400-level / Advanced Courses (2023)

All 500-level courses and a certain number of 200-, 300- and 400-level courses have limited enrolment and require instructors' permission. Students hoping to enroll in these courses should consult the course descriptions on the Department of English website for the procedures for applying for admission.

ENGL409 Studies in a Canadian Author

Alice Munro

ProfessorRobert Lecker
Fall 2023
Time TBA

Full course description

Expected Preparation: Previous university courses in English literature.

(Note: For English Majors, this course qualifies for the required three credits from a course in Canadian literature or the study of a major author)

Description: This course follows the career of an author who has been called “the best fiction writer now working in North America.” It starts by examining Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro’s first and only novel (really a collection of linked short stories) about a young female narrator coming of age in a small country town. In that work, Munro found the voice that would propel her toward international fame and a long publishing history connected with The New Yorker magazine. We will study a selection of Munro’s finest stories from a chronological perspective in order to better understand her evolving concerns and the development of her narrative techniques over five decades, culminating in her winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013 as “master of the contemporary short story.” This trajectory will introduce us to a range of material about modern life, female experience, family intrigue, sexual deviance, erotic awakening. Munro’s stories are deceptively accessible, yet they are the product of deft structuring, compressed symbolism, and subtle narrative design. As W.H. New says, they “embed more than announce, reveal more than parade.” In reading Munro’s short stories we will also consider many of the features that distinguish modern short story writing. Each class will focus on a particular story, but we will also engage in a series of learning exercises designed to broaden the reading experience and to improve interpretive reading methods. We might spend a class looking at how Munro constructs a single paragraph. We might spend another class examining the revisions she made to a particular story and ask what effect those revisions have on our reading of the text. We might have a debate about the credibility of a particular narrator. Is she really who she says she is or is she faking it? The idea is to experience the stories from multiple perspectives and to entertain our reading in the process. Students are expected to read approximately three stories per week. The course will include two film screenings (out of scheduled class time), based on adaptations of two Munro stories. In this seminar-style course, contributions to class discussion are essential.

Required texts:

  • Lives of Girls and Women
  • My Best Stories

Evaluation: Discussion questions prepared in advance (20%); short essay (20%); final essay (40%); attendance (10%); participation (10%).

Format: Group discussions, in-class close readings, analytical exercises.

ENGL410 Theme or Movement Canadian Literature

Curating Canadian Foodways

ProfessorNathalie Cooke
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Expected Preparation: An upper-year course, students will be expected to have completed one foundational course in the English Department (e.g. Poetics ENGL311, 317 or 319) as well as one course in Canadian literature (i.e. ENGL 228 or 229), history or cultural production. Generally, familiarity with Canadian history an asset.

Description: How do food choices define an individual or community? What stories can food choices tell? Do those stories support or undermine the primary plot line or logic of the text in which they figure? And in what way can they structure a text?

This course has two components.

We will begin by reading selected commentaries on Canadian foodways preoccupied by the question: what is Canadian cuisine? Our endeavour to answer this question will be supported by McGill’s extensive culinary collections. Depending on the Library renovation timeline, students will collaborate either on curating a physical exhibit or developing a series of blog posts about Canadian foodways as depicted in historical Canadian cookbooks and cookery ephemera (such as menus, industry pamphlets etc.) within McGill Library’s rare collections.

The second component of the course will involve reading Canadian literature – poetry, fiction and drama -- in which food is a major theme and vehicle for meaning creation. Primary readings will include works by a diverse range of writers – some author names will be very familiar to students, others not at all. Notably, foods that Canadian writers depict might not seem ‘literary’ at first glance; instead they carry metaphoric heft and point to aspects of Canada’s food scene often left unspoken by food journalists and cookbook writers—such as the nutrition transition, social inequality and food scarcity. There will be tales of inclusive and joyous feasting certainly, but also ones depicting how foodways reveal personal, family, community and national tensions.

Required texts: a course-pack of selected primary and secondary readings, including commentary on the role of food scenes in literature and cookery literature’s contributions to social history.

Recommended texts:

  • Ferguson, Carol and Margaret Fraser, A Century of Canadian Home Cooking : 1900 through the '90s (Prentice-Hall, 1992);
  • Sandra Gilbert, The Culinary Imagination, From Myth to Modernity (Norton, 2014).

Evaluation: In-class participation and short written and oral in-class assignments; critical interpretation papers; journal assignment.

Format: Socratic lectures, group discussions, on-site work and visits to special collections reading room as McGill library renovation work permits, in-class close-reading and analytical exercises.

ENGL 414Studies in 20th-Century Literature 1

Women in Modern Poetry

Professor Miranda Hickman
Fall 2023
Time TBA

Full course description

Preparation: Ideally, students will have taken at least one 200-level and one 300-level course in English and will also have previous work in poetry.

Description:  Until the 1980s, the canon associated with modern anglophone poetry, established by mid-twentieth-century critical work, was often assumed to consist of the work of major figures such as W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams. This mid-century consensus—now problematized but still influential—largely overlooked many women who had contributed vitally to the development of modern poetry. Yet between 1900 and 1960, many women engaged actively in the effort to revolutionize anglophone poetry: within early twentieth-century literary circles, their work was acclaimed, and they fulfilled pivotal cultural roles. This course focuses on the women that Bonnie Kime Scott has called the “forgotten and silenced makers” of modern poetry. We consider how women shaped the development of modern poetry not only as poets, but also as critics, patrons, publishers, and editors. We also engage how recent scholarship has sought to redress the historical record, return them to attention, and acknowledge their contributions.

In addition to reckoning closely with their poetry, often involving the many forms of “difficulty” associated with modern poetry, we also engage from a literary-historical angle their contributions to the “making of modern poetry.” We address, for example, H.D.’s crucial role in the formation of the poetic movement of “Imagism,” as well as her influential critical engagements with Ancient Greek literature; tensions between Amy Lowell and Ezra Pound over command of Imagism as a movement; Millay’s “it girl” celebrity; Mina Loy’s vexed engagement with the Italian Futurist movement and her “Feminist Manifesto” of 1914; Marianne Moore’s editorship of The Dial; collaborative relationships between H.D. and Moore, and Moore and Bishop; and Gertrude Stein’s many connections with the visual arts. We also consider how these women poets engaged the feminisms of their time, often as mediated by the early twentieth-century concept of the “New Woman.”

Texts:  Readings include poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, H.D., Dorothy Livesay, Amy Lowell, Mina Loy, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore, P.K. Page, Muriel Rukeyser, Anne Spencer, and Gertrude Stein; we will also consider work by E.E. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, and W.B. Yeats.

(Video) Beating a 400 Player: Step by Step

Evaluation (subject to revision):  Brief critical analysis (5-6 pp., 20%), brief essay (4-5 pp., 25%), fictional autobiography (4 pp., 15%), final essay (8 pp., 30%), participation (10%).

Format:  Lecture and discussion.

ENGL 417 A Major English Poet

Spenser’s Faerie Queene

Professor Kenneth Borris
Fall 2023
Time TBA

Full course description

Description: Spenser’s richly imaginative Faerie Queene is one of the single most widely influential texts in English literature, and constitutes a literary education in itself, since it critically surveys the resources of western culture–including literature, mythology, iconography, philosophy, and theology--up to its point. While having major socio-political investments, this romantic epic is nonetheless a central exemplar of literary fantasy, romance, and allegory. This course would especially complement study of early modern literature and culture, and particular writers of the period such as Shakespeare and Milton, but would also facilitate study of any literary periods in which Spenser strongly influenced writers, readers, and critics, as he did from around 1580 to 1900. Knowledge of The Faerie Queene thus provides a highly valuable basis for any literary studies within that broad expanse of time. Yet allusions to and borrowings from this poet quite widely appear in twentieth-century literature too. He is one of the great fantasists, and would appeal much to anyone interested in such writings and their development. His poetry is also important for the history of epic, for the history of the sublime in literature in the English language, and for the so-called “line of vision” therein: writers who claim some powers of special insight, such as Milton, Blake, Yeats, Eliot, and Wallace Stevens.

Texts:

  • The Faerie Queene, ed. A. C. Hamilton, 2nd Longmans edition, paperback
  • Course Reader
    (Hamilton edition available at the Word bookstore, 469 Milton Street.)

Evaluation: 4 brief in-class quizzes of 10% each; term paper 50%; class attendance and participation 10%.

Format: Lectures, discussion.

ENGL 418A Major Modernist Writer

Elizabeth Bowen

Professor Allan Hepburn
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Prerequisite: This course is for advanced students. Expected preparation is 3 or 4 prior courses in English literature.

Description: Anglo-Irish by birth, Bowen moved constantly between Ireland and Britain, Britain and the US, and on occasion to Italy, France, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Canada. Her fiction reflects experiments in modernist technique as well as her cosmopolitan disposition. Mobility is a central preoccupation in her fiction. With examples drawn from both her novels and short fiction, this course will examine Bowen’s thoughts on war, women, land ownership, hospitality, aristocratic privilege, Irish history, civic responsibility, friendship, hotel culture, motherhood, interior decoration, atmosphere, extramarital affairs, and other topics. In her essays, Bowen frequently comments on her contemporaries and their writing: Virginia Woolf, Ivy Compton-Burnett, D.H. Lawrence, Anton Chekhov, Guy de Maupassant. Essays about style, short stories, the state of the novel will therefore be threaded into the course to widen the parameters of discussion. Part of the course will be devoted to archival materials—letters in particular—that develop understanding about Bowen’s aesthetic and public engagements.

Texts: Elizabeth Bowen: a selection of short stories; a selection of essays; Friends and Relations; To the North; The Death of the Heart; The Heat of the Day; The Little Girls

Evaluation: Mid-term, essay, attendance and participation, final exam

Format: Lecture and discussion.

Enrollment: 30

ENGL 419 Studies in 20th-Century Literature

Breaking the Sequence: Narrative Interventions in Early Twentieth-Century Modernist Fiction

Professor Miranda Hickman
Fall 2023
Time TBA

Full course description

Preparation: at least one course at the 200 or 300 level, ideally addressing twentieth-century literature

Description: Early twentieth-century modernist narrative, by writers such as Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jean Rhys, often aimed to “break” the “expected sequence,” to borrow a phrase from the collection of modernist experimental women’s writing. Often writers were re-thinking narrative sequencing toward formal innovation, seeking narrative strategies to represent sensitively the passage of thought and consciousness, designed to gain more sensitive purchase on what Woolf called the “quick of the mind” and the “places of psychology.” Many sought new narrative techniques that have subsequently been recognized as versions of “stream of consciousness.” Others, such as Dorothy Richardson and Gertrude Stein, in tandem with formal experiment per se, sought to critique and write their way beyond expected sequences and scripts in the culture - associated with the marriage plot and what Adrienne Rich would later call “compulsory heterosexuality”; with “Bildung,” or concepts of education, formation and development; and with cultural scripts ascribing roles to women and men. Some, such as H.D. and Bryher, and Ralph Ellison, aspired actively to intervene in fictions of development – such as the Bildungsroman or the related genre, the Künstlerroman, and the normative cultural assumptions – about construction of identity, gender and sexuality, racialized positionality, class - underwriting these genres and which they helped to sustain. This course considers a range of such “narrative interventions,” construed in several senses – both efforts to reimagine language and narrative form for different ways of understanding modern life, individuals, and communities; and to revise understandings of the narratives and plots according to which individuals and communities form their senses of identity, history and visions for the future.

Texts will likely include:

  • Anand, Mulk Raj, Untouchable (1935)
  • Bryher, Two Selves (1922)
  • Ellison, Ralph, Invisible Man (1953)
  • H.D., HERmione (1926-27)
  • Hurston, Zora Neale, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
  • Joyce, James, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
  • Larsen, Nella, Passing (1929)
  • Richardson, Dorothy, Pointed Roofs (1915)
  • Stein, Gertrude, Three Lives (1909)
  • Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and Orlando (1928)


Evaluation: 2 briefer critical essays (4-5pp.); creative project (4-5pp.); longer essay (7pp.).

Format: Lecture and discussion.

ENGL 424 Irish Literature

Professor Allan Hepburn
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Prerequisite: This course is for advanced students. Expected preparation is 3 or 4 prior courses in English literature.

Description: Without by any means attempting to exhaust its subject, this course surveys twentieth-century Irish literature: poetry, drama, and fiction. Discussion will focus to some extent on the correlation between Irish political history and Irish literature; the two domains cannot be kept separate. To that end, we will consider the relation of the Irish Republic to Northern Ireland, as well as the relation between Britain and Ireland. Modernity, postcolonialism, and queer theory will be applied, as will discussions of the “Celtic Tiger” in the 1990s and early 2000s. We will discuss form (lyric, sonnet, long poem, short story, drama, novel) and the utility that different modes of literary expression have. Works by some, if not all, of the following writers will appear on the syllabus: W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain, Seamus Heaney, Brendan Behan, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, Eavan Boland, Patrick Kavanagh, Edna O’Brien, William Trevor, Colm Toibin.

(Video) NEW SERIES: Chess Steps!

Texts: This list of texts is provisional and subject to change.

  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September
  • Edna O’Brien, The Country Girls
  • Colm Toibin, Blackwater Lightship
  • relevant materials posted on MyCourses

Evaluation: Mid-term, essay, attendance and participation, final exam.

Format: Lecture and discussion.

Enrollment: 30

ENGL 431 Studies in Drama

Latin American and Caribbean Theatre

Professor Katherine Zien
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Description: This course surveys modern and contemporary drama, theatre, and performance art from across the Western hemisphere, with special focus on Latin America, the Hispanophone Caribbean, and US Latinx communities. As we move geographically through the hemisphere, we will learn about the political, cultural, social, and economic factors informing theatrical production. Thematic concerns include: theatre against dictatorship in the Southern Cone and beyond; migration and exile; indigeneity; political theatre in the “borderlands;” gender and sexuality; populism, protest, and “Theatre of the Oppressed;” histories of collective creation in the Americas; and expressions of Latina/o North American identities. The course will be taught in English; all texts will be provided in English translation.

Texts: Our syllabus will feature plays and multimedia works by artists including:

  • Carmen Aguirre (Chile/Canada)
  • Lola Arias (Argentina)
  • Sabina Berman (México)
  • Enrique Buenaventura (Colombia)
  • Não Bustamante (USA)
  • Guillermo Calderón (Teatro en el Blanco, Chile)
  • Carmelita Tropicana (Cuba/USA)
  • Migdalia Cruz (Puerto Rico/USA)
  • Nilo Cruz (Cuba/USA)
  • FOMMA (Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya) (Chiapas, México)
  • María Irene Fornés (Cuba/USA)
  • Coco Fusco (Cuba/USA)
  • Griselda Gambaro (Argentina)
  • Guillermo Gómez-Peña (Mexico/USA)
  • Astrid Hadad (Mexico)
  • LEGOM (Mexico)
  • Antonio Machado (Cuba/USA)
  • Mujeres Creando (Bolivia)
  • Teatro Campesino (USA)
  • Teatro Línea de Sombra (México)
  • Violeta Luna (México)
  • Teatro Malayerba (Ecuador)
  • Teatro Oficina (Brazil)
  • Juan Radrigán (Chile)
  • José Rivera (Puerto Rico/USA)
  • Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe (México/Argentina)
  • Guillermo Verdecchia (Argentina/Canada)
  • Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani (Peru)

Additionally, we will utilize the following foundational texts:

  • Diana Taylor and Sarah J. Townsend, Eds. Stages of Conflict: A Critical Anthology of Latin American Theatre and Performance (University of Michigan Press, 2008).
  • Ana Puga, Ed. Spectacular Bodies, Dangerous Borders. Latin American Theatre Review Books (University of Kansas Press, 2011).
  • Secondary sources by scholars including Natalie Alvarez, Francine A’Ness, Gloria Anzaldúa, Alicia Arrizón, Stuart Day, May Farnsworth, Jean Graham-Jones, Paola Hernández, Larry LaFountain-Stokes, Jill Lane, José Muñoz, Ana Puga, Rossana Reguillo, Ramón Rivera-Servera, Leticia Robles, Camilla Stevens, Diana Taylor, and Tamara Underiner.

Evaluation: Group Presentation: 10%; short response essays: 40%; final analytical/research paper: 30%; in-class participation: 10%; question forum: 10%.

Format: Lectures and discussions.

ENGL 437 Studies in Literary Form

The Concept of the Great American Novel

Professor Alexander Manshel
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Description: The concept of “the great American novel” tells us as much about the individual works to which that term has been applied as it does the desires and anxieties that run through American literary history. As a class, we will interrogate the idea of the “great American novel” by looking at a range of texts across 150 years, from the mid-nineteenth century’s American literary “renaissance” to the turn of the twenty-first century. While we work to forge a nuanced definition of the themes, aesthetics, and politics that dominate the category, we will also consider the emergence and persistence of the category itself. Why has the dream of a singularly great national novel been so tenacious in American literary culture? What does this fantasy, its fulfillment, and its many failed attempts reveal about the nation and its pantheon of writers? In this way, the works we study will serve as case studies of literary canon formation and revision. We will ask why each novel has been called uniquely “great” and uniquely “American,” but we will also consider how and by what processes that novel’s fortunes have risen and fallen in the years since its publication.

After course registration, we will select between five and ten novels largely drawn from the list below. As is no doubt clear, one of the features of the “great American novel” is its epic scope and considerable length. Given that, this will be a reading-intensive course that asks students to prepare at least 300 pages (of fiction and/or criticism) for each weekly meeting.

Required Texts May Include:

  • Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850)
  • Melville, Moby Dick (1851)
  • Chopin, The Awakening (1899)
  • Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition (1901)
  • Wharton, The Age of Innocence (1920)
  • Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
  • Dos Passos, 42nd Parallel (1930)
  • Barnes, Nightwood (1936)
  • West, The Day of the Locust (1939)
  • Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
  • Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
  • Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
  • Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
  • Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)
  • McCarthy, Blood Meridian (1985)
  • Morrison, Beloved (1987) or Paradise (1998)
  • Roth, American Pastoral (1997)
  • Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1992)
  • Guillory, Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation (1993)
  • Buell, The Dream of the Great American Novel (2014)
  • North, Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History (2017)

Evaluation:

  • Participation (10%)
  • Research Presentation (25%)
  • Short Paper, 5 pp. (25%)
  • Final Research Essay, 10 pp. (40%)

Format: Seminar

ENGL440 First Nations Inuit Literature and Media

Alootook Ipellie

Professor Marianne Stenbaek​
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Description: This course will focus on a main figure in Canadian Inuit literature: Alootook Ipellie. His work portrays many of the effects of colonialism and his own reactions in the contemporary world. Ipellie is introverted and spiritual but also radical and outspoken in his quest for meaning in a life where he lives in “two worlds” but with “one spirit”. His work reflects what was the reality for many Canadian Inuit, since 1950.

Ipellie’s work explores these themes in a variety of formats: cartoons, drawings, political articles, poetry and essays.

Texts:

  • The Diary of Abraham Ulrikab. University of Ottawa, 2005
  • Arctic Dreams and Nightmares. Alootook Ipellie. Theytus Books Ltd. 1993.
    Please note that all necessary excerpts will be posted online.
  • Cartoons-- List of cartoons will be posted on myCourses. Films: Trapped in a Human Zoo, The Owl and the Lemming and The Owl and the Raven.

Evaluation: Five reviews of a text (10% marks each) as well as one final longer essay (50%).

Format: Lecture, group discussions.

ENGL 441 Topics in Canadian Cultural Studies

Feminist Media in Montreal

ProfessorAlanna Thain
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Expected Preparation: Previous experience in film and media studies, cultural studies and/ or gender, sexuality and feminist studies. Admission to this research-creation course is by application.

Description: In 2024, our topic is “Feminist Film and Video Praxis in Montreal”. This course takes a research-creation approach to feminist film and video praxis in Montreal since the 1970s.One stream of the class takes up the rich histories of feminist film production, distribution, programming and institutionality in Montreal dedicated to the convergence of feminist practices with moving image media. This includes the tradition of the artist-run centre in Quebec, as artist centered, non-commercial and critically engaged counterpublics that developed practices of accessible media production skills, democratic and collaborative forms of organization, and the production and dissemination of documentary, experimental and contemporary video art. We will look at the legacy of the National Film Board of Canada’s Studio D, the world’s first publicly funded “production unit dedicated to making films by and for women” (1974-1996). Beyond these institutional frameworks, we will also look at more guerilla, minoritarian, contingent and “one-off” forms of feminist praxis that saw moving image media as a site of activist encounter. Between access, activism and art, how have makers, audiences and institutions defined and developed feminist practices in the last 50 years? This stream will include visiting speakers from the community, site visits and archival investigations. The other stream of the class will support students in developing a hands-on, research creation approach to feminist film practices in Montreal today. Building on this legacy, how might students design and execute their own interventions around “what is a feminist film praxis”? This might involve making media, producing podcasts, curating film programs, developing an archival project and other opportunities.

Required texts: Coursepack.

Format: Discussion, lecture, screenings, site visits and studios.

Evaluation: TBD

(Video) This Killer Workout Torches Calories — About 500 in 45 Minutes

ENGL 443 Contemporary Women Authors

Professor Ara Osterweil
Fall 2023
Time TBA

Full course description

Description: This course broadly interprets its title by exploring the work of several contemporary authors working within, between, and across literature, experimental cinema, and visual art. What brings these various “authors” into conversation with each other despite the disparate media in which they work is their commitment to the quotidian. Turning away from fiction’s problematic forms of impersonation, these authors grapple instead with the intricacies and contradictions of selfhood, memory, and the problems and pleasures of the now. While the generic terms for what they do vary from memoir to autofiction to autobiography to creative non-fiction to poetry to the diary film, etc. all the authors are united by their determination to illuminate everyday routine and revelation. Despite the pile-up of questionable and potentially problematic descriptors in the title—what defines the contemporary? who counts as a woman? what even is an author?—our focus shall be on the poetics of feeling and form. How do these artists bend form and queer language to think through some of the most urgent questions of what it means to be alive today? How do the idiosyncrasies and nuances of subjectivity get voiced in these works? How does gender, sexuality, race, and class implicitly or explicitly shape these texts? How have these “contemporary” works been inspired by earlier pioneers of first-person, experimental writing and cinema? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, how might reading and watching these contemporary authors and their significant forebears help us to find our own voices? In addition to more traditional forms of study, students will be encouraged to take inspiration from these exemplary models to experiment with their own creative work.

Potential Texts (work in progress, suggestions welcome):

  • Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee
  • Lynn Crosbie, Life is About Losing Everything
  • Moyra Davey, Index Cards
  • Annie Ernaux, The Years
  • Meena Kandasamy, When I Hit You, Or a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife
  • Bernadette Mayer, Midwinter Day
  • Cookie Mueller, Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black
  • Eileen Myles, Chelsea Girls
  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
  • Lisa Robertson, The Baudelaire Fractal
  • Trish Salah, Lyric Sexology
  • Diane Seuss, Frank
  • Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love
  • Hortense Spillers, Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book
  • Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped

Films include (again, in progress):

  • Camille Billops, Suzanne, Suzanne
  • Ja’Tovia Gary, The Giverny Document
  • Anne Charlotte Robertson, excerpts from Five Year Diary
  • Carolee Schneemann, Kitsch’s Last Meal
  • Laura Poitras & Nan Goldin, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
  • Sheila & Dani ReStack, Feral Domesticity
  • Charlotte Wells, Aftersun

Evaluation: Students must come to class prepared with all the assigned reading and will be expected to participate verbally in class on a weekly basis. In additional to writing one 10-12 page final paper or making an equivalent creative project, students will be expected to keep a diary of their thoughts and impressions. Fragments of this ongoing project will be reviewed at intervals throughout the course.

Format: In addition to one three-hour seminar per week, students must attend one mandatory in-person screening every week. Guest artists and writers will visit throughout the term; details tba.

ENGL 460 Studies in Literary Theory

Theorizing the Comic

Professor Wes Folkerth
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Description: In this course we will explore the various psychological, political, generic, rhetorical, and sociological parameters of comic recognition and misrecognition in theorists and practitioners from classical Athens to the present day. We will read and discuss theoretical accounts of comedy, humour, and laughter by Northrop Frye, C.L. Barber, Mikhail Bakhtin, Thomas Hobbes, Francis Hutcheson, Lord Shaftesbury, Henri Bergson, Sigmund Freud, Mary Douglas, James Feibleman, Hugh Duncan, René Girard, Arthur Schopenhauer, Charles Baudelaire, and Noel Carroll, among others. As a way of grounding these various theoretical accounts in specific examples, we will also study two plays, a novel, and a film.

Texts: Most of the readings are available via the library’s digital holdings. Henri Bergson’s Essay on Laughter and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will be available at The Word bookstore at 469 rue Milton.

Evaluation: Midterm essay (30%); final essay (40%); final exam (30%).

Format: Lecture and class discussion.

ENGL 461Studies in Literary Theory 2

Eros, Confession, and Self-Construction in Autobiography and the Novel

Professor David Hensley
Fall 2023
Time TBA

Full course description

Expected Preparation: Although there are no strict prerequisites for enrolling in this seminar, some prior university-level study of literature is recommended.

Description: This course will approach the form of autobiography in the Enlightenment through a brief survey of the European tradition of autobiographical texts from antiquity to the Renaissance. Classic models such as Plato’s Apology, Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, and Saint Augustine’s Confessions will help us appreciate the motivation and methods of later writing in autobiographical form. Our readings will include not only “real” autobiographies but also first-person narratives in philosophy and literature that provide a background for understanding the emergence of the novel in the “long” eighteenth century (1650-1850). A basic assumption of this course is that the modern novel absorbs and adapts conventions of spiritual autobiography and the presuppositions of selfhood in other forms of first-person storytelling such as dramatic monologue, letter writing, and the diary. We will analyze autobiographical narratives to develop a critical vocabulary that should enable us to conceptualize key problems in the evolving relationship between truth and fiction in the history of first-person narrative. Our study of these problems in the representation of inner experience and the sociohistorical conditions of subjectivity will focus on claims to truth or authenticity in relation to the logic of eros, confession, and self-construction.

Required Texts: All the books below contain required reading for the course. The books will be available at The Word Bookstore (469 Milton Street, 514-845-5640).

  • Plato, The Trials of Socrates (Hackett)
  • Plato, Plato on Love (Hackett)
  • Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations (Oxford, Penguin, or Hackett)
  • Saint Augustine, Confessions (Hackett or Oxford)
  • Dante Alighieri, Vita Nuova (Oxford or Penguin)
  • Benvenuto Cellini, My Life (Oxford)
  • Michel de Montaigne, Essays (Hackett)
  • Daniel Defoe, Roxana (Broadview or Oxford)
  • Denis Diderot, The Nun (Oxford or Penguin)
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sufferings of Young Werther (Norton or Penguin)
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions (Oxford or Penguin)

Evaluation: Presentations (40%), participation (10%), and a final term paper (50%). The “presentations” will consist of the submission of questions for seminar discussion. “Participation” refers to contributions to discussion and consultation about the paper topic. Insofar as possible, regular attendance is expected except when technical issues, medical problems, or other personal emergencies arise.

Format: Seminar.

ENGL 467 Advanced Studies in Theatre History

Brecht the Modernist

Instructor: Sean Carney
Fall 2023
Time TBA

Full course description

Course Description: Although he died in 1956, Bertolt Brecht continues to influence contemporary writers, actors, directors, designers, filmmakers, poets, activists, teachers, improv artists, philosophers, theoreticians and literary critics. In his constant demand for innovation and for experimentation with traditional forms, Brecht embodies the radical potential for art to intervene in social spheres. Meanwhile his refusal of Romanticism and his endorsement of rationality, technology and productive change are incongruous with some modernist skepticism about reason. Just what kind of modernist is Brecht? This course will examine the theory and the practice of this unique dramatist so that we may understand him in his historical context, while also considering his usefulness today. Our approach to Brecht will be broadly interdisciplinary. We will consider how the new media technologies (film) influenced his theories of the stage, and we will examine enthusiastic responses to his work from eminent artists, philosophers and critics. Moreover, we will evaluate Brecht's modernism in relation to canonical definitions of modernism, while also examining what Brechtian modernism has to say about postmodernity. Finally, we will consider whether there is such a thing as “Brechtian theatre” and examples of it that we may encounter today.

Required Texts: A course kit of readings, and the following plays by Brecht (tentative): Baal, A Man’s a Man, The Threepenny Opera, The Mother, Saint Joan of the Stockyards, The Measures Taken, Kuhle Wampe (film), The Good Person of Setzuan, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage and her Children, Life of Galileo.

Evaluation: TBA

Format: Lecture and class discussion.

(Video) 400 Elo Chess Is Painful...

ENGL 469 Acting 3

Professor Myrna Wyatt Selkirk
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Limited enrollment. Permission of instructor required. Admission to the course will be by application. See format below. If you have never worked with me, please sign-up for an interview. Contact me at myrna.wyatt.selkirk [at] mcgill.ca to be connected to the online sign-up sheet.

Prerequisites: ENGL: 230 and 269 and/or permission of instructor.

Description: This course enhances skills already acquired by addressing the demands of public performance. Scenes and poems will be analyzed and explored in a variety of ways in an effort to understand and own the text. The needs of individual students will be addressed in terms of acting and interpretive skills. Students will be introduced to the skills needed to speak verse and other heightened language.

Evaluation: Attendance and Participation; Scenes and Presentations; Written Analysis, Journals and Research.

Format of class: Voice work, text and movement exercises; improvisation; oral and scene presentations; discussions.

Application:

Submit answers to the following questions to myrna.wyatt.selkirk [at] mcgill.ca. (In your application please use both the number and subject for each response):

  1. Acting Experience:
  2. Improvisation Experience (not required for this course):
  3. Theatre courses taken at McGill or elsewhere:
  4. Any other relevant experience:
  5. Other things I should know about you:
  6. Expected year of graduation and Major(s) and Minor(s):
  7. Have you taken ENGL 230? ENGL 269?
  8. What will you bring to this course? This can expand on numbers 4 and 5 above. Discuss special attributes and personality traits. Talk about your ability as a collaborator.
  9. What do you hope to get out of this course?

Average Enrollment: 14 students

ENGL 481 A Filmmaker 2

Todd Haynes

Professor Derek Nystrom
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Expected Preparation: There are no prerequisites for this course, but familiarity with concepts and terminology from film studies and cultural studies is expected.

Description: First emerging as one of the key filmmakers of what B. Ruby Rich called the New Queer Cinema of the early 1990s, Todd Haynes has produced a body of work that interrogates gender, sexuality, illness, stardom, and the notion of authorship itself. We will explore Haynes’s films through the category of pastiche: his films critically deploy the visual and narrative tropes of various cinematic genres and modes (from melodrama to documentary) as part of their inquiry into the constructed nature of experience in postmodern life. And while Fredric Jameson has denounced the postmodern use of pastiche as apolitical “blank parody,” we will examine how Haynes’s films deploy their cinematic devices so as to de-familiarize and de-nature them, encouraging a mode of spectatorship that we might characterize, following Laura Mulvey, as “passionate detachment.” This course will survey Haynes’s oeuvre, from his initial student shorts (including the famously banned film The Karen Carpenter Story) to his most recent film, the 2021 documentary The Velvet Underground. We will also screen a few other films and related media materials that his films rework and re-imagine, in order to examine critically the category of authorship, cinematic and otherwise.

Required Texts:

  • The Cinema of Todd Haynes: All That Heaven Allows, ed. James Morrison
  • Other critical essays posted on myCourses

Required Films:

  • All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955)
  • Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes, 1988)
  • Longtime Companion (Norman René, 1989)
  • Poison (Todd Haynes, 1991)
  • Dottie Gets Spanked (Todd Haynes, 1993)
  • Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995)
  • Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998)
  • Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
  • I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)
  • Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes, 2011)
  • Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
  • Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)
  • Dark Waters (Todd Haynes, 2019)
  • The Velvet Underground (Todd Haynes, 2021)

Evaluation: TBA

Format: Lecture, discussion, screenings.

ENGL 490 Culture and Critical Theory 2

Introduction to Digital Humanities

Professor Richard Jean So
Winter 2024
Time TBA

Full course description

Description: The “Digital Humanities” is a new and growing field of research within the humanities. It brings together the humanities and sciences and it takes many different forms. The version of “DH” that we will focus on in this class is the use of computers, statistics and data to study literature and culture. In particular, the main goal is to teach students how to program in Python – a common programming language – to implement standard computational and statistical methods to analyze small and large corpora of literary and cultural texts. At the same time, students will read important critical studies and applied examples of computational criticism to reflect on the limits and affordances of what they are learning, as well as to discover (and potentially implement) useful models of literary text-mining.

Texts: One week before each class, students will be emailed a “Python notebook” which will provide all of the computer code that we will be learning the following week. These “notebooks,” in aggregate, represent the de facto textbook of the course. Scholarly readings will similarly be distributed via email a full week before that reading is due for class.

Data: In later weeks, I will provide sample data (small to medium sized corpora of novels, poems, and online data) to facilitate our lessons. All data will be out of copyright (i.e., texts published before 1923) or open access (i.e. Fanfiction online stories, Reddit posts) and can be freely shared.

Evaluation: Each week, starting week 1, there will be a problem set. The problem set will be coding-based problem-solving using Python. Each problem set will be due the night before the next week’s class at midnight via email (as a Python notebook file).

Evaluation Breakdown:

(Video) Kogama Roblox parkour 400 Levels The first

  • Problem set grades: average of all problem sets -> 90%
  • Class participation and discussion -> 10%

Videos

1. Complete 30 Min ABS Workout | Follow Along
(THENX)
2. Tips for 400-500 Players
(Chess Boot Camp)
3. 400 Elo Chess Made Me Bald
(GothamChess)
4. Want to be 1000 in chess?
(GothamChess)
5. Dungeon Crusher GUIDE #16: from 400 to 2500 levels
(idleGlaz 🔴)
6. Tibia Paladin - You advanced from Level 399 to Level 400.
(Joel)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duane Harber

Last Updated: 05/09/2023

Views: 6484

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duane Harber

Birthday: 1999-10-17

Address: Apt. 404 9899 Magnolia Roads, Port Royceville, ID 78186

Phone: +186911129794335

Job: Human Hospitality Planner

Hobby: Listening to music, Orienteering, Knapping, Dance, Mountain biking, Fishing, Pottery

Introduction: My name is Duane Harber, I am a modern, clever, handsome, fair, agreeable, inexpensive, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.