Course Descriptions 400-Level

This page gives fuller descriptions of 400-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.

Digital Design Research Project (ENGL 403): Students work in small groups under the supervision of a faculty researcher on an ongoing, large-scale, digital design project. The nature of the project may change from term to term.

Prereq: ENGL 293.

Advanced Rhetorical Study (ENGL 406): Topics may include communication, media, politics, science, and social movements. Students will explore the topic(s) in depth using a variety of rhetorical theories and methods.

Prereq: One of ENGL 292, 309A, 309B, 309C.

Language and Politics (ENGL 407): This course explores how language shapes and is shaped by the unequal distribution of power in modern societies. The role of language will be considered in, for example, the maintenance of sexual difference, the establishment and maintenance of national identity, and the conflict between social classes. The reading will consist of literary and theoretical texts, the latter including such writers as Bourdieu, Bakhtin, Foucault, Cameron, Lakoff, Ngugi wa Thion'go, and Paulin.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Writing for the Media (ENGL 408A): This course examines the genres and strategies of both journalism and public relations. With a strong orientation towards rhetorical and linguistic theories, this course will cover audience concerns from both within and outside organizations. By the end of the course you will be able to produce a wide variety of texts for a range of media. You will be able to follow the conventions associated with various types of stories, articles, and PR documents, and to accommodate the different audiences that read them either in print or online. You will also understand how social, technological, and organizational contexts affect the production and reception of media texts, and how the shifting landscape facing the media is leading to changes in how media texts are being made and consumed.

Prereq: One of ENGL 292, 309A, 309B, 309C.

The Discourse of Advertising (ENGL 408B): This course takes a rhetorical approach to the study of advertising, emphasizing questions of purpose, audience, context, language, design, medium, and delivery. Students will study important contributors to theories of meaning in language and semiotics, will examine recent developments in advertising practices, and will learn techniques for critical analysis. You will be expected to develop the vocabulary and tools to critically analyze advertisements.

Prereq: One of ENGL 292, 309A, 309B, 309C.

The Rhetoric of Digital Design: Theory and Practice (ENGL 408C): This course will address some of the basic tools and techniques for digital media projects--composition, text, colour, graphics, site design, multimedia, usability, interactivity--as well as some of the technical and structural issues faced by many developers of academic and commercial digital media publications. One key concern will be the fundamentals of design--how best to present complex information (the kind that scholarly as well as commercial digital work tends to produce) in accessible, appropriate, and possibly even beautiful ways. The course will reference the critical literature on digital design and practice, humanities computing, and information design and delivery. It will also involve working with design software.

Prereq: ENGL 392A

Rhetoric of Argumentation (ENGL 409A): This course studies the discursive, social, and rhetorical principles of argumentation, including topics such as evidence, reasoning, and the organization and presentation of arguments. Scholars studied may include Richard Whatley, Jurgen Habermas, Stephen Toulmin, Chaim Perelman, Lucie Olbrecht-Tyteca, Kenneth Burke, and Pierre Bourdieu.

Prereq: One of ENGL 292, 309A, 309B, 309C.

Restoration Literature (ENGL 410A): A selection of literature, including drama, from the period 1660-1700 by such authors as Cavendish, Dryden, Behn, Etherege, Rochester, and Wycherley. This course gives a broad overview of late seventeenth-century literature and culture. Literature is discussed in the context of Restoration reimaginings of politics and civil society, the rise of print culture and the reestablishment of the English stage, manuscript cultures and the Cavalier wits, libertinism and early feminism, shifting conceptions of consciousness and selfhood, and the origins of modern literary criticism. 

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Eighteenth-Century Literature 1 (ENGL 410B): A selection of early and mid eighteenth-century literature by such writers as Finch, Pope, Swift, Congreve, Manley, Montagu, Addison, and Steele. Topics may include satire, neo-classicism vs. literary modernism, the development of women's publication, and generic experimentation. We will be discussing literature in the context of eighteenth-century reimaginings of politics and civil society, new concepts of authorship and readership, the rise and fall of new genres, and the development of modern literary criticism.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Eighteenth-Century Literature 2 (ENGL 410C): A selection of mid- and late eighteenth-century fiction by such writers as Thomson, Gray, Smart, Thrale, Johnson, Sheridan, and Wheatley. Topics may include the culture of sensibility, the emergence of (auto) biography and of (anti-) colonial writing, and the consolidation of women's publication. The course will chart the development and progression of many forms, genres, and themes within the period, situating the texts studied within the social, political, and cultural context of eighteenth-century Britain.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Eighteenth-Century Fiction I (ENGL 410D): A selection of late-seventeenth and eighteenth-century fiction by such writers as Behn, Manley, Haywood, Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding. Topics may include sentiment and sociability, the gothic, and abolitionism. This period, in which the novel is often said to “rise,” was also a period of radical social change. Colonial expansion, an incipiently capitalist economy, and the division of public and private spheres all drive literary examinations of what it means to be an individual. As we think about what makes the novel the novel, we will also take account of the social and historical context of early fiction. We will be exploring the relationships among literacy, genre, gender, economics, colonialism, metropolitan social realignments, and notions of the self in eighteenth-century fiction and its readership. 

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Eighteenth-Century Fiction II (ENGL 410E): A selection of mid- and late eighteenth-century fiction by such writers as Fielding, Haywood, Sterne, Burney, Radcliffe, and Austen. Topics may include sentiment and sociability, the gothic, and abolitionism.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Eighteenth-Century Women Writers (ENGL 410F): A selection of writing by women such as Behn, Finch, Montagu, Fielding, Edgeworth, and Austen. Topics may include the culture of sensibility, romance and the gothic, and the interaction of women's writing with discourses of race and colonialism.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Literature of the Romantic Period 1 (ENGL 430A): An examination of the first generation of Romantic writers, including such authors as Barbauld, Blake, Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, and Coleridge. The course will situate Romantic literature as the literary embodiment of a larger movement that deliberately challenged the old ways of understanding with new ideas of self-formation, society, government, and art.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Literature of the Romantic Period 2 (ENGL 430B): The second generation of Romantic writers had a vexed relationship with their earlier idols, who had come of age in the heyday of the French Revolution. While they took the older generation to task for abandoning their earlier revolutionary politics and turning inward to the life of the imagination or to nature poetry, these younger romantics nevertheless remained committed to the aesthetic—to the assertion that "beauty is truth, truth beauty." This course will examine how the younger generation of Romantic writers deal with that tension between their dedication to the aesthetic and their fear that "the aesthetic" was just another name for escapism, political disengagement, or complicity. We will follow that tension through poetry and prose by John Keats, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, Felicia Hemans, and Letitia Elizabeth Landon. We will also pay special attention longer prose works such as Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater, Jan Austen's Persuasion, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Literature of the Victorian Age 1 (ENGL 451A): A critical study of early to mid-Victorian literature, including authors such as Carlyle, Arnold, Tennyson, the Brontës, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Gaskell, Ruskin, and Dickens. Topics may include liberty, work, gender, class, imperialism, and poetry.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Literature of the Victorian Age 2 (ENGL 451B): A critical study of mid- to late Victorian literature, including authors such as Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, George Eliot, Newman, Hopkins, Michael Field, Wilde, and Hardy. Topics may include the "Woman Question," the crisis in religious faith, and aestheticism.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Early Literature of the Modernist Period in the United Kingdom and Ireland (ENGL 460A): A study of the literatures of the United Kingdom before and after World War I, including such writers as Conrad, Forster, Hopkins, Mansfield, Shaw, Synge, Wilde, and Yeats. Straddling the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries, these three or four decades created and determined so much of the course of the modern world as we experience it at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The issues of nationalism, colonialism, empire, globalization, terrorism, technology, environment, gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity emerged in their modern and still contemporary forms of crisis and conflict in this period. The clash of European nation-states (The United Kingdom and Germany principally), the use of terror as a political and cultural tool (both anarchist and state-sponsored), the violent and creative decolonization of empire (in Ireland principally), the assertion by women of their rights and existence as equals (in both the political sphere as universal suffrage and in the private sphere of the family), all these and the other forms of related crisis characterize this period and give form to its artistic expressions. A major objective of this course is to interpret how these crises are both reflected and represented in the major literary genres of this Early Modernist period.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Literature of the Modernist Period in the United Kingdom and Ireland (ENGL 460B): A study of the literatures of the United Kingdom and Ireland from World War I to World War II, including such writers as Auden, Eliot, Isherwood, Joyce, Lawrence, Orwell, West, and Woolf. This course explores the literature of High Modernism, the literature of great complexity, at once highly experimental and deeply traditional, written in the years before, during, and after World War I. Modernism was an international movement driven by the immense transformations that took place in all areas of human activity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Literary Modernism was driven by and contributed to those fundamental changes, and we will read texts with close attention to how the literature reflected and responded to its times.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Literature of the Postwar Period in the United Kingdom and Ireland (ENGL 460C): A study of the literatures of the United Kingdom and Ireland after World War II, including such writers as Beckett, Greene, Larkin, Murdoch, Osborne, Pinter, and Spark. Students will be introduced to major developments in various genres during this time period and will be asked to consider them within their historical and cultural contexts. Issues to be addressed include postmodernism, the politics of humanism, pressures to conform, and cultural configurations of gender and sexuality.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Contemporary Literature of the United Kingdom and Ireland (ENGL 460D): A study of the contemporary literatures of the United Kingdom and Ireland, including such writers as Byatt, Boland, Drabble, Heaney, Hughes, Rushdie, and Stoppard. The antagonisms of the Thatcher revolution will function as a precursor or parallel to the multiple antagonisms that characterize our period.  In both nation-states, these antagonisms were both ancient and modern, dividing and uniting across all areas of human life:  class, region, religion, race and ethnicity, migration, gender, and sexuality.  Our central objective is to study the literary manifestations of these ancient and modern antagonisms in this period that may come to be called Postmodern when it ceases to be contemporary.  This period of the Postmodern was also characterized in literature and other discourses by Postcolonialism and Poststructuralism and by the global literary phenomenon known as Magic Realism.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Postcolonial Literatures (ENGL 463): This course examines postcolonial literature (fiction, poetry, and drama) from Africa, Australia, Britain, India, New Zealand, and Pakistan. Some of the potential topics to be discussed include the range of creative forms and language use in the texts and issues such as indigeneity, migration, and settlement; the intersections of gender, sexuality, and race; the role of history in narratives of individual and collective identities; and the construction of cultural nationalisms and concept of "the authentic." 

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Contemporary Critical Theory (ENGL 470A): An examination of several topics in recent critical theory, such as gender, race, subjectivity, textuality, and popular culture. Whenever we make assessments of texts, we are, whether we know it or not, applying a theory of what texts are and what they do. This course teaches students how to use contemporary critical theory to assess texts in a more self-reflective, rigorous way. Along the way, students will learn to think about texts in new ways, to ask new questions of them, and generally open our minds to new and different ways of thinking.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

History of Literary Criticism (ENGL 470B): A historical survey of major critical texts and movements from the Greek and Roman classics to the New Criticism of the mid-20th century, examining different critical theories and practices in a context of cultural changes. More information coming soon.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Literary Studies in Digital Forms (ENGL 470C): A critical examination of literary publication, research, and criticism in digital forms.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Adapting Literary Works (ENGL 471): Focusing on adaptation of classic works of literature in English, this course examines the problems, possibilities, and principles of representing such works in other literary forms and in other media.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Research Methods in Technical Communication (ENGL 472): This course teaches students the practice and theory of research methods in the field of technical and professional communication. Topics may include resource validity and renewal cycles, data-gathering techniques and analytics, interview techniques for subject-matter experts, rapid research skills, and user-experience design.

Prereq: Level at least 2A.

Topics in the History and Theory of Language (ENGL 481): A special study of a selected topic in the history and theory of language. Please see course instructor for details.

Prereq: Level at least 3A English majors.

Topics in Literatures Medieval to Romantic (ENGL 484): A special study of a selected topic, author, genre, or period in Medieval to Romantic literatures. Please see course instructor for details.

Prereq: Level at least 3A English majors.

Topics in Literatures Romantic to Modern (ENGL 485): A special study of a selected topic, author, genre, or period in Romantic to Modern literatures. Please see course instructor for details.

Prereq: Level at least 3A English majors.

Topics in Literatures Modern to Contemporary (ENGL 486): A special study of a selected topic, author, genre, or period in Modern to Contemporary literatures. Please see course instructor for details.

Prereq: Level at least 3A English majors.

Topics in Literature and Rhetoric (ENGL 491): A special study of a selected topic in the history and theory of rhetoric. Please see course instructor for details.

Prereq: Level at least 3A English majors.

Topics in the History and Theory of Rhetoric (ENGL 492): A special study of a selected topic in the history and theory of rhetoric. Please see course instructor for details.

Prereq: Level at least 3A English majors.

Topics in Professional Writing and Communication Design (ENGL 493): A special study of a selected topic in professional writing and communication design. Please see course instructor for details.

Prereq: Level at least 3A English majors.

Topics in Forms of Media and Critical Analysis (ENGL 494): A special study of a selected topic in forms of media and critical analysis. Please see course instructor for details.

Prereq: Level at least 3A English majors.

Supervision of Honours Essay (ENGL 495A): Senior Honours Essay will be completed under supervision.

Note: A grade for ENGL 495A will be submitted only after the completion of ENGL 495B. Department Consent Required.

Supervision of Honours Essay (ENGL 495B): Senior Honours Essay will be completed under supervision.

Prereq: ENGL 495A.