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 Winter 2023 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 either to the browse classes tool or to the course catalogue.
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. Works studied will include at least one of the major genres (fiction, non-fiction, poetry or drama), and at least one other type, drawn from another of the major genres or from less traditional sources, such as graphic novels, film or literary work in other media.
|Jason Bourget||050||In Person||
In this section of ENGL 1102, we will explore how speculative fiction challenges what our culture tells us about ourselves and others. Using texts drawn primarily from science fiction and weird fiction, but also incorporating examples of horror and fantasy into our discussion, we will examine how the philosophical and political assumptions of our culture structure our beliefs about gender and sexuality, race and class, language and intelligence, and the meaning of life and death. While we have this discussion, we will also note how these speculative forms of literature, like science itself, encourage a habit of mind which demands that we always question commonly accepted “truths” about the world around us.
|Nancy Earle||007, 008||In Person||
Friendship has been described as “an institutionless institution.” As the literary critic Gregory Jusdanis observes, friendship is “a legally, religiously, and economically inconsequential affiliation. There is no fixed beginning or end of friendship, no rite celebrating its appearance, and no covenant sealing its existence.” At its most basic level, all friendship seems to demand of us is our empathy—our willingness to imagine and engage with the thoughts and feelings of another—and our time. For these reasons, Jusdanis intriguingly suggests, friendship may in fact have a lot on common with the act of reading.
The required readings will include the following books, which will be available for purchase through the campus bookstore: Trainor, Ledi; Forster, A Passage to India; Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek; and Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You?
|Elizabeth McCausland||003, 004||In Person||
This section of ENGL 1102 can count as a relevant course for the Associate of Arts Specialization in Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies. It is open to all students. We will consider the connections among family, gender, and sexuality. How do the families we are born into shape our understandings of gender identity and gender roles? As ideas about gender and sexuality change, how do people adapt family roles and structures in response? We will begin with Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, a classic British courtship novel, and move on to consider more recent texts by and about trans people and the ways they challenge and disrupt conventional ideas about family, including Torrey Peters's novel Detransition, Baby and Taylor Mac's play Hir. These texts may challenge you, whether because of Austen’s early-19th century English or because of the frank depictions of sex, gender and sexuality in Hir and Detransition, Baby. If you are not comfortable reading about these topics, considering the questions they raise with an open mind, and discussing them respectfully, this may not be the right class for you.
|Noëlle Phillips||005||In Person||The pandemic has been shocking to many of us, but living through plague is an experience shared by many throughout history. In this class we will read the literature of contagion - short stories, poems, and novels about living in a time of plague, from the Black Death to the zombie apocalypse. Fear of contagion – both literal and metaphorical – is one of the deep-seated emotions that have spurred human conflict, as well as human connections, throughout the centuries. Move from the Middle Ages to the 21st century in this class as we explore experiences of the plague and contemplate our own experiences as well. This course will include some shorter readings as well as three modern novels: Station Eleven (a flu pandemic), Blindness (a blindness pandemic), and Warm Bodies (a zombie pandemic).|
|Leni Robinson||009, 010||In Person||
Hope and Adaptation amidst the Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies
Much of the creative response to the global climate and biodiversity crises has taken the form of works set in parched or flooded post-apocalyptic and dystopian landscapes. In this course, however, we will focus on novels, short stories, and other creative works that present not only hope for addressing the political and social divisions that are inhibiting change, but also visions of a world where the crises are gradually addressed and humanity flourishes. Our reading will culminate in the study of Kim Stanley Robinson’s immensely hopeful near-future work of science fiction The Ministry for the Future (2020).
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.
|Ryan Miller||005, 006||In Person||
ENGL 1106 aims to recognize and understand a variety of literary devices and textual elements, and in so doing promotes the development of critical thinking and analysis. During the semester, we will consider three novels that represent diverse lives and compelling subject matter. These novels are Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955), Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2003), and Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998). Discussion topics will include sociopathy and identity (or “masks”); the importance of art and the humanities in an imagined hyper-corporate and STEM-centric near-future; and Indigenous identity and resistance in the context of Canada’s residential school history. Given what may be at-times discomforting subject matter, students are encouraged to briefly acquaint themselves with these titles before registering.
In this course students will read, discuss and write about poetry. The works assigned may include poems from diverse cultures, contexts and traditions, as well as from non-traditional sources, such as song lyrics or spoken word.
|001, 002||In Person||
In this class we will learn how to read poems and (hopefully!) fall in love with poetry. Along the way we will study some amazing poems: free verse, constraint-driven poems, the sonnet, the ode, erotic biblical poetry, the blues. We'll read two poetry collections by Rita Wong and Gary Snyder. We'll also watch the Canadian animated film, Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming (2016). We'll study poems from the perspective of working poets: as if we were writing them.
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.
|Janet Allwork||004, 005||Hybrid||Communication and Connection|
|Jason Bourget||050||In Person||
The Ethics of Animal Rights
|Karen Cowan||015, 016||In Person||Urban Livability|
|Nancy Earle||031, 032||In Person||The Future of Work|
|Elizabeth McCausland||024||In Person||Education|
|Noëlle Phillips||025, 026||In Person||Critical Thinking and Conspiracies|
|Leni Robinson||043, 044||In Person||The Natural Environment|
|Diane Stiles||029, 030||In Person||Environmental Solutions|
|Kim Trainor||045, 046||In Person||Climate Justice / Land Back Movement|
Admission to second-year English courses is open to all students who have taken 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.
This course is a survey of major representative works of the late 17th through the early 20th centuries, studied in the context of the dramatic shifts in British culture following the Renaissance. A significant portion of the readings will be poetry, from the Restoration, Neo-Classical, Romantic and Victorian Periods, and from the beginnings of the 20th Century Modernist era.
The Douglas College course catalogue says this course covers British literature from the Restoration Era until World War I, which probably sounds vague and meaningless to most students. But let’s think about what was happening during this time. The Restoration refers to the Restoration of the Monarchy – because England had just BEHEADED King Charles I and had a civil war. Then Charles II, the son of the executed Charles I, comes back to England from Europe and everyone’s like, “Well, I guess things are back to normal now.” But they didn’t go back to the good old days. Deeply engrained assumptions about the divine right of kings, about God, about the role of women, about sexuality, and about the superiority of whiteness were to be both reinforced and challenged over the next 300 years. And these assumptions became more complex and more vulnerable to attack as Britain turned itself into an empire, colonizing a quarter of the earth and assimilating millions of non-British folk into its commonwealth. This course will give you a taste of the important literary eras and genres of this time period, and it will also show you how ideas about equality, authority, sexuality, gender, art, and nature developed and shifted in complicated ways. We will be reading some of the established canonical authors (the “dead white guys”) but also looking at some authors – women, people of colour – who have had far less attention paid to them.