English Courses

English Courses @ X

Please note: 

All other courses in the 200, 300, and 400 levels are offered on a rotating basis over a two - or three - year period. The senior seminars are offered on a priority basis to senior Advanced Majors and Honours students. Other students interested in taking a senior seminar should inquire with the departmental chair (jpotts@stfx.ca) or administrative assistant (english@stfx.ca) about availability and prerequisites.
 

Note: ENGL 100, 111/112, or equivalent is required for entrance to all other ENGL courses. (2020-2021 Academic Calendar, p. 80).

The list of Course Offerings for the 2020-2021 academic term will be available on July 9th, 2020.


 

FIRST-YEAR ENGLISH COURSES at StFX

English 100 and English 111/112 are equivalents, and both patterns act as prerequisites for future English courses at X. Students will receive credit for one or the other, not both. English 111 may be offered in both Fall and Winter, while 112 will normally be offered in Winter. Students may take 111 and 112 in different sections and with different professors, and even in different years (i.e., you can take 111 in your first year, and 112 in your second or subsequent years). If you enroll in English 100 and decide to leave the course before January, you might consider enrolling in English 111 in your second semester.

FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS: When you arrive at StFX, many of your courses will transfer as StFX equivalents. If your courses transfer in as any of the following, you should take English 112 if you intend to take future English courses: 111, 100A and 100B. If you arrive with only the equivalent of 112 or with courses that transferred as 193 or 196, please contact the Department.

 

ENGL 100 Introduction to Literature and Critical Writing

Language, Myth, and Culture. This course introduces students to the critical tools and methods of literary study, including close reading and argumentative writing. Students will learn about the history of genres (e.g. poetry, drama, and the novel) and forms of literature (e.g. tragedy, realism). Texts may include the earliest writing in English to more recent works in various media. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 100, ENGL 110 or ENGL 111/112. Six credits.

Note:     ENGL 100, 111/112, or equivalent is required for entrance to all other ENGL courses. 

ENGL 111 Literature and Academic Writing 1

This course provides students with the key skills needed to succeed at university. You will learn how to write argumentatively; how to build a question or problem from a close-reading of a literary work; how to develop that argument by presenting and analyzing evidence; how to engage in scholarly debate; how to do university-level research.
Sections 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 are themed:                                                                                                                  ENGL 111:11 - True Stories
ENGL 111:12 - Writing and Creativity: How stories are Composed
ENGL 111:13 - Race and Racism
ENGL 111:14 - Labyrinths of the Mind 
ENGL 111:15 - Reading Between the Lines: An Introduction to Genre & Narrative
ENGL 111:16 - Reading Between the Lines: An Introduction to Genre & Narrative
ENGL 111:17 - Imagined Worlds (From Camelot to Apocalypse)
ENGL 111:18 - Imagined Worlds (From Camelot to Apocalypse)
ENGL 111:19 - Escape by Metaphor
ENGL 111:20 - Reading and Writing in the 21st Century

ENGL 112 Literature and Academic Writing II

This course follows ENGL 111. It introduces students to the study of literature by familiarizing them with literary-critical concepts and terminology, by fostering an understanding of genre and form, by teaching the fundamental skill of close-reading, and by introducing them to literary works from a range of historical periods. Prerequisite: ENGL 111. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 112, 100 or 111. Three credits.
Sections 10, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 are themed:                                                                                                                                                    ENGL 112:10 - Be Yourself: Stories of Early Adulthood
ENGL 112:21 - Writing About Literature, Writing about Life
ENGL 112:22 - Magic and the Fantastic
ENGL 112:23 - Modern Love
ENGL 112:24 - On Justice
ENGL 112:25 - Magic and the Fantastic

 

Prerequisite: ENGL 100, 111/112, or equivalent.

ENGL 201 Science Fiction and Fantasy

This course will examine the history of speculative literature, including the relationship between science and narrative, the rise of ethnic science fiction and fantasy, and ways in which the future and the past might be imagined. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. 

ENGL 206 World Masterpieces I: The Classical World

Through a reading of Homer’s classical and influential poems (the Iliad and Odyssey), the course will explore how the ancient world thought texts worked. Readings will include Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Horace and others. The course will also look at the New Testament’s adaptation of older texts, including the Old Testament, from a literary vantage point. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 207 World Masterpieces II

This course introduces students to masterpieces in Western literature, in translation, focused on the theme of love through the ages in various literary genres. We will examine the portrayals of love, eroticism, and sexuality in various cultures and eras, and consider their aesthetic, cultural, and philosophical significance. We will look at differences in attitude towards marriage, gender, and various other social “norms” of the respective eras we will study. Three credits.

ENGL 211 Introduction to Film and Media Studies

This course will consider concepts and discussions that have developed in the history of film, television, and media studies. Students will be introduced to the vocabulary of film and media studies, techniques of analysis, and major theoretical discussions in these fields. Screenings will introduce students to various kinds of films, dating from the early 20th century to the present. Credit will be granted for one of ENGL 211, 209 or 297 “Analyzing Film.” Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 212 Blindness and Insight in Shakespeare’s Tragedies

Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and The Tempest examine how the desire to know the truth leads to tragedy. Who killed old King Hamlet? Is my wife having an affair? Which of my daughters loves me most? How does one dispel the desire for vengeance over one’s oppressors? One never discovers the truth, so one acts blindly, which brings unbearable suffering. But suffering brings insight: the reader is instructed how to live with patience and equanimity.  Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 213 Adaptation: Canadian Myths, Film, and Popular Stories

Thomas King reminds us, “you have to watch out for the stories that you are told” because “the truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” But what happens when the stories we are told—histories, myths, and popular stories of forebearers—only help us to lie to ourselves about our values, past, and identities? This course examines multiple genres, including fiction, film, and theatre, in order to examine how stories effect change. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 215 Principles and Practices of Literary Criticism

This course builds on the skills acquired in first year English. We will broaden our understanding of what literature is and how it works. We will develop our abilities to see how different approaches to texts allow us to understand their formal, gendered, historical, political, psychological, racial and sociological impacts. And we will expand our practical skills by: enlarging our critical vocabularies; sharpening our argumentative writing abilities; and increasing our proficiency with sources and databases.

ENGL 217 British Fiction, 1900-1950

A study of British fiction in the first half of the 20th century. Literary works will be considered in relationship to central cultural and intellectual developments of this period, as well as crucial historical points of reference (the world wars, colonialism and decolonization). Authors to be studied may include Joseph Conrad, E.M. Forster, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Elizabeth Bowen. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 217 or ENGL 350. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 218 Contemporary British Fiction

This course will examine British fiction published since 1950. We will be concerned in particular with the following issues: changing conceptions of British national identity, and the relationship between these changes and the development of British fiction; ongoing discussions in this period on the capabilities and responsibilities of fictional narrative; the notions of postmodernism and late modernism and the pertinence of these periodizing terms to post-war British fiction. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 218 or ENGL 350. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 231 Introduction to Creative Writing -- Also see "Creative Writing Courses @ X"

This course teaches students how to write creatively in two genres -- poetry and fiction -- in a workshop setting. Students will explore those elements of composition (imagery, dialogue, point of view, characterization, etc.) that make for interesting and challenging writing. Six credits. 

ENGL 232 Why Care about Literary Characters?

Why do we develop such strong attachments to literary characters? They aren’t real. Their stories don’t continue. They don’t interact with us. And yet often keep them closer to us than people we know. In this course, we will try to sort out why characters – from Emma to Harry Potter – matter so much in both our imaginary, real and virtual lives. Three credits.

ENGL 233 Children's Literature: 1865 to the Present

Using the landmark publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a starting point, this course provides a critical survey of children’s literature in Britain, America, and Canada. Authors to be studied may include: Carroll, L.M. Montgomery, Maurice Sendak, Roald Dahl, R.L. Stevenson, E.B. White, and various picture books. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 233 or ENGL 234. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits.

ENGL 236 Children’s Film and Television

Children’s film and television are highly lucrative and competitive fields. This course will survey landmarks in children’s media across the world, looking at questions of adaptation, suitability, merchandising-driven story, and franchising.

ENGL 238 Shakespeare's Early Works

An introduction to Shakespeare's early works, covering his writing from 1585 to 1600. Works may include histories, tragedies, comedies, and poetry. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 238 and ENGL 237. Three credits. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 240 Literature of the Middle East

This course will introduce students to the rich literary heritage of various countries in the Middle East. In addition to the geographic range, the course will also introduce students to various kinds of literature including traditional poetry and folk tales, but the main focus will be the novel and the short story of the twentieth century. Writers to be studied may include Najib Mahfuz, Elias Khoury, Hanan al-Shaykh, Ghassan Kanafani, Tayeb Salih, Muhammad Shukri, and others. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 241 Modern & Contemporary Poetry

A study of some of the major poets of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, W.B. Yeats, Gwendolyn Brooks, Philip Larking, Derek Walcott, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Henri Cole, Eavan Boland. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 241, 320 or 298 ST: Modern & Contemporary Poetry. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 243 The Protomodern American Novel 

In this course we will examine novels written between 1870 and 1910 that establish the concerns that we now associate with modernism. Topics include time, consciousness, inequality, photography, urbanization, art, nativism, utopianism, ethnicity and exile. Authors we might read include Edward Bellamy, Theodore Dreiser, Frank Norris, Jacob Riis, Mark Twain, Henry James, William James, Stephen Crane, Harold Frederic, Ellen Glasgow, Charles Chesnutt, Abraham Cahan, Jack London, Mary Antin and James Weldon Johnson. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 243 and ENGL 344. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 245 Postcolonial Literature

This course will introduce you to the culture of empire and to a growing body of writing that has come to be called “postcolonial.” Broadly defined as the literature of peoples who have experienced colonialism, this body of writing raises important questions about place, identity and belonging, and about the role of literature in representing nation, empire, and globalization. We will read fiction, poetry, and essays by writers from Europe, Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 245 or ENGL 247. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 248 Cli-Fi and Environmental Literature

This course introduces students to some of the central texts and debates in two connected fields: environmental literature, a longstanding, rich facet of the literary field sometimes also identified as “ecofiction,” and climate fiction (cli-fi), a recent, currently booming sub-section of environmental literature. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 249 Detective Fiction and Film

This course examines a figure who haunts modern culture from the nineteenth century to the present—the detective. Ranging from Poe’s important nineteenth-century detective stories, to Sherlock Holmes, to present-day fiction and film, course discussions will consider why the detective develops as a cultural phenomenon in this period, how the figure of the detective changes over time, and what cultural problems detective fiction addresses. 

ENGL 253 Coffeehouse Culture of 18th Century England

A course exploring a variety of works through the lens of the 18th-century coffeehouse. Focusing primarily on the periodical literature of the time—The Tatler, The Spectator, The Plain Dealer and The Female Spectator—and novels and poetry, the course will consider themes like conversation, urban space, taste and culture, consumerism, gender fashioning, and the private subject made public. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 254 Topics in 18th Century Literature

This course explores the changing literary, social and cultural significance of the figure of the whore in a variety of 18th century works. Poetry, pornography, and pamphlets, as well as Hogarth’s engravings A Harlot’s Progress, Behn’s play, The Rover, and Cleland’s novel, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (a.k.a. Fanny Hill) will be studied among other works. Graphic language and content may offend some students. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. 

ENGL 256 The British Novel, 1850-1900

In considering British fiction produced from 1850-1900, we’ll encounter vampire stories, some of the earliest science fiction, novels about time travel and Martian invasions, influential detective fiction (Sherlock Holmes stories), love stories, and a strikingly weird cast of fictional monsters (Mr. Hyde, Dracula). Works to be studied may include Stoker’s Dracula, Wells’s The War of the Worlds, Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Conan Doyle’s The Sign of the Four. Prerequisites: ENGL 100 or 111/112. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 257 The 21st Century American Novel

This course will introduce students to recent formal and generic developments in the American novel and situate these trends within the history of the novel as a literary form. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 258 Television Today

This course introduces students to current debates about television and its role in contemporary culture. We will emphasize the manner in which programs develop narratives (episodically, serially, in story arcs) and the manner in which they are received (weekly, binge watching). Subscription fees for online content providers may be required. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 258 and 297 offered in 2016-2017. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 259 Gender, Literature and Culture

What makes gender meaningful and what has literature got to do with it? How do literary works and other cultural texts (film, television, music, social media) represent and/or transform gender in a given time and place? What can such works tell us about how gender is imagined, experienced, circulated, challenged? This course will address these questions by studying selected texts and thinking about how they speak to different understandings of masculinity, femininity and non-binary identities. We will consider the extent to which literary genres and cultural forms are gendered by looking at works like Twelfth Night and Pride and Prejudice and we will consider the formal strategies writers adopt to convey or challenge gendered concepts, norms and experiences. We will look at how the intersections between gender, sexuality, race, class, and religion are handled in graphica like Persepolis and the play Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner. We will consider how cultural texts aimed at youth, like Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves and the television series Sex Education, attempt to engage with the complexities of gender’s relationship to cultural and political power.

ENGL 261 Hollywood Film

This course will examine Hollywood film from its origins to the present, focusing on the period that has come to be known as the era of “classical Hollywood cinema” (1927-1960). The course will provide an introduction to film history and to the analysis of film. 

ENGL 262 Imagination, Dream and Vision in English Literature

This study of the emerging power of the imagination in English literature focuses on the importance of dreams and visions as loci or places in narratives that are invested with ethical significance. As images of the divine, sacred world diminish in stories over time, writers adopt a more a secular consciousness, exploring the creative power of the mind as it manifests itself in the dreams and visions of the modern world.

ENGL 263 Canadian Literature I: 18th and 19th Centuries

This course will survey Canadian poetry and prose in the historical contexts of exploration, settlement, and Confederation. Students will examine early Canadian authors’ engagements with the Romantics and Victorians, and will consider the emergence of a national literature. Selected authors may include Frances Brooke, Samuel Hearne, John Richardson, Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Susanna Moodie, James de Mille, Isabella Valancy Crawford, and Sir Charles G. D. Roberts. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 263 or ENGL 265. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 264 Canadian Literature II: The 20th Century and After

This course examines the major genres of Canadian writing during the 20th and 21st centuries, including fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. The course will emphasize key aesthetic developments within the contexts of modernism, feminism, postcolonialism, regionalism, postmodernism, environmentalism, culture and race. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 264 or ENGL 265. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 267 Introductory Creative Writing

Students are introduced to the techniques of writing creatively in the genres of poetry, short stories, drama, etc. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits.

ENGL 268 Marriage, Murder, Justice: Law and Literature

Why do literary works feature stories about legal dramas? Why has the law turned to literature to understand how narrative affects the rendering of justice? In this course we will read texts to examine how law and its interpretation make the rendering of justice difficult in cases involving marriage contracts, race, gender, and intention. Not offered in 2020-21

ENGL 269 Me You Us them: Self & Society

What defines individualism? How does one become self-reliant? Is selfishness inherently wrong? What do I owe society and what can it demand of me? How are group attachments – racial, national, gendered – formed and how are they maintained? These are questions that novelists, poets, and essayists have taken up with energy and intensity since the 18th-century. This course examines why literary works provide particularly powerful answers to these sorts of questions. Not offered in 2020-21

ENGL 270 The Romantic Gothic: Poetry and Short Fiction

A study of Gothic literature in its historical and philosophical context, this course will explore 19th-century short fiction and poetry as well as a play and influential 18th-century literary sources. Authors may include: Walpole, Burke, Kant, Wordsworth, Smith, Robinson, Hogg, Scott, Coleridge, Keats, Lord Byron, and Baillie. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 271 Gothic Fiction: 18th- and 19th-Century Novels

An examination of the Gothic novel and the cultural forces that produced it. The course will explore supernatural tales from the classical and medieval periods which acted as forerunners to the genre. Authors may include: Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew “Monk” Lewis, and Jane Austen; students may also read Frankenstein and Dracula. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 272 Melancholy and Madness

A survey of how the psychological and physical states of melancholy feature in literature through language, imagery, metaphor, and by gender. Medical treatises, plays, poems, and novels present melancholy variously as consciousness of the existence of the soul, a sensitivity for the human condition, a rich source of creative inspiration, or the ‘black dog’ of overwhelming despair. The course explores foundational literary figures to examine melancholy’s many faces: the lover, the artist, the madman.  Not offered in 2020-21

ENGL 275 Shakespeare and Sex: Love and Lust

The Victorians censored Shakespeare. A rediscovery of his sexual references tells us not only about Elizabethan England’s sexual mores, but also about its diversity of thought around sexuality. We discover that the Renaissance was much more open and accepting of sexuality than our age. The course will discuss the relationship between love and sex, the nature of desire, the perception of sexuality, the question of consent, perceptions of gender, and perceptions of sexual diversity. Not offered in 2020-21

ENGL 276 Shakespeare on War and Peace

Shakespeare was a serious political thinker. We will study his political thought through a close reading of five plays. We will discuss themes such as political ambition; the nature of the political regime and its influence on the public; monarchy and republicanism; the relationship between politics and violence; the causes of political success and decline; the relationship between philosophy and politics and between politics and religion; and the relationship between private and public virtues. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 277 Shakespeare’s Subversive Poetry: A Study of his Narrative Poems, Sonnets, and Love Lyrics

Shakespeare’s poetry breaks with tradition by rejecting the formal, thematic, and mythical conventions of the past. Here we find inversions of gender roles, including aggressive and seductive heroines; lengthy and entirely empathetic portrayals of victims of sexual violence; and provocative meditations on love that have gone wildly out of control. These poems focus on the complex nature of human desire in a manner that anticipates our own plight in the modern world.

ENGL 278 Short Turns: The Short Story in Canada

The short story is the literary form that has arguably won Canadian Literature the highest sustained international recognition both critically and popularly. This course will engage in in-depth analysis of profound expressions of the construction of the self (or selves) in the modern world. Various voices and narrative modes in dialogue with such questions will be encountered, arising in works from writers of diverse backgrounds and social strata. 

ENGL 279  What’s Canadian about Canadian Literature?

Margaret Atwood asks “What’s Canadian about Canadian literature, and why should we be bothered?” This course tackles this question by examining a variety of forms, such as Canadian fiction, film, art, poetry,music, and drama fromthe 20th and 21st centuries. Stories define what it means to live in Canada or identify as Canadian. This class concentrates on how the stories we tell shape our own sense of who we are and where we belong. Three credits. 

ENGL 280 Introduction to Contemporary Multiethnic Literatures in the United States

This course will provide students with an introduction to contemporary African American, Asian American, Native American and Indigenous, and Latino/a literatures in the U.S. The course will frame the literary material with examinations of current debates (and their historical antecedents) regarding race, racism, race and culture, and the politics of multiethnic literatures, and race in the age of neoliberal diversity management and multiculturalism. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 280 and ENGL 295 offered in 2011-2012. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 282 Literatures of Global Justice: Human Rights, Asylum, Self-Determination​

Can literature help us see others as equal human beings? From abolitionist literature to contemporary narratives about asylum seekers and refugees, literature has long been a means of advancing claims for justice and fostering understanding across global divides. Focusing primarily on twentieth- and twenty-first century texts from around the world, and covering a range of topics from colonialism, gendered oppression, to conflict and displacement, and environmental racism, this course will ask how literature serves justice. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 290 The Canterbury Tales

This course will introduce Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, but it does more than that. The generic and formal diversity of Chaucer’s collection allows for discussion of medieval literary form and content, while also introducing significant aspects of medieval culture (the problem of “courtly love,” medical theory and political life). Further, the course allows discussion of manuscript tradition and theories of influence. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 290 or ENGL 390. Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 or equivalent. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 295 Selected Topics

Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112, or 110, or equivalent. Three credits. 

ENGL 297 Selected Topics

Three credits.

ENGL 298 Selected Topics

Three credits.

 

Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or 111/112 plus at least three credits at the 200 level unless otherwise noted.

ENGL 304 The Early Tudor and Elizabethan Renaissance

A study of texts produced during the Tudor dynasty. Authors may include Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Thomas Kyd, Edmund Spenser, and others.  Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 305 The Later Elizabethan Renaissance

William Shakespeare’s sonnet sequence, along with Edmund Spenser’s epic allegory, The Faerie Queene, will be read in the context of the 1590s, the last full decade of the reign of Elizabeth I. In close readings of these two masterpieces, we will examine the relations between literature and culture and the way in which politics and gender provide a context for aesthetic production. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 308 Milton and His Time

This course will provide an intensive study of Milton’s life and major poems, especially Paradise Lost, and some of his polemical prose. The course will also focus on the historical and political contexts of this revolutionary age, and Milton’s contributions to the Republicanism of the era. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 308 or ENGL 312. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

ENGL 313 Literary Theory's Histories

This course introduces students to the histories of literary theory. Depending on the instructor, the course may cover either a specific period in literary studies (e.g. Medieval, Early Modern, Romantic) or a broader historical accounting of contemporary theory’s antecedents. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 313 or ENGL 445. Prerequisite: 9 credits of ENGL; ENGL 215 is recommended. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 314 Contemporary Literary Theory

This course introduces students to current issues in literary criticism including (but not limited to): formalism, gender and sexuality, materialism, psychology and historicism. Our aim will be to consider the usefulness of different approaches in opening up our readings of texts. We will examine a sample of different types of works – a novel, a play, a film, lyric poems – in testing different theoretical approaches. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 314 or ENGL 445. Prerequisite: 9 credits of ENGL; ENGL 215 is recommended. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 319 Topics in Film Studies

Postwar European Cinema: Movements and Directors. This course will examine European cinema in the decades following World War II. This remains one of the most discussed and influential periods in cinema history: the films produced in these decades are exceptional for their artistry, political urgency, and experimental daring. We’ll consider major movements of the period (Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave) and the work of crucial directors (Godard, Rossellini, Bergman, Antonioni). Prerequisite: 9 credits of ENGL; ENGL 211 recommended. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 322 Intermediate Creative Writing -- Also see "Creative Writing Courses @ X"

Students will be expected to choose one genre through which they will continue to explore and develop the basic elements of composition learned in ENGL 231. Prerequisite: ENGL 100, 110, or equivalent; three credits creative writing. Three credits. Interested students are required to submit a portfolio and a list of English courses previously taken to english@stfx.ca by June 1. The portfolio should consist of 10-15 pages of prose fiction, poetry, drama, or any combination thereof.

ENGL 323 Victorian Medievalism

This course will examine Victorian treatments of the medieval. Texts studied will include non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. We will also consider the Gothic Revival in architecture and the Pre-Raphaelite movement in painting. Authors may include Thomas Carlyle, Alfred Lord Tennyson, E. B. and Robert Browning, John Ruskin, George Eliot, Edward FitzGerald, William Morris, and Christina and D. G. Rossetti. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 325 The American Novel 1850-1940

What kinds of social creatures are people? What causes our social lives to fall into patterns, shapes, and configurations? How do these forms define our social worlds? In this class we will look at American novels written at the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th century as resources for understanding the complexity of modern social life. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 327 Celtic Kings, Heroes and Monsters - Medieval Ireland

Cross-listed as CELT 327; see Celtic Studies in the Academic Calendar for more information. Three credits. 

ENGL 329 Studies in Women Writers: Feminisms and Their Literatures

An introduction to feminist theories within historical, cultural, and philosophical contexts, this course explores the relationship between feminist theories and literary texts that exemplify or extend them. Cross-listed as WMGS 329. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 334 The Western

This course will survey the western, from its contemporary origins in newspapers and dime novels through to the revisionist texts of the 60s-80s, and then to current generic mash-ups (the horror western, the curry western). Texts could include novels (Wister’s The Virginian), radio and TV (The Lone Ranger), film (The Searchers, Pale Rider), and graphic novels (Preacher). Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 337 Children's Literature: Genres and Themes 

Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered in 2020-21.

ENGL 338 Canadian Drama 

This course will examine how Canadian drama has been (re)defining our national identity for the past four hundred years. Introducing students to theatrical forms such as vaudeville, minstrelsy, clowning, and verbatim theatre, this course will simultaneously consider issues of nationality, race, and gender.  Playwrights include Tomson Highway, Margaret Atwood, Djanet Sears, and Guillermo Verdecchia. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 338 or ENGL 366. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

ENGL 339 Cultural Theory and Popular Culture

This course introduces students to the classical texts of and contemporary developments in cultural theory. The course will practically apply these theories through the study of popular culture. Students will learn the basics of cultural analysis and familiarize themselves with what theorists have come to understand as the “critique of everyday life.” Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 339 and ENGL 318. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

ENGL 341 Shakespeare and Marlowe

A study of Shakespeare’s work in comparison with his early contemporary dramatist and poet, Christopher Marlowe. Prerequisite: 9 credits English. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 347 Literature of Africa and the African Diaspora

Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom over me!
And before I'd be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free 

Topic for Fall 2020: The Aftermath of Slavery and 21st Century Black Narrative. The aftermath of slavery, Saidiya Hartman argues, is not freedom. However longed for, however storied, freedom is still a promise, still to come. How does this structure of the aftermath manifest in 21st century narratives about slavery? How do writers (and filmmakers) approach the form of the slave narrative in their efforts to reckon with “the past that is not past” (Sharpe)? How do we think about these works’ contemporariness? That is, what about contemporary anti-blackness do these novels and films engage? How can we think about features of contemporary anti-Blackness—surveillance, Black Lives Matter, the policing of the pandemic—through the lens of slavery’s afterlives? Can we read the films Get Out and Sorry to Bother You as slave narratives? How do novels about slavery think across time and space and about time and space? We will read novels like The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black, Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, and Marlon James’s The Book of Night Women, alongside selected essays and films.

ENGL 353 Tolkien and the Inklings

“Versus.” This course will put “traditional” fantasy authors such as Tolkien and Lewis up against those authors who question or write against them, such as Philip Pullman, Madeline L’Engle, and George R. R. Martin. Prerequisites: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 355 Restoration and 18th-Century Plays

The libertine is the Restoration’s bad boy and its cultural icon. This course explores the character and philosophy of the libertine as depicted in several Restoration plays, and modeled on the real-life Earl of Rochester. Womanizer, drunkard, poet, wit, and master of masquerade, the libertine embodies the attractive and repulsive aspects of masculinity. Plays include Wycherley’s The Country Wife, Shadwell’s Libertine, Etherege’s Man of Mode, Behn’s The Rover, and the movie, The Libertine. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 356 18th-Century Novel and Poetry

A study of the rise of the novel from Aphra Behn to Laurence Sterne, the course examines the imagined lives of mistresses, misfits, magicians, and crossdressers as authors explore the secret springs of human thought and motivation as they experiment with form and style. Works include Behn’s The Fair Jilt, Defoe’s Roxana, Haywood’s Eovaai, Fielding’s The Female Husband, and Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 365 Canadian Fiction

Students will read novels and short stories, in English, to develop a sense of the thematic patterns, style, and changing narrative strategies in Canadian fiction, especially in works since 1930. Credit will only be granted for only one of ENGL 365 and 367. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

ENGL 366 Selected Topics in Canadian Literature

By Atlantic Shores: The Literature of Atlantic Canada. This course will look at the rich regional development of fiction and poetry in Atlantic Canada, including works by Mi’kmaq, African-Canadian, and Acadian writers (in translation where necessary). Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.  

ENGL 371 Victorian Literature, 1832-1867

A study of early- to mid-Victorian literature encompassing the poetry of Emily Brontë, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, and Matthew Arnold; the prose of Thomas Carlyle, Charles Darwin, and John Stuart Mill; and a novel by Charles Dickens or one of the Brontë sisters. Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 371 or ENGL 375. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

ENGL 372 Victorian Literature, 1867-1901

A study of mid- to late-Victorian literature encompassing the prose of Walter Pater, John Ruskin, and Matthew Arnold; poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, George Meredith, William Morris, Christina and D.G. Rossetti, Algernon Swinburne, and Oscar Wilde; plays by Wilde and George Bernard Shaw; stories by Vernon Lee and Rudyard Kipling; and a novel by George Eliot.  Credit will be granted for only one of ENGL 371 or ENGL 375. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

English 378  Human Scale: Contemporary American Literature

Human scale is the practice of measuring and designing things to match the physical and cognitive characteristics of humans. But what happens when the world falls out of scale? When cities become too large to be knowable? When memories start fading away? When the internet becomes so large as become infinite? When multinational corporations become so large that they no longer resemble persons. We’ll read two great American novels that take up these questions. Not offered in 2020-21.

English 379  American Literature

This course will examine 20th- and 21st-century American prose, focused around a particular literary school or movement. Three credits. Not offered 2020-2021.

English 388 Heroic Literature of the Middle Ages

Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

English 389  Chaucer’s Contemporaries

Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-21.

English 391  Selected Topics I - Literature in the Digital Age: New Tools for Old Texts

What does the Boromir meme have in common with the Sparknotes Twitter account and an audiobook from the Antigonish Public Library? All are part of how we engage with literature in a digital age. This course will consider both how and what we read in the digital age.

Topics covered will include online texts and ereading; how algorithms affect the reception of text; close and distant reading; and how databases and digital projects create arguments. Materials covered could include, for instance, looking at what texts are privileged in library search results, the nature of machine “reading,” and how digital literary projects are designed, funded, maintained, and deprecated. This course applies digital humanities practices to literary, popular, and scholarly texts in order to help students become better critical thinkers able to read and interact with our increasingly digital culture. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

ENGL 397 Selected Topics in Literature I 

The topic for 2020-2021 is What’s Trending: Taste and Cultural Capital Now. See ENGL 492 for course information. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

398   Selected Topics in Literature II

Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits. Not offered 2020-2021.

 

NOTES: Normally students enrolling in a senior seminar will have third-year standing and have taken a minimum of 18 credits in English. The senior seminars are offered on a priority basis to senior Advanced Majors and Honours students in English who are required to take one 3-credit senior seminar in Fall term, and another 3-credit senior seminar in Winter term.  All other interested students should inquire with the departmental chair (jpotts@stfx.ca) or administrative assistant (english@stfx.ca) about availability and prerequisites.

All students seeking admission to honours and advanced major programs must consult the department chair (jpotts@stfx.ca) by March 31 of the second year to obtain approval for proposed course patterns, and again in March of the junior year for advice on thesis and senior seminar requirements.

ENGL 400 Honours Thesis

Honour students write a thesis under the supervision of a faculty thesis director. Students must meet the thesis director in March of the junior year to prepare a topic. Honours students must register for the thesis as a six-credit course in the senior year. The thesis must be submitted no later than March 31 of the senior year. See chapter 4 of the Academic Calendar and Honours and Advanced Major Theses. Six credits.

Senior Seminars:

ENGL 491  Selected Topics I - Literature in the Digital Age: New Tools for Old Texts

What does the Boromir meme have in common with the Sparknotes Twitter account and an audiobook from the Antigonish Public Library? All are part of how we engage with literature in a digital age. This course will consider both how and what we read in the digital age.

Topics covered will include online texts and ereading; how algorithms affect the reception of text; close and distant reading; and how databases and digital projects create arguments. Materials covered could include, for instance, looking at what texts are privileged in library search results, the nature of machine “reading,” and how digital literary projects are designed, funded, maintained, and deprecated. This course applies digital humanities practices to literary, popular, and scholarly texts in order to help students become better critical thinkers able to read and interact with our increasingly digital culture. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

ENGL 492 Selected Topics II - What’s Trending: Taste and Cultural Capital Now

The topic for 2020-2021 is What’s Trending: Taste and Culture Capital Now. What does it mean to be trending in the realm of art and culture? What is the relationship between having good taste and being up to date? Why is having good taste important, and how do you recognize it? These are some of the questions that will be considered as the problems of taste and cultural capital in our present moment and the recent past are addressed. Relevant literary works, popular non-fiction, and theoretical writing will be considered. Prerequisites: third-year standing and 15 credits English. Three credits. 

ENGL 497 Advanced Major Thesis

Advanced major students write a thesis based on work done in any 300- or 400-level class, taken in the Fall of the Senior year. See chapter 4 of the Academic Calendar or see note on thesis requirement under Honours and Advanced Major Theses.

ENGL 499 Directed Study

In consultation with the department and with approval of the chair, students may undertake a directed study program in an approved area of interest, which is not available through other course offerings. Three or six credits.