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Graduate courses

Course timetable

2022-2023 courses

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

6 credit hours

Professor Edith Snook

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 and other grant 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.


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 program 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.


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 program 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.


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.

Primary course texts:

  • Belcourt, Billy-Ray. NDN Coping Mechanisms. (Anansi, 2019)
  • Christmas, Jillian. The Gospel of Breaking. (Arsenal Pulp, 2020)
  • Vermette, Katherena. North End Love Songs. (Muses’ Company, 2012)

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.


3 credit hours

Professor Triny Finlay

This course is restricted to students in the PhD program 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.


3 credit hours

Professor TBD

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.


3 credit hours

Professor TBD

This course is restricted to students in the PhD program 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.


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.


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.


3 credit hours

Professor David Creelman

We will examine the fiction written in the Maritime region from the late nineteenth century to the present 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 ways in which gender roles have shifted during the century, the gradual emergence of the form of realism, and the difficulties associated with the study of the region’s minority literatures.

Primary course texts (tentative):

  • James DeMille, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder
  • Theodore Roberts, Red Feathers
  • Frank Parker Day, John Paul’s Rock
  • L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
  • Evelyn Eaton, Quietly my Captain Waits
  • Hugh MacLennan, Barometer Rising
  • Ernest Buckler, The Mountain and the Valley
  • Donna Smyth, Quilt
  • Alistair MacLeod, Lost Salt Gift of Blood
  • Antonine Maillet, Pelagie (In translation)
  • David Adams Richards, For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down
  • Lynn Coady, Strange Heaven
  • George Eliot Clarke, George & Rue

Critical and historical Essays which will be read alongside the fiction by George Elliott Clarke, David Creelman, E.R. Forbes, Danielle Fuller, Ian McKay, Daniel Samson, Donald Savoie, Della Stanley, Tony Tremblay, and Herb Wyile.

While the method of evaluation is still open for discussion, the course can include seminar presentations, a short formal paper and an article length term paper. When we meet we will determine the weights of the assignments.


3 credit hours

Professor Lisa Jodoin

How can Indigenous epistemologies help in a world on the edge of economic, environmental, and spiritual catastrophe? This course examines how Indigenous authors use science fiction to reimagine the present and future of Indigenous communities. We explore what alternate realities authors envision and how they repurpose sci-fi conventions to reflect Indigenous knowledge and histories and to address issues such as colonization, history, land claims, and environmental destruction. The course examines a range of topics including time travel and reclaiming history, as well as dystopian visions of the city, the land, and the body.


3 credit hours

Professor Stephen Schryer

Neoliberalism – a doctrine that asserts the absolute primacy of the free market, enforced, if necessary, by the state – has shaped what we think of as politically, economically, and culturally possible since at least the 1980s. This course explores the emergence and consolidation of this paradigm. The course has a twin focus. First, we will read works of political and economic theory that articulated the central tenets of neoliberalism in the 1960s and works that identified and criticized the new paradigm from the 1980s onwards. These texts will come from a diverse range of political perspectives – from the libertarian right to the Marxist left. Second, we will read American novels published since the 1990s that provide a “cognitive map” (Jameson) of neoliberalism and attempt to imagine alternatives to it. We will ask questions such as the following: does neoliberalism short-circuit collective politics in an age that demands that we take ambitious measures to deal with issues such as climate change and increasing economic disparity? To what extent has neoliberalism determined our conceptions of class, race, gender, and sexuality and the politics that are based on these categories? How has neoliberalism impacted the novel as a form, and how have certain works of fiction, in turn, guided the evolution of neoliberalism? Is neoliberalism coming to an end, and if so, what new paradigms are emerging to replace it?

Primary course texts (will include):

  • Don DeLillo, Underworld
  • Karen Tei Yamashita, Tropic of Orange
  • Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker
  • Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist
  • Percival Everett, Erasure
  • Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End
  • Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones
  • Richard Powers, The Overstory
  • Rachel Kushner, The Mars Room
  • Jonathan Lethem - The Feral Detective;

Possible theorists include Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Frederic Jameson, David Harvey, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Walter Benn Michaels, Loïc Wacquant, Sarah Brouillete, Annie McClanahan, and Phil A. Neel.


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 program, 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 program in English.


2023-2024 courses

[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 and other grant 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.


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 program 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.


3 credit hours

Professor Sue Sinclair

This course aims to support writers in their efforts to create poems that may move in any number of ways and may engage with a variety of goals or challenges.

Its premise is twofold: 1) that poets need the space to explore their poetic commitments and desires, and 2) that they are also constantly working to develop their practical skills in light of those commitments. This workshop is a place to do both these things. It allows writers to rub shoulders with other writers who may have different priorities, interests and styles. Writers have the chance to lean into complementary poetics and to experience fruitful resistances. We will read and discuss writings that raise questions about the social and artistic possibilities of poetry, and students will also edit each other’s work with an eye to helping each poem to realize its particular ambitions in its particular fashion. Attention will be paid to elements such as metaphor, rhythm, line break, syntax, the registers of diction, and sound pattern. Students will also have the chance to work on the oral presentation of poetry, as the effective reading aloud of a poem can offer insight into the poem and is also a skill poets need in order to present their work in a fruitful way to audiences.

Required texts: Students will be asked to keep a reading journal in which they will engage in a writerly way with the work, both critical and creative, of a variety of poets. You will choose from a list developed collaboratively and tailored to your interests.


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.


3 credit hours

Professor David Huebert

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.


3 credit hours

Professor David Huebert

This course is restricted to students in the PhD program 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.


3 credit hours

Professor Robert Gray

Web series, short films, commercials, music videos, and sketch shorts are all short fomats that have emerged as viable ways for screenwriters to break into the film industry. Short formats can be an affordable and achievable way for a filmmaker or a screenwriter to develop a calling card and to be considered for larger projects. For artists developing their craft, short formats are also less costly and more versatile forms in which to play and experiment; they provide an essential opportunity to develop a voice as a film artist. This intensive course guides writers through the basics of short format screenplay structure, character principles, writing and rewriting strategies. Students will be exposed to a wide range of short films in a variety of genres so they can explore the limits and possibilities of briefer forms of cinematic storytelling. Students do no need previous writing experience but first timers should be prepared to spend extra time developing/working on their process.

Please note: Students will be expected to read/write every day through the duration of the course to cover the necessary material. This is an intensive course and students should be prepared to commit themselves.

Required texts:

  • The Screenwriter’s Bible, 5th edition, David Trottier
  • Inside Story, Dara Marks
  • The Writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler

Selected Readings (d2l): Students should read as many screenplays as possible to acclimatize themselves to the form.


3 credit hours

Professor Robert 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.


3 credit hours

Professor Elizabeth Effinger

If horror, as Eugene Thacker recently suggests, is a way of thinking about the unthinkable world, what might it mean that our visions of horror continue to draw from the well of Romanticism? This course addresses a wide range of major and minor Gothic texts from the British Romantic period, and those in its wake. 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 with its origins in Romantic literature. 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. We will study a variety of genres (poetry, novels, drama, essays) as well as the visual representations of the Gothic through Blake’s illuminated poetry, and the art of Henry Fuseli, whose painting The Nightmare has remained an icon of horror since its first public exhibition in 1782.

Primary Readings

  • 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 The Four Zoas
  • 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)
  • Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
  • Matthew Lewis, The Monk (1795); Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads (1798)
  • Radcliffe, “On the Supernatural in Poetry” (1826)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818).

3 credit hours

Professor Jennifer Andrews

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.

Primary Texts (may include)

  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903)
  • Shadows on a Rock by Willa Cather (1931)
  • Wolf Willow by Wallace Stegner (1962)
  • Flight to Canada by Ishmael Reed (1976)
  • Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler (1998)
  • The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (2004)
  • The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley (2009)
  • The Odds by Stewart O’Nan (2012)
  • Canada by Richard Ford (2012)
  • The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by PS Duffy (2013)
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (2016)
  • Underground Airlines by Ben Winters (2016)
  • American War by Omar El Akad (2017)
  • Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (2018)
  • We Stand on Guard by Brian K. Vaughan et al. (2016)
  • nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up by Tasha Hubbard (2019)

We will also read brief sections from A Yankee in Canada by Henry David Thoreau, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Their Wedding Journey by William Dean Howells, and Evangeline by Henry Longfellow in its entirety to contextualize the focus of our investigation and provide a framework for nineteenth-century representations of Canada by Americans.


3 credit hours

Professor John Ball

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.

Primary Texts (some selections will change)

  • Race, Power, and Crisis in Southern Africa
    • Nadine Gordimer. July’s People (1981)
    • Yvonne Vera. Nehanda (1992)
  • British Settlement and the Intrusive Other in 18th- and 19th-Century Australia
    • Kate Grenville. The Secret River (2006)
    • David Malouf. Remembering Babylon (1993)
  • Gender, Identity, and Mobility in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe
    • Tsitsi Dangarembga. Nervous Conditions (1988)
    • NoViolet Bulawayo. We Need New Names (2013)
  • Lines of Narrative Connection in Transnational London
    • Amitav Ghosh. The Shadow Lines (1988)
    • Zadie Smith. White Teeth (2000)
  • Imagined Geographies and Speculative Histories
    • Bernardine Evaristo. Blonde Roots (2008)
    • Mohsin Hamid. Exit West (2017)

3 credit hours

Professor and course description TBD


3 credit hours

Professor Edith Snook

Course description TBD


[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 program, 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 program in English.