Honours/Graduate Courses




*400-level courses are intended for advanced English majors and English honours students only.  For admission to the courses, students must have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours and have an average of at least 70% both overall and in English courses.  They must also have successfully completed a minimum of 18 credit hours in ENGL courses, at least 3 hours of which must be at the 300-level.*

**Note: 4XX aa-ZZ will be restricted to students formally accepted to the Honours program or permission of the department head.**

Winter 2020


11160/70   ENGL 415AH/803AH-C01   The Body in 17th Century Literature

Dr. Jan Purnis – M   2:30-5:15

Using a number of theoretical approaches, we will examine literal and figurative representations of the body and its functions in literary and medical texts from the early modern period, a period in which dissection of cadavers and the development of new technologies shaped transformations in medical theory.  We will discuss how these representations reflect cultural values and work to naturalize ideology.  We will consider discourses of gender, madness, deformity, the supernatural, ethnicity, politics, religion, and colonialism in depictions of the mind-body relationship, bodily violence and corpses, diseased bodies, starving bodies, maternal bodies, and foreign bodies.


11162/63 & 11172/73  ENGL 465AA/813AD & 465CA/813CA-001  Fixed Form Poetry & CW Fixed Form Poetry

Dr. Medrie Purdham – T   2:30-5:15

In this hybridized honours/graduate course, literature and creative writing students will work collaboratively on discovering the particular ways in which form drives poetic meaning.  Poets often relate that by submitting themselves to the discipline of form, they often discover new kinds of poetic freedom.  They may discern a new way of addressing the tradition from which their form derives or a new way of shaping thought so as to deliver exciting varieties of introspection. 

Many contemporary poets use form subversively.  They may challenge traditional assumptions about love, for example, that are conventionally expressed in sonnets.  They may challenge notions of the heroic or the epic that have come to seem implicit in blank verse.  Form becomes, for the contemporary poet, a kind of intimate antagonist; it governs the content of the poem even when it is in tension with it.  In this course, students will master the “nuts and bolts” of metre and versification from a number of theoretical and practical perspectives, and will learn a wide variety of traditional forms while acquainting themselves with examples of these forms.


11161/71  ENGL 430AH/806AH-C01   Liberalism/Social Justice Novel

Dr. Alex MacDonald– T  7:00-9:45 pm

This course will consider four novels of the 1840s and 1850s, novels which responded to and protested against the vision of a “liberal utopia” to be brought by industrial capitalism. 


11164/13047  ENGL 480AH/817AH-001   Rhetoric of Apology in Canada

Dr. Michelle Coupal – R   2:30-5:15

This course examines the rhetoric of government apologies in Canada through the lens of its national mythologies and narratives of forgiving and forgetting state policies that defined, as Sherene Razack says, “who belongs and who does not belong to the nation.”  We will examine the ideological underpinnings of apologies through historical injustices such as the Indian residential school system, the Komagata Maru incident, the Japanese-Canadian internment, and the Chinese head tax, as well as the more recent proliferating apologies of Justin Trudeau.  By deconstructing the rhetorical tropes and strategies of apologies, we will query what is at stake in the nation’s approach to public speech acts that express regret while ameliorating and rewriting Canada as a just nation.