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Graduate courses

Course timetable 

2019-2020 courses

6004 - How Should I Read These?: Applying Recent Critical Theory

3 credit hours

Professor Jennifer Andrews                                           

As the title of the course suggests—with apologies to Helen Hoy’s How Should I Read These?: Native Women Writers in Canada—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 to the present.  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 sexuality studies, cultural studies, eco-criticism, and Indigenous studies, and can effectively employ these frameworks when analyzing texts of various genres from a wide variety of time periods and national literatures.  The class will also include some contextual exploration of the pedagogical challenges of teaching literary theory to undergraduate students.  Key to this course will be an explicit awareness of the importance of acknowledging and understanding intersectionality and the importance of using diverse and sometimes conflicting frameworks to examine complex subject positions.  In order to ensure that students have some choice when selecting a topic for their longer paper, I will provide a list of potential other test texts that can be used for the final essay.

Students are advised to read Peter Barry’s Beginning Theory (Manchester UP, 1995) before the course begins; Barry provides a useful background to various schools of theory, and is frequently used in undergraduate courses.  The theoretical text for our course is the second edition of The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (ed. Vincent Leitch, W.W. Norton, 2010), which includes selected writings from a wide range of literary theorists.

The methods of evaluation for this course are designed to encourage the close reading of texts, active participation, and to provide graduate students with several opportunities to develop professional skills that are useful both within and beyond the academic world. Those enrolled will have the chance to deliver a formal conference-style paper to the class and to produce an article-length, potentially publishable essay.

Primary texts:

Likely one of Eden Robinson, Son of a Trickster; David Chariandy, Brother; Katherena Vermette, The Break; Tracey Lindberg, Birdie; or Omar El Akkad, American War.

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, ed. Vincent Leitch, Second Edition, New York: WW Norton, 2010.

Peter Barry, Beginning Theory, 3rd edition, Manchester: Manchester UP, 2009.

Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign, and Play."

Homi Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse” from The Location of Culture, London: Routledge, 2004.

Louise Montrose, “Professing the Renaissance: The Poetics and Politics of Culture” from The New Historicism, ed. H.A. Veeser, New York and London: Routledge, 1989, 15-36.

Alan Sinfield, “Cultural Materialism, Othello, and the Politics of Plausibility” from Faultlines: Cultural Materialisms and the Politics of Dissident Reading, Berkeley: U of California P, 1992, 29-51.

Paul de Man, “The Rhetoric of Temporality” from Blindness and Insight, London: Routledge, 1983, 187-228.

Roland Barthes, "The Structuralist Activity."

6100 - Research Methods and Bibliography: Approaches to Graduate Studies

[Compulsory Pass/Fail course for all new graduate students]

6 credit hours

An introduction to graduate study at UNB. The first term will consist of seminars on post-secondary teaching, research sources on campus (including those of the library, Internet, and the campus network), workshops on writing SSHRC applications, and strategies of dissertation research and publication (academic and creative). The second term will consist of supervised research leading to a thesis proposal. This course is taken in addition to the required 15 ch for thesis-based MA students, 21 ch for course-based MA students, and 15 ch for PhD students.


6105 - Directed Reading Course

3 credit hours

Various professors

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 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 programme are encouraged to enquire 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.


6106 - Creative Writing: Studio Course

3 credit hours

Various professors

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  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 eight 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 programme are encouraged to enquire 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.


6123 - Creative Writing: Poetry

3 credit hours

Professor Sue Sinclair

A workshop-based course designed to refine skills with the elements of poetry (metaphor, rhythm, sound pattern, line breaks etc.) while reflecting on the varied aesthetic and sociopolitical positions a poet may take. The course will explore the techniques and poetics underlying forms ranging from free verse and narrative to formal and experimental poetries. Attention will also be given to professional concerns, which may include the development of one’s poetics, the question of distinctive voice and style, the performance of poetry for an audience, and the preparation of book manuscripts.


6125 - Creative Writing: Poetry

3 credit hours

Professor Sue Sinclair

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-based course designed to further refine skills with the elements of poetry (metaphor, rhythm, sound pattern, line breaks etc.) while reflecting on the varied aesthetic and sociopolitical roles a poet may take. The course will explore the techniques and poetics underlying forms ranging from free verse and narrative to formal and experimental poetries. Attention will also be given to professional concerns, eg. the development of one’s poetics, the question of distinctive voice and style, the performance of poetry for an audience, and the preparation of book manuscripts.  Prerequisite English 6123.


6143 - Creative Writing: Prose

3 credit hours

Professor Mark Jarman

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.


6145 - Creative Writing: Prose

3 credit hours

Professor Mark Jarman

This course is restricted to students in the PhD programme in English (Creative Writing) who have already taken English 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. Prerequisite English 6143.


6183 - Creative Writing: Screenwriting

3 credit hours

Professor Rob Gray

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.


6185 - Creative Writing: Screenwriting

3 credit hours

Professor Rob Gray

This course is restricted to students in the PhD programme in English (Creative Writing) who have already taken ENGL 6183 at the MA level. This workshop is designed to hone skills in writing for the screen (film and television) through the exploration of narrative forms and character psychology. Prerequisite English 6183.


6314 - Literature of the Early Modern Atlantic World

3 credit hours

Professor Edith Snook

In the period between 1600 and 1800, the Atlantic world, bound by the eastern coasts of the Americas and the western coasts of Africa and Europe, is marked by biological exchange, settler colonialism, the slave trade, an ever-expanding trade in goods, and an intellectual and creative reimagining of the known world. This course will look at the literary exchanges produced by people contemplating their place in within this Atlantic geography. It will be focused on England and the northeast Atlantic—extending only as far south as Virginia—and give particular attention to the place of Atlantic Canada and its peoples in this cultural foment. The course will include work by Europeans (largely English, but also French, recognizing their importance in this region), by men and women brought to North America as slaves, by Native Americans, and by English-speaking settlers. Through examining travel and captivity narratives, life writing, recipes and advertisements, plays, fiction, poetry, and legal writing, the course will explore the nature of the archive of the early modern Atlantic world, consider the issues around recovering and reading the voices of marginalized and racialized peoples in colonized societies, and ponder the place of eastern Canada, in particular, in the early modern Atlantic world.

Primary texts:

European Travel Narratives:

[excerpt] Thomas Hariot, A Brief and True Report of the New found land of Virginia, London (1588); [excerpt] Jacques Cartier, Third Voyage, The Principall Navigations, London (1600); [excerpt] Marc Lescarbot, Nova Francia: or The Description of that part of New France which is one continent with Virginia, trans. P.E. London (1609); [excerpt] William Strachey, True Report of the Wrack and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, London (1610); [excerpt] John Smith, A Description of New England, London (1616); [excerpt] Pehr Kalm, Peter Kalm’s Travels in North America, Warrington (1770).

European:

Ben Jonson, Masque of Blackness (1605), ed. Jerry Wasserman, Spectacle of Empire: Marc Lescarbot’s Theatre of Neptune in New France (2006) 91-102; Marc Lescarbot, Le Théâtre de Neptune en la Nouvelle-France (1606), trans. Eugene and Renate Benson, Spectacle of Empire, 73-82; William Shakespeare, The Tempest (1610-11/1623); Aphra Behn, The Widow Ranter (1690)

Indigenous North American:

The Old Man Told Us: Excerpts from Mikmaw History 1500-1950, ed. Ruth Holmes Whitehead, Halifax: Nimbus (2015); Letters by James Printer/ Wowaus, reprinted in “Indians and Images: The Massachussets Bay Colony Seal, James Printer and the Anxiety of Colonial Identity,” American Quarterly 63.1 (2011): 61-93; Katherine Garrett, The Confession and Dying Warning of Katherine Garrett (1738), Transatlantic Feminisms in the Age of Revolutions, ed. Lisa L. Moore, Joanna Brooks, and Caroline Wigginton, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012, 100-102; [selections] Joseph Johnson, To Do Good to My Indian Brethren: The Writings of Joseph Johnson, 1751– 1776, ed. Laura J. Murray, Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1998; Samson Occom, “Short Narrative of My Life” (1768); Peace and Friendship Treaties, 1752 and 1760, Indigenous and North Affairs Website. 

Settler:

John Gyles, Memoirs of odd adventures, strange deliverances, &c. in the captivity of John Gyles, Esq; commander of the garrison on St. George's River (1736); Mary Rowlandson, A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682); Unca Eliza Winkfield, The Female American, or, The extraordinary adventures of Unca Eliza Winkfield (1767); [Extant extract] Acadius, Nova Scotia Gazette and Weekly Examiner (1774); Jonathon Odell, Selected poetry; Adam Allan, “Grand Falls” (1798); Recipes, Selections from Early Modern Maritime Recipes; George Cocking, The Conquest of Canada (1766).

African:

“The trial of Marie-Joseph Angelique” (1734), Other voices: Writings by Blacks in Canada, ed. Lorris Elliott, Toronto: Williams-Wallace Publisher (1985), 55-65; Briton Hammon, A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings, and Surprising Deliverance of Briton Hammon, a Negro Man (1760); John Marrant, A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a Black (Now Going to Preach the Gospel in Nova Scotia) (1785); John Marrant, A Journal of the Rev. John Marrant, from August 18th 1785 to the 16th of March 1790; Ads for Run-away slaves [Nova Scotia, New England, various sources]; Carleton Papers—Book of Negroes (1783), Library and Archives Canada Website; Phyllis Wheatley, selected poetry.

Selected Secondary Texts (selections from):

Silas T. Rand, Legends of the Micmacs (1894, rpt. 1971); Ruth Holmes Whitehead, Micmac Quillwork: Micmac Indian Techniques of Porcupine Quill Decoration, 1600-1950 (1982); David Armitage and M.J. Braddick, eds., The British Atlantic World, 1500-1800 (2002); Alden Vaughn, Transatlantic Encounters: American Indians in Britain, 1550-1776 (2006); Daniel Paul, We Were Not the Savages, 3rd ed. (2006); Douglas R. Egerton, Alison Games, Jane G. Landers, Kris Lane, Donald R. Wright, eds., The Atlantic World: A History, 1400-1888 (2007); Lisa Brooks, The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast (2008); Marcy Norton, Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World (2008); Winfried Siemerling, The Black Atlantic Reconsidered: Black Canadian Writing, Cultural History and the Presence of the Past (2015); Coll-Peter Thrush, Indigenous London: Native Travellers in the Heart of Empire (2016); Charmaine Nelson, Towards an African-Canadian Art History: Art, Memory, and Resistance (forthcoming 2018).


6443 - Romanticism and the Gothic

3 credit hours

Professor Elizabeth Effinger

This course addresses a wide range of major and minor Gothic texts from the British Romantic period. We will explore how Romantic aesthetics, especially concepts of the beautiful and the sublime, colour the Gothic, and vice versa, while also attending to the Gothic 's (mal)treatment of some of Romanticism 's signature ideas and ideals (cf. the imagination, sympathy, freedom). Both within and against Romanticism's cultural and political backdrop, what we might call the Gothic "apparatus" emerges. For not only is this the period that witnesses the invention of new Gothic optical technologies (the Eidophusikon, Panorama, and Phantasmagoria) , but also the organization of new sciences of the mind. We will consider how the Gothic, with its intense interest in psychic mechanisms, such as repression and identification, makes similar investments as psychoanalysis, a discipline that Joel Faflak argues begins in British Romantic poetry. In addition to measuring the traffic between the Romantic and the Gothic, we will retrace the classic distinctions between terror and horror, the female and male gothic, and will consider if these categories have any remaining purchase. Although we will study a variety of genres, an emphasis will be placed on poetry, especially the dark visions of William Blake. 

Primary texts:

Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764); Edmund Burke, Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757); William Blake, The Book of Urizen (1794) and others; Anna Laetitia Barbauld and John Aiken, "On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror"(1773); Kant, Critique of Judgment ("The Analytic of the Beautiful" and "The Analytic of the Sublime," 1790); Radcliffe, "On the Supernatural in Poetry" (1826); Matthew Lewis, The Monk (1795); selections from Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Charlotte Smith, Joanna Baillie, Maria Edgeworth, and Mary Robinson.

Secondary texts:  

Sigmund Freud,  "The Uncanny"; "Mourning  and  Melancholia"; Beyond the Pleasure Principle; Selections from Peter Brooks, Reading /or the Plot; Gothic Documents: A Sourcebook 1700-1820; Eugene Thacker, In the Dust of  this Planet; David Collings, Monstrous Society; Michael Gamer, Romanticism and the Gothic; Peter Otto, Multiplying Worlds; Joel Faflak, Romantic Psychoanalysis; Tilottama Rajan, Romantic Narrative; Marshall Brown, The Gothic Text; Barbara Johnson,  A Life with Mary Shelley; Steven Bruhm, Gothic Bodies.


6525 - A Course of Her Own: Virginia Woolf

3 credit hours

Professor Lucas Crawford

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. In this course, we look to well-known and lesser-known texts by Woolf in order to find new ways to situate her in various literary and cultural histories, and to expose ourselves to the more difficult and fraught corners of her oeuvre.

Potential Primary texts:

Novels: The Voyage OutNight and DayJacob’s RoomMrs DallowayTo the LighthouseOrlando: A BiographyThe WavesThe YearsBetween the Acts.

Non-Fiction: “On Being Ill,” Excerpts from A Room of One’s Own, Excerpts from The Letters of Virginia Woolf, Excerpts from The Diary of Virginia Woolf, “The Ladies Lavatory,” “The Watering Place.”

Potential Secondary texts: 

Michael Cunningham, the Hours; Quentin Bell, Virginia Woolf: A BiographyOrlando (filmic adaptation starring Tilda Swinton); S.P. Rosenbaum, A Bloomsbury Group Reader; Quentin Bell, Bloomsbury; Christopher Reed, Bloomsbury Rooms.


6887 - West Indian Literature: History, Migrancy, Language

3 credit hours

Professor John Ball

This course will enable students to conduct in-depth study of fiction, plus some poetry and drama, by authors from across the West Indies. Our authors hail from (and write about) Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, and Antigua, though most of them went on to live in Britain, Canada, or the United States. With the help of supplementary readings by literary historians and literary/cultural theorists, we will consider how West Indian writers have 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 the imagining of individual and collective West Indian identities. Students will be responsible for two 15- to 20-minute class presentations, one short report on a critical reading, and a 15- to 20-page final paper.

Primary texts (10-11 will be chosen from the following list):

Claude McKay, Banana Bottom (1933); Samuel Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956) or Moses Ascending (1975); V.S. Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas (1961); Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966); Derek Walcott, Dream on Monkey Mountain (1970); Merle Hodge, Crick Crack, Monkey (1970); Derek Walcott, Selections from Collected Poems 1948-1984 (1986); Erna Brodber, Myal (1988); Dionne Brand, No Language is Neutral (1990) or Land to Light On (1997); Shani Mootoo, Cereus Blooms at Night (1996) or He Drown She in the Sea (2005); Earl Lovelace, Salt (1997); Jamaica Kincaid, Mr. Potter (2002); Dionne Brand, What We All Long For (2005); David Chariandy, Soucouyant (2007); Edwidge Danticat, Claire of the Sea Light (2013).


6994 - Advanced Research Project

Compulsory Pass/Fail course open only to students in the 12-month course-based academic MA

6 credit hours

Various professors

The course requirements are a conference paper and an article.  These two pieces of work will be based on one essay undertaken during the previous 10 months of course work.  The article should be 20-25 pages in length and should be striving to meet the standard of a scholarly article that could be published in a refereed journal.  It does not have to be submitted for publication.  The conference paper, based on the article, should be a good example of this oral form.  The paper does not have to be delivered at a conference, although students will have the opportunity to present their conference papers at an optional departmental symposium to be organized for late summer each year.


6999 - Teaching Apprenticeship

Compulsory Pass/Fail course for all second-year PhD students

3 credit hours

Various professors

All PhD students are normally required, as part of their course programme, to complete a teaching apprenticeship under the supervision and mentorship of a full-time faculty member. During the second year of the PhD, the apprentice is assigned to a section of ENGL 1000, a full-year, 6-ch undergraduate course 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 receive 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; and the preparation of a professional teaching dossier (including a general philosophy of teaching). In the winter term the student will be employed to teach the second half of the 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 beginning of the fall term. Prerequisite: must have completed first year of PhD programme in English.




2020-2021 courses

6100 - Research Methods and Bibliography: Approaches to Graduate Studies

[Compulsory Pass/Fail course for all new graduate students]

6 credit hours

Professor Stephen Schryer

An introduction to graduate study at UNB.  The first term will consist of seminars on post-secondary teaching, research sources on campus (including those of the library, Internet, and the campus network), workshops on writing SSHRC applications, and strategies of dissertation research and publication (academic and creative).  The second term will consist of supervised research leading to a thesis proposal.  This course is taken in addition to the required 15 ch for MA students and 15 ch for PhD students.


6123 - Creative Writing: Poetry

3 credit hours

Professor Triny Finlay

This graduate seminar is a workshop designed to develop and improve skills with the elements of poetry, such as metaphor, imagery, 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 such as the sonnet and glosa. 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. Students in the course will workshop their poetry throughout the term; prepare an in-class presentation on an assigned poet; keep a reading journal for assigned secondary readings; and put together a final portfolio of the term’s work for evaluation.

Primary Course Texts:

Belcourt, Billy-Ray. This Wound Is A World. Frontenac House, 2017.

Brand, Dionne. Ossuaries. McClelland & Stewart, 2010.

Pico, Tommy. Junk. Tin House, 2018.

Vermette, Katherena. North End Love Songs. Muses’ Company, 2012.

Wang, Phoebe. Admission Requirements. McClelland & Stewart, 2017.


6125 - Creative Writing: Poetry

3 credit hours

Professor Triny Finlay

This course is restricted to students in the PhD programme in English (Creative Writing) who have already taken English 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 also be given to professional concerns, including publication in journals and the preparation of book manuscripts. Prerequisite English 6123.


6143 - Creative Writing: Prose

3 credit hours

Professor Mark Jarman

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.

Text: A subscription to The Fiddlehead (student rate)


6145 - Creative Writing: Prose

3 credit hours

Professor Mark Jarman

This course is restricted to students in the PhD programme in English (Creative Writing) who have already taken English 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. Prerequisite English 6143.


6163 - Creative Writing: Playwriting

3 credit hours

Professor Len Falkenstein

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.


6165 - Creative Writing: Playwriting

3 credit hours

Professor Len Falkenstein

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. Prerequisite English 6163.


6278 - Shakespeare and Evolution

3 credit hours

Professor Randall Martin

This seminar will investigate imaginative and theatrical anticipations and analogies of evolutionary ideas in Shakespeare, broadly defined in terms of pre-Cartesian, Darwinian, and posthumanist epistemologies. These relationships include:

1) Pre-scientific ideas of natural selection and genetic mutation embedded in empirical practices of artificial selection, such as the hybridization of animals and plants (e.g. Henry IV Part Two), and imaginatively conceptualized by 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 affinities in writers such as Michel de Montaigne’s “Apology for Raymond Sebond” which preceded the Enlightenment separation of human and animal nature (e.g. King Lear), and which look forward to evolution’s levelling of species divisions, and today’s re-assertion of shared human and animal capacities for intelligence and sentience (e.g. Hamlet, Cymbeline)

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

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.   

Primary and secondary non-Shakespearian texts

Bruce Boehrer, Shakespeare among the Animals: Nature and Society in the Drama of Early Modern England (2002)

-- Animal Characters: Non-Human Beings in Early Modern Literature (Philadelphia, 2010)

At the Borders of the Human: Beasts, Bodies, and Natural Philosophy in the Early Modern Period, ed. Erica Fudge, Ruth Gilbert, and Susan Wiseman (2002)

Clark, Timothy, The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment (2011)

Cohen, Adam Max Cohen, Shakespeare and Technology: Dramatizing Early Modern Technological Revolutions (2006)

Darwin, Darwin, On the Origin of Species (1859)

-- The Variation of Plants and Animals Under Domestication (1868)

-- The Descent of Man (1871)

-- The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872)

-- Darwin, Norton Critical Editions, 3rd edn (2000).

Derrida, Jacques, The Animal Therefore I am (2008)

Fudge, Erica, Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality, and Humanity in Early Modern England (2006)

Haraway, Donna, When Species Meet (2008)

-- The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (2003)

Höfele, Andreas, Stage, Stake, and Scaffold: Humans & Animals in Shakespeare’s Theatre (2011)

The Indistinct Human in Renaissance Literature, ed. J. Feerick and V. Nardizzi (2012)

The Institute for Critical Animal Studies www.criticalanimalstudies.org/

Maisano, Scott, “Rise of the Poet of the Apes,” Shakespeare Studies 41 (2013), 64–76

Mentz, Steve, At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean (2009)

de Montaigne, Michel, Essays (1580, 1604, selections, including “The Apology for Raymond Seybond”)

Ovid, Metamorphosis (selections)

Posthumanist Shakespeares, ed. Stefan Herbrechter and Ivan Callus (2012)

Ryder, Richard D., Animal Revolution: Changing Attitudes Towards Speciesism (2000)

Sapp, Jan, Evolution by Association: A History of Symbiosis (1994)

Shannon, Laurie, The Accommodated Animal: Cosmopolity in Shakespearean Locales (2013)

Sheen, Erica, ‘“Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, and thou no breath at all?’, Shakespeare’s Animations,” Renaissance Beasts: Of Animals, Humans, and Other Wonderful Creatures, ed. Erica Fudge (2004)

Simon, Paul, Animal Rights and the Politics of Literary Representation (2002)

Soper, Kate, What is Nature?: Culture, Politics, and the Non-Human (1995)

Stott, Rebecca, Darwin’s Ghosts: In Search of the First Evolutionists (2012)

Thomas, Keith, Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England 1500-1800 (1984)


6XXX – Blake’s Chemical Weddings

3 credit hours

Professor Elizabeth Effinger

“And was Jerusalem builded here / Among these dark Satanic Mills?” — so asks William Blake (1757-1827), a radical Romantic poet-engraver, painter, and printmaker about his beloved and beguiled England. In this course, we will examine some of Blake’s best known illuminated poems spanning his entire career. This course invites us to think of Blake’s interdisciplinary work — both in its content and forms — as queer mixtures, or “chemical weddings” (to borrow a phrase from Iron Maiden’s frontman and fellow Blakean, Bruce Dickinson). Blake’s mixed-media work uniquely combines both image and text, and rages against tyrannical apparatuses and static notions of form, genre, identity, gender, sexuality, history, and power-knowledge.

In addition to close readings and grappling with Blake’s visionary mythology, we will deploy theoretical approaches (including feminist, psychoanalyst, queer, and deconstructive theories) all while keeping in mind Blake’s participation in major and minor histories. Against the caricature of Blake as an ahistorical madman-artist outside of his own time, we will track how Blake’s visual and textual work confronts gender and sexuality, politics, religion, historiography and emergent discourses of knowledge in England during the Romantic era. Students will also encounter Blake’s unique process of composition and relief etching or “illuminated printing,” and try their own hand at making copper engravings and printmaking. Hands-on training will be provided and time divided between the classroom and the UNB Art Centre studio. Get ready to roll up your sleeves!

Primary Readings 

(all primary readings are contained in The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, ed. David Erdman, an anthology that will be required reading. ~$25 on Amazon)

The Book of Thel (1789)

Songs of Innocence and of Experience (SI, 1789; SIE, 1794)

Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790)

Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793)

America a Prophecy (1793)

Europe: a Prophecy (1794)

The [First] Book of Urizen (1794)

Milton (c.1804-18)

Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (c.1820)

a sample of Blake’s watercolour drawings (cf. designs for Milton’s Comus, Edward Young’s Night Thoughts)

commercial engravings (cf. Philosophical Transactions, Rees’ Cyclopedia, Erasmus Darwin’s The Botanic Garden, John Gabriel Stedman’s Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition, Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, and Mary Wollstonecraft’s Original Stories from Real Life)

Secondary Readings (selections from the following)

Michael Phillips, William Blake: The Creation of the Songs, from Manuscript to Illuminated Printing (2000)

Diane Piccitto, Blake’s Drama (2014)

Sarah Haggarty, Blake’s Gifts: Poetry and the Politics of Exchange (2014) 

Saree Makdisi, Reading William Blake (2015), William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s (2003),

Roger Whitson and Jason Whittaker, William Blake and the Digital Humanities (2013)

Queer Blake, ed. Helen Bruder and Tristanne Connolly (2010)

Richard Sha, Perverse Romanticism: Aesthetics and Sexuality in Britain, 1750-1832 (2009)

Blake, Modernity and Popular Culture, ed. Steve Clark and Jason Whittaker (2007)

Helen Bruder, Women Reading William Blake (2007)

Matthew Green, Visionary Materialism in the Early Works of William Blake (2005)

Julia Wright, Blake, Nationalism, and the Politics of Alienation (2004)

Tristanne Connolly, William Blake and the Body (2002)

Unnam’d Forms, ed. Hilton Nelson and Thomas Vogler (1986)


6XXX – Queer Theory: Key Figures

3 credit hours

Professor Lucas Crawford

Queer theorists are often referred to in English classes; after all, what English student hasn't heard a quick summary of panopticism, homosociality, or performativity? What English student hasn’t heard the names Foucault, Sedgwick, and Butler? Yet, it is rare that students have the chance to actually study these authors directly and in a sustained way. This course aims to build on students' experiences with literary theory by diving deeply into the work of three key figures (those named above) and into key "offshoots" of queer theory (such as queer of colour theory, transgender theory, crip theory, and theories of queer space).

While we will trace out the influence of Sedgwick, Butler, and Foucault on these other fields, we will also ask about the slanted process of canon formation. Why and how were some voices in queer theory heard more often than others? Are there ways in which these apparent "offshoot" subfields were present in queer theory from its (ambiguous, complex) beginnings? How, we will ask, can today's readers of queer theory attend to the field's dual commitments to politics and to bodies? Does queer theory still do what it used to do? What is "queer" about it, anyhow? What kind of theory do we need now? These will be some of our questions.

This course is for all graduate students who are interested in discussing how our bodies, pleasures, desires, and cultures work – regardless of one’s experience with theory or with queer life. We will disrupt the common perceptions that theory is needlessly complex, or “too hard,” or somehow not material. We will direct our attention to the impact of queer theory on our times, on our thinking, and on our own critical and creative writing practices.

Tentative Reading List

Weeks 1-3: Foucault

  • The History of Sexuality. All of Volume One (The Will to Knowledge) and other excerpts.
  • Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison.
  • Madness and Civilization: a History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.

Weeks 4-6: Sedgwick

  • Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire.
  • Epistemology of the Closet.
  • Tendencies

Weeks 7-9: Butler

  • Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.
  • Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex.”

Week 10: Queer of Colour Theory I

Articles and chapters by Jose Esteban Munoz, E. Patrick Johnson, Qwo-Li Driskill 

Week 11: Queer of Colour Theory II

Articles and chapters by Sara Ahmed, Jasbir Puar, Kara Keeling 

Week 12: Transgender Theory

Articles and chapters by Susan Stryker, Sandy Stone, Paul B. Preciado, Jack Halberstam

Week 13: Queer Crip Theory

Articles and chapters by Robert McRuer, Ann Cvetkovich, Eli Clare, Jason Whitesel

Week 14: Queer Rural Theory

Articles and chapters by Scott Herring, Karen Tongsen, Colin Johnson, Mary L. Gray                      


6XXX – Is CanLit a Dumpster Fire?

3 credit hours

Professor Jennifer Andrews

As a white, straight Canadian Literature scholar who has built her career on the foundations of a field that has recently experienced what Tuscarora writer Alicia Elliott has described as a “dumpster fire” (Refuse 27), an explosive set of debates around racism, sexism, class and regional privilege, this course aims to unpack some of key issues that have shaped CanLit’s past, led to its rightly divisive present, and to think about what its future may look like.  As Elliott explains, “A nation’s literature is to both define and uphold the nation.  But what is that nation’s foundational beliefs about itself are, well, lies?” (97).  Elliott’s call to writers, critics, and scholars to acknowledge and explore the ways in which “systemic discrimination” fueled by “national myths of politeness, acceptance, and multiculturalism” have been used to create and reinforce narratives about CanLit provides a basis in this course for probing what CanLit means as “an industry, a cultural field and an academic discipline” (17). 

To do so, this course will explore who and what has shaped the canon of Canadian literature at a post-secondary level, both at home and abroad (as represented in anthologies, through publishing projects like the New Canadian Library imprint, and though the multinational mergers of publishing houses) as well as the energy that has been devoted by publishers and academics to specific genres, authors, and texts—to the exclusion of others.  As part of this process, we will consider how the creation and existence of prestigious literary prizes along with the CBC’s Canada Reads contribute to the canonization of a particular version of Canada as a nation.  We will also look specifically at some central motifs of Canadian literature and Canadian nationalism that continue to circulate to the benefit of the Canadian publishing industry, such as the fetishization of folk culture that is intimately tied to Atlantic Canada, and the desire to relegate Indigenous and Black authors to the telling of stories about “oppression and marginalization” (18).  And we will consider how tactics of inclusion have become strategies to ensure exclusion in the case of a variety of authors who are perceived of as ‘Other.’  Part of our work will be to scrutinize our own subject positions in relation to the field of CanLit and to think through how we can actively contribute to rethinking its future without merely replicating its past.

To focus our inquiry, the course will begin with an examination of the creation of CanLit as a discipline through the Massey Commission (1951) and the construction of various kinds of infrastructure in subsequent decades to ensure that a specific version of Canadian literature was produced, published, and taught.  We will then turn to moments that either codified or try to challenge the emerging field of CanLit ranging from the 1978 Calgary Conference on the Canadian Novel and the 1994 Writing Thru Race Conference to arguments around appropriation of voice (such as the 2017 “Appropriation Prize” controversy) and the UBCAccountable letter.   As part of the course, we must consider the impact of Idle No More, Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo as expressions of the need for radical change, beyond what may be perceived of as institutionally acceptable, most explicitly manifested in recent efforts to decolonize or indigenize the university.  We will examine a wide variety of texts, including fiction, poetry, government documents (like the Massey Report), blog posts, academic essays, newspaper and journal articles, and literary theory.  Our primary texts may include: 

Marion Engel.  Bear. McClelland and Stewart, 1976.

Margaret Laurence.  The Stone Angel.  McClelland and Stewart, 1964.

Marie Campbell.  Halfbreed  Goodreads, 1973.

Basil Johnston.  Indian School Days.  U of Oklahoma P, 1989.

Austin Clarke.  The Polished Hoe.  Thomas Allen, 2002.

Lisa Moore.  February.  Grove Press, 2010.

M. Nourbese Philip.  Zong!  Wesleyan & Mercury P, 2008.

Dionne Brand.  A Map to the Door of No Return.  2001. 

Gwen Benaway.  Holy Wild.  Book*hug, 2018. 

Suzette Mayr.  Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crowley Hall.  Coach House, 2017.

Sarah Henstra.  The Red Word. ECW, 2018.

Roy Miki.  Surrender.  Mercury, 2001.

Nalo Hopkinson.  Brown Girl in the Ring.  Warner, 1998.

Cheri Dimaline.  The Marrow-Thieves.  Cormorant, 2017.

Joshua Whitehead.  Johnny Appleseed.  Arsenal Pulp P, 2018.  


6744 – Poverty in American Literature

3 credit hours

Professor Stephen Schryer

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 Clinton-era Welfare Reform.  In each case, apart from discussing thematic connections between literature and welfare policy, we will focus on the changing literary aesthetics of poverty: from the documentary naturalism of the 1930s to the process aesthetics of the 1960s and beyond.  Throughout the course, we will ask questions such as the following:  How did American writers contribute to or question conventional depictions of the poor as grotesque or abject and therefore undeserving of welfare?  How did writers respond to the post-1970s emergence of workfare and prisonfare as key strategies for disciplining the poor?  Were literary representations of poverty (especially ethnic and racial poverty) central to the development of literary modernism and postmodernism?  How did poverty writers mediate between their impoverished subject matter and (mostly) middle class audience?  How did this mediation shape their aesthetics?

Primary Texts:

Stephen Crane – Maggie, a Girl of the Streets

Jacob Riis – How the Other Half Lives

Gertrude Stein – Three Lives

Tillie Olson – Yonnondio: From the Thirties

James Agee and Walker Evans – Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Ann Petry – The Street

Gwendolyn Brooks – In the Mecca

Chester Himes – Blind Man with a Pistol

Oscar Zeta Acosta – The Revolt of the Cockroach People

Sapphire – Push

Dorothy Allison – Bastard Out of Carolina

Jesmyn Ward – Salvage the Bones

Secondary Texts:

Robert Park and Ernest Burgess – “The City”

Michael Harrington – The Other America

Oscar Lewis – La Vida: A Puerto Rican Family in the Culture of Poverty

Hannah Arendt – On Revolution

Daniel P. Moynihan – “The Negro Family”

William Julius Wilson – The Truly Disadvantaged

Loïc Wacquant – Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity

Gavin Jones – American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945

Thomas Heise – Urban Underworlds: A Geography of Twentieth-Century American Literature and Culture

Alice O’Connor – Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy, and the Poor in Twentieth-Century U.S. History

Susan Edmunds – Grotesque Relations: Modernist Domestic Fiction and the U.S. Welfare State

Carlo Rotella – October Cities: The Redevelopment of Urban Literature 


6105 - Directed Reading Course

3 credit hours

Various professors

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 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 programme are encouraged to enquire 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.


6106 - Creative Writing: Studio Course

3 credit hours

Various professors

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  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 eight 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 programme are encouraged to enquire 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.


6994 - Advanced Research Project

Compulsory Pass/Fail course open only to students in the 12-month course-based academic MA

6 credit hours

Various professors

The course requirements are a conference paper and an article.  These two pieces of work will be based on one essay undertaken during the previous 10 months of course work.  The article should be 20-25 pages in length and should be striving to meet the standard of a scholarly article that could be published in a refereed journal.  It does not have to be submitted for publication.  The conference paper, based on the article, should be a good example of this oral form.  The paper does not have to be delivered at a conference, although students will have the opportunity to present their conference papers at an optional departmental symposium to be organized for late summer each year.


6999 - Teaching Apprenticeship

Compulsory Pass/Fail course for all second-year PhD students

3 credit hours

Various professors

All PhD students are normally required, as part of their course programme, to complete a teaching apprenticeship under the supervision and mentorship of a full-time faculty member. During the second year of the PhD, the apprentice is assigned to a section of ENGL 1000, a full-year, 6-ch undergraduate course 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 receive 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; and the preparation of a professional teaching dossier (including a general philosophy of teaching). In the winter term the student will be employed to teach the second half of the 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 beginning of the fall term. Prerequisite: must have completed first year of PhD programme in English.