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Representations of Individual and Community Health in Literature

Course Code: ENGL 3180
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: English
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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.

course prerequisites

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

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

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.