Collage of literary images related to English studies.

Below is a listing of this year's undergraduate courses. Also see our other course lists:

You can explore your English program options by visiting our Undergraduate program page and our Graduate program page.

Click on the course name for more information about the course. For information about when courses are scheduled, go to Quest (Self-Service > Class Search).

Note: Course offerings are subject to change/cancellation. For further information on course offerings, please feel free to contact Jenny Conroy.

Last updated: November 4, 2020

Fall 2020


Fiction (ENGL 100A): An introduction to fiction through the detailed examination of a range of novels and/or short stories. 

Poetry (ENGL 100B): An introduction to poetry through a detailed examination of a range of poetic texts.

Introduction to Literary Studies (ENGL 101A): An introduction to the study of literature, covering such areas of enquiry as literary history, genre, criticism, analysis, and theory.

Introduction to Rhetorical Studies (ENGL 101B): An introduction to the study and practice of persuasion, including the history and theory of rhetoric, the structures and strategies of arguments, and the analysis of texts and artifacts.

The Superhero (ENGL 108A): An examination of hero figures, ranging broadly from ancient characters such as Gilgamesh to the modern comic book superhero.

Digital Lives (ENGL 108D): An examination of how digital communication technologies create and promote online identities and social spaces, as well as interpersonal and communal interactions.

Gender and Representation (ENGL 108E): A study of the ways gender in all its diversity is constructed and gendered experience is expressed in literature, rhetoric, and a variety of media.

Popular Potter (ENGL 108P): This course examines all seven of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels.

Introduction to Academic Writing (ENGL 109): An exploration of a variety of issues in academic writing such as style, argument, and the presentation of information.

Communications in Mathematics & Computer Science (ENGL 119): This course builds students' oral and written communication skills to prepare them for academic and workplace demands.

The Use of English (ENGL 140R):This course examines the uses of spoken and written English in a variety of contexts (colloquial, scientific, legal, political, commercial, journalistic, literary etc.) in order to increase critical awareness of the language and to help students write more clearly and effectively.

Shakespeare (ENGL 190): Designed for students in all faculties, the course examines some of Shakespeare's comedies, history plays, and tragedies. Shakespeare's variety and flexibility in developing characters and dramatic structures are stressed, as are significant themes.

Survey of British Literature 1 (ENGL 200A): An historical survey of major figures, types, and trends in British literature from the Middle Ages to the late 18th century.

The Short Story (ENGL 201): This course deals with the history and techniques of the short story, with emphasis upon works by such British, American, and Canadian writers as Henry James, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, and Alice Munro.

The Bible and Literature 1 (ENGL 202A): A study of the major stories, themes, and literary characteristics of the Old Testament of the King James Bible (also known as the Hebrew Scripture), and of its influence on other English literature.

Designing Digital Video (ENGL 204): This course introduces students to the principles of designing time-based multi-modal communication in a social context.

Science Fiction (ENGL 208B): Various examples drawn, for instance, from Utopian and anti-Utopian science fiction, social science fiction, "gadget" science fiction, parapsychology, and alternate worlds and beings will be considered.

Genres of Creative Writing (ENGL 210C): This course introduces students to both contemporary and historical forms of creative writing.

Genres of Business Communication (ENGL 210F): This courses explores the genres of communication in business and other organizations, such as reports (of several kinds), letters, email messages, marketing materials, public relations materials, and any other types of organizational communication.

Arts Writing (ENGL 210H): A study of the various forms, processes, and modes of publication of professional writing in the arts. 

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.

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.

Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (ENGL 292): The course inductively defines the fields of Rhetoric and Professional Writing through an exploration of contemporary issues in language, writing, and rhetoric, as those issues are identified and dealt with, in the pertinent scholarly and professional journals, by current researchers and their work.

Introduction to Digital Media Studies (ENGL 293): A study of theories of digital media, including critical, rhetorical, and semiotic approaches, and of the interpretation and creation of digital media artifacts.

Game Studies (ENGL 294): This course introduces students to the field of humanities-based game studies.

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.

Introduction to Linguistics (ENGL 306A): Introduction to linguistics and the principles of linguistic analysis through an examination of English phonology, forms, syntax, and discourse.

Rhetoric, Classical to Enlightenment (ENGL 309A): A study of rhetorical theories from antiquity through the Renaissance to the eighteenth century, with an emphasis on how these theories reflect changing attitudes towards language, society, and the self.

Contemporary Rhetoric (ENGL 309C): An examination of contemporary rhetorical theory and its relationships to criticism, interdisciplinary studies, and digital applications.

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.

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.

Austen (ENGL 325): A study of selected novels by Jane Austen, including Pride and Prejudice and Emma. 

Topics in Creative Writing (ENGL 332): This course will focus on a selected genre, approach, creative method, or other aspect of Creative Writing. Please see course instructor for details.

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.

American Literature in a Global Context (ENGL 345): A study of the ways in which movements of peoples and cultures have shaped American literature.

Global Asian Diasporas (ENGL 346R): In Fall 2020, the theme of Global Asian Diasporas will be on “Asian-Black Relations.” We will take up the question of Asian diasporic or trans(national) formation through the lens of comparative racialization, particularly how “Asian” is understood in relation to “Black.” Focusing primarily on North America, we will examine racialized constructions of Asians and how they function with and against Blackness. We will look to moments of conflict and collaboration to understand past and present forms of coalition-building as well as decolonial, antiracist, and solidarity activism.

American Literature Since 1945 (ENGL 347): A study of the movements of American Literature following the second world war. 

Shakespeare 1 (ENGL 362): A study of the plays written before 1599-1600, excluding Julius Caesar.

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

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.

Advanced Rhetorical Study (ENGL 406): Politics and Bullshit
Democratic politics are about living together in the best, most productive way for all of us, right? Keeping the streets lit at night, the water flowing in our taps, our health good, our collective lives full of value? Then why is it so full of bullshit, the relentless distortion of facts and feelings for the aggrandizement of individuals and the enrichment of the few? Well, let’s have a look. We have a federal election whose campaign will be run and whose results will be known in the fall term, 2019. With that election in full swing, and with time for a post-mortem, this course will probe politics and bullshit in real time.

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.

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

Topics in Literatures Medieval to Romantic (ENGL 484): Shakespeare's Language
A special study of a selected topic, author, genre, or period in Medieval to Romantic literatures.

Topics in the History and Theory of Rhetoric (ENGL 492): Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance
In this course we will study essays, speeches, and articles written by Black, Indigenous, and other writers of colour about race and racism in both Canada and the U.S. We will examine the array of rhetorical moves made in such writing and how writers shift and adapt rhetorically to speak to particular historical moments in the long duree of racism in both nations. Students will have the opportunity to draft, workshop, revise, and finalize a significant writing project as an integral part of this course.  

Winter 2021


Fiction (ENGL 100A): An introduction to fiction through the detailed examination of a range of novels and/or short stories. 

Introduction to Literary Studies (ENGL 101A): An introduction to the study of literature, covering such areas of enquiry as literary history, genre, criticism, analysis, and theory.

Introduction to Rhetorical Studies (ENGL 101B): An introduction to the study and practice of persuasion, including the history and theory of rhetoric, the structures and strategies of arguments, and the analysis of texts and artifacts.

Rhetoric in Popular Culture (ENGL 104): This course examines the role of persuasion in contemporary society by focusing on one or more topic areas: film, television, video games, comic books, music, fashion, etc. Students will explore the topic area(s) in depth using a variety of rhetorical theories and methods.

The Superhero (ENGL 108A): An examination of hero figures, ranging broadly from ancient characters such as Gilgamesh to the modern comic book superhero.

Digital Lives (ENGL 108D): An examination of how digital communication technologies create and promote online identities and social spaces, as well as interpersonal and communal interactions.

The Rebel (ENGL 108F): A study of various works of literature in which the protagonist is a rebel against existing norms. The course will examine a number of rebel types and concepts, moral implications, and final outcomes either in successful realization or in tragic defeat.

Popular Potter (ENGL 108P): This course examines all seven of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels.

Tolkien: From Book to Film (ENGL 108T): A study of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55), and their film adaptations by Peter Jackson (2001-03, 2012-14).

Literature and Medicine (ENGL 108X): How can literature help us understand the body, illness, and healing? The course considers the perspectives of patients and medical practitioners across a range of works, including poetry, fiction, medical texts, and other nonfiction.

Introduction to Academic Writing (ENGL 109): An exploration of a variety of issues in academic writing such as style, argument, and the presentation of information.

Communications in Mathematics & Computer Science (ENGL 119): This course builds students' oral and written communication skills to prepare them for academic and workplace demands.

The Use of English (ENGL 140R):This course examines the uses of spoken and written English in a variety of contexts (colloquial, scientific, legal, political, commercial, journalistic, literary etc.) in order to increase critical awareness of the language and to help students write more clearly and effectively.

Shakespeare (ENGL 190): Designed for students in all faculties, the course examines some of Shakespeare's comedies, history plays, and tragedies. Shakespeare's variety and flexibility in developing characters and dramatic structures are stressed, as are significant themes.
 

Survey of British Literature 1 (ENGL 200A): An historical survey of major figures, types, and trends in British literature from the Middle Ages to the late 18th century.

Survey of British Literature 2 (ENGL 200B): An historical survey of major figures, types, and trends in British literature from the late 18th century to the present.

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. Students will analyze, design, and produce images and interactivity for use in a variety of digital platforms, including e-learning and business applications.

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.

Science Fiction (ENGL 208B): Various examples drawn, for instance, from Utopian and anti-Utopian science fiction, social science fiction, "gadget" science fiction, parapsychology, and alternate worlds and beings will be considered.

Genres of Creative Writing (ENGL 210C): This course introduces students to both contemporary and historical forms of creative writing.

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.

Genres of Business Communication (ENGL 210F): This courses explores the genres of communication in business and other organizations, such as reports (of several kinds), letters, email messages, marketing materials, public relations materials, and any other types of organizational communication.

The Pleasure of Poetry (ENGL 230): This course is an introduction to the enjoyment of poetry: what we like about it, what makes it fun, and how we can enjoy it more. Students will have an opportunity to expand their understanding of poetry. A range of poems will be sampled, and students will have opportunities to share poems that they like.

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.

Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (ENGL 292): The course inductively defines the fields of Rhetoric and Professional Writing through an exploration of contemporary issues in language, writing, and rhetoric, as those issues are identified and dealt with, in the pertinent scholarly and professional journals, by current researchers and their work.

Introduction to Digital Media Studies (ENGL 293): A study of theories of digital media, including critical, rhetorical, and semiotic approaches, and of the interpretation and creation of digital media artifacts.

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.

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.

Introduction to Linguistics (ENGL 306A): Introduction to linguistics and the principles of linguistic analysis through an examination of English phonology, forms, syntax, and discourse.

Introduction to Semiotics (ENGL 306F): A study of systems of signs, codes, and signification in language, culture, and literature.

Race and Resistance (ENGL 308):

Will 2020 turn out to be a turning point for anti-racist activism? The global uprising against the murder of George Floyd by police. The building momentum of land-based Indigenous direct action. This course will study contemporary anti-racist resistance movements in Canada and the US in the context of their grounding principles, their representational and performative strategies, and the histories of racism that prompt them. We will examine literature, film, news media, art, digital and embodied representations.

This course counts towards English degree requirements. Contact englug@uwaterloo.ca for details

Rhetoric, Classical to Enlightenment (ENGL 309A): A study of rhetorical theories from antiquity through the Renaissance to the eighteenth century, with an emphasis on how these theories reflect changing attitudes towards language, society, and the self.

Contemporary Rhetoric (ENGL 309C): An examination of contemporary rhetorical theory and its relationships to criticism, interdisciplinary studies, and digital applications.

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.

Chaucer 2 (ENGL 310B): A study of Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales".

Topics in Creative Writing (ENGL 332): This course will focus on a selected genre, approach, creative method, or other aspect of Creative Writing. Please see course instructor for details.

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.

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.

Shakespeare 2 (ENGL 363): A study of the plays written after 1599-1600, including Julius Caesar.

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.

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.

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.

Eighteenth-Century Women Writers (ENGL 410F): A selection of writing by women such as Behn, Finch, Montagu, Fielding, Edgeworth, and Austen.

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.

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.

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.

Topics in Literature and Rhetoric (ENGL 491): Populism in literature, rhetoric and visual culture
Populism is a hot political topic these days, but populism is a matter of culture as well as politics.  It’s in written and visual culture that our ideas of who ‘the people’ are – what constitutes them, what distinguishes them from elites, what unites them – gain shape and definition.  In this course we explore how different kinds of culture – political statements, poetry, fiction, film, music, and even advertisements – have contributed to populism as a phenomenon in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Topics in Forms of Media and Critical Analysis (ENGL 494): Critical Approaches to the Study of Humour
This course provides an introduction to the critical study of humor in popular media and everyday life. It provides an overview of theories of humor, traces key themes in contemporary humor studies, and engages with the politics of humor in popular culture. How can we use humor to enrich our understanding of our social world? How do playful or non-serious discourses intervene into serious subjects? Students will be encouraged to question their own attitudes towards humor and what they consider funny or distasteful.  

Spring 2021


Introduction to Rhetorical Studies (ENGL 101B): An introduction to the study and practice of persuasion, including the history and theory of rhetoric, the structures and strategies of arguments, and the analysis of texts and artifacts.

The Superhero (ENGL 108A): An examination of hero figures, ranging broadly from ancient characters such as Gilgamesh to the modern comic book superhero.

Digital Lives (ENGL 108D): An examination of how digital communication technologies create and promote online identities and social spaces, as well as interpersonal and communal interactions.

Popular Potter (ENGL 108P): This course examines all seven of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels.

Introduction to Academic Writing (ENGL 109): An exploration of a variety of issues in academic writing such as style, argument, and the presentation of information.

Communications in Mathematics & Computer Science (ENGL 119): This course builds students' oral and written communication skills to prepare them for academic and workplace demands.

The Use of English (ENGL 140R):This course examines the uses of spoken and written English in a variety of contexts (colloquial, scientific, legal, political, commercial, journalistic, literary etc.) in order to increase critical awareness of the language and to help students write more clearly and effectively.

Survey of British Literature 2 (ENGL 200B): An historical survey of major figures, types, and trends in British literature from the late 18th century to the present.

Genres of Business Communication (ENGL 210F): This courses explores the genres of communication in business and other organizations, such as reports (of several kinds), letters, email messages, marketing materials, public relations materials, and any other types of organizational communication.

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.

Literature, Rhetoric, and Music (ENGL 243): This course explores the cultural, historical, and aesthetic relationships between literature, rhetoric, and music. Course materials may draw on a range of historical periods and themes, as well as a variety of literary, lyrical, and musical genres. Attention will be paid to ways that literary, rhetorical, and musical arts exist in artistic dialogue.

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.

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.

Introduction to Linguistics (ENGL 306A): Introduction to linguistics and the principles of linguistic analysis through an examination of English phonology, forms, syntax, and discourse.

Contemporary Rhetoric (ENGL 309C): An examination of contemporary rhetorical theory and its relationships to criticism, interdisciplinary studies, and digital applications.

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. Also offered online.

Shakespeare 1 (ENGL 362): A study of the plays written before 1599-1600, excluding Julius Caesar.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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