NOTE: A PASSING GRADE IN A 1000-LEVEL ENGLISH COURSE IS NORMALLY REQUIRED FOR ENTRANCE INTO 2000-LEVEL ENGLISH COURSES.
Students develop the essential elements of university-level writing valuable in almost every field. Engaging in a range of writing assignments, individual tutorials, and textual analysis (from a wide variety of genres), students apply proper citation practices, to engage with the ideas of others, and to craft effective arguments.
This course introduces students to works of literature in English representing a variety of historical and cultural contexts. It develops the student’s ability to interpret written texts and to write about them in an informed and organized manner.
Students encounter the many genres of travel writing in English, ranging from early explorer’s journals to contemporary guidebooks and blogs. Students examine the techniques used to turn the experiences of travel into literary form in relation to topics such as globalization, migration and colonialism.
Students study the relationship between literature and scientific thought and discovery. Topics include works of various genres – fiction, drama, prose, poetry, and film – that interact with the scientific and technological developments of their time, from the beginning of the scientific revolution to the present day.
Students explore the way the environment has been imagined in creative works. Surveying representative texts ranging from nature writing to ecocriticism, students consider how the literary representation of the environment has, and continues to, evolve with changes in the environment.
Students study the relationship between legal and literary texts. Special emphasis is placed on the literary invocation of legal phenomena, the regulation of criminality, and the ways in which legal texts deploy literary conventions to advance the cause of justice.
Students examine the various ways clothing rhetorically projects symbolism and power. Reading from a range of historical periods and genres, students focus on the ways texts use fashion to signal such fundamental issues as national identity, social distinction, religion, politics, and gender and the body.
Students examine the monstrous in literary imaginations and the marginal spaces – cultural, religious, political, racial, gendered – monsters inhabit. Students read texts in a range of historical contexts and genres in order to consider fundamental questions about the monstrous and the human, desire and horror, and image and text.
Students consider the relation between literature and other art forms with a view to developing active habits of reading, watching, and listening. What does the translation of a poem or play into music or film teach us about how to practice creative interpretation in our own thinking and writing?
Students examine literatures from around the world that enact forms of resistance. From political revolutions to protest movements, students explore the ways in which a range of texts (fiction, poetry, drama and film) creatively engage with issues of oppression, struggle and corruption.
Students are introduced to works of literature from a variety of cultural contexts and genres that engage with the dilemma of representing violence. The texts in the course explore how ethics and aesthetics interact to comment upon the capacity of literature to depict various forms of violence in often controversial ways.
Students examine the power of words and images, and will improve their own communicative and analytic ability in writing and speaking. Topics include: memorable speeches delivered by leaders worldwide, examples from contemporary visual culture and the advertising industry, and ideas communicated across various media platforms.
This course provides an introduction to the discipline of literary criticism through extensive exercises in the practical criticism of selected literary works. It is aimed at developing essential skills in close reading and a critical vocabulary with which to analyze and discuss literature, while sharpening students’ attentiveness to the way in which form and content contribute to meaning in a literary work.
This course introduces students to postcolonial writing in English from Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia. Authors to be studied may include Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Shyam Selvadurai, Samuel Selvon, Jamaica Kincaid, Kamala Das and Anita Desai.
This course introduces students to postcolonial writing in English from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Authors to be studied may include Eden Robinson, Sky Lee, Rudy Wiebe, Gerry Bostock, Jack Davis and Witi Ihimaera.
This course considers the development of fiction of crime, mystery, and detection during the nineteenth century, a period in which this genre flourished. Authors to be studied include Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, Henry James, E. A. Poe, and R. L. Stevenson. Attention may also be given to relevant social developments, such as the rise of the police force, advances in criminology and detection, the typology and psychology of the criminal, the “lady detective,” white-collar crime and criminal networks, and the Victorian Underworld.
A study of major 20th Century stories of crime, mystery, and detection. Authors may include Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Sue Grafton.
This course examines the representation of money and finance in a range of genres – including fiction, drama, poetry, and film – and from a range of literary periods. Authors to be considered include William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Theodore Dreiser, George Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Arthur Miller, and Martin Amis. Topics to be addressed include narratives of financial success and failure, gambling and risk, the expansion of capitalism and the stock market, lotteries and auctions, fraud and financial crime, and hoarding and expenditure.
This course examines literature written in English from Old English to the present with the goals of developing awareness of literary history and of exploring relationships between literature and its social and cultural contexts.
The course offers a close study of the lexical, syntactic and rhetorical choices in very short selections of prose writing from 1500 to the present. The passages will be studied in chronological order, with a view to observing developments in prose style in each period.
Students assess the significance of Nova Scotia’s rural landscapes by developing an understanding of their complex representations and histories. By using materials and approaches from both history and literature, students explore the value of interdisciplinary research for generating new thinking about how the past can inform the future.
The course will examine the nature of modern English semantics (meaning), syntax (‘wordings’), and morphology (word formation). Some attention is also paid to intonation (soundings). The course is presented using contemporary grammatical theories.
Students investigate English regional and social dialects, and functional varieties adapted to different contexts and genres. Ideas about 'standard English', attitudes to English varieties, attention to their historical origins, and sources of stability and change in English will also be addressed.
A study of a number of important works of fiction that have been successfully adapted to film. Students consider the specific properties that are unique to each medium and the implications (formal, thematic, social and political) involved in translating from page to screen.
Students examine the mythical figure of Don Juan, the notorious seducer and trickster of Seville. Students track the complex evolution of this character through a rich medium of literary and cultural forms: drama, poetry, fiction, and philosophy, music, and film. The centerpiece of the course is Mozart’s magnificent opera Don Giovanni.
An historical survey of the major works of Western civilization from classical Greece to the Renaissance.
An historical survey of the major works of Western civilization from the Renaissance to the 20th century.
Students examine the mythical figure of Faust, the disgruntled professor who sells his soul to the Devil (Mephistopheles) in exchange for absolute power and knowledge. The history of Faust will be explored through a variety of representations in drama, poetry, fiction, music, opera, and film.
Ranging from 18th century meticulous observers of the natural world through the Romantic poets to modern writers who envision an apocalyptically threatened environment, this course seeks to trace the shifts in literary approaches to nature within different English-speaking traditions and to follow the changing perceptions of the place of the human being within the natural landscape.
This course focuses on women’s literature from the middle ages to the end of the eighteenth century. It covers a variety of literary genres and examines some of the theoretical, historical, and practical concerns pertaining to women’s writing.
This course focuses on literature from the nineteenth century to the present day. It covers a variety of literary genres and examines some of the theoretical, historical, and practical concerns pertaining to women’s writing.
Students analyze media texts, environments, and practices encountered in everyday life, guided by longstanding debates about how media affects and reflects our imaginative conceptions of the world.
This course examines the role of language in forming popular perceptions about the position of women and men in society. The topics include a comparison between English and other languages in matters of grammar, vocabulary, and semantics; a comparison between modern English and earlier stages; and an enquiry into the origin of authoritarian notions of correctness. The historical role of women as users and teachers of language is also considered. Present-day attitudes, implementation of non-sexist language guidelines, and the struggle to establish non-discriminatory language practices are also included in the study.
A study of the influence of the Bible on English literature from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. Particular emphasis will be given to the King James Bible (1611). Some attention will be paid to the ancient context and literary forms of the Jewish and Christian scriptures and to recent theoretical approaches to the relationship of the Bible and literature.
This course begins with the nineteenth-century Catholic revival, with some attention to John Henry Newman and Gerard Manley Hopkins. The main focus is the twentieth-century Catholic novel, including Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Muriel Spark, and David Lodge.
This course is a survey of representative plays from ancient Greece to 1700.
Students survey the theatre history and representative plays ranging from 1500-1800. Course content covers methods of reading drama and the global history of performance and staging in this period, with a particular focus on the intersections between performance, economics, politics, and science.
The course will explore visionary and speculative literature ranging from early nineteenth century speculative fictions up to and including the New Wave. Topics such as the following will be discussed: the influence of the classical writers M. Shelley, J. Verne, and H.G. Wells; the importance of the “pulp” magazines of the 1920s and 1930s and 1940s; Golden Age writers and writing; and the development of the New Wave movement.
This course will trace the rise of fantastic literature into a variety of modern cultural forms (novel, short story, graphic novel, film, gaming) and explore the ideologies it encodes. Examining how the fantastic filters the mythic, medieval and romantic, we will be in a position to speculate on how fantasy’s various manifestations both tie us to the past and reconstruct identity and society in the postmodern era.
A course designed to introduce the student to a wide range of short novels which illustrate both the rich diversity and the fundamental unity of concern which characterize the modern imagination and cultural consciousness.
An examination of the literature and literary background of Atlantic Canada. Emphasis in the first semester is on the 19th and early 20th centuries; in the second semester it is on contemporary writing.
This course is designed to introduce students to short fiction as well as to the analytical concepts necessary for its critical appreciation and judgment.
Students are introduced to the study of narrative English as well as to the analytical concepts necessary for its critical appreciation and judgment.
Students are introduced to methods and problems in poetics and the reading and analysis of English poetry for the purpose of preparing students for advanced work.
Students are introduced to Mi’kmaq literature and oral storytelling tradition in order to examine how Mi’kmaq people and culture have endured, adapted and flourished. As the original inhabitants of the lands now known as Canada’s Maritime provinces, the Mi’kmaq peoples are the holders of a wealth of Indigenous knowledge. These stories, both oral and written, give evidence to the deep connections the Mi’kmaq have with this coastal land base, and exhibit their intimate knowledge of all creatures native to the area.
Students engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of the representation of Canada as “true north” in literature and media. Beginning with Glenn Gould’s “The Idea of North” with emphasis on the mutual influence of the various genres through which Canadians imagine the north, including drama, fiction, historiography, and poetry.. The course includes selections of Inuit literature written in English.
Students are introduced to the techniques, critical approaches and fundamentals of film language (sounc, mis-en-scène, cinematography, editing and narrative), used in the discipline of film studies to read, analyze, and interpret narrative films.
Students are introduced to contemporary Indigenous literatures of Turtle Island, in English, through writing by Indigenous peoples in Canada (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) and Native Americans in the U.S. Through the lens of Indigenous worldview and intellectual ways of knowing, class discussion and analysis centers on social, political, historical, spiritual, and environmental issues with an eye towards decolonization.
A comprehensive study of folklore in Ireland. All aspects of folklore will be examined, with special emphasis on the storytelling, song, and folk drama traditions.
Students study Irish literature and culture as a case study in anti-colonial revolution. Drawing on the works of Ireland’s major revolutionaries and writers, including Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Constance Marklevicz, Lady Gregory, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce. Students examine how and why colonized peoples resist, and what the long-term effects of colonialsim, and its overthrow, might be.
Students study Irish literature and culture as a case study in the pitfalls of postcolonial independence. Students examine issues arising from the legacy of English colonial domination as well as the pre-eminence of Irish life, before and after independence, of the Catholic Church.
The subject matter of particular courses will be announced from time to time. These courses are designed to examine authors and topics not dealt with in other 2000 level courses.
This course provides an introduction to the major issues, figures, and theoretical approaches in the discipline of literary criticism. This section covers the ancients through to nineteenth-century writers.
This course provides an introduction to the major issues, figures, and theoretical approaches in the discipline of literary criticism. This section covers twentieth century through to contemporary writers.
This course is a survey of the literature of ancient Greece and/or Rome in English translation. Course content will be organized either thematically, for example on women in Classical literature or metamorphosis, or by genre, for example on epic, tragedy, or comedy. The course is intended for students who have some background in Classics and/or Classical literature.
The history of Irish independence has been marked by endemic abuse of vulnerable communities, especially Irish women and children, but also travellers and, more recently, immigrants and asylum seekers. What has Irish literature had to say about these issues? How might we use literature to understand Ireland’s legacy of abuse?
A survey of children’s literature to the end of the nineteenth century. The literature will be read and understood in its historical context. The emphasis will be on the works generally considered classics of children’s literature.
This is an interdisciplinary course that explores culture and contexts within which culture is produced, disseminated, and consumed. The course introduces students to some of the basic cultural studies theories and methodologies, like psychoanalysis, economics, sociology, but also film and media studies, gay and lesbian theories, feminist, ethnic, and popular-culture studies.
An introduction to the drama, fiction, prose and poetry written in early Canadian literary history emphasizing the colonial and post-Confederation periods.
An introduction to the drama, fiction, prose and poetry written in Canada since 1920 studied in critical and historical context.
A survey of major works of American literature from 1820 to the end of the Civil War. Authors may include Dickinson, Douglass, Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, and Whitman. This course, along with American Literature 1865-1914, provides students with a sound historical understanding of this most formative period in American literature.
A survey of major works of American literature from 1865 to the eve of World War I. Authors may include Cather, Chopin, Crane, DuBois, Dreiser, James, London, Twain and Wharton. This course, along with American Literature 1865-1914, provides students with a sound historical understanding of this most formative period in American literature.
This course provides an in-depth study of various aspects of late medieval English literature, excluding Chaucer. Readings may cover genres such as medieval romance, drama, hagiography and devotional prose as well as works by Langland, the Gawain poet, Lydgate, Malory, the Wakefield dramatist, and Julian of Norwich.
A study of American fiction since World War II. Authors to be studied are chosen partly because they interpret some important aspects of the American national experience during this period and partly because they raise basic questions about the aesthetics of fiction.
A study of the emergence of “Canlit” in the 1960s and 1970s with emphasis on the development of cultural institutions. In addition to the literature produced in the period, including representative poems, plays, short stories and novels, the course will examine the influence of thematic criticism, regionalism, and nationalism on the creation of Canadian canons.
Additional prerequisite: submission of samples of writing prior to registration and permission of Creative Writing Coordinator
A survey of the development of the English language from its earliest stages to the present. Representative texts are used from each period so that students can acquire first-hand knowledge of the successive changes in grammar (syntax, morphology, and phonology) and vocabulary.
This course is an introduction to the poet Geoffrey Chaucer with a detailed study of The Canterbury Tales. The focus will be on reading Chaucer’s work in Middle English and on the literary, social and historical context in which it was produced. Students are not required to have any prior knowledge of Middle English.
This course is an introduction to the poet Geoffrey Chaucer with a detailed study of Troilus and Criseyde. The focus will be on reading Chaucer's poetry in Middle English and on the literary, social and historical context in which it was produced.
Students examine the tradition of Arthurian literature and its pervasiveness during the middle ages in Western Europe, including themes such as chivalry, courtly love, imperialism and the grail quest. The focus is on medieval versions of Arthurian legends but will also take up their adaptability to revisionist viewpoints of different periods and genres. Students are not required to have any prior knowledge of Middle English.
This course gives particular attention to the comedy of manners and its principal exponents such as Etherege, Wycherley, Congreve and Sheridan. Also studied are sentimental comedy, heroic and domestic tragedy, and the ballad opera, as well as the way social and political development affected the theatre.
Students study drama and theatre in the Romantic era in relation to changing political and social conditions. Topics covered include, melodrama, the influence of the actor-managers and the move towards realism, and the impact of European drama, particularly by Ibsen, on Shaw, Pinero and other British dramatists.
Students examine English literature written during the Restoration period and early eighteenth century, with a focus on poetry and prose. Works by authors such as John Dryden, Anne Finch, Samuel Pepys, Alexander Pope, and Jonathan Swift are studied.
Students examine English literature written during the late eighteenth century, with a focus on poetry and prose. Works by authors such as Edmund Burke, Frances Burney, William Cowper, Thomas Gray, and Samuel Johnson are studied.
This course focuses on the various forms of English poetry and prose between 1660 and 1800. It includes poets such as Dryden, Finch, Pope, and Gray, and writers of prose such as Swift, Johnson, Burney and Boswell.
Students examine the development of the English novel in the eighteenth century. Works by authors such as Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Ann Radcliffe, and Jane Austen are studied.
This course studies the origins and development of the English Romantic movement. Major emphasis will be placed on the works of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats and Byron.
The course focuses on English poetry and prose written in the 16th century, and on the cultural and social context within which this literature was produced. Some writers that may be studied include More, Wyatt, Surrey, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Lyly, Sidney, Spenser, Nashe, Whitney, Layer, Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I.
The course focuses on English poetry and prose written in the 17th century, and on the cultural and social context within which this literature was produced. Some of the writers that may be studied include Donne, Jonson, Marvell, Milton, Traherne, Herbert, Dryden, Florio, Bacon, Burton, Browne, Speght and Wroth.
A study of 20th century poetry in English. British, American and Canadian poetry of the Modernist period and the post-World War II period is given special emphasis.
A study of American literature from the turn of the twentieth century until just after the Second World War. Writers studied may include Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Wallace Stevens and Langston Hughes. Topics covered include the First World War and its aftermath, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Great Depression.
A study of the principal European dramatists and theatre movements in the present century with emphasis on the ones that have most influenced drama written in English. Reference is made to works by such dramatists as Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett and Ionesco.
A course in Canadian drama and theatre history with an emphasis on audience and performance using collaborative and collective study methods. The course covers published plays, radio and television drama, and live performance.
The subject of this course is Shakespeare’s comedies and romances.
The subject of this course is Shakespeare’s history plays and problem plays.
The subject of this course is Shakespeare’s tragedies.
This course studies selected plays by such writers as Kyd, Marlowe, Dekker, Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Webster, Middleton, Marston, and Heywood.
Drawing on the theoretical work of Michel Foucault, as well as queer theory and psychoanalysis, students use Irish poetry, from W.B. Yeats to Paula Meehan, as a lens to study the ways Irish writers have resisted and reframed official discourses about Irish sex and sexualities.
The “overnight revolution” in British Theatre in 1956 produced successive waves of outstanding dramatists who will be studied in the course, including Osborne, Pinter, Arden, Bond, Stoppard, Ayckbourn and Shaffer. The work of three major companies which helped to promote them, the Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre Company, will also be featured.
This course studies Irish drama from the founding of the Irish National Theatre society in 1903 up to the present time, including the works of Yeats, Hyde, Lady Gregory, Synge, Shaw, O’Casey, and Beckett.
This course will serve as an introduction to the critical reading of the novel. We will study the historical, cultural, and philosophical climate that allowed for the emergence of the novel in the eighteenth century and will track the changes in narrative style, and the implications of these changes, from realism to modernism to postmodernism to post-colonialism. History and Theory of the Novel I will consider the novel in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
This course will serve as an introduction to the critical reading of the novel. We will study the historical, cultural, and philosophical climate that allowed for the emergence of the novel in the eighteenth century and will track the changes in narrative style, and the implications of these changes, from realism to modernism to postmodernism to post-colonialism. History and Theory of the Novel II will consider the novel from the twentieth century to the contemporary period.
The course surveys British literature from the beginning of the twentieth century to the end of the Second World War, and includes works of poetry, prose, fiction, and drama. Attention will be paid to the social, cultural, and historical contexts of the literature, with reference to such major events as the two world wars and the depression. Authors studied may include George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, and W.H. Auden.
The course surveys British literature from the end of the second world war to the conclusion of the twentieth century, and includes works of poetry, prose, fiction, and drama. Attention will be paid to the social, cultural, and historical contexts of the literature, with reference to topics such as the end of the British empire, the cold war and its aftermath, and the increasing importance of the electronic media. Authors studied may include Doris Lessing, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Harold Pinter, Margaret Drabble, and Ian McEwan.
Students are introduced to post-1945 black British and Caribbean literatures. Through the work of key thinkers read alongside a selection of generically diverse texts (fiction, film, poetry), students will examine the historical, political, and aesthetic debates that have shaped the field of Black British studies. Writers and filmmakers investigated may include: Sam Selvon, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hanif Kureishi, Bernardine Evaristo, Caryl Phillips, Zadie Smith, John Akomfrah, and the Black Audio Film Collective.
Students examine a range of literary production (fiction, poetry, drama and film), and explore the political and aesthetic debates that shape twenty-first-century British literature and culture. Critical debates and issues investigated might include: transnational and cosmopolitan identities; national identities in the context of devolution and the European Union; realism and its aesthetic limits; technology, science and ecological futures; religious fundamentalism and terrorism; reinventions of historical, speculative and crime genres.
From apocalyptic preoccupations, to environmental catastrophe, to mobile populations, to late capitalism and neo-liberalism, to questions of the non-human rights discourse, to the impact of globalization on literature and the understanding of the literary, this course will track the concerns and form of twentieth-first century novel in the first decades. Novelists might include: Chan Koonchung; Cormac McCarthy; Kazuo Ishiguro, Chika Unigwe, Aravind Adiga, Margaret Atwood, Amitav Ghosh.
An advanced course in Canadian fiction produced in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s that gives students an opportunity to consider selected novels and short stories in some depth. Texts are considered within the context of Canadian literary criticism, history, and theory.
An advanced course that considers questions of genre and form in Canadian poetry after 1965. Selected collections of poetry are studied within the context of Canadian literary criticism, history, and theory. Specific topics covered include the long poem, the lyric and visual poetry.
Students study the British novel in the first half of the nineteenth century, focusing on writers such as Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Charlotte Brontë, William Makepeace Thackeray, Elizabeth Gaskell, the early Charles Dickens and George Eliot. Attention will be paid to the style and narrative technique of the novels studied, to their place in the cultural history of the period, and to their relationship to their social and historical contexts.
Students study the British novel from the mid-Victorian period to the fin-de-siècle, focusing on writers such as the later Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Arthur Conan Doyle, R.L. Stevenson, Oscar Wilde and Henry James. Attention will be paid to the style and narrative technique of the novels studied, to their place in the cultural history of the period, and to their relationship to their social and historical contexts.
This course focuses on the poetry and prose of the early Victorian period, including poets such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and prose writers such as Thomas Carlyle and John Stuart Mill. Attention will be paid to the way that Victorian poetry develops out of the Romantic Movement, and to the relationship between literature and the political and social context, focusing on topics like reform and the industrial revolution.
This course focuses on the poetry and prose of the later Victorian period, including poets such as Matthew Arnold, Christina Rossetti, and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and prose writers such as John Henry Newman, Charles Darwin, Matthew Arnold, Walter Pater, and Oscar Wilde. Attention will be paid to the aesthetic movement, the definition of culture, and the crisis of religious faith.
This course examines the work of Canadian authors who have drawn on Ireland, Irish themes or the Irish in Canada in their writings, and the work of Irish-born authors living in Canada whose works contain significant Canadian content. Following an overview of the range of earlier Canadian Irish writings, students will read and discuss a selection of recent fiction and non-fiction texts by authors such as Charles Foran, Jane Urquhart, Brian Moore, Emma Donoghue, Peter Behrens and John Moss.
Students will explore material and conceptual connections between film and the city–two of the most pervasive influences on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Guided by key theorists of city space and cinema, students will pursue textual analysis of films that articulate social, cultural, spatial, and temporal concerns representative of urban lived experiences.
Students will critique foundational concepts, policies, and practices considered important to contemporary Canadian film and television since 1980, through the discussion and analysis of film and television texts.
A course in the wide variety of "nature writing" by Canadian authors, including poetry, narrative and descriptive non-fiction (wilderness writings, agricultural accounts, naturalists’ essays), and prose of environmental and ecological concern. Authors studied could range from Mi'kmaw story-tellers, Harry Thurston, and Don McKay to Mina Hubbard, Don Gayton, and Sharon Butala.
Students are introduced to the literature of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Beginning with the oral creationary stories and moving into written works from the 19th–21st centuries, students examine the distinct styles and central themes found in contemporary writing by Native authors in the United States. Students are expected to identify the unique complexities that emerge in the literature, such as issues of voice, gender, experience, critical theory, racism, Indigenous intellectualism, and identity.
Students study the works by First Nation, Inuit and Metis writers in Canada, and examine the issues of colonialism, voice, resistance and empowerment, as well as culture, spirituality and intellectual tradition as key themes. Along with exploring the familiar genres of Western writing – autobiography, poetry, short stories, drama, and the novel students address unique approaches to literature as developed by the authors, as well as critical approaches that originate from Indigenous communities.
Students examine transnational literatures from African, Caribbean, European and North American contexts with a focus on the multidirectional networks and the distinctive poetics of water that constitute the historical and literary formation of the black Atlantic. Writers examined may include; Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, Claude McKay, James Baldwin, Derek Walcott, Dionne Brand, Lawrence Hill, Bernardine Evaristo and Caryl Phillips.
The subject matter of particular courses will be announced from time to time. These courses are designed to examine at an advanced level authors and topics not dealt with in other 3000-level courses.
The subject matter of particular courses will be announced from time to time. These special half-credit courses provide the opportunity to study a particular author or subject in depth and detail. They are designed to examine at an advanced level authors and topics not dealt with in other 3000-level courses or to allow for a different approach to the study of authors and/or topics already covered in other courses.
STUDENTS SHOULD NORMALLY HAVE COMPLETED NINE(9) CREDIT HOURS IN ENGLISH AT THE 2000 OR 3000 LEVEL BEFORE TAKING 4000 LEVEL ENGLISH COURSES
The emphasis in this course may include Theories of Authorship and Reading, Urban Literature, or the Heroic and the Monstrous. Readings may cover genres such as medieval romance, drama, or hagiography as well as works by Langland, Gower, Lydgate, Hoccleve, the Wakefield dramatist, and Julian of Norwich.
This course will engage students in a study of feminist literary theory. Some of the most influential theorists in this area will be analyzed as well as the dominant cultural systems to which they have responded. Students will not be required to have any prior knowledge of the field.
The course focuses on a representative selection of Renaissance love poetry in its cultural, social and philosophical contexts. It examines the poetic strategies used to explore the meaning and value of love in its relation to sexuality and gender. Special attention will be given to the sonnet form, its relationship to the courtly love tradition and the cult of the "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I, but other poetic genres will be studied as well. Intellectual and thematic contexts will be constructed from various classical and Italian texts, such as Plato's -Symposium-, the poems of Catullus and Sappho and Petrarch's sonnets. Writers studied may include Wyatt, Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Cavendish, Wroth, and Marvell.
This course will focus on the work of John Donne, an influential early 17th c. English writer, the founder of the so-called "metaphysical" school of style. Through his work, students will become acquainted with various social and cultural contexts of the Renaissance. Readings will include selections from Donne's devotional and love poems, elegies, verse epistles, sermons and other prose. Also, Donne's work will be compared to the work of other Renaissance writers, and placed within the context of the European Baroque, as represented in visual art and literature.
The subject of the course will vary from year to year. It allows the opportunity to explore an aspect of Renaissance literature in more depth than is possible in other courses. The following are some examples of possible topics: a single major author or group of authors from the period (e.g. Spenser, Bacon, More); a literary movement or form (e.g. the Metaphysical school of poetry; the Cavalier school of poetry; the epic; the sermon; a social or cultural issue (e.g. "the woman issue"; literature and the institution of the Elizabethan or Jacobean Court); or a close study of one of the major literary works of Renaissance era (The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, The Anatomy of Melancholy).
This course explores an aspect of Eighteenth-Century or Romantic literature in more depth than is possible in other courses. The following are examples of possible topics: a single major author or group of authors from either or both periods (e.g. Dryden, Pope, Blake, Hemans); a literary movement or form (e.g. verse satire or the literature of sensibility); a social or cultural issue (e.g. Romanticism as a reaction to Enlightenment, secularization); or close study of a major work (e.g. "The Prelude") or of work in a narrowly-defined historical period (e.g. the 1790s poetry of rebellion).
Students study a particular author, genre, theme, and/or movement in Canadian Literature intensively. While the topics will vary, the course highlights the literature, cultural, and material conditions in which Canadian literature is produced and received.
This course examines the role of language and its use in constructing and negotiating social positions of men and women and by men and women. It compares discourse strategies used by powerful/powerless speakers and gender-associated discourse strategies. It examines dialect and generic features used in constructing and maintaining social identities and differences.
This course will involve a study of the modern Irish novel, placing each work in its social and cultural context. It may include works by James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen and/or Samuel Beckett, as well as a selection of contemporary novels by writers like Anne Enright and John Banville.
This course will examine the short story as a major form in the fiction (in English) of Ireland, tracing its development from the Irish folktale to the sophisticated modern stories of internationally read practitioners such as Joyce, O’Connor, O’Faolain and Lavin.
A close critical analysis of representative works of a number of prominent late 19th and 20th century novelists in the light of certain literary, cultural, socio-political and philosophic tendencies which have exercised a decisive influence in the formation of the modern imagination.
This course focuses on some of the major novelists of the second half of the twentieth century in the context of the cultural and political climate that has given rise to this fiction and the term postmodernism.
This advanced course in American literature offers intensive treatment of authors, genres, and themes addressed at the intermediate level. Possible topics in the course may include: (1) intensive study of single authors in relation to historical trends in literary criticism (‘reception history’); (2) intensive exploration of particular currents in the development of a specific genres; (3) concept-based courses; or (4) broad-based ‘cultural studies’ approaches to American literature.
This course examines the literatures of specific postcolonial regions. These regions may include Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and South Asia.
In addition to studying theories of race and indigeneity, students explore representative works by Indigenous authors in depth and to conduct original research on Indigenous literatures. Students explore the continuity of oral and written traditions in the literary, cultural, and material contexts in which the literature is written, spoken, and read.
Students explore writings and cultural productions (including biography, fiction, poetry, theater, media, and film) by and about Indigenous women of North America. This group has experienced oppression and dislocation from land, communities, spirituality, and traditional roles as a result of European colonization. Students examine how such dislocations and acts of oppression arose from creation and perpetuation within colonizer literature and media productions of inaccurate and stereotypical images.
This course focuses on the history of the printed book and examines the phenomenon of mass literacy and its implications in the development of different types of literature.
A course designed for students with some experience in writing fiction. Many aspects of the writer’s craft, from the germination of a story to the polishing of a final draft, will be explored in workshops. Students who have not completed either ENGL 3375 or 3376 will be asked to submit a sample portfolio of their work before registration.
An advanced creative writing course, which provides students with opportunities to develop their craft beyond its beginning stages and to have their poems discussed in workshops. The course may include emphasis on poem sequences, long poems, and poets’ poetics, including their prose commentaries on subjects ranging from sources of inspiration to arguments about technique.
The subject of the course will vary from year to year. It allows the opportunity to explore an aspect of Victorian literature in more depth than is possible in other courses. The following are some examples of possible topics: a single major author or group of authors from the period (e.g., Charles Dickens or the Brontës); a literary movement or form (e.g., the aesthetic movement or the sensation novel); a social or cultural issue (e.g., the “woman question” or industrialism in literature); or the literature of a narrowly defined historical period (e.g., the novel in the 1840’s or the literature of the fin de siècle).
Students examine the British novel from the end of the Second World War to the late twentieth century. Topics covered include realism, postmodernism, and the emergence of new female and postcolonial voices. Writers studied may include Muriel Spark, John Fowles, David Lodge, and V.S. Naipaul.
The focus is on learning how to do discourse analysis. We will focus on developing skills in the analysis of talk and text using models drawn from linguistics, structuralism and semiotics. The course will explicitly develop skills in analyzing discourse functions as configurations of interaction, experience and organization meaning.
Linguistic, structural, post-structural, and semiotic perspectives on discourse analysis are addressed through reading and discussion of key works by authors of “landmark” texts such as R. Jakobson, J. L. Austin, H. P. Grice, etc. The goals of the course are to (a) familiarize students with some of the “landmark” texts and perspectives on discourse analysis and (b) to develop abilities to develop abilities to relate analyses to cultural and situationally relevant contexts.
This advanced seminar examines how visual artifacts record, organize, and build narratives and cultures of collective memory (for example, that of nations, regions, and identities). The seminar will include field trips to local places of memory (memorials, museums, and archives), city walks of Halifax in the tradition of the Surrealists and Situationists, the study of home movies and documentary film, national television, and digital image memory archives such as blogs, YouTube, and Flickr.
Topics chosen will be of a general nature in order to permit the representation of a diversity of historical periods, genres, and the various literary traditions of the English-speaking world. Students will be required to present papers on aspects of the chosen topic and members of the Department of English Language and Literature will conduct seminars in their areas of expertise.
These courses provide the opportunity to study a particular author in considerable depth and detail, and requires some measure of independence and initiative in the student. Tutorials by arrangement with supervisor. 2 semesters
These courses provide the opportunity to study a particular author, subject, or period in considerable depth and detail and will require some measure of independence and initiative in the student.
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