Curriculum Guideline

Studies in Canadian Literature

Effective Date:
Course Code
ENGL 2101
Studies in Canadian Literature
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
4 hours per week
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. Lecture/discussion
  2. Group work
  3. Peer review
  4. Presentation (individual or group)
  5. Independent research
  6. Instructor feedback on students’ work
  7. Individual consultation
Course Description
This course explores selected works by Canadian authors, primarily contemporary, within the contexts of Canadian culture and identity. Students will read works from at least two major literary genres and complementary works of contemporary literary criticism and theory.
Course Content

All second-year English literature courses share the following features: 

  1. Students are presumed to be proficient in the writing of critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor or discussed in class.
  3. Students are required to incorporate into their oral and written coursework secondary source materials. These may include autobiographical or biographical material; literary criticism or theory; unassigned texts by the author under study; relevant cultural or intellectual history; or other arts, such as music, film, or fine arts.
  4. Readings and topics will vary with each instructor’s presentation of a course; however, all course materials are consistent with the objectives/outcomes for this course.

In English 2101, students will examine: 

  1. works in at least two of the following genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama;
  2. relevant and recent literary criticism of the primary texts; and
  3. cultural/theoretical material relating to the larger thematic approaches to Canadian literature, such as colonization, the garrison mentality, survival, settler and immigrant experiences, and/or regionalism.
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any second-year English literature course, the student should be able to

  1. use with increased proficiency the skills of literary analysis taught in first-year English courses;
  2. recognize the significance of literary and non-literary or cultural context of a work being studied, such as the biographical, historical, mythological or philosophical context;
  3. read critically and use in essays secondary sources, such as criticism and other texts by the same author, as an aid to comprehending the primary text(s) being studied;
  4. read critically and independently works or aspects of works not discussed in class; and
  5. formulate a thesis on a given subject in one or more specific works, and to develop this thesis using suitable textual evidence.

Upon completion of English 2101, the student should also have a deeper understanding of

  1. some of the wide variety of themes and focuses in Canadian writing, such as immigrant experiences, multiculturalism, hybridity and ethnicity, postcolonialism, regional diversity, and relationships with the natural environment;
  2. some of the wide variety of critical approaches to Canadian writing, such as postcolonial, gender/queer theoretical, ecocritical, postmodern, and critical race approaches;
  3. the shifting nature of Canadian identity and of the Canadian literary canon; and
  4. the positioning of Canadian literary culture(s) in global contexts. 
Means of Assessment
  1. A minimum of two formal academic essays, with a combined value of at least 40% of the course grade.
  2. A minimum of 80% of the course grade will be based on writing assignments (essays, essay-based exams, journals, paragraphs).  A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.
  3. A minimum of 15% of the course grade will be based on in-class writing (essay or exam).

According to the College Evaluation Policy, the final grade awarded to each student shall consist of at least three separate assessments. No single assessment will be weighted at more than 40% of the final course grade.

Textbook Materials

Texts will vary depending on the instructor, and may include shorter readings compiled in custom course packs.

Three sample reading lists follow:

Sample List 1

  • Dickinson, Here Is Queer
  • Atwood, Power Politics
  • Herbert, Fortune and Men's Eyes
  • Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen
  • MacDonald, Fall on Your Knees
  • Coursepack including relevant critical articles and shorter primary texts

Sample List 2

  • Moodie, Roughing It in the Bush
  • Wilson, The Innocent Traveller
  • Ross, As For Me and My House
  • Atwood, The Journals of Susanna Moodie
  • MacLeod, The Lost Salt Gift of Blood
  • Heble, Pennee, and Struthers, New Contexts of Canadian Criticism

Sample List 3

  • Wilson, The Innocent Traveller
  • Robinson, Monkey Beach
  • Ross, As For Me and My House
  • Campbell, Halfbreed
  • Lai, Salt Fish Girl
  • Coursepack including relevant critical articles and shorter primary texts

Any two university-transfer first-year English literature courses, or one university-transfer first-year English literature course and one university-transfer first-year Creative Writing or English writing course.