Graduate Courses

Please consult the University Calendar for a full listing of our graduate-level ENGL courses, not all of which are offered in a given year.

fall 2024

ENGL 579 LEC A1: Gender Studies
Debating Gender: Feminist Poetry before 1800
K. Binhammer

Wife and servant are the same
But only differ in the name

– “To the Ladies,” Lady Mary Chudleigh

Poetry by women and non-binary writers before the advent of the modern feminist movement, such as Lady Chudleigh’s “To the Ladies,” often contains surprisingly spirited articulations of sentiments we now identify as feminist. This course focusses on this rich and diverse archive of early English poetry, from Old English laments to 17th-century “querelles des femmes” dialogues to 18th-century Enlightenment heroic couplets to 1790s equal rights epistles. Women writer’s poetic muses frequently erupt as responses to misogynist texts; for instance, Lady Chudleigh’s longer poem, “The Ladies Defence” was occasioned by her reading a misogynist wedding sermon. In considering the dialectical nature of feminism and patriarchy, we will read poems by men, women and unknown genders that debate the role and nature of women. We will focus on gender and genre, considering what poetry offers writers who are searching for a language to express the unsayable within dominant culture.  Why did women often choose to write poetry to respond to misogynist prose? What can we learn about the history of gender, patriarchy and feminism (and how it is both similar and different from our current moment) by reading poetry? We will encounter a diversity of writers, from aristocratic to laboring class, from religious to secular, from married to single, including “Anon”, Gwerful Mechain, Geoffrey Chaucer, Aemilia Lanyer, Rachel Speght, Alexander Pope, Mary Leapor, Jonathan Swift, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and Mary Collier. We will cover a range of topics, including heteronormativity, sexual assault, colonialism, slavery, and sex work. Students can develop research creation, public humanities, or digital humanities projects to amplify feminist voices of the past or they can research literary historical and critical essays for the class projects.

ENGL 585 LEC A1: Indigenous Texts
Joy is art is an ethics of resistance--Indigenous Literatures in North America
J. Abel

In this grad class, we'll be thinking through Indigenous Literatures in relation to Billy-Ray Belcourt's theorizations of NDN joy that he discusses in A History of My Brief Body. Our task will in part be to re-think and re-imagine canonical Indigenous texts like Maria Campbell's Halfbreed and Basil Johnston's Indian School Days within and against the frameworks of joy set out by Belcourt, and also to account for more recent writings that approach joy from a much different position, including Tenille Campbell's Nedi Nezu, Molly Cross-Blanchard's Exhibitionist, Tanya Tagaq's Split Tooth, and Joshua Whitehead's Making Love With the Land. My hope is that this grad course will give students the necessary contemporary and historical footholds to continue forward in the field of Indigenous Literary Studies and to draw attention to a particularly important discussion in the field. We will also be reading excerpts from Daniel Heath Justice's Why Indigenous Literatures Matter as well as various academic articles throughout the semester that will provide further context to these ongoing dialogues.

ENGL 680 LEC A1: Post-Colonial Texts
Queer Freedom in Caribbean Diasporic Narratives
M. Bucknor

Since the mid-twentieth century, Caribbean writers and artists have engaged in forms of literary activism through their representations and critiques of sexism, homophobia, and transphobia within the Caribbean and its diasporas. These writers not only document and narrativize aspirations towards queer freedom in the Caribbean and beyond, but they also provide representations that inform the tactics and strategies of queer activists throughout the region. The Caribbean, especially through the lens of local popular culture, is often understood as a place in which queerness is external to domestic conceptualizations of national sovereignty and citizenship. Put differently, queer identity is often positioned through juridical and social constructions as in tension with Caribbean postcolonial civil society. In the wake of neoliberalism and increased globalization, Canada, the United States of America and Britain have often been asylums for queer subjects seeking refuge from the Caribbean. Caribbean Diasporic literary and cultural production brings these worlds together in a way that exposes both the limits of freedom for, as well as the “accommodations” of, queer subjects in both regions. Like Rinaldo Walcott’s Queer Returns, which examines the relationship between multiculturalism, diaspora, and queer subjectivities, this course asks how do narratives of belonging and sexual politics in the Caribbean diasporas articulate modes of freedom beyond the nation-state? How do Caribbean diasporic narratives help to complicate our understandings of queer subjects in both the Caribbean and its diasporas? What complexities surround the matrices of sexuality, race, ethnicity and national belonging for queer Caribbean diasporic subjects?

Winter 2025

ENGL 635 LEC B1: Early Modern Texts
C. Sale

ENGL 673 LEC B1: Victorian Texts
E. Kent

ENGL 693 LEC B1: Literary Genres
J. Rak

Previous Offerings

2023-24 Fall and Winter Term Courses

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