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2023 Summer Courses

ENGL 215 Introduction to Shakespeare

Instructor Marie Trotter
Time: TBA

Full course description

Description: This course provides an introduction to the dramatic works of William Shakespeare, covering a range of his plays from a variety of genres in approximate chronological order. The plays will be studied in their Early Modern context, with a look to relevant historical events, dramatic and textual sources, and innovations in staging practice. We will also consider critical and production history, examining how Shakespeare’s plays have been produced, adapted, and received over the past 400 years. We’ll supplement our reading of the plays with viewings of scenes from film adaptations and recordings of stage productions.

Texts: Selected plays by William Shakespeare, to be confirmed:

  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Richard II
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Henry V
  • Twelfth Night
  • Hamlet
  • Measure for Measure
  • Othello
  • The Winter’s Tale

Evaluation: (to be confirmed) Short response papers, quizzes, production analysis, final paper.

Format: Lectures, in-class discussions, close-reading exercises.

ENGL 335 The 20th Century Novel I

British Women and Comic Fiction

Instructor Kayla Penteliuk
Time TBA

Full course description

Expected Preparation: As this class is intermediate level, it is strongly recommended that students have taken at least one 200-level course and preferably two further courses in English, such as Poetics and Survey.

Description: “Women have no sense of humour,” a 1929 issue of The Bookman reads. If this was the consensus, then why are so many women-authored novels of this era humorous? In this course, we will read twentieth-century British fiction authored by women through the stylistic and narrative conventions of the middlebrow. We will interpret these novels through numerous comedic subgenres, including the pastiche, domestic comedy, satire, burlesque, the comedy of manners, black comedy, surreal comedy, and parody. Various inter-war and post-war female identities – spinsters, witches, quirky aunts, widows, bored housewives, feminists and suffragettes, Bohemians, and queer women – will be investigated. Recurring tropes of fiction, such as first love, melodrama, pastoral and village life, the marriage plot, warfare, adultery, snobbery, and class labour will be discussed. Traces of the Victorian domestic novel and modernism as they appear in these novels will be the subject of some lectures.

Texts (subject to change):

  • Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner (ISBN: 978-0241454886)
  • At Mrs. Lippincote’s by Elizabeth Taylor (ISBN: 978-1844083091)
  • The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (ISBN: 978-0241514993)
  • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (ISBN: 978-0241418895)
  • Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (ISBN: 978-0143104872)àà
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (ISBN: 1250146690)

Evaluation: Participation and attendance (10%); in-class midterm (30%); essay (30%); take home final exam (30%).

Format: Lecture and in-class discussion.

Enrollment: 50

ENGL 391 Special Topics: Cultural Studies 1

Walt Disney

Instructor Steven Greenwood
Time TBA

Full course description

Expected Student Preparation: Previous coursework in film, literature, theatre, communications or cultural studies. Knowledge of the formal features and language of film is an asset, as is an understanding of cultural studies, media studies critical theory, or other relevant theory and/or criticism.

Description: While the concept of “a filmmaker” typically refers to directors, this course focuses on Walt Disney, a producer, providing a different perspective on what, exactly, makes a filmmaker. Exploring the artistic development and distinctive style of a producer’s work, the course will complicate and expand on notions of the auteur and the filmmaker. Furthermore, exploring the legacy of someone whose name has continued to be attached to films for over 50 years after his death pushes the boundaries of how we relate individual artists to the art associated with them.

The course will begin with Disney’s early career; students will read works by Sergei Eisensten and Sean P. Griffin demonstrating how radically different early Disney looked from the style he eventually consolidated by 1937 with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We will explore how Disney made the transition from his early shorts to the style of Snow White, with which contemporary audiences are likely more familiar. The course will then follow Disney’s career from 1937-1966, exploring how cultural, technological, artistic and economic factors influenced and shaped Disney’s style through these periods (as well as how Disney’s cultural influence reciprocally shaped these factors). The end of the course will then explore how the Disney corporation was handled after Disney’s death, and how the company managed to develop a style that maintained their clear connection to Walt Disney (enough to continue attaching his name to their films) while still adapting to changing contexts to allow his style to continue developing and growing, even after his death.

Films will include: Shorts by Disney (including The Skeleton Dance, Alice’s Spooky Adventures, and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit), Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Education for Death, Commando Duck, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Frozen, Encanto, Moana, Sister Act, The Princess and the Frog, Strange World, Black Panther.

Course readings will likely include: Selections on Auteur theory from Barry Keith Grant, Laura Mulvey, Andre Bazin, and Peter Wollen; Excerpts from: Sean P. Griffin, Tinker Belles and Evil Queens; Sergei Eisenstein, On Disney; The Disney Musical on Stage and Screen, ed. George Rodosthenous; Janet Wasko, Understanding Disney; Henry A. Giroux and Grace Pollock, The Mouse That Roared; Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart, How to Read Donald Duck; Tison Pugh and Susan Lynn Aronstein, The Disney Middle Ages; The Sherman Brothers, Walt’s Time; Joe Flower, Prince of the Magic Kingdom ; John Wills, Disney Culture From Mouse to Mermaid, ed. Elizabeth Bell, Lynda Haas, and Laura Sells.

Evaluation: Essay or creative assignment (50%); 3 quizzes (36%); pragmatic assignment (14%).


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