The course will examine Chaucer’s earlier literary works, a series of dream vision poems based on French and Italian models, and his longest single work, the romance Troilus and Criseyde, a virtuoso performance in the most prestigious genre of his day. We will examine his professional life as a poet, leading up to the great experiment of writing the Canterbury Tales. 

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Chaucer 2 (ENGL 310B): This course will focus on the most famous work in Middle English, Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The organizing principle of this collection of tales in verse is a storytelling competition proposed by the owner of a bar just outside London as a means to help a disparate group of pilgrims to pass the time on their journey to the shrine of Saint Thomas at Canterbury. The course will focus on how the tales instantiate the tellers, and how tales, tellers, and the overall narrative framework instantiate the author.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Non-Chaucerian Middle English Literature (ENGL 310C): A study of non-Chaucerian English writings during the later Middle Ages; the Middle English romance, including "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"; alliterative literature, such as "Piers Plowman"; and representative examples of Middle English non-Chaucerian verse. The course will contextualize the texts in their own age, but is also open to analyzing the works with contemporary theoretical models.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Early Canadian Literatures (ENGL 313): This course examines a selection of pre-1920 Canadian texts concerning first contact, imperialism, colonization, incipient nationhood, and early multi-racial immigration that participate in the ongoing invention of Canada. This era is home of a surprising variety of genres (the fantasy, the gothic tale), a fascinating range of documents (the letters of the Jesuit missionaries, the journals of pioneer women, the treaties between First Nations and Euro-settler migrants), and forms of writing adapted to suit the particular needs of Old World immigrants in the New World (the long poem on Canada). We will study the early literary history of Canada through a representative selection of its letters, narratives, poetry, and legal documents.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Modern Canadian Literature (ENGL 315): This course focuses on the varied ways in which 20th-century writers of poetry and prose participate in the shaping of Canadian literary culture, with emphasis on the literature of the middle decades. Modernism, an international movement in the arts, is variously understood as a period, a style, a particular approach to writing and responding to literature, and a particular response to the political and social issues of the mid-twentieth century. As a period, Modernism in Canada is usually considered to span the middle years of the twentieth century, from 1920 to 1970. In this course, we will look at the impact that Modernism has had on Canadian literature. By reading a number of poetic and prose texts, we will also examine the many definitions of Modernism as they relate to Canadian writing.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.
Also offered online.

Canadian Drama (ENGL 316): This course explores traditions and experiments in Canadian drama through an analysis of Canadian plays, especially those from 1960 to the present, in their historical and theatrical contexts. Students will emerge from this course with a thorough appreciation of the key issues that impacted the development and content of Canadian drama in the twentieth century.

Contemporary Canadian Literature (ENGL 318): This course examines Canadian Literature written in the latter decades of the 20th century and into the 21st century. Literature is one of many powerful discourses that shape how we think about ourselves and our world. In this course we will analyze how specific works of Canadian literature engage with discourses that shape aspects of contemporary Canadian culture. This is NOT a course about “Canadian identity.” It is a course about how ideas about “identity” are formed, reformed, dismantled, critiqued, stablilized, destabilized, argued about, remembered, forgotten . . . in language. Questions to be explored include what are the texts teaching us and how? How do you respond to those messages? How does literature do certain kinds of social, political and cultural work? And what (if anything) is Canadian about all of this?

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

History and Theory of Media 1 (ENGL 319): This is a course about media before the twentieth century and, in particular, on the media of writing and print. We will examine the history of writing (briefly) and of the printed material (in more detail). One of our principal aims will be to become more critical and aware of writing and print as media, to accept that they are not neutral carriers of textual messages, but shape our experience of reading and the meaning of the texts they convey. To this end, we will focus on how the modern printed book acquired its form, and how its various conventions shape the way we read and understand. We will, however, also consider other kinds of printed matter. 

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

History and Theory of Media 2 (ENGL 320): This course explores the social, political, and cultural contexts and consequences of contemporary technologies of representation such as print and visual media, photography and film, audio recordings, computer-mediated communications, and interactive digital media. We will take a historical and theoretical overview of the mass media of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from the newspaper to new media and from the Frankfurt School to globalization.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Postcolonial Literature of the Americas (ENGL 322): This course introduces students to key themes and reading strategies in postcolonial literatures through a comparative study of selected Caribbean, U.S., and Canadian literatures. We will focus on both written and oral genres and discuss how language practices adapt to and are created in colonial and postcolonial environments. The course is organized, in part, to establish literary and cultural contexts for comparing writers and texts from a range of historical and social positions, including colonial, postcolonial, diasporic, and First Nations writers, from 1492 to the present. Issues to be discussed will include national identity and belonging, resistance and creativity, gender and sexuality, and migration and multiculturalism. The core texts will be literary (short fiction, novels, poetry, drama, essays), but we will also explore the importance to postcolonial cultures of music, dance, religious ritual, storytelling, and public performance.

Austen (ENGL 325): A study of selected novels by Jane Austen, including Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Her letters and juvenilia may also be considered, as well as some of the films based on or inspired by her novels.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Sixteenth-Century Literature 1 (ENGL 330A): A study of short poems by such writers as Wyatt, Gascoigne, Whitney, Ralegh, Spenser, the Sidneys, Shakespeare, and Donne. One aim will be to develop your ability to talk and write about how this poetry is written, as well as about what it says. A second will be to understand how the forms of lyric poetry contribute to the languages of love, politics, religion, and philosophy in early modern England.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Sixteenth-Century Literature 2 (ENGL 330B): A study of selected genres, topics, and works from Tudor literature.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Creative Writing 1 (ENGL 335): Aimed at encouraging students to develop their creative and critical potentials, the course consists of supervised practice, tutorials, and seminar discussions, and lots of opportunities to write, with units on poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction. Students will finish the term with a fat, messy folder of first drafts, and a portfolio of professionally polished work.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Creative Writing 2 (ENGL 336): Designed to assist advanced creative writers to develop their skills in various genres by means of workshop processes, supervised practice, and critical discussion of one or more major projects. Instructor consent required; admission by portfolio review.

Prereq: Level at least 3A and ENGL 335.

American Literature to 1860 (ENGL 342): A study of developments in early American Literature, possibly including Anglo-European movements such as gothicism and romanticism; captivity narratives and other colonial writings; Afro-American, Native American, and other minority traditions; sentimental and domestic fiction; and indigenous American forms such as the frontier romance, and other minority literatures. We will examine what the literary record tells us about early encounters between European colonists and indigenous peoples, literary contributions to the formation of "America" as an idea, important American cultural figures and movements, and literary reactions to colonial expansion into the West, slavery, and women's place and rights.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

American Literature 1860-1910 (ENGL 343): A survey of literary developments in America from the Civil War through the turn of the twentieth-century, including significant movements of the period such as realism, regionalism, and naturalism; the New Woman's writing and other developments in women's literatures; popular forms such as the Western; and minority literatures.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Modern American Literature (ENGL 344): A study of American Literature from the early twentieth century through the second world war, emphasizing aesthetic innovation in the modernist movement, and its aftermath in the social writings of the 1930s.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.
Also offered online.

American Literature in a Global Context (ENGL 345): Traditional literary study began as the study of the literature of nations. The study of British, American, and Canadian literature attempts to define what is unique about a nation´s literary output. While this is certainly a valuable course of study, much literature does not neatly fit national boundaries or express a unified national identity because it arises from the movement of and exchange between different communities. In this course, we will study American narratives (primarily novels) that have arisen from conditions of migration and intercultural exchange. These include narratives about slavery, immigration, border conflicts, colonization, and global capitalism. We will focus on topics including the fluidity of identity, the idea of race and racial hybridity, colonialism, and intercultural exchange.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.
Also offered online.

American Fiction (ENGL 346): A study of four to five writers. Topics may include the evolution of narrative style, realism and anti-realism, literature and story, fiction and history, the novel and film, gender and ethnicity.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.  

Global Asian Diasporas (ENGL 346R): This course explores the literature and culture from one or more global Asian diasporas, with particular emphasis on cultures of East Asian origin. Topics may include identity, transnationalism, imperialism, war, labour, migration, and popular culture.

Prereq: Level at least 2A

American Literature Since 1945 (ENGL 347): We will explore a selection of American writing produced since 1945 in the context of cultural and political history, attending to the ways in which literature not only reflects, but filters, mutates, and re-imagines social material. We will read context not just as "background" but as revealed through close examination of literary activity in its small and large features.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

American Poetry Since 1850 (ENGL 348): A study of poems, poets, ideas, and movements, contributing to the growth of a distinctive American poetry from Whitman and Dickinson to the twenty-first century. A course on poetry and poetics, poems and theories, ENGL 348 will look at poetry that explores American answers (and a few others) to the question what is poetry? In the absence of a native literary tradition, American poetry, at least since Whitman, has been both experimental and theoretical. The question of what poetry is, or what it’s for, is always implicit.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Seventeenth-Century Literature 1 (ENGL 350A): A study of literature by such writers as Jonson, Donne, Wroth, Herbert, Bacon, Milton, Behn, and Dryden. This class will introduce you to the poetry written in seventeenth-century England. Although a perfect understanding of these poems will forever exceed our grasp, we will learn about their relationship to the public life and poetic forms of their time and reflect on the challenges and opportunities they present to modern readers. By making us more perceptive and knowledgeable readers of this poetry, the class also aims to make us more responsive to the experiences that the poems invite us to consider and to the pleasures and sorrows that they invite us to share.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.
Also offered online.

Seventeenth-Century Literature 2 (ENGL 350B): This course will further your knowledge of historical British Literature. Our special focus will be John Milton's great epic poem, Paradise Lost. We will make a thorough study of the poem, and come to a better understanding of what it says, how it says it, and why it is as powerful, moving, and compelling as it is. In addition to our work on Paradise Lost, we will explore the popular culture of the period, and work closely with selected seventeenth-century documents.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.
Also offered online.

English Drama to 1642 (ENGL 361): The Middle Ages, the Elizabethans and Jacobeans (excluding Shakespeare), and the Spanish Golden Age.

Shakespeare 1 (ENGL 362): A study of the plays written before 1599-1600, excluding Julius Caesar. Close study of the plays is encouraged, with attention given to Shakespeare's techniques of plot construction, to his accomplishments in language, and to elements of his stage craft. We will reflect on social and political themes, and on the intellectual contribution of Shakespeare's writings. We will discuss the 16th century cultural and theatrical contexts from which the plays arise, and reflect on the uses to which Shakespeare's works are put in the present day. The course introduces students to developments in Shakespeare studies.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.
Also offered online.

Shakespeare 2 (ENGL 363): A study of the plays written after 1599-1600, including Julius Caesar. The principle aim of this class is to make us better--more careful, more knowledgeable--readers of Shakespeare's plays, and thereby to make us more alert and alive to the problems that the plays invite us to experience and contemplate. Although we cannot hope to "know" these plays with any finality, we can become more aware of their involvement with the issues of their time or the challenges they present to modern readers.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.
Also offered online.

Shakespeare in Performance at The Stratford Festival (ENGL 364): An historical, theoretical, and analytical introduction to Shakespeare's plays in performance, both on stage and screen, this course focuses on specific problems and decisive issues of past productions and of those in the current Stratford Festival season.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Selected Studies (ENGL 365): Designed to provide a study in-depth of problems and/or authors selected by the instructor. Students interested in initiating such courses are encouraged to do so by bringing their ideas to the attention of individual instructors.

Department Consent Required.

Selected Studies (ENGL 366): Designed to provide a study in-depth of problems and/or authors selected by the instructor. Students interested in initiating such courses are encouraged to do so by bringing their ideas to the attention of individual instructors.

Department Consent Required.

Editing Literary Works (ENGL 371): Investigating scholarly, educational, popular, and electronic editions, this course explores the theory and practice of editing literary texts. More information coming soon.

Prereq: Level at least 3A.

Applied English Grammar 1 (ENGL 376R): In exploring different definitions and types of grammar (e.g. descriptive vs. prescriptive), students develop their own critical framework for explaining the structure of English. Of interest to intending teachers of English as the native or second language.

Prereq: Level at least 3A. 

Applied English Grammar 2 (ENGL 377R): A continuation of ENGL 376R. Practical applications of language theories to error analysis and correction.

Prereq: ENGL 376R.

Professional Communications in Statistics and Actuarial Science (ENGL 378): This course introduces students to oral and written communication in the fields of Statistics and Actuarial Science. With emphasis on the public presentation of technical knowledge, the ability to give and receive constructive feedback, and communication in a collaborative environment, this course helps students develop proficiencies in critical workplace skills. This course is writing intensive and includes extensive collaborative assignments.

Students are encouraged to complete this course by their 4A term.

Prereq: At least 70% in one of EMLS 101R, 102R, EMLS/ENGL 129R, ENGL 109, SPCOM 100, 223; (STAT 331,371 or ACTSC 331). For Actuarial Science or Statistics major students only; not open to General Math students.

Information Design (ENGL 392A): The theory and practice of design for print and digital media, including the study of design concepts such as space, colour, typography, interactivity, immersion, motion, and presence. Students apply this knowledge by developing or revising documents. We will look at information design both as a rhetorical practice and as a professional activity, applying this knowledge to everything from document design to urban design and wayfinding.

Prereq: One of ENGL 292, 293, ENGL 203/DAC 201, ENGL 204/DAC 202, GBDA 201, 202.

 

Visual Rhetoric (ENGL 392B): This course introduces students to the study of images from a rhetorical perspective, including the interaction of texts and images in such professional writing fields as advertising, book illustration, technical documentation, journalism, and public relations. Issues may include visual and textual literacy, the semiotics and rhetoric of design, and the ideological basis of visual communication.

Prereq: One of ENGL 292, ENGL 203/DAC 201, ENGL 204/DAC202, GBDA 201, 202