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300-level / Intermediate Courses

All 500-level courses and a certain number of 200-, 300- and 400-level courses have limited enrolment and require instructors' permission. Students hoping to enroll in these courses should consult notices outside the English Department General Office (Arts 155) for the procedures for applying for admission.

An asterisk beside a course number means that the course may be used as part of the pre-1800 English Literature requirement of the Literature Option.

ENGL 301 Earlier 18th-Century Novel 

Professor David Hensley 
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 11:35 am – 12:55 pm 

Full course description

Prerequisite: None 

Description: This course will canvas some of the “origins” of the English novel and trace its development (particularly as anti-romance satire and realism) up to the mid-eighteenth century. Our readings and discussion will refer to the European context of the evolution of this narrative form in England. We will consider the novel as responding to a network of interrelated problems – of the self and its imaginative politics – at the representational crossroads of medieval epic, courtly romance, spiritual autobiography, picaresque satire, colonialist adventure, gallant intrigue, baroque casuistry, bourgeois conduct book, sentimental love story, moral treatise, psychological realism, and mock-heroic “comic epic in prose.” As the emerging literary “form of forms,” the early modern novel vibrantly juxtaposes and interweaves all these different generic strands. Our work together will aim at a critical analysis of the textual ideologies articulated in this experimental process of historical combination.

Evaluation: Paper (50%), tests (40%), participation (10%). Regular attendance is required for a passing final grade (a maximum of two absences will be allowed except for documented medical or similar emergencies).

Format: Lectures and discussion 

Texts: The books for this course will be available at The Word Bookstore, 469 Milton Street, 514-845-5640. Photocopies may supplement the books on order. Most or all of the following texts will be among those required (the list is tentative, to be confirmed in September 2011):

  • Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, The Romance of the Rose (Oxford)
  • Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur (Oxford)
  • The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Hackett)
  • Michael Alpert, ed., Two Spanish Picaresque Novels (Penguin)
  • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (Norton)
  • Madame de Lafayette, The Princess of Clèves (Norton)
  • Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (Norton)
  • Eliza Haywood, Love in Excess (Broadview)
  • Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (Norton)
  • Samuel Richardson, Pamela (Oxford)
  • Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews and Shamela (Oxford)

Average enrollment: 60 students

NOTE ON THE CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENT: For the first three weeks (September 1-22) this course will meet in Wilson 105. Afterward, we will move to Birks 111.


ENGL 304 Later Eighteenth-Century Novel

Professor Peter Sabor
Winter Term 2012
Monday and Wednesday 11:35 am – 12:55 pm

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation: Previous university-level course work in literature or cultural studies.

Description: This course will study developments in the English novel from the late 1750s until the end of the eighteenth century. We shall begin with Samuel Johnson's philosophical tale, Rasselas (1759), which raises intriguing questions about what constitutes a novel. We shall then study Frances Burney's first novel, Evelina (1778), a best-seller in its time and an important example of epistolary fiction. We shall turn next to Horace Walpole's diminutive The Castle of Otranto (1765), the first Gothic novel in English. It will be followed by Matthew Lewis's The Monk (1796), the most sensational of the many Gothic novels that followed in the wake of Otranto. We shall also study two more novels of the 1790s, all written in the wake of the French Revolution that began in 1789 and reached its height with the Reign of Terror in 1793. William Godwin wrote Caleb Williams (1796) with considerable sympathy for Revolutionary ideals, as well as for the feminist doctrines of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman: Godwin, her husband, was much indebted to her theories. Elizabeth Hamilton, in contrast, published Memoirs of Modern Philosophers (1800) as a critique of Revolutionary political and feminist ideas.

Texts:

  • Samuel Johnson, Rasselas (Broadview)
  • Frances Burney, Evelina (Broadview)
  • Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (Broadview)
  • Matthew Lewis, The Monk (Broadview)
  • William Godwin, Caleb Williams (Broadview)
  • Elizabeth Hamilton, Memoirs of Modern Philosophers (Broadview)

Evaluation: 15% participation in discussion sections; 25% mid-term test; 10% final test; 50% term paper.

Format: Lectures and discussion sections


ENGL 306 Theatre History

Medieval/Early Modern

Professor Fiona Ritchie 
Winter Term 2012
Wednesday and Friday 2:35 – 3:55 pm 

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation: ideally students enrolled in this course will have already taken ENGL 230 Introduction to Theatre Studies 

Description: An overview of dramatic forms and theatrical practice in Britain from the medieval to the early modern period (c. 1300-1642). This course moves from the earliest recorded vernacular play texts to the closure of the professional theatre in 1642, encompassing medieval religious drama and the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.  We will examine early theatre in a way which highlights continuities as well as divisions between the medieval and the early modern stage.  We will analyse the conditions of performance (playing spaces, actors, audience, technology, etc) as well as studying a selection of representative plays (looking at their form, function, aesthetic features, etc). Emphasis is placed on the plays as theatrical works rather than literary texts.  We will also analyse historical evidence of early performance.  In addition to reading and discussing theatre history documents and play texts, students will also participate in practical workshops in which they will direct their peers in performing scenes from the plays studied in light of their knowledge of the playing conditions of the period. 

Texts: Janette Dillon, The Cambridge Introduction to Early English Theatre (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006); coursepack containing a selection of plays

Evaluation (tentative): participation 10%; midterm exam 25%; practical assignment 30%; take home final exam 35% 

Format: lecture, discussion, group work, practical work 


*ENGL 307 Renaissance English Literature 2  

Professor Maggie Kilgour 
Winter Term 2012
Monday and Wednesday 11:35 am – 12:55 pm 

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation:

Description: A survey of 17th-century poetry and prose (excluding Milton). In England, the 17th century was a time of revolution: of social upheaval and Civil War, as well as radical changes in philosophy and science. The literature of this turbulent time also is marked by its vitality and its variety. In this course, we will read representative works by writers including Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Herrick, Marvell, Lanyer, Cavendish, Philips, Bacon, Burton, Browne, discussing aesthetic developments in the context of the events of the period. 

Evaluation: Midterm (20%), 12-page term paper (40%), final exam (30%); participation (10%). 

Format: Lecture and discussion.

Texts: The Broadview Anthology of 17th Century Verse & Prose (available at McGill Bookstore)

Other supplementary materials will be posted on WebCT. 

Average enrollment: 40.


ENGL 308 English Renaissance Drama 1

Elizabethan Drama 

Professor Wes Folkerth 
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Description: In this course we will survey the impressive yield of Elizabethan drama written by writers other than William Shakespeare. We will study examples of popular genres of the era including the interlude, university play, tragedies, comedies, and histories, in works by John Lyly, Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greene, and a plethora of Thomases, including Sackville, Norton, Kyd, Lodge, Nashe, Heywood and Dekker — as well as other writers who remain anonymous to us. Throughout the course we will pay special attention to the development of drama in this period, as well as to the significance of the emergence of the professional theatre.

Texts: Drama of the English Renaissance. Vol. 1, The Tudor Period. Eds Russell Fraser and Norman Rabkin. Prentice Hall, 1976. 

Evaluation: Paper 7-8pp (25%); Paper 10-12pp (35%); Final Exam (30%); Conference Participation (10%) 

Format:Lecture and class discussion.

Average Enrollment: 35 students.


ENGL 309 English Renaissance Drama 2

Jacobean Theatre History

Professor Patrick Neilson
Winter 2012
Monday & Wednesday 1:05 - 2:25 pm

Full course description

Prerequisite: None.

Description: This course will study early sixteenth-century English theatre through an examination of plays by Shakespeare' s contemporaries. Texts will range from the sublime comedies of Jonson to the dark and bloody revenge tragedies for which the period is famous. Primary points of interest in our investigation will be Stuart anxieties about greed, consumption, sexual betrayal, retribution, atypical expressions of sexuality, the blurring of gender distinctions, and inter-class friction—all shared with our own era. We will look at the material conditions of performance, staging techniques, theatrical practices, and the performance spaces themselves—from the public theatres, to the private indoor spaces.

Texts: Bevington, Engle, Eisaman Maus and Rasmussen, eds. English Renaissance Drama.

Evaluation: participation (15%), class presentation (15%), midterm Paper (20%), final exam (50%)


ENGL 310 Restoration and 18th Century Drama

Restoration Comedy

Professor Patrick Neilson
Fall Term 2011
Monday & Wednesday 12:35 - 1:55 pm

Full course description

Prerequisite: None.

Description: This lecture course will investigate the evolution of English theatrical comedy through a period of a little over one hundred years. While the principal mode of investigation will involve close readings of the plays, we will also pay close attention to the material conditions of performance, as theatres grew from makeshift spaces for a social elite to vast purpose-built venues able to accommodate thousands of spectators. Central to the course, therefore, is the notion that these plays are intended to be performed on stage and before a live audience. The readings will embrace many of the canonical works from the period, but comedies by some less-well-known playwrights, such as Susanna Centlivre, will also be included.

Texts: The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama (Full or Concise Edition)

Evaluation: 15% participation; 15% Secondary source précis and presentation; 30% short paper; 40% final exam

Average Enrollment: 45


ENGL 311 Poetics

 

All sections offered in the Fall Term 2011

Full course description

Section 1
Mr. Ian Whittington
Tuesday and Thursday 11:35 am – 12:55 pm

Section 2
Dr. Joel Deshaye
Wednesday and Friday 4:05 – 5:25 pm

Section 3
Mr. Jeffrey Weingarten
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:35 am – 12:25 pm

Section 4
Ms. Karen Oberer
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:35 – 9:25 am

Section 5
Ms. Emily Essert
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:35 – 3:25 pm

Prerequisite or co-requisite: ENGL 202 or ENGL 200. This course is open only to English majors in the literature stream.

Description: This course introduces students to the formal and stylistic elements of poetry and prose fiction, provides them with a shared vocabulary for recognizing and analyzing different literary forms, and develops their reading, writing, and critical discussion skills.

Texts: Bausch, Richard, and R. V. Cassill, eds. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Shorter 7th ed. New York: Norton, 2006.

Evaluation: essay 1 (5 pp.) 10%; essay 2 (5 pp.) 15%; essay 3 (6-7 pp.) 15%; midterm exam 10%; formal final exam 30%; class participation 20% (may include contribution to discussion, attendance, effective completion of such short assignments as quizzes, writing exercises and recitations)

Format: Discussion


ENGL 313 Canadian Drama and Theatre

The Case of Quebec

Professor Erin Hurley
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 1:05 – 2:25 pm

Full course description

Description: This course will offer a selective survey of Quebecois drama, theatre, and performance from the 1960s to the present. With a focus on French-language theatre (to be read in English translation), we will trace the changing aesthetics and politics of this dynamic dramatic tradition, being careful to read them in light of the shifting performance and social contexts. The class will be framed by an opening consideration of the role played by institutionalization, professionalization, and nationalism in Quebecois theatre's efflorescence in the 1960s and 70s and by a closing unit on Quebec performance's place on the international stage. In between we will read (and view, where possible) plays by established as well as up-and-coming playwrights. Units of study may include some of the following:  the language question on the Quebec stage; the theatre of images; corporeal dramaturgies; feminist theatrics; queer drama; representations of the self and the other; popular performance. Wherever possible, and depending on the theatrical season's offerings, we will go to see contemporary Quebec theatre together.  

Texts may include:

  • A course pack of articles 
  • Louise H. Forsyth, Anthology of Quebec Women's Plays in English Translation. Vol 3, 2004-8
  • Larry Tremblay, The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi
  • Michel Tremblay, Les belles-soeurs
  • Nathalie Claude, The Salon automaton
  • Marianne Ackerman, L'Affaire Tartuffe
  • Wajdi Mouawad, Scorched
  • Abla Farhoud, When I Was Grown Up, or The Girls from the 5-and-10
  • Marco Micone, Voiceless People
  • Michel-Marc Bouchard, Lilies
  • Normand Chaurette, Provincetown Playhouse 1919
  • Louisette Dussault, Mummy

Evaluation: Midterm Exam – 30%; Research paper (6-8 pages) - 35%; Bibliography assignment - 20%; Participation: 15% 

Format: Lectures and discussion 

Average Enrollment:


ENGL 314 20th Century Drama

Realism and its Discontents

Professor Sean Carney
Winter 2012
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4:35 - 5:25 pm

Full course description

Description: This course will examine European and North American drama of the twentieth century. We will begin by studying the great realists of the late nineteenth century and the philosophy underlying their dramaturgy. This will lead us into a consideration of various positive and negative responses to the realist tradition. We will examine these plays in their original theatrical contexts, while at the same time positioning these dramas in relation to their individual social and political moments. We will interrogate the specificity of drama as an art form, the implications raised by repetition, performance, the theatre as a collective activity, and the role of the audience in the determination of meaning on the stage. The overall goal of the course is to impart to students a foundational understanding of the dominant trend in modern drama in the west.

Texts: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

Format: Lectures and conferences


*ENGL 315 Shakespeare

Protean Shakespeare

Professor Paul Yachnin
Fall Term 2011
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4:35 – 5:25 pm

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Description: In this course, we study the greatest and most protean playwright in world literature, and we consider how he became the greatest because he was the most changeable. Shakespeare was both an actor and a poet; a man and a woman; a "nobody" (merely a private person) and a "somebody" (a famous, public figure); and both an animal and human being. His changeability was an attribute of his life in the world of theatrical make-believe (where boys could be women, commoners could wear crowns, and people could act and look like beasts), but it was also a consequence of his shifting, unstable social situation. After all, he started off a yeoman's son in a small town and ended up a gentleman and the leading writer in the most famous acting company in Europe. We focus on six plays in the genres of comedy, tragedy, and romance—As You Like It, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, All's Well That Ends Well, Anthony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest. Our approach to these plays is informed by ideas about protean Shakespeare, but we also reach beyond those ideas to other matters, including performance and staging, dramatic character, dramatic genre, the complexity of Shakespeare's language, and Shakespeare in his time and ours.

Students will find themselves thinking, speaking, and writing about Shakespeare's plays as expressions of a particularly complex world view, scripts for theatrical performance, works of literature, and instances of imaginative world-making that have powerfully influenced many individuals (including other artists) and groups from early modern London to the twenty-first- century Canada.

Plays: (available at Paragraph Books)

  • As You Like It, ed. Alan Brissenden (Oxford Shakespeare, 2008).
  • King Lear, ed. Russell Fraser (Signet Shakespeare, revised, 1998).
  • The Taming of the Shrew, ed. H.J. Oliver (Oxford Shakespeare, 1982).
  • All's Well That Ends Well, ed. Susan Snyder (Oxford Shakespeare, 2008).
  • Anthony and Cleopatra, ed. Michael Neill (Oxford Shakespeare, 2008).
  • The Tempest, ed. Stephen Orgel (Oxford Shakespeare, 1998).

Evaluation:

  • In-class essay 10%
  • Term paper 35%
  • Participation 20% (10% conference, 10% online)
  • Final exam 35%

*ENGL 316 Milton 

Professor Maggie Kilgour 
Fall Term 2011
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:35 - 1:25 pm 

Full course description

Prerequisite: None, though some knowledge of Renaissance literature or culture is highly useful. 

Description: A study of the poetry and selected prose of one of England's most important, influential, and still controversial writers. While to many people today Milton seems the epitome of literary and political orthodoxy, in his own time he was known as a radical thinker, and advocate of regicide and divorce. His writing is complex and challenging, asking close and active engagement from his readers. In this course we will take up his challenge to see especially how he speaks to current concerns. In the first few weeks, we look at Milton's early poetry and some of his political writings, tracing his development as a poet in relation to his social, political, and literary context. The centre of the course will focus on a close reading of Paradise Lost. In conclusion, we will look briefly at his last works, Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistes, and discuss Milton's later reputation and his continuing role in the Western literary tradition.  

Evaluation: 25% mid-term; 40% term paper on Paradise Lost; 25% take-home exam; 10% class/conference participation 

Format: Lecture and discussion; conference (depending on enrollment) 

Texts (required texts are available at McGill Bookstore)

  • Stella Revard ed, John Milton: Complete Shorter Poems (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)
  • Barbara Lewalski, ed. John Milton: Paradise Lost (Blackwell, 2007).
  • Selections from the prose: on WebCT
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (recommended)
  • King James Bible (recommended)

Average enrolment: 60 students


ENGL 318 Theory of English Studies 2

 

Socio-historical Approaches to Literature

Instructor: Ms. Paula Derdiger
Fall Term 2011
Monday and Wednesday 1:05 – 2:25 pm

Full course description

Office: TBA

Phone: TBA

paula [dot] derdiger [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Email Ms. Derdiger)

Prerequisite: None; limited to students in English programs

Description: This course introduces students to the assumptions and methods of socio-historical approaches to cultural texts. The goal of the course is for students to learn how to formulate productive historically oriented questions about texts and to think creatively about connections between seemingly disparate concepts. Course material is organized into three units: 1) models of history; 2) thinking contextually about texts; 3) case studies. We begin by exploring how the contemporary concept of "History" emerged in the nineteenth-century, and we trace its development throughout the twentieth century. Establishing the influence of Marxist thought on major historical models (including postmodernist, feminist, queer, and post-colonialist), this unit also examines how these models challenge notions of linear progression and hierarchy at the core of Marxist philosophy. In the second unit, which forms the bulk of the course, we investigate the impact of historical models on literary and cultural studies. We identify and interrogate the central assumption of socio-historical approaches: the meaning and significance of a text lies in its relationship to a contextual problem. Building on this assumption, we examine how socio-historical approaches have emphasized the historical contingency of all texts in order to challenge hierarchies of cultural taste and canon formation as well as arguments for universal concepts of art, beauty, and value. A crucial part of this unit is outlining methodological features of socio-historical approaches, using the readings to demonstrate how interpretation depends on an analysis of evidence that comes from both the text and its context, broadly construed. Finally, the course concludes with several case studies that use a range of media and historical topics to demonstrate the rich avenues of interpretation made possible by socio-historical approaches. In this final unit, students contribute work based on their own formal and temporal interests. Assignments are designed to encourage reflection on theoretical assumptions and methodological efficacy.

Evaluation: short written assignment (25%); mid-term exam (25%); final essay (40%); participation [includes in-class essay workshop] (10%)

Format: Lecture and discussion

Provisional Texts:

  • Karl Marx, The German Ideology (Part I)
  • Walter Benjamin, Illuminations (selections)
  • Theodor Adorno, "Cultural Criticism and Society"
  • Michel Foucault, Power (ed. James D. Faubion, selections)
  • Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (selections)
  • Edward Said, Orientalism (selections)
  • Frederic Jameson, "Literature as a Socially Symbolic Act"
  • Stephen Greenblatt, "Invisible Bullets: Renaissance Authority and its Subversion, Henry IV and Henry V"

ENGL 319 Theory of English Studies 3

Issues in Interpretation: Authorship, Performance, and Reception

Professor Trevor Ponech
Winter Term 2012
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:35 - 11:25 am 

Full course description

Prerequisites: None. Limited to U2 and U3 students in English programmes.

Description: This course will introduce students to a pair of concepts absolutely fundamental to the study of literature, cinema, theatre, and artistic culture in general.  The two concepts are, of course, authorship and interpretation.  We'll survey the on-going debates over what an author is, and what unique contribution, if any, this agent makes to the artwork's meaning as well as other culturally relevant features and effects.  Likewise, we will inquire into what one is doing when one interprets a work of art.  In trying to answer this question, the first step shall be to say what an interpretation is, i.e., what differentiates interpretive from other kinds of statements about art.  Subsequently, we'll revisit several long-standing puzzles about interpretation: Is a good interpretation necessarily one that tries to grasp the author's intentions?  Can an interpretation ever be true or false?  When two interpretations of the same artwork conflict, is there ever any good reason to prefer one to the other?  Does interpretation itself in some sense produce the work's meaning?  Is there any possible justification for blurring the distinction between the author's achievements in making an artwork and the interpreter's achievements in engaging with that work?  Throughout our discussions, attention will be paid to the relation of authorship to interpretation within performing arts, such as theatrical and musical presentations, where performers' interpretive activities might arguably be said to bring new works into existence.

Texts: A representative selection of recent essays within the fields of aesthetic philosophy, literary theory, and cinema studies. 

Evaluation: TBA

Format: Lectures and discussion. 


ENGL 324 Twentieth-Century American Prose

Novels and Short Stories

Professor Allan Hepburn
Winter Term 2012
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 09:35 - 10:25 am

Full course description

Expected Student Preparation: previous university training in English literature, including Survey (ENGL 202 and 203), Poetics (ENGL 311), and at least two other English courses.

Description: This course surveys major twentieth-century American novels and short stories. The course asks how American writers think of themselves and the republic in terms of individualism, race relations, business, romance, and real estate. What makes an American? What makes an American novel? What myths sustain American identity? Writers on the left, writers on the right, writers from the northeast, the south, the west, and writers exiled in Europe will be included. Attention will be paid to the way that justice and litigation enter the American imagination—the desire to defend oneself or to plead one's cause. In some cases, fame, wealth, and Hollywood deform American ambitions while producing cultural forms and norms. We will consider the reasons for the emergence of fiction inflected with references to television, virginity, electro-shock therapy, conspiracy theory, women in business, shopping, cosmetics, language theory, and romance.

Texts: this list of texts is provisional

  • Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country
  • Willa Cather, A Lost Lady
  • Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
  • Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
  • Toni Morrison, Jazz
  • Don DeLillo, Libra
  • short story coursepack

Evaluation: short essay (25%); long essay (35%); conference participation (10%); final exam (30%)

Format: lecture

Average Enrollment: 60


ENGL 326 Nineteenth-Century American Prose

Fiction After the Civil War: Regionalism, Urbanism, Internationalism

Professor Peter Gibian
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 11:35 am -12:55 pm

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation: Previous university-level course work in American Literature, preferably before 1900, or permission of instructor.

Description: A survey of later-19th-century prose fiction forms representing a wide range of literary movements and modes. The course will be organized to trace ever-widening geographical, literary, and cultural horizons. A first unit will explore "regionalist" or "local color" writings (by authors such as Harris, Harte, Twain, Chopin, Stowe, Jewett, Cable, Chestnutt, and Alcott) rooted in the specificity of a unique geographical place seen to define a unique cultural or psychological identity. The second course unit will survey classic writerly responses to the late-19th-century city—seen (in authors such as Crane, Dreiser, James, and Wharton) as a new sort of hybrid place in which diverse strangers from a variety of homes and backgrounds are brought together to work out forms of coexistence. The final unit will then follow another group of turn-of-the-century writers as they expand American horizons even further, reflecting the nation's move into the international arena with new fictional treatments of the International Theme. Authors such as James and Wharton (and, in a different way, Du Bois) ground their writing in the ever-shifting experience of cross-cultural travel and meditate anxiously on the situation of the writer as "cosmopolite"--perfectly placed (or dis-placed) to explore the problems and possibilities of inter-national interchange in a modern, globalizing world.

Texts: (Tentative; editions TBA): To be selected from authors noted in description above. Readings will include not only short stories but also several longer novels; the amount of assigned reading will be fairly intensive. Editions TBA.

  • Coursepack of photocopied short stories
  • Alcott, Little Women
  • Dreiser, Sister Carrie
  • Wharton, The House of Mirth
  • James, The Portrait of a Lady
  • Baym, ed., The Norton Anthology of American Literature
  • (7th ed., Vol. C)

Evaluation: (Tentative): 20% mid-term exam; 25% essay; 15% conference participation; 40% formal, 3-hour final exam. (NB: All evaluation—on exams as well as essays—tests abilities in literary-critical writing and analysis; none involves short-answer or multiple-choice exams graded by computer.)

Format: Lectures and discussion sections.

Average Enrollment: 60


ENGL 328 The Development of Canadian Poetry 1

Professor Brian Trehearne
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 10:05 - 11:25 am

Full course description

Prerequisites: No formal prerequisite. Because substantial attention will be paid to developments of poetic form and style, however, the material of this course is directed chiefly to English Literature majors who have completed the required Poetics course (ENGL 311) in the English department. Students in other English department programs who have completed their relevant Poetics course are welcome but should recognize the literary focus of the course. Students not in an English program must have my advance permission to register.

Description: A survey of the development of Canadian poetry from the 19th century through the Second World War. Our discussion of substantial selections from major authors will explicate the historical and cultural contexts of their works and consider their relation to competing poetic traditions in England and America. We will attempt to articulate each poet's idea of the Canadian poet's special task: among them, skilful imitation; mimesis; cultural nationalism and autonomy; originality; psychological realism; and contemporaneity. We will also, necessarily, clarify such period concepts as "Romanticism," "Victorianism," "Aestheticism" and "Modernism," and their distinctive Canadian manifestations, as we proceed.

Texts:

  • Gerson, Carole, and Gwendolyn Davies, eds. Canadian Poetry: From the Beginnings through the First World War. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart [New Canadian Library], 1994.
  • Trehearne, Brian, ed. Canadian Poetry 1920 to 1960. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart [New Canadian Library], 2010.

Evaluation: 2 essays, 6 and 8 pp., 25% and 30%; final examination, 35%; Partici-pation in class discussion, 10% (Please note: I assess active participation in discussion and not attendance. Full attendance through the semester without speaking will earn 0/10). Evaluation may alter according to class size.

Format: Lecture and discussion

Average Enrollment: 25


ENGL 329 The Nineteenth Century English Novel

Charlotte Brontë

Professor Yael Halevi-Wise
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 2:35 – 3:55 pm

Full course description

Description: The goal of this course is to acquaint students with the life and works of a major nineteenth-century English writer, Charlotte Brontë. We will situate her work within the personal and historical context in which she wrote about her native Yorkshire, about gender relations, class relations, vocation, religion, and industrialism. We will discuss her work also through the poetic and narrative works of her talented, yet short-lived siblings, but our main focus will of course remain on Charlotte's principal novels: Jane Eyre (1847), Shirley (1849), Villette (1853) and The Professor (1857).

Texts:

  • Jane Eyre (1847)
  • Wuthering Heights (1847) and the Gondal poems by Emily Brontë
  • Agnes Grey (1847) or The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) by Anne Brontë
  • Shirley (1849)
  • Vilette (1853)
  • The Professor (1857)
  • Selected poetry by the Brontës

Evaluation: Participation 15%; two 5pp midterm essays 40%; biographical assignment 10%; and a 7pp final essay 35%.

Format: Lecture and discussion


ENGL 330 English Novel: Nineteenth Century 2

 

Gender, Genre, and Secrets in the Later Nineteenth-Century Novel

Instructor: Mr. Marc Ducusin
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 10:05 – 11:25 am

Full course description

Expected Student Preparation: previous university-level training in English literature (e.g., survey courses ENGL 202 and 203). As the reading load is heavy, students are also encouraged to begin reading in advance if possible.

Description: This course on the Victorian novel examines notions of gender as they relate to class dynamics, sexual shame, heredity, race, criminality, and other topics current in the latter half of the nineteenth century in Britain. In many novels of the period, figures of disgraced men and fallen women populate a literary landscape where blackmail, sexual impropriety, and criminal action flourish in narratives animated by secrets. We will consider how Victorian issues of gender and secrecy find literary expression in formal conventions and stylistic features associated with various genres popular throughout the era: specifically, the social problem novel, realism, sensation fiction, mystery, and the gothic. We will read five novels, one novella, and one short story whose narratives all touch on themes of secrecy and social disgrace. Gaskell and Hardy frame the course with their two different treatments of the fallen woman. Eliot explores repercussions of falsely accused crime, while Dickens and Collins explore masculine identities fraught by the threat and stigma of murder. Le Fanu and Stevenson depict criminal and sexual menaces in supernatural forms. As we study their works, an awareness of Victorian anxieties and social prohibitions will inform our discussions of gender, while narrative devices of sensation and suspense challenge the boundaries of genre.

Evaluation: statement of intent (5%); 2-3 pp exploratory response (15%); 3-4 pp critical response (25%); attendance and participation (15%); essay proposal (5%); 6-8 pp final term paper (35%)

Format: lectures and discussions

Texts:

  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Ruth (1854) (Penguin)
  • George Eliot, Silas Marner (1861) (Penguin)
  • Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (1865) (Penguin)
  • Wilkie Collins, Armadale (1866) (Oxford World's Classics)
  • Sheridan Le Fanu, "Carmilla" (1872) (included in course pack)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) (Broadview)
  • Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891) (Penguin)
  • Course pack

ENGL 331 Literature of the Romantic Period 1

Instructor: Dr. Gregory Phipps
Fall Term 2011
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:35 am – 12:25 pm

Full course description

Office: TBA

Phone: TBA

gregory [dot] phipps [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Email Dr. Phipps)

Expected Student Preparation: The departmental surveys of English literatures (ENGL 202 and 203)

This class will explore the turbulent early years of the Romantic period, focusing on developments in literature from the end of the eighteenth century to 1815.  The social climate of this period was defined, in part, by the French Revolution.  For early Romantic poets such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey, the revolution represented both the possibility of political emancipation and, in later years, the violent collapse of this idealism.  We will explore the productive tensions that emerge when writers traverse the political spectrum.  We will pay particular attention to Wordsworth's and Coleridge's related but divergent conceptions of the role of the artist within society, the potential of individual imagination, and the links between political change and religious and mythologized depictions of large-scale social transformations.  Moreover, we will examine the works of William Blake (both his poetry and his visual art) to further our understanding of a Romantic notion of the vast creative capacity of imagination.  In a related vein, the course will take into account the collective Romantic desire to create a new aesthetic philosophy of self-consciousness.  Here, we will consider the legacy of the Enlightenment, both as an overarching influence on Romantic thought and as a point of departure for the writers of the period.  Thomas Paine, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft wrote seminal works on the development of individual rights (and the rights of women) that extended some of the central philosophical principals of the Enlightenment while simultaneously gesturing towards new conceptualizations of the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity.  We will consider these works both as major influences on early Romantic literature and as important texts in their own right.  The course will also consider the impact of the "other" revolution – the rapid industrialization of British society that helped alter both the physical landscape and the demographics of the country.  Through our readings of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and John Clare, we will consider poetic depictions of the interplay between urbanization and the pastoral, rural landscape.  Topics of interest here will include the construction of a "rural language," the vitality of youth, the gendered portrayal of the natural world, and the relationship to the past.  Finally, the class will consider the Gothic movement in fiction, examining the social commentaries that emerge out of the prose works that laid the foundations for the Gothic ethos (such as Horace Walpole's The Caste of Otranto and Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk), as well as those works that respond to the thematic concerns of the Gothic (such as Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey).   

Evaluation: attendance and participation (10%); short essay (15%); long essay (25%); mid-term (20%); final exam (30%)  

Format: lecture  

Texts: this list of texts is provisional

  • The Oxford Anthology of Romantic Literature
  • Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
  • Gregory Lewis, The Monk
  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
 

Average Enrollment: 50


ENGL 332 Literature of the Romantic Period 2 

Instructor: Ms. Danielle Barkley
Winter Term 2012
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:35 – 11:25 am 

Full course description

Office: TBA

Phone: TBA

Email TBA

Expected Student Preparation: Previous university training in English literature. Suggested courses include Survey (ENGL 202 and 203), Poetics (ENGL 311), and Romantic Literature 1 (ENGL 331). 

Description: This course expands upon and enriches students' knowledge of literature from the later Romantic period. A broad selection of literary genres will be represented, including fiction, poetry, non-fiction prose, and drama. Students can expect to encounter both canonical and less familiar authors; in the cases where an author is likely to have been represented in other courses, some of his or her lesser-known work will be chosen for this course. This course explores why themes of seduction and danger so frequently intersect in literature of this period. Why do narratives of erotic desire so often rely on the illicit and end in violence? How are narratives of the monstrous and the supernatural married to concerns about gender and sexuality? How might responses to political upheaval and literary innovation also partake in this dynamic of anxiety and ambivalent desire? Attention will also be paid to how these texts contribute to the rise of Romantic individualism, engage with understandings of the exotic, and refer to visual and material culture of the time.  

Expected Evaluation: short essay (25%); essay proposal (5%); long essay (35%); final exam (35%)  

Format: lecture 

Texts: The following list is provisional  

Novels

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Walter Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor

Essays and Prose

Thomas de Quincey, Selections from Confessions of an Opium Eater

John William Polidori, The Vampyre

Selection of periodical criticism: "On the Cockney School of Poetry" (Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine), essays by William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb

Closet Drama

       Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound 

Poetry

George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold, Canto III, Don Juan, Canto I, The Giaour

Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Alastor," "Ozymandias," "Song to the Men of England," "England in 1819,"  "Adonais"

John Keats, "Lamia," "The Eve of St Agnes," "La Belle Dame Sans Merci/Mercy," "Isabella," "Sonnet on Leigh Hunt's Poem The Story of Rimini"

Leigh Hunt, The Story of Rimini

Felicia Hemans, "Casabianca," "The Image in Lava," "Properzia Rossi"

Letitia Landon, Selections from The Improvisatrice


ENGL 333 Development of Canadian Poetry 2 

Professor Robert Lecker
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 10:05 – 11:25 am  

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Description: This is a course about really reading poetry, in this case, Canadian poetry. It focuses on a group of approximately ten Canadian poets who have formed and responded to the Canadian literary landscape since World War II. Most of the poets covered in the course are writers who confront modern and contemporary ideas about the nature of self, society, gender, and art, but we also look at the ways in which these writers are trying to deal with the existential implications of new views about science, God, and the poet's place in his or her rapidly changing world. Since part of the reading involves thinking about aesthetic and theoretical issues, the course will deal with these issues, just as it will pay close attention to the meaning and resonance of particular poems. At the same time, it will consider the ways in which these poets (and us, as readers) construct the place called Canada as a metaphor that's central to our daily lives.    

Texts: Lecker, Robert, ed. Open Country: Canadian Poetry. Toronto: Nelson, 2007. 

Evaluation: A series of short journal entries on each of the poets studied in the course, 80%; attendance, 10%; participation, 10%. 

Format: Lecture and discussion. 

Average Enrollment: 25


ENGL 336 Studies in the Twentieth-Century 2

British Fiction 1975-2000

Professor Allan Hepburn
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 1:05 – 2:25 pm

Full course description

Expected Student Preparation: previous university training in English literature, including Survey (ENGL 202 and 203), Poetics (ENGL 311), and at least two other English courses.

Description: This course accounts for declining and emerging British novelists in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Some novelists turn to the past and wonder about its resonances in the present, especially in light of the politics of the Thatcher years. Thus Pat Barker reinvents the Great War and Graham Greene writes a novel about the Cambridge Spies. Other novelists, especially Hanif Kureishi and Zadie Smith, think about ethnic populations and race relations in Britain. These novels adopt a variety of genres: thriller, historiography, comedy, diagnostic case, dossier, tall tale, ballad. Some attention will be paid to political and historical events in the 1970s through the 1990s.

Texts: 6 or 7 novels will be selected from this provisional list

  • Penelope Lively, The Road to Lichfield (1977)
  • Graham Greene, The Human Factor (1978)
  • Barbara Pym, The Sweet Dove Died (1978)
  • Graham Swift, Waterland (1983)
  • Ian McEwan, The Child in Time (1987)
  • Bruce Chatwin, Utz (1988)
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (1989)
  • Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia (1990)
  • Muriel Spark, Symposium (1990)
  • Pat Barker, Regeneration (1991)
  • Angela Carter, Wise Children (1991)
  • Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower (1995)
  • Hilary Mantel, The Giant O'Brien (1998)
  • Jim Crace, Being Dead (1999)
  • Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000)

Evaluation: short essay 30%, long essay 40% and final exam 30%

Format: lecture

Average Enrollment: 60


ENGL 345 Literature and Society

Fascination with Form  

Professor Nathalie Cooke
Fall Term 2011
Monday and Wednesday 1:05 – 2:25 pm 

Full course description

Prerequisite: None.

Expected Student Preparation:

Description: When Marshall McLuhan pronounced that "the medium is the message," he could not entirely predict the future and the variety of communication mediums available today: when we tweet or text, talk or type on touchpad. Although we experience an unprecedented freedom of choice for communication, we continue to be infinitely fascinated by forms and their constraints – the rhyme and rhythm of rap, for example, or the characteristically tight parameters of the tweet. This course explores various forms of communication and the way they create meaning. We will begin by looking at the most rigid and constraining of poetic forms (sonnet, sestina, villanelle, limerick, ghazal, haiku) moving to the looser forms (riddle, ekphrasis, ballad , concrete and found poetry), then to the evolving poetic and rhetorical forms (tweet, text, email, online journal, YouTube performance clip).  

How does the medium affect our understanding of the message?  In what ways does the meaning change when message is delivered through another medium?  Can the meaning behind a sonnet be effectively communicated in a tweet? Scheduled in the Active Learning Classroom, this course will be highly interactive since computer workstations and configuration of the room allow for the easy sharing of information; readings will be short and varied. Assignments will include individual and group presentations, in addition to critical and some creative writing. 
 

Texts: (Coursepack): Readings will include poetry and short prose pieces, but also students will also be viewing and listening to online material. 

Evaluation: (Tentative): 20% short in-class group presentations; 10% participation; 25% essay; 25% journal assignment; 20% individual presentation. 

Format: Seminar and discussion. 

Average Enrollment: Course is capped at 40. 


ENGL 346 Sociology and Materiality of the Text 

Professor Michael Van Dussen 
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 8:35 – 9:55 am 

Full course description

Prerequisites: None. Limited to English Majors.

Description: This course examines the material circumstances and human mediations which condition the ways in which texts are produced and used. In addition to examining the materiality of print and digital texts, students will gain first-hand experience working with manuscripts in McGill's rare book collections. We will attend to the production, circulation, and use of texts broadly conceived—as objects that are crafted, transacted, read, seen, and so on. One primary concern of the course will be to come to a nuanced understanding of the transition from manuscript to print, and from print to digital media. In what ways are manuscripts and printed texts produced, circulated and read differently? How does the physicality of a text condition interpretation and the making of meaning? How does regard for the material circumstances of textual production complicate notions of authorship and intentionality? Readings will include modern theories of bibliography and editing, as well as theories of the book by medieval and early modern commentators.

Texts: The Book History Reader ed. by David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery (2nd ed.); course pack  

Evaluation (provisional): Short mid-term essay, 25%; Case study workshops and responses, 30%; Final research essay, 35%; Participation and attendance, 10%

Format: Lecture, discussion, workshop


*ENGL 347 Great Writings of Europe I

Virgil, Ovid 

Professor Maggie Kilgour 
Fall Term 2011
Monday and Wednesday 2:35 - 3:55 pm 

Full course description

Prerequisite: A basic knowledge of Homeric epic will be assumed in lectures. Students therefore should read the Iliad and the Odyssey before taking this course. Previous work on poetry is also strongly advised. 

Description: This course will focus on the writings of Virgil and Ovid, their relationship to the Augustan period, and their influence on later Western literature.  While we will spend most time looking at the epics, The Aeneid and Metamorphoses, we will also study the development of both authors through their different works, and discuss the significance of their decisions to use different poetic genres. Their different career paths leading to distinct epic visions offer alternative models for later writers. In studying the significance of literary forms, we will necessarily relate them to larger cultural questions, considering the choice of genre, and in particular the use of epic, as a comment on Roman culture and society. 

Evaluation: Mid-term, 20%; term paper, 40%; final exam, 30%; class participation, 10%. 

Format: Lecture and discussion 

Texts: (required texts are available at the McGill Bookstore)

  • Virgil, Eclogues (Penguin); Georgics (Penguin); Aeneid (Vintage)
  • Ovid, The Erotic Poems (Penguin); Heroides (selections); Metamorphoses (Harcourt and Brace)
  • Augustus, Res Gestae  and other secondary materials will be posted on WebCT

Average enrolment: 40


*ENGL 348 Great Writings of Europe 2

Arthurian Legends 

Professor Jamie Fumo 
Winter Term 2012
Monday and Wednesday 1:05 – 2:25 pm 

Full course description

Prerequisite: No formal prerequisite, but previous university-level work in literary studies and a familiarity with the basics of literary criticism are expected. Students lacking such preparation but possessing a background in medieval studies (e.g., coursework on the medieval period in history, religion, or related fields) are also welcome in the course.   

Description: This course explores the imaginative dimensions of the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table in the Middle Ages. We will consider the patterns of development and possible historical origins of the Arthurian myth; the particular historical and cultural events and conditions reflected in Arthurian fictions; and the ideological power the myth of Arthur has held (and continues to hold) as a way of defining the present by glorifying the past.  While our main interest will lie in the Arthurian literature produced in medieval Britain, culminating in Malory's Morte Darthur, we will also read (in translation) Latin chronicles and legendary histories, as well as continental vernacular tales and romance. Note that this course deals with legends of Arthur produced only in the Middle Ages (up to the fifteenth century). 

Texts:

  1. The Romance of Arthur: An Anthology of Medieval Texts in Translation (new, expanded edition), ed. James J. Wilhelm (New York and London: Garland, 1994).
  2. Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript, ed. Helen Cooper (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998). 

Evaluation: 20% mid-term exam (possibly in take-home format), 40% essay (8-10 pages), 30% final exam, 10% class participation. 

Format: Lecture and discussion.  


ENGL 351 Studies in the History of Film 2

1930's US Cinema  

Professor Derek Nystrom
Winter Term 2012
Monday and Wednesday 2:35 – 3:55 pm (class)
Friday 2:35 – 4:25 pm (screening)

Full course description

Course description: The 1930s marked a period of massive change for both the U.S. as a whole and its film industry. The Great Depression that ravaged the nation's economy also threatened to destroy the Hollywood studios, forcing them to re-organize themselves less as family businesses and more as modern corporations. The labour radicalism ignited by the Depression sparked union drives within Hollywood and found displaced representation in the gangster cycle and other "social problem" films. Concern over the influence of films on America's youth prompted the development of the industry's Production Code, which imposed multiple constraints on both film form and content. In addition, Hollywood's transition to synchronized sound necessitated a series of changes, both technological and aesthetic, that transformed the vocabulary of cinema. This course will survey these changes and examine their relation to larger social and political developments of the period. We will also pay special attention to some of the key genres of the decade, including (but not limited to) musicals, screwball comedies, horror, the "woman's" film, and the aforementioned gangster cycle. 

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course; however, if you have not taken a previous film course (such as ENGL 277), you are strongly encouraged to purchase and read an introductory film textbook, such as David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson's Film Art: An Introduction or James Monaco's How to Read a Film, in order to familiarize yourself with the concepts and terminology of film analysis.

Evaluation: TBA 

Format: Lecture, discussion, weekly screenings. 

Required Films: The films will likely include the following: 

Little Caesar (Mervyn LeRoy, First National/Warner Bros., 1931)

Frankenstein (James Whale, Universal, 1931)

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (Mervyn LeRoy, Warner Bros., 1932)

Baby Face (Alfred E. Green, Warner Bros., 1933)

Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, Paramount, 1933)

Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, Warner Bros., 1933)

The Gay Divorcée (Mark Sandrich, RKO, 1934)

The Little Colonel (David Butler, Fox, 1935)

Stella Dallas (King Vidor, Samuel Goldwyn Company/United Artists, 1937)

Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, RKO, 1938)

Young Mr. Lincoln (John Ford, 20th Century Fox, 1939)

Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, Selznick International/MGM/Loews, 1939)

Required Texts:  Course pack with essays by such critics as Henry Jenkins, Jane Feuer, Lea Jacobs, Thomas Doherty, Richard Maltby, Michael Denning, Linda Williams, E. Ann Kaplan, Thomas Elsasser Vivian Sobchack, and others. 


ENGL 354 Sexuality and Representation  

Queer Screens 

Professor Alanna Thain 
Fall Term 2011 
Monday and Wednesday 11:35am -12:55 pm (class)
Tuesday 4:05 – 6:55 pm  (screening)

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation: Previous university-level course work in film and/or cultural studies.  

Description: "Queer Screens" will be largely focused on cinema (film and video) but with some consideration of television and new media. We will explore topics such as the links between sexualities and representation, subversive and clandestine portrayals of queer sexualities, the emergence of gay and lesbian cinema in the 1970s alongside civil rights movements, the ongoing AIDS epidemic and the media, the New Queer cinema of the 1990s, experimental film and video, pornography, the new "Queer prestige" films, activist documentary, queer aesthetics and the social, political and cultural contexts of production, exhibition and reception.  Screenings will include films from multiple world cinema contexts, and will include features, documentaries and experimental/ underground cinema.  Students should be prepared to regularly participate in all screenings, and prepared, informed discussion is key to the course. 

Texts: TBA

Films: May include works by Jack Smith, Su Friedrich, Midi Onodera, Barbara Hammer, Kenneth Anger, Christophe Honoré, John Waters, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Monika Treut, Issac Julien,  John Greyson, Richard Fung, Xavier Dolan, Gus Van Sant, Derek Jarman, Greg Araki, Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, Cheryl Dunye, Bruce LaBruce, Rose Troche, Wong Kar Wai, Tsai Ming Liang, Lynne Fernie, Todd Haynes, Youngyooth Thongkonthun, Lucía Puenzo, Mark Rappaport and others.

 

Evaluation: TBA

Format: Lecture, screening, discussion 

Average Enrollment: 80


ENGL 355 The Poetics of Performance

Professor Sean Carney
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday & Thursday 12:05 - 1:25 pm

Full course description

Pre or co-requisite: Engl 230 Limited to students in the English Major Concentration, Drama and Theatre Option.

Description: This course examines how meaning and significance emerge in theatrical art. Beginning from the assumption that theatre, like all art, is a form of communication, our study examines the qualities unique to theatrical communication in all its forms. Commencing with Aristotle, we interrogate the premises of his Poetics and the marginalization of opsis (spectacle) in his study. The rest of the course is composed of a series of units: our first unit examines theatrical communication with an emphasis on the dramatic text and how the text may be broken down into minimal communicative units of action. Our second unit introduces important terminology: structuralism and semiotics, and considers how these concepts are essential for the critical study of theatrical performance. Our third unit examines the function of the actor on stage and how the actor's performance creates meaning and significance in theatrical communication. Our fourth unit considers the signifying practices of objects in the theatre, such as puppets or stage props, and what these elements tell us about the experience of theatre as a whole. Finally, our fifth unit opens us to broader questions about communication in the theatre: the implications of theatre as storytelling, the importance of the spectator's experience of the theatre as the locus of meaning, and the function of stage and theatre spaces in theatre art. The overall goal of the course is to give you a foundational understanding of key theories of the poetics of performance, so that you may build upon this knowledge through your later studies as Theatre and Drama majors.

Texts: All of the readings for the course are included in the course kit, available at the McGill University bookstore.

Evaluation: TBA

Format: Lecture and class discussion

Average Enrollment: TBA


*ENGL 356 Middle English

Literature of the 15th Century: From Medieval to Early Modern 

Professor Michael Van Dussen 
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 8:35 – 9:55 am 

Full course description

Note: Students who have taken ENGL 356 under a different course topic are free to take this version of the course. Although the course number is the same, the content is entirely different; therefore, these will count as two different courses toward university and program requirements. Course texts are almost all written in the original Middle English, but no prior experience with ME is required. I will provide some introduction to the language and a portion of several classes will be devoted to reading, translating and transcribing. 

Description: The fifteenth century in England was a dynamic time during which concepts of authorship, communication, textual production and literate activity were undergoing tremendous change. English was developing quickly as England's official language, overtaking French and Latin. Heresy and its suppression met with a burgeoning humanist movement, and mainstream religious practice was enormously vibrant and varied. Further, at the end of the fifteenth century, print technology coexisted with a lively manuscript culture in England. Yet despite all of these developments, literature of the fifteenth century has often been characterized as derivative and cautious, with far more scholarly emphasis being placed on the poets of previous generations like Chaucer, Langland, Gower and the Gawain-poet. This course situates fifteenth-century English literature in its dynamic cultural contexts, examining how late-medieval literature in England intersected with developments in politics, religious controversy, historiography, literacy and technology.

Evaluation (provisional): Mid-term exam, 25%; Final exam, 35%; Final essay, 30%; Participation and attendance, 10%

Format: Lecture and discussion

Texts (provisional):

  • Hoccleve, Thomas, The Regiment of Princes (and select shorter poems)
  • Lydgate, John, The Siege of Thebes
  • Malory, Sir Thomas, Le Morte D'Arthur
  • The Book of Margery Kempe
  • The Paston Letters
  • The Piers Plowman Tradition
  • Course packet (including poetry by John Capgrave, John Mirk, John Audelay, Mystery plays, and other pertinent texts)

*ENGL 358 Chaucer

Troilus and Criseyde: Chaucer's Courtly Poetry 

Professor Jamie Fumo 
Fall Term 2011
Wednesday and Friday 10:05 – 11:25 am  

Full course description

Prerequisite: None 

Description: While Chaucer is best known today for his last major work, the Canterbury Tales, his literary reputation before the modern period rested more prominently on his earlier works: the playful dream-visions, the courtly lyrics, and the grand love-epic Troilus and Criseyde.  While Chaucer's early works differ greatly from the Canterbury Tales in style and subject matter, they are equally revolutionary from the standpoint of literary history: they proved that the previously humble English vernacular could match the refinement of French courtly poetry, the grandeur of Italian humanism, and the sophistication of learned Latin discourse. This course explores how Chaucer's pre-Canterbury Tales poetry at once absorbed continental influences and created something new and specifically "English"—and even more specifically, "Chaucerian."   

This course has two overlapping goals: 1) to place Chaucer's early poetry in the context of the literary, cultural, and socio-historical milieux in which Chaucer moved as a court poet during the tumultuous late-fourteenth century; 2) to trace Chaucer's highly self-conscious development as a writer in the early to middle phases of his literary career—a process that figures crucially in the development of the very concept of English "authorship."  We will begin by acquainting ourselves with Chaucer's "library" by reading some of his own favorite books in translation (Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy and parts of Guillaume de Lorris's and Jean de Meun's Roman de la Rose) and discussing his literary influences.  We will then sample Chaucer's lyrics and two of his dream-visions (Book of the Duchess and House of Fame); then we will devote a substantial period of time (approximately half the semester) to a close reading of Troilus and Criseyde, the work that many critics consider Chaucer's masterpiece.  We will conclude by reading part of Chaucer's collection of erotic "saints' lives," the Legend of Good Women—a controversial poem that both "retracts" Troilus and looks ahead to the Canterbury Tales.  All Chaucer readings will be in the original Middle English; no prior experience with Middle English is necessary, though learning it will be a formal expectation of the course.     

Evaluation:

10% Middle English recitation, 20% mid-term exam, 35% term paper (8-10 pages), 25% final exam, 10% class participation.   

Required Texts:

1. Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. R. A. Shoaf  (East Lansing, Mich.: Woodbridge: Colleagues Press; Boydell & Brewer, 1989).

2. Geoffrey Chaucer, Dream Visions and Other Poems, ed. Kathryn L. Lynch (Norton Critical Edition, 2006).

3. Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, trans. Richard Green (Dover, 2002).    


ENGL 359 Poetics of the Image 

Professor Ara Osterweil 
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 1:05 – 2:25 pm (class)
Tuesday 6:05 – 7:55 pm (screening)

Full course description

Description: This course is designed to teach students how to meaningfully close read image-based cultural texts. Using multiple strategies of visual analysis, students will learn how to perform perceptive, informed and medium-specific interpretations of both still and moving images. Focusing our critical lens on some of the most innovative photography and film texts of the last century, we will study the nuances of composition, color, mise-en-scene, framing, camera movement, editing and sound. Paying close attention to the ways in which visual style creates meaning, students will learn to look beyond narrative and dialogue in order to understand the poetics of the image.  By privileging avant-garde and experimental texts over more mainstream examples, this course will prepare students to recognize and interpret the subversive potential of visual culture. 

In addition to numerous close-reading exercises, we will be supplementing our investigation of images by reading many classical essays on photography and film, by theorists such as John Berger, Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes, Laura Mulvey, Andre Bazin, Christian Metz, Kaja Silverman, Mary Ann Doane, and Richard Dyer, as well as several seminal texts by Siegfried Kracauer, Jacques Lacan and Sigmund Freud. Students must come to class prepared with all of the assigned reading. Lectures will be illustrated by copious examples.  

In addition to lectures, there is a mandatory screening every week.  Students who cannot attend the screening should not enroll in the course. Films to be screened include (nostalgia); La Jetee; The Battle of Algiers; The Passion of Joan of Arc; Vivre sa Vie; Dance, Girl, Dance; Persona; and Daisies

Format: Lecture and Discussion

Examination Requirements:

  • Attendance and Participation 15%
  • Mini-Paper 15%
  • Two Small Papers (each worth 25%) 50%
  • Midterm Exam 20%

ENGL 360 Literary Criticism

Professor David Hensley 
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 11:35 am – 12:55 pm 

Full course description

Prerequisites: At least 3 credits of ENGL 200, 201, 202, or 203. Additional pre- or co-requisite: ENGL 311. ENGL 360 is strictly designed for U2 Honours English Literature students.

Description: This course will survey concepts and problems that inform various orientations of twentieth-century literary criticism and theory. The readings, lectures, workshop discussions, and writing assignments will address not only several formalisms in the field – including Russian Formalism, New Criticism, Structuralism, and Deconstruction – but also a range of alternative approaches to interpretation and scholarship such as Marxism, feminism, hermeneutics, reception aesthetics, reader response, and the New Historicism. To some extent, this survey should enable a broad understanding of important debates about the basic aims, claims, terms, and practices of literary criticism in the past century. With reference to the legacy of antiquity, the Enlightenment, and Romanticism, we will consider diverse views of the relationship between author, text, and reader or audience. In discussing rhetoric, genre, interpretation, evaluation, canonicity, gender, sexuality, power, and ideology, we will try to appreciate the controversial significance of these issues in the history of criticism. At the same time, our work should not only lead to reflection on the tradition of literary criticism and theory but also set forth intellectual motives and conceptual tools for continuing the study of literature.

Format: Lectures and discussion

Evaluation: Tentatively, papers (90%) and participation (10%). Regular attendance is required for a passing final grade (a maximum of two absences will be allowed except for documented medical or similar emergencies).

Texts: TBA

The books for this course will be available at The Word Bookstore, 469 Milton Street, 514-845-5640. Photocopies may supplement the books on order. 

Average enrollment: 40 students


ENGL 364 Creative Writing

Fiction 2

Instructor: Ms. Kathleen Winter 
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday 2:35 – 5:25 pm 

Full course description

Office: TBA

Phone: TBA

Email: TBA

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor required. Enrolment is limited to 15 students. 

To apply, please submit a portfolio that includes these items:

  1. A childhood memory (350-500 words)
  2. A list of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer

3. A work of fiction or creative non fiction, or a fragment thereof (1500-2500 words)

Submissions must be typed in Times New Roman size 12 font and double-spaced.

Portfolios must be submitted to the Department of English by 4:30, Friday, October 21. Late submissions will not be considered. Please include your email address with your submission. Students will be notified about their applications via email, on or before November 11. 

Description:  This weekly workshop will help each student practice the writing of creative prose in an original, clear voice. Writers will learn how to recognize what is most alive in their own work, and develop it through sound techniques of sentence and story structure. The class will study assigned examples of strong creative prose as well as essays by writers on writing. Work shopping students' original work will be a major part of the course. We will develop a respectful environment in which students will be expected to write, share, and engage in constructive critique. Students will submit short fiction pieces and one longer piece of fiction or lyric non-fiction, and will be expected to attend at least one literary reading during the semester. Grades will be based on writing submitted to the workshop, constructive participation in the workshop, commentary on the assigned readings, and a final portfolio of finished, edited pieces.  

Evaluation:

Participation and engagement in work shopping and editing work of self and others: 20%

Commentary on assigned readings: 10%

Short fiction submissions early drafts: 15%

Long fiction or lyric non-fiction early drafts: 20%

Final Portfolio: 35% 

Format: Workshop and seminar 

Required Texts:

The Elements of Style (Illustrated) Strunk/White/Kalman (Penguin)

Assigned readings compiled by the instructor 

Suggested References:

Aspects of the Novel (E.M.Forster)

Tell it Slant (Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola)

Writing True (Sondra Perl and Mimi Schwartz)

If You Want to Write (Brenda Ueland)

How Fiction Works (James Wood)


ENGL 365 Costuming for the Theatre I

Ms. Catherine Bradley
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 10:05-11:25 am 

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation:

  • Permission of the instructor required for registration. 
  • Reading of play script completed. 
  • Sewing kit in the costume shop at all times.  Minimum sewing kits consists of thimble, fabric scissors, one package of needles, one box of pins, and a pencil.  Each item must be labeled with the student's name, stored in a container.

Description: Costume design is rooted in the play script, which is where the journey begins. Character analysis and period research inform our design choices.  Costuming I focuses on skills acquisition.  The process of designing and making costumes for a main stage theatre production is the practical project that fuels this class.  Skills that will be covered typically include use of industrial sewing machines, hand sewing techniques, and introductory garment construction methods.   

The English Department Main Stage theatre production provides an opportunity for students to practice their costuming skills in the atelier and backstage.  The costume class will see the project through from concept to confection, and will be in charge of the costumes backstage. Each student will have a specific production duty as well as a hands-on production project.  

At the end of term the production will be presented, with the costume team as backstage costume crew. The final night of the production, all students will be required to attend strike, which is dismantling of the show.  Students will be expected to strike the set as well as the costumes.  

Texts: TBD

Evaluation: (tentative) attendance/participation 10%, character notes 5%, charts 5%, design concepts 10%, costume sketches 10%, Production Project 30%, Production Duty 20%, back stage crew 10%, 

Format: lectures, hands-on projects, demonstrations, and practical work.  Additional production hours outside of class time are required, and are often substantial. 

Average Enrollment: 10 students, by permission of the instructor.


ENGL 366 Film Genre

The Classic Horror Film 

Instructor: Dr. J. A. Shea
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 11:35 am -12:55 pm (class)
Friday 4:35 - 6:55 pm (screening)

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation:

Description: This course will pursue the idea of "classic" horror not in terms of notoriety or acclaim, but as a way to designate films that articulate a particularly intense set of historical concerns. Most of our films will be more than thirty years old, and many will be in black and white, though by the end we will creep close to the current state of the genre. Divided up into a range of subgenres (the slasher film, the gothic, institutional horror) and special issues (the problem of sound, the horror of film itself), the course will introduce students to the versatility of horror and pose the question of its ongoing adaptability.   

Central to our approach will be the complication of affect. In other words, no longer will we be content to judge simply whether a horror film is "scary;" instead, we will explore the genre's production of a broad palette of feeling, including key cousins of fear such as disgust, humour, and shame. Indeed, even fear itself might be usefully divided into slow dread and fast panic (which is one reason why the speed of zombies matters). It is ultimately this rich interplay of response that will help us articulate the genre's corresponding socio-political work, including its special importance for feminism and queer theory. Possible films include Halloween, Suspiria, The Haunting, Freaks, Night of the Living Dead, Cure and Funny Games.

Texts: coursepack 

Evaluation:
film journals 35%
term paper 35%
participation 20%
quizzes 10% 

Format: lecture and discussion 

Average Enrollment: 60


ENGL 367 Acting 2 

Professor Myrna Wyatt Selkirk 
Fall Term 2011
Monday and Wednesday 10:35 am -12:25 pm 

Full course description

Limited enrollment.  Permission of instructor required.  Admission to the course will be by application and interview.  Please check the door of Arts 240 for details. 

Prerequisite: ENGL 230, ENGL 269 and/or permission of instructor. 

Description: As in ENGL 269 the focus of this course will be on the actor as communicator. Students will explore ways to become more engaged, more open and more focused.  Emphasis will be placed on exploration of the actor's resources - voice, body, imagination, emotions, intellect and the senses.  Development of skills will be channeled mostly through the analysis, interpretation and performance of written texts.  

Evaluation: Attendance and Participation 20%(minus 5% for absence, minus 1% for lateness), Project #1: 25%, Project #2: 25%, Project #3: 30%. All presentations have an oral and a written component.  

Format of class: Warm-ups; discussion; improvisation; movement and voice exercises; text interpretation; scene work; oral presentations. 

Texts: Five Approaches to Acting by David Kaplan (West Broadway Press, 2001) and 3 playscripts (TBA). 

Avg. enrollment: 14 students


ENGL 368 Stage Scenery and Lighting 1

 

Ms. Corinne Deeley
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday & Thursday 10:05 - 11:25 am

Full course description

Prerequisites: None. Limited enrolment. Permission of instructor required. Not open to students enrolled in ENGL 365.

Description: This is a practical theatre course that focuses on technical aspects of theatre performances. Students will be introduced to the practices of lighting, sound, stage management, set and prop construction. The class will be involved in the Mainstage English Department Production and be responsible for the backstage running crew work during the run of the production.

This course is extremely time consuming and labour intensive. It requires a great deal of commitment.

Format: Workshop demonstrations and practical assignments.


ENGL 370 Theatre History

The Long 18th Century 

Professor Fiona Ritchie 
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 9:05 – 10:25 am 

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation: ideally students enrolled in this course will have already taken ENGL 230 Introduction to Theatre Studies 

Description: An overview of dramatic forms and theatrical practice in Britain from the Restoration through the eighteenth century to the Romantic period (c. 1660-1843).  The course is divided into four chronological units encompassing the reopening of the professional theatre, the rise of morality and sentiment, the age of Garrick and the development of stage spectacle.  Each unit will cover the theatrical conditions of the period and will examine a representative play staged at the time.  Emphasis is placed on the plays as theatrical works rather than literary texts.  We will also analyse historical documents to explore themes such as genre, acting style, audience experience, theatre architecture, financial practices, regulation of the stage and company management.  In addition to reading and discussing theatre history documents and play texts, students will also participate in practical workshops in which they will direct their peers in performing scenes from the plays studied in light of their knowledge of the playing conditions of the period. 

Texts:

  • Peter Thomson, The Cambridge Introduction to English Theatre, 1660-1900 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006)
  • coursepack probably containing the following plays:
    • William Wycherley, The Country Wife (1675)
    • Richard Steele, The Conscious Lovers (1722)
    • David Garrick and George Colman, The Clandestine Marriage (1766)
    • Joanna Baillie, Witchcraft (1836)

Evaluation: (tentative): participation 10%; midterm exam 25%; practical assignment 30%; take home final exam 35% 

Format: lecture, discussion, group work, practical work 


ENGL 372 Stage Scenery and Lighting 2

Mr. Keith Roche
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday & Thursday 10:05 - 11:25 am

Full course description

Prerequisite: None. Limited enrolment. Permission of instructor required. Not open to students enrolled in ENGL 377. Students interested in taking this course are instructed to keith [dot] roche [at] mcgill [dot] ca (contact Mr. Roche by email).

Description: This is a practical theatre course that focuses on the more advanced technical aspects of theatre performances. Students will be focus on the practices of lighting, sound, stage management, and set and prop construction as well as some aspects of design in these areas. The class will be involved in the Mainstage English Department Production and be responsible for the backstage running crew work during the run of the production.

This course is extremely time consuming and labour intensive. It requires a great deal of commitment.

Format: Lectures, production demonstrations and up to 80 hours of production work.


ENGL 374 Film Movement or Period

Introduction to Documentary Cinema

Instructor: Mr. Justin Pfefferle
Winter Term 2012
Monday and Wednesday 2:35 - 3:55 pm
Screenings: Tuesday and Thursday 5:05 – 7:55 pm

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Description: When John Grierson coined the term documentary in 1932, in his “First Principles of Documentary,” he admitted that “documentary is a clumsy description,” but urged his reader to “let it stand.” Instead of accepting Grierson’s imperative, we will examine, in this course, precisely what it means to describe a film as documentary. Using a wide range of cinematic texts, including Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North (1922), Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will (1935), D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back (1967), Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Reassemblage (1982), and Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine (2002), this class will confront some of the formal, philosophical, social, and political problems unique to documentary cinema.

Students will be invited to follow a trajectory of documentary filmmaking, with a mind to understanding what visual, audio, and rhetorical codes might contribute to, or challenge, the status a cinematic work as non-fiction. Throughout the term, we will investigate whether or not documentary filmmakers have a special responsibility to “tell the truth” in their films, and, if so, what the nature and epistemic limitations of that truth might be. To answer these questions, we will pay particular attention to the close intersections between documentary and propaganda, between veridical authority on one hand and the manipulation or selective telling of the truth on the other. In all instances, films will be viewed and discussed as works of art and as products of particular social and historical contexts.

NB: This course features one mandatory screening per week. All students must attend all screenings.

Evaluation: Screening logs (30%); group assignment (20%); short essay (20%); term paper (30%)

Format: Lecture, screening, discussion

Texts:

  • Coursepack, including readings by John Grierson, Barry Keith Grant, Keith Beattie, bell hooks, Carl Plantinga, and Judith Butler.
  • Bill Nichols, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1991.

ENGL 375 Interpretation of the Dramatic Text

Professor Denis Salter 
Fall Term 2011 
Tuesday and Thursday 10:35 am — 11:55 pm  

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation: Previous university-level courses in drama and theatre, literature, or cultural studies.

Description: The object of our seminar is to define, at a theoretical level and through applied case-studies, the fraught terms 'theatricality' and 'performativity' (and their cognates) to determine not only why, how, and to what ends each term can / might be used, but also to arrive at an understanding of to what extent they are sovereign and / or complementary. As Josette Féral proposes: "I would argue here that there is no contradiction whatsoever between these two perspectives, which seem widely divergent. Rather, they complement each other, allowing us to better understand the phenomenon of representation, underscoring that performativity, far from contradicting theatricality, is one of its elements. In integrating performativity within itself, theatricality sees it as one of its fundamental modalities, giving theatricality its power and meaning. In fact, such an approach allows us to better understand any spectacle, which is an interplay of both performativity and theatricality."

Our seminar will first devote itself to a close reading of a selection of mostly theoretical essays, several of which come from a special online issue of SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism 31.2 & 3 (2002), ed. Josette Féral. These will include two essays by Féral, and one essay by each of Freddie Rokem, Marvin A. Carlson, and Silvija Jestrovic.

Our seminar will then examine some dramatic / film texts as case-studies, exploring, (re)interpreting, and applying the critical vocabulary that we have acquired to see what its use-value might be.

Evaluation (Tentative): Active participation in the intellectual life of the seminar 15%; one seminar presentation on a theoretical text or case-study 15%; a distilled critical argument arising from the seminar presentation advanced in a 8-page long essay 20%; a 16-page long scholarly essay from a choice of individually-negotiated topics 50%

Format: Brief lectures; led-discussions; presentations including interrogative Q & As.

Texts:

  • Coursepack containing a variety of theoretical essays by Philip Auslander, J. L. Austin, Judith Butler, Johan Callens, Tracy C. Davis, Jacques Derrida, Ric Knowles, Jon McKenzie, Andrew Parker, Thomas Postlewait, Richard Schechner, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
  • Michel Tremblay, Albertine In FiveTimes, trans. Linda Gaboriau (Talonbooks)
  • Georg Bϋchner, Woyzeck (Nick Hern Books)
  • Federico Garcia Lorca, The House of Bernarda Alba, trans. Rona Munro (Nick Hern Books)
  • Lorena Gale, Angélique (Playwrights Canada Press)

Film: Baz Luhrmann, Romeo + Juliet (Bazmark Films)

Film Script: Craig Pearce and Baz Luhrmann, Romeo + Juliet 
www.script-o-rama.com/snazzy/dircut.html


ENGL 377 Costuming for the Theatre II

Ms. Catherine Bradley 
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 10:05 – 11:25 am 

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation: Permission of the instructor required.

Description: Costuming II builds on the basics that were covered in Costuming I. 

The production for this semester allows a wonderful opportunity for students to practice their skills in the design and construction of costumes.  The costume designers will see the project through from concept to confection, and will be in charge of the costumes backstage.  This will be presented as the English Department's spring production. This will give students a greater opportunity to manage all aspects of costume production independently.  Students should expect to spend time in the costume shop doing hands on projects outside of class.  This class is time consuming and requires a high level of commitment.  The project this semester is Theatre Laboratory. 

Texts: Students need to read the script for the English Department Main stage play, but are not expected to purchase it.  

Evaluation (Tentative):  attendance 10%, character notes 10%, costume design 10%, costume construction 25%, production project 25%, and backstage costume crew 20% 

Format: lectures, demonstrations, hands-on projects 

Average Enrollment: 10 students 


ENGL 378 Media and Culture

Media Ethics 

Professor Marianne A. Stenbaek
Fall Term 2011
Tuesday and Thursday 10:05 – 11:25 am

Full course description

Description: The media is assuming an ever increasing role in these exciting but turbulent times of culture clashes, political and military uncertainty and globalization.  What role do the media play and what role ought the media play? This course will look at different ethical systems and models that the media has adhered to or has tried to adhere to during the previous century and this century, such as the media as educator, the media as social and moral arbiter, the media as the voice of the community, the media as political agent, etc. Do these models of media still hold? Or are we operating with new models such a face book journalism, wiki-leaks, "scientific journalism" (journalism based on real first-hand knowledge of documents as in leaks) Do we need new models or are they being developed all by themselves? How can we arrive at them? How has the Internet changed the news media? 

Is journalism becoming a more dangerous profession and how do the many new possibilities for viewer/reader interaction play into the conveyance of news and the implications of instantaneous news (cf. recent North African and other revolutions) 

The course will examine contemporary media, particularly news coverage in print, television and internet media.  It will look at different codes of conduct and models of ethics in various news organizations and attempt to work toward a model(s) of responsible and fair news coverage at a time when the concept of media and news coverage is changing, almost daily.  The course will look at the changes in media brought by the internet, blogs, cell-phone pics, I-reports, etc. 

The course will use examples from contemporary media (with an emphasis on the news) to try to address these concerns and questions. The emphasis will be on Canadian and American media but media from other countries may be included. 

Evaluation: 

  • 2 Short papers (4-5 pages): 20 % each unless there are conferences
  • One class test 10%.
  • Final Research Paper (8-12): 50% .Topics will be handed out in class. However, if you would like to pursue a topic of your own choice, please submit a written proposal and have it approved before undertaking it.
 

Deadlines: short paper-. October 5, 2nd short paper—November 2 and final paper--December 2. Class test time will be announced. 

Format: Lectures and discussions.  

Texts: TBA.  Will include a course pack 

Apart from the course pack, other specific cases and issues will be discussed in class, depending on the news.  Articles and other material will be made available in class.  Excerpts from videos and films will be shown.  You are expected to watch/read TV and newspaper news, Internet news, specific face books, and blogs as well as to bring "cases" to class for discussions. Readings will be assigned in class and schedule will also be available at the blog:

thestenbaekfile.net 


ENGL 381 Major Filmmaker 1

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Professor Ara Osterweil
Winter Term 2012
Tuesday and Thursday 10:05 – 11:25 am (class) Wednesday 6:05 – 7:55 pm (screening)

Full course description

Prerequisites: Students taking this course should be proficient in film analysis, and should have taken ENGL 277 Introduction to Film Studies, and either: ENGL 275 Introduction to Cultural Studies, or ENGL 359 Poetics of the Image, or another film studies course at the 300-level or higher.

Description: This course takes an in-depth look at the brief, furiously prolific career of German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982). The enfant terrible of New German Cinema, Fassbinder was also its most innovative practitioner. Working at breakneck speed, Fassbinder made forty-four films in fourteen years, all of which ruthlessly attacked German bourgeois norms and values. Exploring the political and social contradictions of a society recently emerged from the devastation of the second world war, Fassbinder's films interrogated his own, and the nation's, attempt to come to terms with fascism.

This course looks at thirteen of Fassbinder's most important films, including The Marriage of Maria Braun, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Lola, Veronika Voss, Lili Marleen, and In the Year of Thirteen Moons.

In addition to copious reading every week, there is a required screening every week. Students who cannot attend the screening should not take the course.

Evaluation:

  • Attendance and Participation 15%
  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Final Exam 25%
  • Final Paper 40%

Format: Lecture and Discussion


ENGL 383 Studies in Communication 1

The Kennedys in the Media and Film

Professor Berkeley Kaite
Fall Term 2011
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:35 – 1:25 pm

Full course description

Description: In this course we will examine the (mostly) North American pre-occupation with the Kennedy family. Much of the attention to President Kennedy's family occurred following his assassination in Dallas, Texas in November of 1963. We will examine the reasons for this intense media fascination. Kennedy was the 4th US president to be assassinated: some of the media scrutiny is due to his being President while television was taking hold in American homes. Among other things, thus, we will focus on the cultural contexts for what can be referred to as the "Kennedy industries." These will include enhanced visibility of the presidential office and family, charisma and the photogenics of power, the culture of the "cold war" and the transition from the late 50s to the early 60s. But, we will also look at some related issues and questions, among them: the role of trauma and the body in the maintenance of national identities; the investment in secrets, conspiracy theories and gossip in the mass media age; the function of popular memory; and central figures to the Kennedy narratives, for example, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lee Harvey Oswald. Key questions here will be, among others, what do we need to remember of them and what do we insist on forgetting? Note: this course will be less concerned with getting at any truths about the Kennedys; rather it seeks to address the circulation of stories, the proliferation of statements, "facts," images which go into the "cultural screen saver"* called JFK (*Thomas Mallon, Mrs. Paine's Garage and the Murder of John F. Kennedy, 2002). There are four books for this course along with two films (and a small coursepack of a few articles). All are required reading and viewing.

Evaluation: (tentative) short précis of articles, book and films (60%); participation (10%); final exam (30%)

Format: Lectures, discussion, presentation of visual materials, film screenings.

Texts:

  • Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images by David Lubin (California, 2003)
  • November 22, 1963 by Adam Braver (Tin House, 2008)
  • American Adulterer by Jed Mercurio (Vintage, 2010)
  • Libra by Don DeLillo (Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1988)
  • JFK (dir. Oliver Stone, 1991)
  • The House of Yes (dir. Mark Waters, 1997)
  • A small coursepack of readings

Average Enrollment: 40


ENGL 385 Topics in Literature and Film

Solitude in Literature and Film 

Professor Berkeley Kaite 
Winter Term 2012
Wednesday and Friday 11:35 am – 12:55 pm (class)
Tuesday 10:35 am – 1:25 pm (screening)

Full course description

Description: E. M. Forster  says, "Only connect."  Janet Malcolm replies, "Only we can't."  In Loneliness as a Way of Life Thomas Dumm puts these thoughts into relief when he notes : "… our most important understandings about the shape of our present communal existence – the division between public and private, our inability to live with each other honestly and in comity, the estranged and isolating forms that our relationships with our most intimate acquaintances sometimes assume, the weaknesses of our attachments to each other and hence to our lives in common – are all manifestations of the loneliness that has permeated the modern world."  In this course we will look at some literary and cinematic manifestations of this issue of solitude, how it is imagined, played out and, if not exalted, presented as inescapable: the experience of being one in a world.  Solitude may be indescribable but it does find its expression in words and images.  Do not despair!  The works we will examine should not lead to responses of forlornness.  Rather, they depict hope, longing and creative imaginings of ways to "connect." 

Prerequisite: At least one course in the English department which featured film and/or literature as part of it syllabus and evaluation.

Evaluation: (tentative) short precis of the books and films (70%); participation (10%); quizzes or oral reports (20%) 

Format: lectures, screenings, discussion 

Texts from:

  • Nicole Krauss, The History of Love (2005)
  • Arthur Miller, The Death of a Salesman (1949)
  • Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses   (2005 [2003])
  • Kathryn Harrison, Seeking Rapture (2004)
  • In Treatment (HBO)
  • Paris Texas (dir. Wim Wenders, 1984)
  • Last Tango in Paris (dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)
  • The Straight Story (dir. David Lynch, 1999)
  • Hiroshima, Mon Amour (dir. Alain Resnais, 1959)

Average enrolment: 40


ENGL 388 Studies in Popular Culture

Professor Marianne A. Stenbaek
Winter Term 2012
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4:35 – 5:25 pm

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation:

Description: “… as we embark on a new century of broadcasting, it is clear that no genre, form, or type of programming has been as actively marketed by producers, or been more enthusiastically embraced by viewers, than reality- based TV.”

The course will examine a number of reality-based shows, mainly from Britain, Canada and the US. It will look at different categories of shows and will attempt to contextualize them within contemporary popular culture.

The course will begin by looking at some of the plays by the so-called ‘angry young men’ (1950’s--the 1970’s) who were some of the first to move towards reality plays dealing with “ordinary people” and tackling new topics. They may have been the precursors of some of the reality shows which originated in Britain around the same time. We will look specifically at John Osborne and John Arden.

Texts: TBA but will include a Course Pack

Evaluation: 2 Short papers (5-7pages): 25% each (unless there are conferences); Final Exam: 50%

Format: Lectures and discussions 


ENGL 389 Studies in Popular Culture

Shakespeare on Film 

Professor Wes Folkerth 
Fall Term 2011 
Tuesday and Thursday 1:05 – 2:25 pm (class)
Monday 11:35 am -1:55 pm (screening)

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation: Previous university-level course work in Shakespeare Studies.  

Description: In this course we examine how a range of filmmakers have related to Shakespeare's cultural and textual authority. Such relationships are inevitably complex, and characterized by a variety of attitudes, including devotion, subversion, opposition, resistance, dialogue, opportunism and appropriation. We will begin by investigating different ways of conceptualizing authority, taking into account early modern modes of textual production, theories of cinematic auteurship, and critical accounts of Shakespeare's cultural position. The first screening will be Al Pacino's Looking for Richard (1996), a self–reflexive case study of one director's attempt to bring Shakespearean material to film. In the second section of the course, "Carrying the Torch," we will study the work of a number of important directors who have addressed Shakespeare in their cinematic work, including Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Laurence Olivier, Peter Brook, and Kenneth Branagh. The third and final part of the course, "Running with the Ball," will focus on the work of several directors—Gus van Sant, Peter Greenaway, Jean–Luc Godard, Baz Luhrmann and Lloyd Kaufman—who cinematically expresses what may be termed a more "postmodern" relationship to Shakespearean authority in their works. 

Texts: Course-Pak of selected weekly readings. Students are also expected to familiarize themselves with the textual versions of the plays covered in screenings, and may use any edition they have to hand. 

Evaluation: Paper 6-8pp (25%); Paper 10-12pp (35%); Final Exam (30%); Conference Participation (10%) 

Format: Lecture and class discussion, conference sections, mandatory film screenings.

Average Enrollment: 80 students.


ENGL 391 Special Topics in Cultural Studies 1

Hitchcock

Professor Ned Schantz 
Fall Term 2011
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:35 am -12:25 pm (class)
Friday 4:35 - 6:55 pm (screening)

Full course description

Prerequisites: None.

Expected Student Preparation:

Description: This course will investigate the full range of Hitchcock's career from the twenties to the seventies. We will not be content to rediscover his genius; instead, our goal will be to understand his success in cultural terms. The premise will be that Hitchcock's cinema of suspense provides a map of civilization in perpetual collapse under the weight of failed hospitality. Out of these social conditions emerges a profoundly ambivalent Hitchcockian project, which is nothing less than the production of a new social geography from the cadavers of gender, class, nationality, sexuality, and the family. Our strategy will then be to analyze the cinematic production of space and time, particularly as warped by the presence of technologies like the train, the airplane, and the telephone, and to ask how this new geography might be inhabitable. 

Texts:

  • A Hitchcock Reader (eds. Deutelbaum, Poague)
  • Tania Modleski  The Women Who Knew Too Much
  • and a coursepack 

Evaluation:
film journals 35%
term paper 40%
participation 15%
quizzes 10% 

Format: lecture and discussion 

Average Enrollment: 60