Themed Sections of Literature and Academic Writing

Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed

While all sections of the same ENGL course teach students the same set of reading and writing skills, the specific texts students read and discuss in each section depend on the instructor’s area of expertise and interests. Often, instructors choose their texts based on a particular theme or topic. Below is a list describing all the themed sections of literature and academic writing that will be offered during the Summer 2024 term. If a section does not appear below, it's because it has not been identified as one with a unifying theme or topic.

For scheduling information about both the themed sections listed below and all other sections of English offered by the department, please refer to the browse classes tool.

For more information about the instructors teaching these sections and others, please see the English Department's faculty profile page.

First-Year Courses
First-Year Courses

Course Catalogue Description

In this course students will read, discuss and write about at least one major theme in literature and culture, such as crime and punishment, gender roles, immigrant experiences, or paradise lost. Texts studied will be drawn from at least two literary genres.

Topics

InstructorSectionDeliveryDescription
Lise Gaston001, 002In PersonIn this introductory literature course, we will read a selection of poetry, fiction, and drama, published from the nineteenth century until today, focused around the notion of the Mean Girl. From writers such as Jane Austen, Jessica Johns, Joan MacLeod, and Christina Rossetti, these texts see their characters grapple with dangerous, even fatal social dynamics – from nineteenth-century British gossips to twentieth-century Canadian bullies – and even supernatural forces, from goblins to murders of crows. These varied works raise discussions and debates around social and cultural values, gender roles, race, class, intimacy, and violence. Read together, they will also allow us to learn about the history of literary and poetic forms; practice close reading techniques for poetry, fiction, and drama; identify a variety of literary and formal devices; and write essays of literary and cultural analysis.

Course Catalogue Description

In this course, students will read, discuss and write about fiction. Texts assigned will emphasize a variety of genres, such as realism, fantasy, mystery and romance, and may reflect significant developments in the history of fiction.

Topics

InstructorSectionDeliveryDescription
Ryan Miller001, 002In PersonENGL 1106 aims to recognize and understand a variety of literary devices and textual elements, and in so doing promotes the development of close reading and analysis skills. During the semester, we will draw from the (sub)genres of post-apocalyptic, romantic, and historical fiction. These novels are Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (2014), André Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name (2007), and Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (1996), respectively. Our readings include a depiction of life for the survivors of a global pandemic, a sexually-charged summer between two young men in Italy, and the tale of a servant girl convicted for her role in a double-murder in Ontario in 1843.

Course Catalogue Description

This course emphasizes the close reading of three genres – fiction, poetry, and plays – and examines their defining features.

Topics

InstructorSectionDeliveryDescription
Jason Bourget080In Person

In this course, we will explore the contradictory stories that the people of Ireland tell about themselves. Reflecting a nation politically divided in one way or another for much of its history, many of Ireland’s stories are stories of conflict between Protestants and Catholics, between nationalists and unionists, between English and Irish speakers, between religion and secularism, and between tradition and modernity. Our search for these competing narratives will lead us to plays set in the Gaelic-speaking Aran Islands of the late nineteenth century, to short stories that show what Dublin looked like in the early twentieth century before, during, and after the Irish War of Independence and subsequent Irish Civil War, and to poems that meditate upon the terror experienced by, and the resilience of, those who lived through the worst years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. As we examine these many conflicting retellings of the “truth” of Ireland, we will also discuss how at least some communities, such as the late 1970s punk scene of “alternative Ulster,” attempted to move beyond these polarizing and all-too-often-destructive narratives of political belonging.

 

Note that only students who are registered in the can enroll in this section of ENGL 1109.

Michael Stachura090, 091OnlineThis online class will teach you how to read and write about literature. We'll be exploring a diverse array of texts: from poems that traverse the realms of quantum physics to conflict in the Middle East, to stories that grapple with finding meaning in a meaningless world and the struggles of resistance against conformity, assimilation, and the inevitability of death. A significant part of our course will also address the pressing issues of settler colonialism and the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, especially here in Vancouver. Through these studies, you'll not only learn the skills to craft insightful essays but also develop a profound appreciation for the depth and beauty of literature, understanding its power to reflect, critique, and transform the world around us.

 

Course Catalogue Description

This course introduces students to the process of writing academic argument papers, and to strategies, assignments and exercises that develop their abilities as researchers, readers and writers of scholarly prose. Students will examine the general principles of composition, and the specific conventions of academic writing as practiced in several disciplines, particularly in the arts and humanities. Students will gain experience in locating, evaluating and using sources within their own writing.

Sections Focused on Specific Topics

InstructorSectionDeliveryTopic
Michael Stachura090, 091OnlineCivilization and Its Discontents 

 

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Course Catalogue