Representations of Individual and Community Health in Literature

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
ENGL 3180
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is for students from any discipline who wish to explore through literature a variety of individual, social, cultural, and interdisciplinary perspectives on health-related experiences. The literary readings may include a variety of forms such as fiction, drama, poetry, or life writing, and the issues considered may include topics related to community, mental and/or physical health through different time periods or cultural contexts. Readings will include theory/criticism relevant to the course focus.
Course Content

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

  1. Students are presumed to have had first-year level instruction and experience in writing critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor.
  3. Students are required to incorporate into their oral and written coursework secondary source materials which may include biographical information, literary criticism or theory, unassigned texts by the author under study, relevant cultural or intellectual history, or other aesthetic works such as music or visual art.

Readings and topics vary with each instructor's presentation of a course, but all course materials are consistent with the objectives  and outcomes for this course.           

 Additionally, in English 3180

  1. The literary readings may include a diversity of genres such as drama, fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction, and life writing;
  2. Literary readings may be complemented by related readings from non-literary perspectives, such as journalistic essays or scholarly articles which will encourage students to examine health-related issues or experiences from the perspective of a range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, criminology, nursing, or medicine.
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. lecture/discussion;
  2. group work;
  3. peer review;
  4. independent research;
  5. instructor feedback on students’ work;
  6. individual consultation; and
  7. presentation (individual or group).
Means of Assessment
  1. A minimum of two academic essays and a final exam.
  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.
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any third-year English literature course, students should be able to

  1. read and analyze literary texts with increased skill and insight;
  2. integrate their understanding of literature into an evolving awareness of relevant cultural and historical contexts and perspectives;
  3. perceive connections among literary texts across genres, historical periods, and/or cultural contexts;
  4. conduct independent research to supplement the course material and integrate this information into course assignments;
  5. write different kinds of literary analysis, such as thematic, technical, or theoretical.

Upon completion of English 3180, students should have

  1. analyzed the use of literary techniques and forms to describe specific experiences related to community, mental and/or physical health;
  2. deepened their understanding of the community, mental and/or physical experiences described in the course readings;
  3. understood from this literature the dynamic and evolving nature of cultural attitudes towards particular aspects of health;
  4. formed their opinions and arguments about health issues by drawing from a variety of perspectives such as literary, clinical, sociological, psychological, economic, and public policy points of view;
  5. broadened their understanding of the diverse ways people experience their communities, minds and bodies.
Textbook Materials

The following reading lists represent two possible versions of this course:

1. Changing attitudes toward mental health through Western history

A coursepack including selections from Greek mythology, the Bible, and medieval literature, as well as non-literary essays and articles.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet

Goethe, J.W. von. The Sorrows of Young Werther

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar

Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


2.  Environmental Health

Boyd, David, ed.  Northern Wild: Best Contemporary Canadian Nature Writing.

Glotfelty, Chery and Harold Fromm, eds.  The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology.    

Kingsolver, Barbara.  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Maracle, Lee.  Ravensong.

Penn, Briony.  A Year on the Wild Side.

Course pack of selected poems, essays and criticism



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, AND a minimum of 45 credit hours


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Athabasca University (AU) AU ENGL 3XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ENGL 3XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC ENGL 2XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR ENGL 2XX (3) 2015/05/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ENGL 3XXX (3) 2009/09/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG ENGL 2XXX (3) 2009/09/01 to 2011/08/31
Langara College (LANG) LANG ENGL 2XXX (3) 2011/09/01 to -
Northern Lights College (NLC) No credit 2015/01/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 376 (3) 2009/09/01 to 2011/08/31
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 3XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 376 (4) 2011/09/01 to 2014/12/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 3XXX (3) 2011/09/01 to 2014/12/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 2XX (3) 2009/09/01 to 2010/08/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 3XXX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 2XXX (3) 2010/09/01 to 2014/12/31
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU ENGL 3XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ENGL 3XX (3) 2009/09/01 to 2011/08/31
University Canada West (UCW) No credit 2015/01/01 to 2016/12/31
University Canada West (UCW) No credit 2011/09/01 to 2014/12/31
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ENGL 3XX (3) 2017/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ENGL 3rd (3) 2015/01/01 to 2021/04/30
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ENGL 2nd (3) 2015/01/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 3XX (3) 2011/09/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 2XX (3) 2009/09/01 to 2011/08/31
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GE 1XX (3) 2009/09/01 to 2011/08/31
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ENGL 2XX (3) 2011/09/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENGL 250 (1.5) 2011/09/01 to 2015/04/30
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENGL 250 (1.5) 2009/09/01 to 2011/08/31
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENGL 3XX (1.5) 2015/05/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.