FALL 2017 – COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Course NumberCourse DescriptionProfessor
204
Business and Technical Writing
Multiple Instructors
208
Introduction to Public Speaking
Multiple Instructors
221

North American Indigenous Literature

Blended Delivery/Available Entirely Online

Carpentier
222 Travels in World Literature Ledwell-Hunt
230 Literature and Popular Culture Armstrong
231

Speculative Literature

Blended Delivery/Available Entirely Online

Doughty
240
Ways of Reading
Rout
274 Traditions and Transformations
Hagan

SPRING 2018 – COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Course NumberCourse DescriptionProfessor
 203 Intermediate Academic Writing Torkko
 204 Business and Technical Writing Multiple Instructors
 208 Introduction to Public Speaking Multiple Instructors
 220 Canadian Literature in Context Torkko
 231

Speculative Fiction (Cowichan)

Wytenbroek
 232

Children’s Literature 

Blended Delivery/Available Entirely Online

Doughty
 233
Literature and Film Armstrong
 273 Ancients and Moderns Moosa
 280
Book Club Stanley


Fall 2017 – Course Descriptions

ENGL 204: BUSINESS AND TECHNICAL WRITING

Multiple Sections

An introduction to business and technical communication skills with a focus on documents (such as letters and reports) and presentations. Topics may include planning, outlining, summarizing, presenting data, handling references, and editing. The course comprises several practical assignments, including a formal report and an oral presentation. ENGL 204 was formerly called ENGL 225; credit will not be granted for both courses.


ENGL 208: INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC SPEAKING: COMMUNICATION

Multiple Sections

An introduction to public speaking that focuses on the creation, organization, and delivery of speeches for non-dramatic purposes. It provides the rhetorical principles of effective and ethical public speaking, offers opportunities to become familiar with different speaking situations, and attempts to instil a sense of the importance of public speech. ENGL 208 was formerly called THEA 203; credit will not be granted for both courses.


ENGL 221: NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS LITERATURE

Professor Sally Carpentier

Blended Delivery; Available Entirely Online

ENGL 221 will examine the content, form, and nature of North American Indigenous literatures and their relation to oral traditions and post-contact. Through an exploration of a rich body of writers, the course will encourage an understanding of Indigenous writing as a way of acknowledging and qualifying cultural and personal experience while simultaneously representing some of the ordinary challenges, dreams, sufferings, and victories of Indigenous Peoples. Oral stories (some transcribed) will facilitate understanding of how, through these stories, traditions are maintained, renewed, and transmitted. Elders, guest lecturers, and films will also be an integral part of our educational journey.

 


ENGL 222: TRAVELS IN WORLD LITERATURE

Professor Janis Ledwell-Hunt

Quite often, we think of experiencing different cultures through culinary tourism: the joy of eating different foods. But can we also experience other cultures through the study of food refusal?

This course invites students to explore representations of eating disorders by travelling through literary texts from different parts of the world. We’ll begin in Australia, with Fiona Place’s Cardboard; move to Austria-Hungary, with Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis; land in South Africa, with J M Coetzee’s The Life and Times of Michael K; shift to Zimbabwe, with Tsitsi Dangaremba’s Nervous Conditions; and finish in France, with Marie Derrieuscq’s Pig Tales.

We will ask: What can the central motif of disordered eating tell us about different social, historical, geographical, political, colonial, and gendered contexts? Is not eating a protest or a pathology? 


ENGL 230: LITERATURE AND POPULAR CULTURE

Professor Clay Armstrong

This course will survey American literature and popular culture from the 1960s. In particular, we will explore the development of New Journalism and the Nonfiction Novel, literary forms that used the conventions of fiction to report on hard realities of the time. Popularized by people like Tom Wolfe, James Baldwin, Joan Didion, and Norman Mailer, New Journalism and the Nonfiction Novel emerged from the creative energies of the period. Among other things, this writing considers American Experience with the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, and the progress of Feminism. In addition to the Literature, students will think about how music, film, and image reflect popular culture from this incendiary decade. 


ENGL 231: SPECULATIVE LITERATURE

Professor Terri Doughty

Blended Delivery; Available Entirely Online

No orcs or hobbits here! For some, the term “fantasy” brings to mind formulaic, bloated epics set in pseudo-medieval worlds; however, contemporary fantasy explores the intersection of the fantastic and the mundane in recognizably modern settings. Just as the texts we will read play with the boundary between the real and the unreal, they also explore generic boundaries, combining elements from fantasy, science fiction, mystery, myth, folktale, and horror. As we examine this genre play, we will focus particularly on how contemporary fantasy interrogates the workings of the imagination and our constructions of reality. Readings will include works by writers such as Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, Nalo Hopkinson, Lisa Tuttle, Lev Grossman, and Jo Walton, as well as some secondary materials available on VIULearn. 


ENGL 240: WAYS OF READING

Professor Katharina Rout

Ways of Reading explores how the way we read shapes what we find in texts. Our different approaches are like lenses through which we see texts and the worlds they describe, much like different maps draw our attention to different aspects of the material or social world. Become familiar with several critical approaches and their vocabulary. Learn to apply them to novels that lend themselves to different readings: Joseph Conrad's classic Heart of Darkness and Tayeb Salih's fictional response, Season of Migration to the North, as well as Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Herta Müller's The Appointment.  The skills and awareness you will aquire in this course will make you an astute reader in whatever field you study.


ENGL 274: TRADITIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS: STORIES OF THE SEA

Professor Sandra Hagan

From tall tales to authentic accounts, the otherworldliness of the Sea has gripped the human imagination since our earliest literature.  Explore literary encounters with our world’s most alluring and alien element through traditional and contemporary novels, poems, and films.  Texts may include prose works such as Homer’s Odyssey, Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, and Kim Thúy’s Ru; poems such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Lorna Crozier’s “The Dark Ages of the Sea”; and film/television such as Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, Spielberg’s Amistad, and Michael Hirst’s Vikings.


 Spring 2018 – Course Descriptions

ENGL 203: INTERMEDIATE ACADEMIC WRITING

Professor Deborah Torkko

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.  ~~ Joan Didion

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.  ~~ Isaac Asimov

 

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. Texts may include Michael Austin, Reading the World: Ideas that Matter, 3rd ed. (Norton, 2016); Martha Kolln and Loretta Gray, Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects, 8th ed. (Pearson, 2017).

ENGL 204: BUSINESS AND TECHNICAL WRITING

Multiple sections

An introduction to business and technical communication skills with a focus on documents (such as letters and reports) and presentations. Topics may include planning, outlining, summarizing, presenting data, handling references, and editing. The course comprises several practical assignments, including a formal report and an oral presentation. ENGL 204 was formerly called ENGL 225; credit will not be granted for both courses.


ENGL 208: INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC SPEAKING: COMMUNICATION

Multiple Sections

An introduction to public speaking that focuses on the creation, organization, and delivery of speeches for non-dramatic purposes. It provides the rhetorical principles of effective and ethical public speaking, offers opportunities to become familiar with different speaking situations, and attempts to instil a sense of the importance of public speech. ENGL 208 was formerly called THEA 203; credit will not be granted for both courses.


ENGL 220: CANADIAN LITERATURE IN CONTEXT

Professor Deborah Torkko

Stories are our first maps.

                        ~~ Robert Bringhurst

 Canadian fiction has long been defined by its representation and exploration of a complex relationship between its cultural imagination and its connection with the land. This course examines a selection of texts that reveal Canada’s many geographical regions. The range of fictional settings includes Vancouver Island, the Prairies, Ontario, the North, and Atlantic Canada. We 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. Selected texts may include some of the following: Laura Moss and Cynthia Sugars, Canadian Literature in English: Texts and Contexts, Volume II; Jack Hodgins, The Invention of the World; Thomas Wharton, Icefields; Margaret Sweatman, When Alice Lay Down With Peter; Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk, Aritha Van Herk, Places Far From Ellesmere; Lee Maracle, Ravensong; Jane Urquhart, The Whirlpool; Michael Crummey, Sweetland.


ENGL 231: SPECULATIVE FICTION

Professor Lynn Wytenbroek

COWICHAN CAMPUS                         

Myths were the stories told when people first tried to make sense of the world. Today, many good fantasy writers use the structures and stories of myth to bring greater depth and meaning to their works. Starting with Star Wars: A New Hope (the very first Star Wars movie), we will look at the influence of myth on, amongst others, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (7th book in the Harry Potter series), Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea and Canadian fantasy classics Kay’s The Summer Tree and deLint’s Spirit in the Wires. Of course, these books are rich in setting, character development and other themes, so we will be looking at all the elements that make them great literature as well as truly fun reads. (At some point in the semester, we will hold a Lord of the Rings movie marathon that will be open to the rest of the university, students’ friends and family etc. where we will view the extended versions of the three movies in one day. Attendance at this event willbe optional.)


 

ENGL 232: CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Professor Terri Doughty

Blended Delivery; Available Entirely Online

Although fairy tales originally were not written for children, the fairy tale has been a constant presence in children’s literature.  Noted fairy-tale scholar Jack Zipes refers to fairy tales as memes: carriers of cultural knowledge that work like genes in shaping us. This course will look at classic fairy tales, children’s picturebook retellings of classic tales, and a range of fairy-tale fiction, both re-tellings that revise and fracture well-known tales and works that are inspired by the fairy-tale mode and form. Authors studied may include Anthony Browne, Roberto Innocenti, Jon Scieszka, Neil Gaiman, Emily Gravett, Diana Wynne Jones, Melissa Myer, and Sarah Beth Durst. There will also be a required edition of classic fairy tales and some secondary readings available on VIULearn. 


ENGL 233: LITERATURE AND FILM

Professor Clay Armstrong

Students will examine “classic” American literatures with notable film adaptations from mid-20th century and following. We will think about why the selected works have had lasting impact in academic and cultural contexts, as well as the ways that film adaptation can either enrich or confuse the overarching themes of these works. As a priority outcome, students will acquire the research tools and vocabulary to better analyze literary adaptations and the film medium. In addition to selected film criticism, primary readings may include: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and SE Hinton’s The Outsiders. Note that our class will meet in a Theater from 6-9pm on Thursday evenings.


ENGL 273: ANCIENTS AND MODERNS: Responding to the Canon

Professor Farah Moosa

In this course, we will read selected classic works from ancient Greek, Renaissance, and Victorian literature alongside twentieth and twenty-first century responses to them (primarily plays and novels). Situating our selected readings in their historical, social, and cultural context, we will learn about and use the concept of postcolonialism as a framework for our analyses. Examining how and why contemporary writers have decided to ‘write back’ to, re-vision, and or reimagine canonical works, we will discuss issues of colonialism, empire, nation-building, class, gender, race, sexuality, home, and homecoming.

We will begin by looking at short excerpts from Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey along with William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. We will then watch Julie Taymor’s film The Tempest and read an English translation of Aimé Césaire’s play Une Tempête. Next, we will examine Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe alongside Robert Zemeckis’s film Cast Away and J.M. Coetzee’s novel Foe. Lastly, we will read Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre together with Jean Rhys’s novel Wide Sargasso Sea (a response and prequel to Brontë’s text).

 Required texts:

  • Homer, excerpts from The Odyssey (available online)
  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest
  • Aimé Césaire, A Tempest (available through course reserves)
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • J. M. Coetzee, Foe
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea

ENGL 280: BOOK CLUB--CANADIAN COMICS: REBELS AND HEROES

Professor Marni Stanley

“Did your mother ever tear up your comic books?  Did you ever receive warnings about how comic books were going to ruin your mind?  Were you given lecture about how comics were cheap trash put out by evil men?”  Robert Crumb

 

Let English 280 introduce guilt free comic book reading. Graphic Narrative is the general term for comic books, graphic novels, graphic memoir and reporting, and other genres within the art. It is narrative that uses both text and image.   If we accept that comics are a language then the images must be read and not just received.  One way to do that is by looking at both the page and its component parts—panels, balloons, lettering, composition within the frame, & sound effects. The narrative of the graphic text is created by the interaction of language and the visual.  In this course we will focus on Canadian comics as both a literary form and a cultural production.

This course may include the following Canadian Comic Makers: Seth, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, Chester Brown, Michel Rabagliatti, Julie Doucet, Patti LaBoucane-Benson, Jeff Lemire, Michael Cho, Guy Deslisle


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