Graduate Course Offerings
Tentative 2017-2018 Courses
Note: English 6999 (Master's Research Essay) is available every semester, though students are encouraged to take this course in the Spring semester.
English 7325: Media and Urban Life (Dr. Dwayne Avery, Wednesdays, 12:30-3:30)
Media and Urban Life explores the theoretical, representational, and experiential intersections between modern media and urban societies. Using a cultural theory approach, we will use conceptual tools to analyze media forms and urban cultural artifacts; the course will also foreground the ways in which recent media theory has been shaped by important theoretical works in the study of urban life.
English 7003: Trends in Contemporary Critical Theory (required course) (Nancy Pedri, Tuesdays 10 am - 1 pm)
This course explores trends in contemporary literary theory as they have developed over the past three or so decades. A critical overview of major schools of thought will guide discussions about the role of theory in critical reading practices. Significant attention will be given to how the work of contemporary theorists can inform and enrich the reading of literature, making the practical application of theory central to the course.
ENGL 7150: Writers, Readers, Publishers, and the Evolution of Authorship (Agnes Juhasz-Ormsby, Wednesdays 10 am - 1 pm)
This course explores how concepts of authorship have changed from the medieval period up to the digital age. We will examine how various economic and social influences have redefined the concept of the author and authorial activity throughout the centuries. These influences also include the agents of book production (writers, readers, printers, publishers, and patrons) and technological changes (the printing press, industrialization, and digital technology).
Image: Geoffrey Chaucer, Parliament of Fowls, London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1530
English 7300: Public Intellectuals in Canada (Joel Deshaye, Thursdays 1 - 4 pm)
This course is about not only developing as a thinker but also addressing others as an “intellectual,” and it focuses on Canadians who have taken on that role from the rise of television in the 1950s and the subsequent expansion of the educated public, through the conservative media's growing interest in public intellectuals in the 1990s, to the internet age and the emerging changes to concepts of privacy and publicity today. In the context of ongoing debates about the purposes and outcomes of graduate education, this course asks students to reflect on how they can use modern media and three key forms—the essay, the talk, and the blog—to critique and contribute to society as intellectuals inside and outside of academe.
English 7100: Love and Power / Sex and Violence in Medieval Romance (William Schipper, Wednesdays 2 - 5 pm)
This course will examine some aspects of how Sir Thomas Malory portrays and uses central notions of Love/Sex, and Power/Violence in his Morte Darthur. His book, completed about 1475, near the end of the War of the Roses, is replete with such motifs: knights of the Round Table who kill innocent maidens for no apparent reason, violent combat on massive horses with predictable results, or seductive women with nothing but evil intentions. There is one famous seduction scene (among many) featuring Lancelot, who thinks he is about to commit adultery with Queen Guenevere, but is really about to sleep with a woman besotted with Lancelot called Elaine (see the image above). The result of this union is Galahad, the most perfect knight, who is one of only three to attain the Holy Grail. Much of this turmoil of activity (war, battle, infidelity, betrayal) is played out against a background that begins with a scene in which the king, lusting after the wife of one of his dukes, becomes, in the satisfaction of his lust, the father of King Arthur. And when Arthur becomes king he is faced with civil war and insurrection.
The main text will be Sir Thomas Malory, The Morte Darthur, ed. Helen Cooper (Oxford). But we will also examine scenes in other medieval texts, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Tale” (his only Arthurian tale). The sole surviving manuscript of Malory has no illustrations to speak of, but the scribes, probably following an exemplar that was produced under the supervision of Malory himself, use ink colours in a way that emphasize some of the more violent scenes in the book.
Image source: Le livre de Lancelot du Lac (France, ca. 1401-1425); Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, MS 3480. p. 33
English 7201: Creative Writing: Poetry (James Langor, Mondays 1 - 4 pm)
English 7201 is designed to develop the poetry-writing skills of those who have demonstrated some level of achievement in writing poetry thus far, as well as of those who are now embarking upon the writing of poems. A command of craft is fostered through the creation and revision of a set of poems in particular forms. The editing of others' poems is an important component of the seminar process.