This course offers a wide-ranging study of literary works in the comic tradition. Students will read from a variety of genres—fiction, drama, poetry, essays, and cartoons—and view examples from T.V., film, and the Internet.
All second-year English literature courses share the following features:
- Students are presumed to be proficient in the writing of critical essays on literary subjects.
- Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor or discussed in class.
- 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.
- Readings and topics will vary with each instructor’s presentation of a course; however, all course materials are consistent with the objectives/outcomes stated above (in section “M”).
In English 2315, students will examine:
- what makes a literary text (or other modes such as jokes, cartoons, T.V. shows, or film) humorous;
- ways in which comedy is shaped by its historical and cultural contexts, and, conversely, the transcultural nature of some comic elements which seem unaffected by time, place, or language;
- ways in which comic writing is used to address social, psychological, political, and ethical questions.
Methods of Instruction
Some or all of the following methods will be used:
- Group work;
- Peer editing;
- Instructor feedback on students’ work; and
- Individual consultation.
Means of Assessment
- A minimum of two formal academic essays, with a combined value of at least 40% of the course grade.
- 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.
- A minimum of 15% of the course grade will be based on in-class writing (essay or exam).
Upon completion of any second-year English literature course, the student should
- be able to use with increased proficiency the skills of literary analysis taught in first-year English courses;
- be able to recognize the significance of the literary and non-literary or cultural context of a work being studied, such as the biographical, historical, mythological or philosophical context;
- be able to 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;
- be able to read critically and independently works or aspects of works not discussed in class; and
- be able to 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 2315, the student should also have deepened her/his understanding of
- writers’ use of language and structure to create comic effects;
- influences of cultural and historical contexts in shaping comic writing;
- the differences between comedy and tragedy;
- the differences between “high” and “low” comedy;
- the characteristics of various sub-genres within the comic tradition, such as social satire, parody, black humour, and romantic comedy;
- critical theories of humour and comedy.
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.
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.
Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system.
A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.
For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.
If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.