Summer 2019 ENGL 376

K. Smitka

Prerequisite: *6 of junior English, or *3 of junior English plus WRS 101. Note: not to be taken by students with credit in ENGL 372.

Course Description: This course focuses on works of historical metafiction, a genre that reflects on how historical details work to authenticate fictional narratives, while historians rely on narrative techniques to describe real events. The writers we will study, which may include Dionne Brand, Timothy Findley, Daphne Marlatt, and Armand Garnet Ruffo, offer postmodern interrogations of history that challenge the boundaries between the real and the representational. Novels and poetry written in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s will be contextualized within Canada’s shift away from a Eurocentric approach to immigration, as seen in the 1971 multiculturalism policy, the 1976 Immigration Act, and the 1988 Multiculturalism Act. This historical context will help draw into focus how these postcolonial texts complicate or reject the quest for a unified Canadian identity promoted by the cultural nationalism of the Massey era (the 1950s and 1960s).