What courses will you take?

This guide is designed to help you make course selections for 2024-25. While the Mount’s University Calendar gives descriptions for all English and Writing courses, not all of those courses are offered each year, nor do they necessarily reflect the specific theme of a course each time it is offered. In the drop-down menus below, you’ll see more detailed information about our courses for next year. Please consult the University Calendar for official information on admissions and program requirements.

  • Program Options — Students can take a 20-unit Bachelor of Arts degree with an Honours or a Major in English literature (typically four years). English can also be taken as an Combined Major with another subject in the Arts or Science offerings. A 15-unit Bachelor of Arts (General Studies) degree is also available with a Concentration in English (typically three years). These and other options (such as a Minor in Literature or Writing) are explored in the “Program Requirements” tab in the sidebar on the left.
  • ENGL or WRIT — Courses offered by our department are designated as English (ENGL) or Writing (WRIT) or both (ENGL/WRIT). Courses with the WRIT designation can count towards the Writing Minor or they can be taken as an elective. ENGL/WRIT courses let you decide if you want the course to count towards an English program option, towards the Writing Minor, or as an English or Writing elective.
  • Pre-requisites — Please consult the University Calendar to ensure you are adequately prepared for the courses you want to take. Generally, taking a 1000-level course is recommended to help you prepare for 2000-level and 3000-level courses.

Looking for Academic Advising?

At the Mount, we want to ensure you’re on the right track from registration straight through to graduation. Our academic advisors are here to make sure your course choices work for your degree requirements and timeline. Download our advising checklists and contact your academic advisor – we encourage you to meet in person. A list of academic advisors is posted on the English Department bulletin board on the 5th floor of the Seton Academic Centre (between Room 510 and Room 511), or if you need to be assigned to an advisor, ask our administrative assistant, Tracy McDonald, in Seton 561 (902-457-6346; tracy.mcdonald@msvu.ca).

ENGL/WRIT Course Booklet 2024-25

Click here to download the official English and Writing Studies Course Booklet 2024-25, which contains all this information and more.

 

Left: Victorian Literature students after a public recitation of 19th-century poetry.

 


An introduction to English at the Mount

In the English Department you can select courses that cover a wide range of subjects from traditional and historical literatures to contemporary theory and cultural studies. As part of your course work, you may find yourself memorizing lines for a performance project, researching eighteenth-century women writers, examining art responding to 9/11, or analyzing what makes a monster in different cultures. You will craft persuasive essays about books, authors, and issues that excite you. Some of your course work might deal with authors and subjects that you already know you love, and other courses will introduce you to exciting new challenges and approaches.

Even as you may be involved in analyzing how a book is made into a film, or translating lines of medieval poetry, or debating concepts of gender and sexuality in contemporary media, you will also be improving your oral and written communication skills, your research abilities, and your own creativity as a writer while developing the theoretical tools that will lead you to a greater literary and cultural understanding.

We know that you’re more likely to succeed in university if you study what you love.


Gain skills in communication and critical analysis

University English teaches you both clear, articulate writing and critical analysis of the ways that language and literature work. These skills are acquired by prolonged experience and practice, rather like high-diving or ballet or piano-playing. Regular attendance at classes is consequently essential, along with active participation.

To maximize participation, English classes at the Mount are usually run in a discussion format. Your instructors will sometimes transmit information necessary to understand the background of literary works or certain critical approaches — but on the whole, our teaching of English will not be simple transmission, any more than your learning will be simple memorization. Rather, we try to raise thought-provoking questions about literary texts, so that students can try out various solutions. Through weighing one solution against another, and checking all these solutions against the text, you should acquire a good sense of literary judgment. This will, over time, make your responses more convincing, more sophisticated, and more able to take account of the full complexity of literature.

These skills are carried over into the formulation of written arguments. English Department faculty make an effort to give full, careful comments on each student’s written work. If taken to heart, these comments should prevent the repetition of errors, and year by year the writing of English students increases in precision and authority.

While all of our English courses will enable you to become a better writer, our Writing courses are for those who are especially interested in exploring the theory and practice of writing in different situations and in different types of writing. Writing courses will introduce writing as a rhetorical practice: a highly intentional exercise of choices to achieve a particular goal. Their topics range from an introduction to the field of writing studies, through creative writing and persuasion, editing and publishing, to theory and research in the field. Our Writing classes are run as small workshops of no more than 20 to 25 students in which you and your instructor and other students work closely on your writing, research, and editing.

The skills gained by these teaching practices — the ability to think through problems and then to communicate the results convincingly — will be useful not only in English classes but in any number of different fields and professions. In fact, excellent communication skills are among the top three priorities of most employers today. Read more about our students’ career paths.


Enjoy innovative teaching in a creative community

At the Mount, you will get to know your professors and classmates as you read, discuss, write, and work together in small classes of no more than 20 to 35 students. And your professors will get to know you as well, guiding you through your assignments and advising you on your program of study. Your work is graded by your professor, not by student teaching assistants.

While your professors are all active researchers in their fields, they also look for creative new ways to bring their knowledge into the classroom to share with you. All of our faculty are committed to high standards of teaching, and many of them have won or have been nominated for university, regional, and national teaching awards. Read more about our professors’ teaching and research interests and their recent activities.

It’s this personal level of attention that allows us to offer a full-year honours thesis course in which a student works with one professor on a substantial research project, a unique opportunity among Halifax universities. Other research and teaching opportunities are also available to our senior students, such as working as a research assistant or writing tutor.

ENGLISH

If you are considering a major in English or if you are looking to sharpen your critical faculties, then choose ENGL 1170/1171 or ENGL 1155. These are introductions to English studies at the university level, but they take different approaches. Read the descriptions that follow carefully.

If this is your first experience of English study at university, please note that it will differ from high school, and students sometimes report a drop in their English grades. You will need a GPA of 2.0 (equivalent to a C average) in English to become and to remain a major. The Calendar has a full description of the meaning of the various grades used in the university, and your English professors will most likely distribute in class the English Department Marking Scheme handout which describes how the department applies the university’s grading system. Copies of this handout are available from the department administrative assistant, Tracy McDonald, in Seton 533.

WRITING

WRIT 1120 is a course in writing theory and practice; it is the foundation of the minor in Writing, but it is valuable for any student. Those who enjoy writing will find its challenges more enjoyable, and will acquire a deeper understanding of how writing is accomplished, from first glimmering of idea to final edit. English majors and minors can take this course as an elective.

 


WRIT 1120 The Writing Process: Theory and Practice

0.5 unit–Fall or Winter

NOTE: In WRIT 1120, you will be challenged and assisted to develop new strengths, whether or not you consider yourself to be a “good writer” already. This course is not “remedial”; it will challenge you to improve your writing skills by slowly and recursively engaging rich, rewarding, and often difficult ideas, texts, and problems. You will practice your writing as a process, done in your own time and in conjunction with your classmates and your instructor.

In this course, you will approach writing from a rhetorical perspective: that is, writing is not just a matter of following a series of rules or applying a set of templates. Instead, writing involves making choices that are appropriate to the situation. You will get practice in drafting and substantial revision as well as editing and polishing.

This course is the foundation of the Writing minor; it is recommended that you take 1120 before you attempt any other WRIT or WRIT/ENGL courses.

FALL

01F   MW 9:00 – 10:15   TBA

02F   MW 4:30 – 5:45  TBA

03F   TTh 10:30- 11:45  TBA

04F   TTh 1:30 – 2:45    Prof. Nathaniel Street

05F   TTh 4:30 – 5:45   TBA

18F   Synchronous Online: TTH 6:00 – 7:15  TBA

WINTER

06W   MW 9:00 – 10:15  TBA

07W   MW 3:00 – 4:15   TBA

08W   MW 4:30 – 5:45   TBA

09W   TTh 9:00 – 10:15  TBA

19W   Synchronous Online: MW 6:00 – 7:15   TBA

28W   Synchronous Online: TTh 4:30 – 5:45   TBA


ENGL 1155 Introduction to Literature: Gender and Form

1.0 unit–Fall and Winter

01FW   MW 12:00 – 1:15   Prof. G. Fraser

An introduction to the study of the major forms of fiction, poetry, and drama, using examples from the medieval to the present. Readings will include texts by authors with a range of intersectional identities, with an emphasis on gender. Representations of gender will also be a special focus for discussion.

Note: Students may not take both ENGL 1155 and ENGL 1170/1171 for credit

(This course is also listed as a women-emphasis course in the Women’s Studies Department.)


ENGL 1170 Introduction to Literature: Literary Genres

0.5 unit–Fall or Winter

An introduction to the terms and methods of literary analysis. Through critical study of a range of literary works, including short fiction, poetry, drama, and a novel, students will acquire the skills needed to write about them effectively.

Note: Students who have received credit for ENGL 1155 may not take this course for credit.

FALL

01F   MW 10:30 – 11:45   Prof. B. Russo

02F   MW 3:00 – 4:15   Prof. M. Roby

03F   TTh 9:00 – 10:15   TBA

04F   TTh 12:00 – 1:15   TBA

05   TTh 3:00 – 4:15   Prof. K. Macfarlane

18F Synchronous Online: M 6:00 – 7:15   TBA

WINTER

06W   MW 10:30 – 11:45   Prof. B. Russo

07W   TTh 12:00 – 1:15   Prof. K. Macfarlane


ENGL 1171 Introduction to Literature: Literary Transformations

0.5 unit–Fall or Winter

An introduction to the critical study of literature from different historical periods. By following a particular theme or genre from the Middle Ages to the present day, students assess how writers are influenced by, respond to, and transform previous texts.

Note: Students who have received credit for ENGL 1155 may not take this course for credit.

FALL

01F   MW 1:30 -2:45   Prof. K. Collier-Jarvis

WINTER

02W   MW 1:30 – 2:45   Prof. K. Collier-Jarvis

03W   TTh 10:30 – 11:45   Prof. M. Roby

04W   TTh 1:30 – 2:45   Prof. M. Roby

05W   TTh 3:00 – 4:15   TBA

18W   Synchronous Online: T 6:00 – 7:15   TBA

You may take a 2000-level ENGL course once you have completed 1.0 unit of literature at the 1000 level or five units of any university study. Completion of at least 1.0 unit of ENGL at the 2000 level is recommended for English courses at the 3000 and 4000 level.


ENGL 2201 Shakespeare / 1.0 unit

1.0 unit – Fall and Winter
MW 10:30 – 11:45
Instructors: TBA

In this course we will examine a range of plays by William Shakespeare from across his career (1590s-1610s), covering the genres of comedy, history, tragedy, and romance. We will study these works in their historical, socio-political, theatrical, and contemporary cinematic contexts and reflect on the implications these contexts can have for an understanding of his plays. Key themes that will frame our discussions are power, authority, rebellion, and revenge in connection to gender, race, sexuality, and family ties. In addition, we will consider how Shakespeare explores these topics from genre to genre.


ENGL 2202 Introduction to Critical Methods / 0.5 unit

Winter term
TTh 10:30-11:45
Instructor: Prof. K. Macfarlane

Literary theory explores how we do what we do as readers and literary critics. It explores the issues around how language works, how we define and work with literary and cultural texts, how we work through the series of complex codes and meanings that make up our culture, how our material position (our social position, our race, gender, ability, sexuality etc.) affects the use of language, the production of literature, the structures and forms of narrative, our position as readers and a variety of other issues related to our relationship with the texts around us.

This course is structured as an introduction to critical theory as a field of study with the aim of providing students with a strong grounding in the methods, terms, and strategies that underpin English studies. You will be introduced to the major schools and approaches that shape contemporary theory (such as psychoanalysis, Marxist theory, structuralism, poststructuralism, feminist theory and postcolonialism). In addition to reading texts about theory, we will read selected primary theoretical works and we will read selected literary texts through a variety of critical lenses.

This course is required for English majors and strongly recommended for all English students at all levels of the program, and for all students interested in thinking about language, literature and culture.


ENGL 2209 Introduction to Indigenous Literatures and Cultures / 0.5 unit

Fall term
MW 10:30 – 11:45
Instructor: Prof. B. Russo

The primary focus of this course will be to introduce students to the varieties of Indigenous literatures and cultures and develop a basic understanding of Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies. Students will engage with a broad representation of Indigenous expression. Through these engagements, students will garner awareness and insight into unique cultural distinctions of different nations and how culture affects and informs authorial and/or artistic expression. In addition, discussion of the effects of settler colonialism, oppression, and attempted genocide experienced by Indigenous peoples will enhance student comprehension of contemporary Indigenous literatures and cultures. This course will also provide students with a strong foundation for future exploration of Indigenous literatures at the 3000 and 4000 levels.


ENGL/WRIT 2220 Writing to Influence: Introduction to Rhetorical Persuasion / 0.5 unit

Winter     01W                            TTh    3:00 – 4:15   Prof. N. Street
Fall           18F M-M Online      T         6:00 – 7:15    TBA

Pre-requisite: WRIT 1120 or five units of university study.

If you are taking this course in the Writing minor, you are recommended to complete WRIT 1120 first.

This class takes Aristotle’s definition of rhetoric as “an ability, in each case, to see the available means of persuasion” as a starting point for theorizing and practicing the persuasive power of writing. We will study classical rhetorical concepts and techniques – invention, kairos, ethos, stasis, topoi – for discovering, creating, and analyzing rhetorical argument. Students will do this by learning the theory and history of these concepts, practice using them to analyze the rhetorical power of example texts, and mobilizing them in their own writing. This work will culminate in a semester-long research project written for a popular audience in the spirit of essays written for publications like The Walrus, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker


ENGL/WRIT 2221 Introduction to Creative Writing / 0.5 unit

Fall term
MW 1:30 – 2:45
Instructor: TBA

Pre-requisite: 0.5 unit of English at the 1000 level or permission of the instructor.

If you are taking this course in the Writing minor, you are recommended to complete WRIT 1120 first.

A study and practice of creative writing, including poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction, in a workshop environment driven by writing exercise and peer review. Instruction will be grounded in contemporary creative writing from peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, the course may be supplemented by visits from or to creative writers.


ENGL/WRIT 2223 History of Writing, Reading, and the Book / 0.5 unit

Winter term
MW 12:00 – 1:15
Instructor: Prof. M. Roby

Book history is an interdisciplinary field, and in this course our topics will range from literary and rhetorical analysis to historical research and cultural debates. We will study the book as a material object, from scroll to codex to digital text, and review the development of oral, manuscript, print, and digital culture from antiquity to the contemporary era, setting Western developments in a global context. We will discuss the social, political, and economic factors at play in constituting writing systems, readers, authors, patrons, scribes, printers, and publishers in different eras, including contemporary developments in digital writing and publishing. We’ll examine the book’s relation to power in discussions of censorship, libraries, sacred texts, and the revolutionary power of books. We’ll consider the nature of oral traditions and their interaction with written literacies. Course readings will alternate between non-fiction (in theoretical and historical articles) and fiction (People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, short stories by Thomas King, and Fangirl, a young adult novel by Rainbow Rowell). The course will offer options for creative projects and exercises.

This course may also count as a 0.5 elective in the Cultural Studies program.


ENGL/WRIT 2225 Tricksters, Liars, and Sophists / 0.5 unit

Winter term
TTh 12:-00 – 1:15
Instructor:  Prof. N. Street

This course focuses on the history of the rhetorical tradition in the West from ancient Greece to contemporary thought. We will survey major and marginalized works on rhetoric from a variety of perspectives, including some that are (ostensibly) hostile to rhetoric. The class will study rhetoric as a historical phenomenon that gives insight into its contemporary place and read course texts as live interlocutors that may change and/or enrich how we theorize and practice rhetoric in the present. Additionally, the course will offer counterhistories of more established traditions that emphasize the role of women in rhetorical scholarship and practice, question the supposed “disappearance” of rhetoric after the fall of the Roman republic, and interrogate the ever-change relationship between rhetoric and the practice of invention.


ENGL 2242 Themes in Women’s Writing / 0.5 unit

Winter term
TTh 4:30 – 5:45
Instructor: Prof. K. Collier-Jarvis

Is writing gendered? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been read as an embodiment of her personal issues with pregnancy and miscarriage but is this relevant? Is it okay or useful to write her body into the novel? This course on Écriture feminine, or Women’s Writing, examines a broad array of works from a range of historical periods. Topics may include difficult histories, such as the Holocaust and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit peoples, sexuality, the formation of selfhood, as well as depictions of femininity and masculinity.


ENGL 2261 Short Fiction / 0.5 unit

Winter term
TTh 9:00 – 10:15
Instructor: Prof. G. Fraser

This course explores the nature of short fiction through the study of a wide range of short stories and novellas from the 19th and 20th centuries. We will examine the evolution of the short story as a form, with particular attention to the ways in which “realism” in fiction is defined and challenged, in terms of both its subject matter and formal structure, through such artistic movements as allegory, the fairy tale, the gothic, modernism, absurdism, magic realism, graphic storytelling, metafiction, and postmodernism.


ENGL 2264 Introduction to Popular Literature / 0.5 unit

Fall term
TTh 9:00 – 10:15
Instructor: Prof. B. Russo

Through the science fiction and futurism, we will explore AI and the Post-human. We will consider the very essence of humanity and our relationship to technology.

Courses at the 3000 or 4000 level require successful completion of at least one unit of literature at the 1000 level. At least one unit at the 2000 level is recommended.

 

English Department seminar. Photo: Krista Hill

 


ENGL 3211 Special Topic: Vikings! / 0.5 unit

Fall term
MW 12:00 – 1:15
Instructor:  Prof. M. Roby

From “The Last Kingdom” and “Northman” to “Skyrim” and “God of War: Valhalla,” our cultural fascination with the figure of the Viking is undeniable. This course will study the portrayal of medieval Scandinavian culture in literary texts and other media from the Viking Age to the present. By analysing sources ranging from medieval runestones, sagas, and chronicles to more contemporary graphic novels, video games, and cinema, we will consider how the idea of the Viking has shifted over the centuries.

This course meets the Medieval (Group F) requirement for the Honours English degree.


ENGL 3212 Special Topic: Hauntology / 0.5 unit

Winter term
MW 9:00 – 10:15
Instructor:  Prof. G. Fraser

No time has been more haunted than our own. Hauntology gives us a way to speak about it.

Hauntology is the theory of the spectrality of literature and of everyday life, of those moments when the present wavers uneasily with a past that won’t stay buried or with a future that never happened, of those moments when we feel haunted or ghostlike. Ghosts and haunting are common metaphors to describe trauma, loss, repetition, commodified nostalgia, unredressed injustice, cultural dislocation, or a sense of futurelessness. Hauntology reveals that these metaphors and the works of art that unfold them are not simply figures of speech but rather windows that open onto the fundamental ghostliness of the modern world. The works we will read will are thus all ghost stories, although not necessarily supernatural or gothic. Rather, they are stories about ghostliness, stories whose forms are ghostly, stories that can only be told in the mode of haunting, whether they are told as literature, film, photography, or music.

Tentative course texts include Henry James, Turn of the Screw; Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight; Stephen King/Stanley Kubrick The Shining; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior; Leanne Shapton, Guestbook. We will be guided by theoretical readings from Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx; Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life; Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters; and Freud, “The Uncanny.”

This course meets the Theory (Group A) and the 20th Century and Contemporary Literature (Group F) requirement for the Honours English degree.


ENGL/WRIT 3221 Creative Nonfiction Writing / 0.5 unit

Fall term
TTh 12:00 – 1:15
Instructor:  Prof. N. Street

Prerequisite(s): 5.0 units of university study, including one of the following: ENGL/WRIT 2220 or ENGL/WRIT 2221

A practical study of creative nonfiction writing. This course explores creative nonfiction through its subgenres (e.g., collage, memoir, and/or literary journalism) and rhetorical techniques and practices (e.g., style, arrangement, tropes, schemes, and/or progymnasmata). The course is driven by workshops, wherein students will share, refine, and generally practice their craft.


ENGL 3307 Romanticism and Revolution / 0.5 unit

Winter term
TTh 1:30 – 2:45
Instructor:  Prof. D. Piccitto

The Romantic period (c. 1785-1835) in Britain was one shaped by the revolutions in America and in France, provoking a rethinking of socio-political structures and the rights of individuals. This course focuses on the first half of this period (roughly 1785-1810), for which the French Revolution, in particular, was a defining event that prompted numerous and varied responses, including the general demand for freedom, proto-feminist statements, and the abolition of the slave trade. We will explore the heated debates that emerged from these reactions, as well as what the idea of revolution (in practice and in art) meant to and offered writers of the time, paying special attention to issues of liberty, oppression, imagination, race, gender, sexuality, class, and large-scale change. Beginning with key political philosophies about revolutionary action, this course will focus on the poetry and prose of the first-generation Romantics, including Phyllis Wheatley, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Blake, Olaudah Equiano, Joanna Baillie, and William Wordsworth as well as the genre of the Gothic and its relation to the period’s concerns.


ENGL 3311 Indigenous Feminisms and Sexualities  / 0.5 unit

Winter term
MW 1:30 – 2:45
Instructor:  Prof. B. Russo

The primary focus of this course will be the intersectional consideration of Indigenous feminisms and sexualities at the interstices of race and class. What are Indigenous feminisms? How are Indigenous feminisms different from other forms of feminism? Is there more than one form of Indigenous feminism? Why study Indigenous feminisms? What does the term Indigenous sexualities mean, and what does it encompass? How are Indigenous feminisms and Indigenous sexualities influenced by and performed at the intersections of race and class in North America? How is sexual violence institutionalized and institutionally weaponized and deployed to preserve settler and patriarchal positionality. These contested issues provide a springboard into the complex realm of Indigenous expression. As these topics broadly encompass an array of Indigenous experience, expression, and scholarship, this course will consider specific areas, forms, and issues within each area. However, regardless of the focus, the course will consistently employ an Indigenous epistemology and an Indigenous critical framework. The course will also place Indigenous feminist and sexuality theories in dialogue with their contemporaries of the Western-European canon.


ENGL 3319 Modern Poetry / 0.5 unit

Fall term
MW 9:00 – 10:15
Instructor:  Prof. G. Fraser

The Modernist period (1900-1945) was a time of radical artistic change, crisis, and invention. In this course we will examine a range of Modernist poems and poetics in order to understand the innovations of Modernist literature against the background of 19th century poetry, and we will look into connections between Modernist poetry and other Modernist movements in art (especially visual art) and the larger cultural, scientific, philosophical, and political shifts and crises which shaped the first decades of the Twentieth century.

Modernist poetry is often intentionally difficult in terms of both its poetic form and the complexity of its ideas. It expects much of its audience and demands that its readers rise to its level and meet it on its own terms. This course is designed to confront, understand, and enjoy these difficulties (and perhaps even to reveal them to be not so difficult after all). Some of the poets and poetic movements addressed will include: Imagism, Vorticism, Surrealism, Loy, Williams, Yeats, Pound, Eliot, H.D., Stevens, Stein, Moore, Riding, and Bishop.

Text: Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry Volume 1. 3rd ed.


ENGL 3347 Imagining America / 0.5 unit

Winter term
MW 3:00 – 4:15
Instructor:  Prof. K. Collier-Jarvis

In 2021, U2 frontman, Bono, posted on Twitter/X: “As an Irishman, I’ve always believed America isn’t just a country, it’s an idea, one the whole world has a stake in…” This course is a close study of literature and culture that imagines and reimagines America since 1900. We will examine works both by and about Americans with a focus on such topics as border crossings, the American Dream, Hollywood, immigration, Indigenous sovereignty, and the effects of slavery.


ENGL 3355 Sixteenth-Century Literature / 0.5 unit

Fall term
TTh 3:00 – 4:15
Instructor:  TBA

A study of non-dramatic literature written or translated into English during the sixteenth century through an examination of poetry and prose by a variety of authors with particular attention to the historical and cultural context of the works.


ENGL 3367 Nineteenth-Century American Literature / 0.5 unit

Fall term
MW 3:00 – 4:15
Instructor:  Prof. K. Collier-Jarvis

The American Declaration of Independence (1776) states, “We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” With these words, America created its self-image, but how well did it uphold this image? This course is a close study of American literature and culture from 1776-1900. We will examine constructions of a national identity from the Declaration of Independence to the literature of social revolt with a focus on topics of gender, slavery, Emancipation, Indigenous relations, the frontier, and American exceptionalism.


ENGL 44o7/WOMS 4407/GWGS: Queer Theory / 0.5 unit

Fall term
TTh 1:30 – 2:45
Instructor:  Prof. D. Piccitto

As a theory of otherness, disruption, and alternative ways of being and acting in the world, Queer Theory offers a mode of resisting and deconstructing normative – especially heteronormative – ideologies, discourses, and practices. Addressing representations of marginal identities and experiences, it is a rich theory that continues to develop and be reshaped with contemporary investments, particularly in the context of sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, as well as numerous constellations of performance, articulation, and desire. In this course, we will explore the origins of queer cultural criticism as well as more recent theorizations, interrogating the relationship between theory and practice, knowledge and being, identity and embodiment. Please note that ENGL courses at the 3000 and 4000 levels typically require 1.0 unit of ENGL at the 1000 level. In addition, for Queer Theory, 1.0 unit of ENGL at the 2000 level or above or 1.0 unit of WOMS at the 3000 level is normally required. Students are strongly encouraged to take ENGL 2202: Introduction to Critical Methods before taking this course.

This course may also count as a 0.5 elective in the Cultural Studies program.


ENGL 4446 Studies in Contemporary Culture / 0.5 unit

Winter term
TTh 3:00 – 4:15
Instructor:  Prof. K. Macfarlane

This course will focus on the Gothic — a mode that explores and exposes cultural anxieties, elisions in cultural and national narratives, and contradictions in cultural practice— in selected texts produced between the 1980s and the present. Our emphasis will be on the ways in which the body becomes a site of conflict and concern in popular narratives. We will use the lenses of monster theory, queer theory and critical race theory in relation to Gothic texts to explore the ways in which the Gothic exposes what it is that terrifies us most.

This course will require significant number of theoretical readings which will allow us to examine works that focus on vampires, zombies, haunted houses and unstable bodies.