Graduate Course Offerings

Note: English 6999 (Master's Research Essay) is available every semester, though students are encouraged to take this course in the Spring semester.

Winter 2022

ENGL 7212: Playwriting (Tuesdays 7-9:30pm, Room AA3018, Instructor: Megan Coles  mgcoles@mun.ca)

English 7212 explores the principles of dramatic stage writing. Through close reading of contemporary Canadian playwrights Jordan Tannahill, Cliff Cardinal, Hannah Moscovitch, Amanda Parris, and Vivek Shraya, students will develop their playwriting skills through writing exercises, dramaturgical feedback, and peer discussion focussing on structure, action, dialogue, subtext, and character development. The course will also examine extractive playwriting practices and appropriation narratives as it pertains to improving intersectional awareness and cultural competency within the performing arts.

ENGL 7357: Ecopoetics (J. Deshaye, Wednesdays, 2-5pm, A 3033)

IMAGE: Antonis Spiridakis urbansurvivor, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

This course is a small but representative survey of contemporary Canadian poetry, which we will read largely through rhizomes (à la Deleuze and Guattari) of ecopoetics, media ecology, and acoustic ecology. It begins with two canonical but contemporary figures, Jan Zwicky and Don McKay, before moving on to mid-career writers from various places and backgrounds: Oana Avasilichioaei, Kaie Kellough, Marvin Francis, and Karen Solie. Each of these writers is interested in media, broadly conceived, whether media as metaphor (live or dead) or as something as potentially banal as an old tape deck or a step counter. In this seminar, we will look especially for media represented in natural environments, and we will draw on ecopoetics, media ecology, and acoustic ecology to help us conceptualize how natural environments change because of media in them.

ENGL 7603:  Tudor Mythmaking (A. Juhasz-Ormsby, Thursdays 1-4pm, A 3033)

IMAGE: Lucas de Heere, The Family of Henry VIII: An Allegory of the Tudor Succession (c.1572)
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff (NMW A 564): commons.wikimedia.org

This course explores the politics of literature under the Tudors (1485-1603), the most storied dynasty in English history. We will examine how literary works responded to and shaped the new political culture promoted by Tudor monarchs who saw themselves as national saviors and restorers of the mythical British golden age. By engaging with major authors of the sixteenth century—Thomas More, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, and Queen Elizabeth I herself—we will trace how writers, publishers, and other literary agents perpetuated or subverted Tudor mythmaking, and how they contributed to or destabilized political image-building, the mystification of power, and the representation of authority. We will query how the Tudor cult of monarchy influenced nascent ideas of English nationhood and empire, and how such propaganda was complicated by the profound religious changes and political conflicts brought about by the English Reformation. We will read representative literary works in conjunction with extant visual records, chronicles, news pamphlets, and festival books. We will also situate them within contemporary social, political, and religious contexts in order to delineate the complex networks through which they were produced and disseminated among diverse communities of readers throughout the sixteenth century.

ENGL 7755: Narrative and Play (S. Thorne, Mondays 2-5pm, A 3033)

This course engages with theories of narrative and play to critically examine how games and new media tell stories. Classes will not only explore what happens when a print text is remade for a digital medium, but will also address the influence of emerging technologies and trends in game development on storytelling. The works examined in this course will consist of a selection of video games and electronic literature that reflect on topics such as agency, authorship, avatars, immersion, interactivity, critical play, and digital narratology. Although we will be playing games in this course, a gaming PC or console is not required for participation.

ENGL 7212: Creative Writing, Playwriting (Instructor and timing TBA)

FALL 2021  

English 7003: Trends in Contemporary Critical Theory (N. Pedri, Tuesdays 10:00am)

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 7104: True Original Copies: Shakespeare and the Question of Authorship (Dr. Robert Ormsby, Wednesdays, 10:00 am)

The stories that have been told about Shakespeare’s life in literature, film, theatre and tourism over four centuries have helped turn him into England’s “national poet.” In this course, we will examine how the cultural authority that comes with the status of such singular authorship is in fact shared among many other agents, including actors, directors, adaptors, writers, readers, and spectators across the globe. We will also consider the theory that someone else authored the works attributed to the artisan’s son from Stratford-upon-Avon and ask what it means to say that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare. Throughout the course, we will be concerned with questions of originality and copying, the relationship between biography and writing, and the intercultural reception and perpetuation of “Shakespeare.”

ENGL 7205: Creative Writing: The Podcast (Angela Antle, Mondays, 7:00pm)

This is a workshop-based course during which we will experiment with recorded sound to create new forms of narrative. Students will have the opportunity to make an individual and collectively-written dramatic podcast, creative non-fiction sound essays, audio interviews, and sound art. Students will present audio art projects for peer critique each week and we will critique current and contemporary podcasts and sound projects. We will explore writing for the ear, the intimacy of audio, found sound, the spontaneity and immediacy of the spoken word, and the construction of soundscapes to enhance contemporary narrative. The Podcast introduces students to the opportunities of sound as a medium for narrative. Students learn to record and edit stories that range from creative non-fiction, to fiction and drama, consider the aesthetic elements of writing explored in creative writing classes, and critique each other’s podcasts in terms of writing, specifically how it relates to sound art. For more information, please contact Angela Antle.

ENGL 7305: Barnum’s Egress: Low Culture in 1850s New York City (Dr. Andrew Loman, Thursdays, 10:00am)

A landmark of Lower Manhattan in the 1840s and 1850s, Barnum’s American Museum was a key site in the emergence of the American culture industry. This course will use the Museum as the starting point for various forays into the low culture of the era. We’ll explore waxworks, early comics, temperance melodramas, minstrelsy, ethnographic tableaux and other displays of “human curiosities,” moving panoramas, dioramas, songs, advertisements, and so on and so on: in keeping with the dynamism of the period, we can anticipate bewildering variety. We’ll read these various media without condescension and in a historicist spirit, which is to say, conscious of their production at a specific moment in New York, American, hemispheric, and global history.

ENGL 7650: Newfoundland Drama (Dr. Denyse Lynde, Mondays 10:00am)

This course will introduce students to Newfoundland Drama and, since drama cannot be considered outside of its theatrical context, we will explore drama as performance, collaborative performance, and the single-actor format, and further examine various forms that are being explored and exploded. Students will also be introduced and encouraged to use the rich resources available at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial's QEII library and the STAGE project in particular.

Past graduate courses