English Courses

ENGL6004How Do I Read These? Applying Recent Critical Theory3 ch
This seminar explores the practice of reading and applying critical theory to literary texts. The course offers graduate students an intense introduction to a range of critical frameworks in literary and cultural theory from 1950 onward. We will combine close readings of primary and secondary theoretical readings with hands-on application of each framework to a shared test text. This practical approach will ensure that students become well-versed in the key concepts and language of New Criticism, structuralism, post-structuralism and deconstruction, psychoanalysis, Marxism, New Historicism and cultural materialism, feminism(s), postmodernism, postcolonialism, Queer theory, and cultural studies, and Native theory, and can effectively employ these frameworks when analyzing texts of various genres from a wide variety of time periods and national literatures.
ENGL6024The Critical Reception of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales3 ch
This course is intended to examine a selection of Chaucerian narratives from the point of view of a critical tradition which extends from Chaucer’s contemporaries to the present. The primary aim of the course is to gain a perspective on critical positions of past centuries as well as those of our own era, beginning with early commentators such as Lydgate, Douglas and, later, Blake; the main focus, however, will be on the changing emphases within the contemporary critical debate, including such seminal works as Kittredge’s study of the “marriage group,” Lumiansky’s dramatic theory, and Robertson’s allegorical reading, as well as on various approaches such as those found in Cooper’s work on the structure of the Canterbury Tales or in feminist examinations particularly of the representation of women characters. Consideration will be given to theoretical issues such as the following: to what extent is a literary work constructed by critical commentary? Is there a discernible core of “Chaucerian meaning”? Does critical pluralism preclude any notion of critical objectivity? And, finally, how does an awareness of the critical history affect one’s reading of Chaucer?
ENGL6025The Other Chaucer3 ch
Chaucer's work often feels surprisingly post-modern, being intentionally fragmented and relying on meta- narrative for an exploration of issues such as artistic creation, the role of the author, the act of writing, the politics of language (in a highly stratified trilingual environment), translation and adaptation, translation as cultural exchange, and various related topics. This course examines these issues as they appear in a selection of Chaucer's less commonly, encountered texts, including "The House of Fame," "The Legend of Good Women," "Troilus and Criseyde," and some of the lesser-known tales and the linking passage in "The Cantebury Tales."
ENGL6038Medival (Re-)Visions of Classical Antiquity3 ch
The course explores the politics of medieval adaptations of the literature of Classical antiquity, taking as an example medieval treatments of the Troy legend, often employed to bolster claims of a translatio imperii in the environments of various Continental and Insular rulers. Texts include Benoît de St Maure’s Anglo-Norman Roman de Troie, composed at the court of Henry II, Duke of Normandy and King of England, and Eleanor of Aquitaine; Guido delle Colonne’s internationally influential pseudo-historiographical Historia destructionis Troiae, written in multicultural Sicily, a European centre of translation and scholarship; Giovanni Boccaccio’s Italian urbanized Il Filostrato connected with the Angevin court at Naples; Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, responding to the political crisis of the mid-1380s in London; and Robert Henryson’s late fifteenth-century proto-postcolonial Testament of Cresseid, composed on the eve of Renaissance humanism in a Scotland freeing itself from English cultural and political hegemony. The implications of genre will also be explored as the medieval Troy legend is re-written as epic, courtly romance, scholarly historiography, complaint d’amour, and philosophical (Boethian) anti-romance, as well as in numerous shorter genres. The course ends with a glance at later adaptations of the Troy imagery, from Spenser and Shakespeare to Margaret Atwood. (Note: Chaucer’s and Henryson’s texts will be read in the original Middle English and Middle Scots; other texts will be read in modern English translation. Familiarity with Virgil’s Aeneid would be an advantage.)

ENGL6088Studies in 19th-and-20th Century Medievalism3 ch
This course examine the pervasive cultural phenomenon of medievalism and the correlations of the various representations of the Middle Ages with the cultural contexts which produce(d) them.
ENGL6100Methods and Bibliography: Approaches to Graduate Studies6 ch
An introduction to graduate study at UNB. The first term will consist of seminars on research sources on campus, (including those of the library, Internet, and the campus network), and methods of research and publication. The second term will consist of supervised research leading to a thesis proposal. This course is taken in addition to the required 15 ch.
ENGL6105Directed Reading Course3 ch

Under exceptional circumstances, a student may be granted permission to take a directed reading course. The student must prepare a proposal for a directed reading course, in consultation with the proposed instructor, and submit it for approval to the Graduate Committee at least one month prior to the term in which the course is to be taken. The graduate committee may decline to approve proposals or ask for revisions. Such course proposals must follow these guidelines:

The student must find a faculty member willing to supervise the directed reading course. Faculty members will take on the directed reading course as an overload teaching assignment.

The proposal should provide the reading list and an outline of assignments, with the relative grade weighting for each. The student will write at least two substantial papers or one paper and a final examination.

The reading course must be sufficiently substantial to warrant a 3 ch weighting and be entirely different from the thesis or dissertation.

Only one student will be allowed to take the same reading course at a time.

Only one course of those required for the degree can be a directed reading course.

Such a course will consist of at least six meetings and twelve contact hours with the course supervisor.

If the directed reading course is interdisciplinary in nature, the supervisor will be a member of the GAU in English.

While students who have been accepted to the MA program are encouraged to inquire with the Director of Graduate Studies about the possibility of undertaking a directed reading course, directed reading courses will not normally be approved for students who have not yet undertaken their first term of study.

ENGL6106Creative Writing - Studio Course3 ch

Studio courses are for the purpose of pursuing a well-defined writing project that lies beyond the writing undertaken in the creative writing workshops. The student must prepare a proposal for a studio course, in consultation with the proposed instructor, and submit it for approval to the Graduate Committee at least one month prior to the term in which the course is to be taken. The Graduate Committee may decline to approve proposals or ask for revisions. Such course proposals must follow these guidelines:

The student must find a faculty member or instructor willing to supervise the writing project. Faculty members will take on the studio course as an overload teaching assignment.

The proposal should provide the reading list and an outline of assignments, with the relative grade weighting for each assignment. The student will write one major project, in addition to other relevant smaller assignments to be determined by the student and supervisor.

The course must be sufficiently substantial to warrant a 3 ch weighting and be entirely different from the creative writing thesis.

Only one or two students will be allowed to take the same studio course at a time.

Only one course of those required for the degree can be a studio course.

Regular meetings must be arranged. The course should include at least 8 contact hours with the course supervisor.

A supervisor may be selected from the literary community outside the department as long as she or he is approved by the English Department. Possible supervisors include the department’s Honorary Research Associates and Professors Emeriti.

While students who have been accepted to the MA program are encouraged to inquire with the Director of Creative Writing about the possibility of undertaking a studio course, studio courses will not normally be approved for students who have not yet undertaken their first term of study.

ENGL6123Creative Writing - Poetry3 ch
A workshop designed to develop and improve skills with the elements of poetry, such as metaphor, rhythm, line break, syntax, the registers of diction, and sound pattern. The course will explore poetic form, ranging from free verse and narrative to structured verse like the sonnet and glose. Attention will also be given to professional concerns, including the development of a distinctive voice and style, publication in journals, and the preparation of book manuscripts.
ENGL6125Creative Writing Poetry (Advanced)

This course is restricted to students in the PhD program in English (Creative Writing) who have already taken ENGL 6123 at the MA level. A workshop designed to develop and improve skills with the elements of poetry, such as metaphor, rhythm, line break, syntax, registers of diction, and sound pattern.  The course will explore poetic forms, ranging from free verse to structured forms, such as the sonnet, sestina and glosa.  Attention will be given to professional concerns, including publication in journals and the preparation of book manuscripts.

ENGL6143Creative Writing - Prose3 ch
A course designed to develop skills in short fiction, with room for students interested in writing novellas or novels. Taught in a workshop format, with close attention to line-by-line editing and revision and some preparation for publication in markets like literary quarterlies, higher circulation magazines, small presses and larger publishing houses.

ENGL6145Creative Writing - Prose (Advanced)3 ch
This course is restricted to students in the PhD program in English (Creative Writing) who have already taken ENGL 6143 at the MA level. A course designed to develop skills in short fiction, with room for students interested in writing novellas or novels. Taught in a workshop format, with close attention to line-by-line editing and revision and some preparation for publication in markets such as literary quarterlies, higher circulation magazines, small presses and larger publishing houses.
ENGL6163Creative Writing - Drama
Taught in a workshop format, this course will develop students’ skills in writing for the stage. Beginning with exercises in the scripting of dramatic action, monologues, and simple scenes, students will by the end of the class write a one act or full length play suitable for submission to a major theatre or production at one of Canada’s many drama festivals. Students will also learn about the market for plays in Canada and the various routes that new scripts may take towards production by either mainstream or alternative theatre companies.
ENGL6165Creative Writing – Drama (Advanced)3 ch

This course is restricted to students in the PhD program in English (Creative Writing) who have already taken ENGL 6163 at the MA level. Taught in a workshop format, this course will develop students’ skills in writing for the stage. Beginning with exercises in the scripting of dramatic action, monologues, and simple scenes, students will by the end of the class write a one act or full length play suitable for submission to an established theatre company or production at one of Canada’s many theatre festivals. Students will also learn about the market for plays in Canada and the various routes that new scripts may take towards production by either mainstream or alternative theatre companies.

ENGL6183Creative Writing - Screenwriting3 ch
An exploration, through practical exercises, of the fundamental principles of writing for both the screen (film and television) and, to a lesser extent, new media, including interactive narrative. Taught in a workshop format.
ENGL6185Creative Writing - Screenwriting (Advanced)3 ch
This course is restricted to students in the PhD program in English (Creative Writing) who have already taken ENGL 6183 at the MA level. The workship is designed to hone skills in writing for the screen (film and television) through the exploration of narrative forms and character psychology. 
ENGL6228Milton on Gender Imperialism3 ch
The seventeenth century saw both unprecedented travel by Englishman, to India, Africa, and the New World, and significant social conflicts on questions of gender. These two major cultural concerns are woven throughout Milton's Comus, Paradise Lost, and Samson Agonistes , and this course will ask questions about both . We will develop out understanding of seventeenth century - discourses of empire and gender, not only by reading contemporary theoretical analyses, but also through examining selections of Milton's prose and seventeenth-century accounts of English encounters with other cultures, such as those compiled by Samuel Purchas. We will also pay particular attention to women writers who share Milton's concerned with gender roles, such as Amelia Lanyer, and his interest in empire, such as Aphra Behn. Ultimatley the course will be directed towards developing our understanding Milton's language - how it alludes not only to a rich literary tradition but also to a complex and fascinating historical moments.
ENGL6246Beauty in Early Modern English Literature3 ch
This course will focus on literary (as well as cultural, visual, and historical) texts that point to the practices, philosophical underpinnings, and politics of male and female beauty. Aemelia Lanyer, for example, declared in her 1611 work Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum that “That outward Beautie which the world commends, is not the subject I will write upon”, yet, even as states her refusal to represent women in the conventional terms of beauty, she goes on to depict Christ in the Petrarchan terms she had previously eschewed. We will begin with texts that work with these Petrarchan and neoplatonic notions of beauty, focusing particularly on English sonnets. Here the discussion will be keyed to the terms and import of male and female beauty and the relationship between poets and their subjects. Especially vital will be questions of gender: what, for example, was the relationship between beauty and the authority of the woman writer?
ENGL6255The Culture of Physic: Women's Writing and Medicine in Early Modern England3 ch
Because of diagnosis of illness, the manufacture of medicines, and the prevention of disease were recognized as essential knowledge for housewives and mothers, many early modern women provided health care within the household. Others became professional, if usually unlicensed, physicians. This course will investigate how these textual and medical practices infiltrated literary forms undertaken by women – autobiography, poetry, drama, the familiar letter and travel writing – and examine how religion, social relationships, and politics inform women’s medical knowledge. Beginning with an analysis of the current feminist critique of medical culture, as well historical study of early modern medicine, topics addressed will include pregnancy and childbirth, natural philosophy.
ENGL6267Shakespeare's English and Roman History Plays3 ch
In this course we shall examine Shakespeare’s epic cycle of eight plays about late mediaeval English History as well as those dramatizing pivotal moments in the development of the roman empire. Our study will include consideration of notable twentieth-century stage and screen performance.
ENGL6268Shakespeare: The Pauline Plays3 ch
From beginning of his career, in The Comedy of Errors, to the end, in Pericles and The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare was engaged in varying degrees with the writings and life of Paul. A wide range of plays explore and often challenge Pauline ideas about the role of women in society, the nature of marital relations, and the regulation of human sexuality, that were also being challenged and re-ordered in early modern England. Moreover, these plays often represent cultural and ideological encounters between Christian, patriarchal, and Eurocentric social values originally grounded on Paul's teachings, and pre-Christian, matriarchal, and non-European spaces and practices that were being (re-)discovered through early modern trade and exploration, as well as through classical sources. This seminar will study how Shakespeare represents and questions Pauline social teachings and historical spaces in these plays. Our syllabus will include one apocryphal Shakespeare play, Arden of Faversham.
ENGL6277Shakespeare and the Mediterranean3 ch
This course will examine Shakespeare’s representation of the Greco-Roman and near Eastern worlds in a range of dramatic genres.
ENGL6278Shakespeare and Evolution3 ch

This seminar will investigate Shakespearian affinities with evolutionary ideas, historically contextualises in terms of pre-Cartesian, Enlightenment, Darwinian, and posthumanist worldviews. These conceptual relationships include:

1) Proto-Scientific ideas of natual selection and genetic mutation embedded in empirical practices of artificial selection, such as the hybridizaton of animals and plants (e.g. Henry IV Part Two, The Winter's Tale), and in imaginatively conceptualized narratives of metamorphosis and transmutation found in classical writers such as Ovid and Lucretius (e.g. Venus and Adonis, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest).

2) Shakespeare's engagements with classical and early modern discussions of animal and human kinship in writers such as Michel de Montaigne that preceded Enlightenment separation of human and animal nature (e.g. King Lear, The Tempest), and which look forward to evolution's leveling of species divisions and today's re-assertion of shared embodied capacities for intelligence, emotions, and sentience in animals and humans (e.g. Hamlet, Cymbeline).

3) Cultural constructions of human exceptionalism and species separation which humans have used to assert their dominion over non-human animals, as well as parodic inversions of such contructions (e.g. The two Gentlemen of Verona).


Weekly readings, discussions and student presentations of one Shakespeare play or non-dramatic poem framed by a selection of primary and critical readings. Students not making presentations will submit weekly one-page response papers.

Shakespeare Plays and Poems

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Venus and Adonis, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Henry IV Part Two, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, Timon of Athens, Antony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest.

ENGL6279Shakespeare and Ecology3 ch
This seminar will explore Shakespeare's representations of, and relationships to, early modern environmental practices and contemporary ecocriticsm. This will involve distinguishing early modern ideas about the natural world, and the place of humans within it, from contemporary ones. Theoretically, these perspectives are associated with historicist and presentist approaches to Shakespeare. The former emphasizes constructivley the differences between ecological values and practices in Shakespeare's time from our own. The latter uses present-day environmental discourse to contemporize his original representations as ecocritical questions or problems.
ENGL6283Renaissance Women Writers3 ch
This course will study a selection of writings by women in 16th- and early 17th-century England. It will consider a range of genres-verse, prose, and drama-and try to situate each author and her work within her particular cultural and generic context. As a result, the course will consider social concerns surrounding politics, religion, motherhood, friendship, sexuality, and gender, as well as literary issues related to publication and manuscript circulation, authorship, and patronage.
ENGL6284Criminal Women in Early Modern Popular Literature3 ch
This seminar will study representations of female felons in popular news pamphlets and broadside ballads printed in England 1550-1700, as well as several dramatic works based upon these accounts such as Arden of Faversham and A Warning for Fair Women. It will consider the relationship between these documents and evolving legal discourses and jurisdictions, contemporary theories of domestic and gender relations, and the enforcement of social order. Most documents will be read in original sixteenth- and seventeenth-century editions.

ENGL6289Renaissance Monarchs: Writing and Representation3 ch
This course examines the writings of 3 Renaissance monarchs–Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, and James VI/I–to inquire into the connection of writing and politics, and the important art of royal representation, through a selection of poetry, tracts, speeches, letters and portraits. The course also considers the complications to authority raised by gender and nationality, and the problematic media of poetry and print.
ENGL6314Early Modern Atlantic Literature3 ch

Between 1600 and 1800, the Atlantic world--bound in the east by the Americas and in the west by Africa and Europe--is marked by biological exchange, settler colonialism, the slave trade, an ever-expanding trade in goods, and an intellectual and creative reimaging of the known world. This course will look at the literary exchanges produced by people contemplating their place within this Atlantic geography. It will be focused on England and the northeast Atlantic and give particular attention to the place of Atlantic Canada and its peoples in this cultural foment. The course will include work by Europeans, by men and women brought to North America as slaves, by Native Americans, especially Mi’kmaq people, and by Settlers. Through Travel and captivity narratives, life writing, recipes and advertisements, plays, fiction, poetry, and legal writing, the course will explore a unique textual archive, consider issues around recovering and reading the voices of colonized and marginalized peoples, and ponder the place of eastern Canada, in particular, in the early modern Atlantic world.

ENGL6365Women Onstage in the Long Eighteenth Century3 ch
This course will examine a series of plays written between 1662 and 1798, in order to explore i) the treatment of “women’s issues” such as the marriage market and forced marriage, ii) the gendered ways in which the playwrights publicly positioned themselves in their prefaces and elsewhere, iii) the critical reception of those plays which were produced and published, and iv) the factors which may have prevented the production or publication of Cavendish’s plays, at the beginning of the period, and Burney’s close to the end.
ENGL6383Women Writing, 1660-17803 ch
This course will look at women writers' contributions to the literary culture of the long eighteenth century. Women were central in the development of the popular new genre of the novel. They embraced the tradition of advice literature and wrote conduct books and essays. They participated in the canonical tradition, and were active in the various spheres of literary culture throughout the period. They were also at the centre, as subjects and as participants, of a long-standing argument about the fitness and propriety of women writing. This course will examine women writers not as part of a separate, parallel tradition, but as integral to a fuller understanding of the complexity of post-Restoration and eighteenth-century literary culture.
ENGL6385Rogues and Pilgrims3 ch
Journey narratives are usually read under one of two headings: the quest/pilgrimage (linear, characteristically framed by religious and/or teleological assumptions, and featuring a pilgrim protagonist), and the picaresque (episodic, often irreverent and featuring a rogue protagonist). This course will juxtapose these two narrative strategies, and interrogate the uses of the journey in both picaresque and quest narratives from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
ENGL6386Popular Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century3 ch
Most historical readers are mainly aware of the literature that has "stood the test of time" and entered the literary canon. That, however, is only part of the picture. This course focuses on the "other" literature of the period from 1660-1820: the street literature , the throw-away novels, the epherma. This period saw the burgeoning of noth printing and literacy, and hence it, it marked the effective beggining of mass literary culture. We will explore the categories of mass v. popular literary culture, adn trace how these disregarded texts exsisted in conversation with established literary culture. While there are not many collections of epherma in print, we will take advantage of the numerous, and growing, online depositories.
ENGL6444Nineteenth-Century Autobiographical3 ch
This course will focus on Victorian autobiography, including works that present themselves as fiction and those that claim to be true autobiographies. Autobiography intersects with nineteenth-century discourses of individualism, religion, childhood and education, and with a number of Romantic and post-religion, childhood and education, and with a number of Romantic and post-Romantic strands in Victorian literature and culture. It is therefore a useful lens for approaching the "Victorian". Works to be read include both prose and verse.
ENGL6446The Discourse of Class in Victorian Literature3 ch
Beginning with several “Condition of England” texts, the course will go on to track the development of class as metaphor, literary construct, and focus of cultural anxiety in mid- and late-century Victorian literature.
ENGL6486Decadence and/ at the Fin de Siecle3 ch
The very idea of decadence, or what it means to be famously, or infamously, decadent, is nearly impossible to define; it is difficult to say where aestheticism stops and decadence begins, or if there is a definitive difference between them. This course will examine the moral lunacy, madness and degeneration that was ascribed to decadence as the mal du siècle through an investigation of stylistics and polemics as well as the influence of gender and feminism on the aesthetic and decadent movements. Questions of Darwinian degeneration, in/validated hysterics, literary transvestism, sexual deviants/ce and gender performativity will inform our discussions of the nineteenth-century texts with an eye to the current construction of decadence at our recent fin de siècle.
ENGL6487Fin(s) de Siecel (s) Madness (es)3 ch
This course will read our late twentieth century anxieties concerning gender, race, sexuality, and technological advance through and against late-nineteenth century counterparts in order to articulate what it means to live at the end of the century and/or millenium. The apocalyptic tenor of our own recent end of the century find its uncanny predecessor in the furore of the Wilde and Dreyfus trials, the Darwinian threat of degeneration, the New Woman debates and the decadence of 1890s in Europe. In the mirror we can see not only how much we resemble our Victorian predecessors, but also the extent to which we differ from them, both for the better and worse.
ENGL6525A Course of Her Own: Woolf3 ch

This course delves deeply into the work of one author: Virginia Woolf. We do this for three reasons: first, because her work is crucial to the histories of modernism, women’s writing, and British literature more generally; secondly, because many of the ways in which Woolf has been remembered in criticism do not do full justice to the diversity and evocative qualities of her work, preferring instead to read her oeuvre into predetermined (perhaps over-determined) narratives of the history of feminism to the exclusion of other considerations (even, for instance, those of queer or transgender feminisms); and third, Woolf’s work is often surprisingly relevant to our present-day concerns about trauma, washroom politics, changing genders, social class clashes, and the always-relevant questions of how we know who we are and what constitutes a “self” in the first place. Course texts will include novels, non-fiction essays, and journal entries, as well as critical responses and contemporary adaptations of Woolf’s work.

ENGL6604Re-Thinking the Canon: English-Canadian Literature at the end of the Millenium3 ch
What books get taught in Canadian Literature courses within Canada and around the globe? More importantly, why are some texts excluded or gradually disappear from the course syllabi while others remain popular? What pedagoical and political implications does canon-formation have in the context of nation-building and how has Canada's complex status, as an officially bilingual country with a policy of multiculturalism, affected the teaching of Canadian literature written in English? Using these questions as a framework for the seminar, we will consider the theoretical and practical dimensions of teaching English-Canadian literature and representing the history of English-Canadian writers through course syllabi and class discussions. We woll begin with a consideration of contemporary North American theories on canon formation (including Herrnstein-Smith, Guillory, and Altieri) and narratives of nation (brennan, Corse). We will then look more specifically at some of the central debates that have shaped the English-Canadian canon throughout the twentieth century (from early handbooks of Canadian literature oneward) and explore how contemporary Canadian critics (e.g. Davey, Lecker, Blodgett, and Mukherjee) are re-evaluating the birth and growth of the English-Canadian literature at the end of the millennium. Part of our task will be to gather sample syllabi from different institutions across the country to see what professors are teaching in their courses and to evaluate how regional identity politics shapes the content of such classes. We will add to and revise the list of readings, according to the interests of the students enrolled in the seminar, in order to make this course directly relevant to the concerns of the participants. A course-pak will be made available and the texts will be put on reserve to make them easily accessible. Please read Lecker's Making It Ream (1995) prior to the start of the course.
ENGL6607Canadian Literature in the UNB Archives: Textual Theory and Editorial Practice.3 ch
By designing the course around the holdings of the UNB Archives and Special Collections, we are demonstrating what is unique and valuable about UNB as an institution for graduate study. The course gives students the tools to pursue their own highly original research projects and theses, based on the UNB holdings.
ENGL6643Rewriting the Past: Contemporary English-Canadian Historical Novels3 ch
This course will explore the evolution of the historical novel in Canada from the end of the nineteenth century to the present, discussing in particular the resurgence of interest in the genre in the last twenty years. As critic Jerome de Groot has noted in 2009, "the historical novel has always been an avenue for reflecting "on the state of contemporary politics". Although beggining with the representative romances that played a role in "nation-formation" in the post-Confederation period, the course will focus on more recent historical works by writers such as Atwood, Johnston, and Hill who explore the intersection of gender, class, politics and community in their representations of Canadian history.
ENGL6646Twentieth-Century Maratime Fiction 3 ch
The course will examine the fiction written in the Maritime region in the twentieth century and concentrate on texts written after the Second World War. We will examine some of the historical paradigms which have been used to interpret the Maritime region, particularly the notion of economic underdevelopment, and we will attempt to situate the fiction of the region in a larger historical and cultural framework. Through a survey of well-known and less widely read novels and short stories, we will study the gradual emergence of the form of realism, the diminished interest in historical romance, the belated development of a strong woman’s voice, and the difficulties associated with the study of the region’s minority literatures.
ENGL6647Canadian Fiction After Second World War3 ch
We will consider a wide range of texts written across the country after the Second World War. We will examine the usefulness and the validity of a variety of literary paradigms which have been employed, at different times, in the study of Canadian fiction, including such categories as realism/metafiction, regionalism/cosmopolitanism, modernism/postmodernism, historical romans/historiographic metafiction, and immigrant fiction/'New-Canadian' fiction. The novels will be situated within their cultural, critical, and theoretical framework, as we investigate the ways in which the academy has addressed these texts. Students will be resonsible for a brief class presentation, a full seminar presentation, and an article length term paper.
ENGL6658Life-writing by Women in Canada3 ch
This graduate seminar explores life-writing-auto/biographies, letters, diaries, and memoirs - by women in Canada, set in the context of contemporary critical theory about life-writing, identity, and representation. We will read texts, ranging from little known to widely read, that have been produced, by and about enslaved women, pioneers, political figures, writters, academic, and bloggers. Out discussions will highlight such issues as the fluidity of literary boundaries, gender/genre, imagination and nation (or "cultural amnesia"), plotting women's lives, and what Helen Buss, in Mapping Our Selves, calls "rescuing the self." Is "rescuing the self" a signal of the author's "retreat" into "an intense individualism" (Franklin)? Or is the recent spate of academic "speaking personally" memoirs a clear expression of dissatisfaction with contemporary theory (Simpson) and a way of reconnecting reason and emotion (Miller) in humanities departments now in a state of crisis?

Critical and theoretical readings will be chosen from critics such as Helen Buss, Jill Ker Conway, Susanna Egan, Cynthia Franklin, Carolyn Heilbrun, Gabriele Helms, Marlene Kadar, Smaro Kamboureli, Nancy Miller, Shirley Neuman, and Julie Rak.
ENGL6673Studies in Canadian Drama: Foundations, Arrivals, Departures3 ch
This course will examine the evolution of Canadian theatre from its foundations to the present day. Emphasis will be placed on reading plays with an eye to the ways they have addressed and reflected changing conceptions of nationalism and regionalism within the context of various historical moments, locations, and communities (considered in terms of factors such as race, ethnicity, and gender). We will also explore how dramatic form has evolved in response to these concerns and to foreign influences and how institutional factors such as Arts funding policies and the establishment of major regional and alternative theatres, Fringe theatre festivals, and writers’ workshops have influenced the development of theatre in Canada.
ENGL6683The Worlding of Canadian Fiction Since 19673 ch
Since Canadian’s centennial, Canadian literature, especially fiction, increasingly inhabits and international field. Not only can writers like Rohinton Mistry and Austin Clarke win Canadian book awards for novels set entirely in India or the West Indies, but Canadian born authors such as Mordecai Richler and Kate Pullinger explore traditional themes of Canadian identity and place through the lives of expatriates. This course will examine a variety of post-1967 novels set wholly or partly abroad in the context of traditional CanLit debates around the thematics of place and more recent discussions of multiculturalism and diaspora, the Canadian canon, national identity, postcolonialism, postnationalism /transnationalism, and Canada’s position in a globalizing world.
ENGL6685Canadian Literature: Campus Fiction3 ch
Over the past fifty years, the genre of campus fiction has been growing and gaining critical recognition. The genre includes texts – novels, short stories, poems, plays, autobiographies, biographies, and films – that have as main characters one or more academics. Not infrequently, English departments, where creative writers congregate, are under scrutiny. The academy is often presented as a microcosm of society, where issues of power loom large. The course will explore a selection of campus fiction texts from Canada.
ENGL6687Literary Ferment in the East: Renewal and Modernism in Maratime Literature3 ch
Beggining with an examination of how early settlers represented the territory of the Maritime provinces, this seminar will explore four key periods of literary ferment in the east. We will begin with Halliburton's social satires of the 1830's move to the Fredericton School of Confederation poets in the 1890's, and then examine the key texts of modernist renewal from 1940 onwards. Finally, we will study representative voices from the Acadian renaissance of 1970s. Our study will touch on the concerns central to Maritime writers from the 16th century to the present: the constraints of religious orthodoxy , the twin forces of isolation identity, the liberal versus conservative tensions of an emergent continentalism and a dominant imperial tradition, and the social phenomena of outmigration, class and resource-dependent labour. We will also consider questions of "nation" and "region" as they relate to issues of language, translation, ethnicity, and global shift.

ENGL6694The Politics of Native North American Literatures3 ch
This course examines the politics of identity as depicted by a range of Native North American authors, including Leslie Marmon Silko, Thomas King, Beth Brant, Gregory Scofield, Joy Harjo, and Daniel David Moses, over the past three decades. We will read poetry, prose, novels, and plays, in conjunction with secondary critical articles that address some of the central debates in the fields of “First Nations” and “Native American” literature. Part of our task will be to consider how those designations have been produced and reinforced by writers and/or critics, and what concepts of identity, whether political, social, cultural, or linguistic, have been used to classify or define Native literatures and authors. As an integral part of the class, we will also consider how questions of identity necessarily inflect the teaching of Native North American literatures.
ABRG6736Elizabeth Bishop, The Sublime, Vertigo, Sexual Identities3 ch

Elizabeth Bishop suffered from occasional attacks of vertigo, but in her poetry vertiginous experiences and all forms of loss of visual perspective disembody the conversational speaking voice that suggests personal intimacy between “Elizabeth” and the reader. Vertigo represents a collapse of identity and an emptying out, even as it simultaneously wheels through a superfluity of identities. In her famous poem “In the Waiting Room,” when Bishop as a girl realizes that “I am an Elizabeth,” she finds herself in free fall, grasping at all the ways in which identity is constructed. The poem invites and has received feminist, queer, postcolonial, psychoanalytic, deconstructive, and all kinds of political readings. Identity is over determined. 

The focus of this course will be on Bishop’s lesbian identities and the ways she remained both in and out of the closet, but it will examine sexual identity as expressed in the sublime. It is in Bishop’s exploration of the sublime and she finds the loss of perspective that causes panic or anxiety that exposes endless uncertainties of identity. Some time will be spent on ideologies of private and public, and how these express themselves in the personal poet and the American “official” poet.

Primary Works:

Bishop, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Bishop: Poems and Prose


Parts of:

Butler, Judith.  Gender Troubles

Freud, Sigmund.  On Sexuality

Foucault, Michel.  The History of Sexuality

Kristeva, Julia.  Revolution in Poetic Language

Stewart, Susan on Longing

ENGL6744The Aesthetics and Politics of Poverty in U.S. Fiction3 ch
A striking feature of the United States is the weakness of its welfare state. One reason for this weakness is many Americans’ persistent belief that most welfare recipients fall into the category of the “undeserving poor”: lower-class citizens who, for an assortment of cultural and psychological reasons, are responsible for their own poverty. In this course, we will explore a broad range of literary, social scientific and journalistic texts that address the causes and effects of poverty, and that grapple with the problem of representing it. Our readings will focus on historical moments when poverty became a central topic of public debate and government policy: the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, the Great Society, and the Reagan Revolution. In each case, apart from discussing thematic connections between literature and welfare policy, we will also focus on the changing novelistic aesthetics of poverty: from the documentary naturalism of the 1930s to the process aesthetics of the 1960s. We will conclude by looking at the resurgence of poverty as a topic of public discussion in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
ENGL6746The Conservative Imagination3 ch

This course explores a curious feature of post-World War II American literature: in a nation with a culturally powerful right wing, most of what counts as serious literature is written by authors who identify as liberal or left and is read by critics with similar political affiliations. As a result, the cultural and intellectual habits of many Americans are invisible in literary studies, and debates within the discipline devolve into factional disputes within a liberal-left consensus.

This course has two aims.  First, drawing on the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and the work of sociologically minded critics like John Guillory, we will explore the institutional conditions that led to the literary field’s leftward turn in the 1960s.  We will discuss the “canon wars” that turn inspired in the 1980s and 1990s, as conservatives and liberals battled over the kinds of texts that should be taught to university students. As writers and critics in an English department, we will try to understand how our politics and attitudes are shaped by the institutions we inhabit. To what extent is literary leftism a manifestation of belonging to what Pierre Bourdieu calls “a dominated segment of a dominant class”?

Second, we will explore what happened to the conservative literary imagination after World War II.  We will read established writers like Saul Bellow who embraced (or were perceived to embrace) conservative political positions, as well as the work of popular writers like Ayn Rand who appeal to the American right. We will trace the contours of American conservative thought and culture, identify its internal contradictions, and explore its appeal.

Primary Texts:

Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged (excerpts)

Whittaker Chambers – Witness (excerpts)

Flannery O’Connor – A Good Man is Hard to Find

Robert Heinlein – Starship Troopers

Walker Percy – The Moviegoer

Saul Bellow – Mr. Sammler’s Planet

Tom Wolfe – Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers

Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins – Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days

Philip Roth – The Human Stain

Marilynne Robinson – Gilead

ENGL6747The American Political Novel3 ch
This course charts the development of the American political novel since the 1960's, exploring how this form has been taken up by major writers like Ralph Ellison, Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth, and Don Delillo. We will focus, in particular, on novels that explore the failed promise of welfare state liberalism after the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. We will ask questions such as the following: How have U.S. novelists imagined the institutions of the welfate state? What fictional alternatives do they present to the bureaucratism of those institutions? Do novelists who grew up during the New Deal Era (for instance, Ellison, Mailer, and Bellow) approach the welfare state differently than those who grew up after World War II? Why have post-1960's novelists had such a difficult time envisaging any connection between their own politics and that of the Democratic Party? Is there any connection between the anti-statism of the writers sympathetic to the New Left and those sympathetic to the neoconservative right?
ENGL6748Americans Write Canada: Reconfiguring Canada in the American Literary Imagination3 ch
Since Confederation, American writers have used Canada as an imaginative space and alternative landscape from which to probe the concepts of identity, citizenship, and community. While Americans historically envisaged assimilating Canada, Canadians have wrestled with living in the shadow of a global super-power with whom they continue to be intricately linked, economically, politically, and culturally. This course examines fiction from 1900 to the present, written by Americans about Canada in an attempt to understand why Canada is seen as such a fertile ground for American self-examination; we will examine the changing literary representations of Canada and its relationship to America, using our physical proximity to the forty-ninth parallel to consider the impact of these depictions on populations in both countries.
ENGL6784American Postmodernism3 ch
The course examines postmodernism as manifested in a variety of genres, including the novel, poetry, short story, film, painting and drama. While we will read some important authors and consider a range of important works, our readings will in no way be comprehensive, or even necessarily representative of "postmodernism". We will begin by plotting the theoretical points of correspondence between postmodernism and post-structuralism (especially through Derrida), and delineating, in general terms, the relationship between modernism and postmodernism.
ENGL6818Contemporary Irish Literature and Culture3 ch
Critics of contemporary Irish literature and culture identify the late 1950s and early 1960s as a pivotal period in Ireland’s history. During these years, the Irish government instituted a sweeping series of economic and political reforms that collectively transformed Ireland virtually overnight from an inward-looking traditional society to an industrialized and cosmopolitan European community member state. The consequences of this radical transformation have been mirrored and analyzed in contemporary Irish literature. In this course, we will examine the works of authors situated on either side of this crucial moment in Irish history.
ENGL6847Fiction of the Indian Diaspora3 ch
A survey of contemporary novels and short stories by writers of South Asian ancestry based in Canada, the US, the UK, the West Indies, Africa, and India. We will examine the treatment of such issues as history and historiography, place and displacement, politics, gender, race, religion and migration. We will consider various critical and theoretical frameworks in which these works may be situated, as well as the influence of traditional and experimental literary models on narrative form. Authors studied are likely to include Desai, Ghosh, Kureishi, Mukherjee, Mootoo, Naipaul, Narayan, Roy, Rushdie, and Vassanji.
ENGL6848Space, Place and Identity in Postcolonial Fiction3 ch
This course will survey fiction from the post-colonial Commonwealth; it will focus on novels that encourage interdisciplinary discussion of space, place, landscape, geography, nation, borders, migration, and home, with attention to the ways these contexts ‘ground’ the political and social dimensions of narrative and intersect with notions of individual and communal identity. The course as a whole will reflect the geographical, cultural, and formal variety of post-colonial writing, and will combine historical novels with ones set in contemporary times.

ENGL6858Life-Writing: Transnational Texts and Theories3 ch

This course reflects the wide interest in auto/biography studies in the English-speaking world in the new millenium. Its goal is to explore a diversity of life-writing texts from colonial and postcolonial places and times, and to map some of the key theoretical and critical developments and debates within this emerging field. 

A variety of theories and critical approaches to life-writing will be explored, referencing postcolonialism, postmodernism, feminist theory, and auto/biography studies, amongst others. 

A selection of life-writing will be studied, from classic slave narratives to contemporary, accounts by human rights activists; from stories of childhood to narratives of illness and healing, and from "imposter" texts to works by or about celebrated writers. Theoretical and critical texts will also be sampled as we consider the postmodern fluidity of literary genres. 

ENGL6887West Indian Literature: History, Migrancy, Language3 ch
This course will examine English-language fiction and poetry by leading authors from the West Indies, most of whom are now resident elsewhere. With the help of historians and literary/cultural theorists, we will consider how West Indian literature has imaginatively responded to a history of slavery, indenture, and colonialism; how the region’s rich linguistic inheritance is reflected in the languages of literary texts; and how the post-war phenomenon of migration has affected individual and collective West Indian identities.
ENGL6924Cosmopolitics and Twentieth Century Poetry3 ch
This course is designed to search for the appearances and articulations of cosmopolitanism in the work of modernist and contemporary English-language poets from Britain, Canada, Ireland and the United States. The course will begin by placing cosmopolitanism in the context of regionalism, nationalism, globalization and multiculturalism and with readings of W.B. Yeats’s poetic expressions of Irish nationalism and Wallace Stevens’s singular reaction to the postcolonial moment in his quest for a bleak, American sublime. The course will progress to experiences of the migratory and rootless, the political parable, myth and the question of the universal, and contemporary nationalism in the global context in work of Louis MacNeice, Elizabeth Bishop, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Jorie Graham, Charles Wright, Jan Zwicky, A.F. Moritz, Don McKay, Charles Simic, Medbh McGuckian, Carol Ann Duffy, and Simon Armitage.
ENGL6983Feminist Theory and Literary Criticism3 ch
This course will explore the contribution to literary theory and critical practice made by feminist thinkers such as Gilbert, Gubar, Heilbrun, Kolodny, Showalter, Spender, Woolf, and others. A combination of critical and literary texts will be studied as an examination is made of both theory and practice.
ENGL6999Teaching Apprenticeship6 ch
All PhD students are normally required, as one of their six courses, to complete a teaching apprenticeship under the supervision and mentorship of a full-time faculty member. During the second year of the PhD program, the apprectice is assigned to a section of ENGL 1000, a full-year, 6 ch undergraduate courses taught by the faculty mentor in the fall term, during which the student will attend all classes and meet regularly with the mentor. In the meetings, the student will recieve training and guidance on: course planning and curriculum design; preparing and delivering classes on literature and writing skills; preparing and grading essays, tests and examinations; course administration; adn the preparation of a teaching dossier (including a general philosophy of teaching ). In the winter term the student will be employed to teach the second half of ENGL 1000 section, including responsibility for grading. The faculty mentor will observe winter-term classes periodically in order to offer feedback, and will be available throughout the term for advice. Course credit is awarded upon successful completion of the specific course requirements as determined by the supervisor in conjunction with the student at the beggining of the fall term.
ENGL6786African-American Literature and the Sociology of Race3 ch
This course examines the shifting relationship between African-American literature and the sociology of race. Over the course of the twentieth century, sociology was the discourse most often used in policy decisions regarding black populations. It has always been an object of contention amongst intellectuals. On the one hand, the sociology of race played a crucial role in revealing the damage inflicted by American's systematic racism - in particular during the deliberations leading up to Brown vs. Board of Education (1954). On the other hand, sociology's depiction of African Americans as damaged products of their social environment has also lent itself to questionable policy initiatives, such as Daniel Moynihan's "The Negro Family" (1965), which described black families as prey to a "tangle of pathologies" arising from the historical consequences of slavery segregation. These two attitudes toward damage sociology from a rift that has run through African-American literature since the 1930's. Chicago naturalists like Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks derived inspiration, ideas and even stylistic techniques from the sociology of race, while post - World War II writers like Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin defined their aesthetic against it. In this course, we will explore the origins of this rift and trace its impact upon African-American letters.