Bring Your Love of Learning to VIU English

The Department of English welcomes Love of Learning students to its courses.  Our small classes are largely discussion-based, and benefit tremendously from having participants from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.  Most courses are designed to assume little prior knowledge of a specific era or topic, as our undergraduate students are required to take courses in a wide range of periods and literary movements.   

Click here to see our “Courses” tab for more information on the wide range of courses on offer in 2017-2018.

For more information or to register, click here to visit VIU’s Love of Learning website.

Register Now for Spring 2018

We have literature courses for everyone…

English 220: Canadian Literature in Context
The Place of Character and the Character of Place
Tuesdays 6-9pm       
Professor Deborah Torkko

This course will chart the ways in which land becomes metaphor in a wide range of fictional settings – islands, forests, mountains, glaciers, prairie fields, rivers, and urban centres. We will consider the ways in which place has character and exerts itself on characters. We will explore the questions these texts raise concerning the relationships between land, place, memory, and culture; between history and folklore; and between the real and the magically real. Canada’s novelists are storytellers who explore the history, geography, and imagination of a country, and we will consider how their stories create an impression of place and provide an alternative map – a literary map – of Canada.

English 335: Survey of Canadian Literature
The 20th Century Canadian Novel
Monday/Wednesday 10-11:30am   
Professor Toni Smith 

Murder in claustrophobic small towns; the impact of a wartime explosion in a Canadian harbor; shape-shifting human-animal-gods; sweeping sagas of transatlantic journeys; and dystopic imaginary futures…Canadian novels have it all.

This course will trace the social, political, and literary developments of the 20th century through the constantly changing Canadian novel.  From Western expansion at the turn of the century, to the literary nationalism and Modernism of the post-World War II period; from the post-modernism and feminism of the 1960s and 1970s, to the explosion of multicultural, diasporic, and First Nations writing in more recent decades, the novel has adapted both its form and content in a multitude of ways throughout the century.

English 346: Topics in 17th Century Literature
John Milton’s Lost Paradise
Mondays/Wednesdays 4-5:30pm    
Professor John Lepage

This course will examine seventeenth-century literature through the poetry and prose of John Milton. On one level, this will be a challenge, for by any standards Milton was a maverick, and he would have stood out for his originality in any era. In other respects, Milton was both the scion of great writers of the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century (Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne) and an inspiration for his contemporaries and those to follow. The course will explore Milton’s biography – and the story of the epochal moments of seventeenth-century history – through the major poems and some short works. The centre-piece of the course will be a complete reading of Milton’s epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost, the one epic in the English language on the scale of Homer, Virgil, and Dante. 

And a variety of professional development courses…


English 203: Intermediate Academic Writing
Tuesdays/Thursdays 10-11:30am

Our course readings invite you to explore the versatility, beauty, and possibilities of language – verbal and visual – and explore how writers pay attention to the world. Drawn from readings that span diverse intellectual and cultural traditions, you will read essays about human nature and the mind; language and rhetoric; the arts; science and nature; wealth, poverty, and social class; and education, for example. You will consider how a writer’s grammatical and stylistic choices create rhetorical effect. In turn, and with attention to language, sentence construction, and essay form, you will develop, shape, and express your thinking in writing that displays your inventiveness, vivacity, and distinctive style and voice. 

English 408: Advanced Public Speaking
Mondays/Wednesdays 1-2:30pm

Speaking in public is one of the most connective, influential, and rewarding of human experiences.  Whether your plan is to sway a stadium-sized crowd, rivet a courtroom, dazzle at a business meeting, or inspire a classroom, this course will enable you to advance your speaking skills beyond the basic.  Through study of rhetorical principles and research-based best speaking practices, you will hone your writing and delivery skills.  The course will include advanced audience analysis, development of diversity and ethical skills, exploration of meeting dynamics, and application of presentation software.  As well as extensive classroom practice, you will have the opportunity to present as teams in a real-world setting.  Prepare for when it’s your turn to speak.


And so much more!  See our “Courses” tab for more detail on these and other Spring 2018 course offerings.


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