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ENG English Courses

| Course Winter Timetable |


The 100-series courses are designed to increase the students' skills in interpretation and effective writing, and are open to all students who have standing in no more than one full course in English. ENG 100H1 is a course in general writing skills relevant to a wide range of university subject areas. The Department does not permit enrolment in ENG 100H1 after the first week of classes; no student may change sections after the first week of classes. Only one of JEF 100Y1, ENG 110Y1, 120Y1, and 140Y1 can be used in fulfillment of a Specialist, Major, or Minor Program. JEF 100Y1 offers an acquaintance with the major works of various Western literary traditions in English translation. ENG 110Y1 explores the nature of narrative writing in a variety of fictional and non-fictional, poetic, and cinematic forms. ENG 120Y1 and 140Y1 emphasize the development of analytical and essay-writing skills and build the acquaintance with major literary forms and conventions that students need in more advanced English courses: ENG 120Y1 approaches the diversity of literature in English historically, dealing with works from many different periods; ENG 140Y1 approaches this diversity more geographically, focusing on contributions made to modern and contemporary literature in English in various areas of the world. Students with fewer than four full course credits may enrol in ENG 201Y1 or 202Y1 provided they enrol in one of ENG 110Y1, 120Y1 or 140Y1 as a co-requisite. ENG 100H1, ENG 185Y1, HUM 199Y1 may not be used to meet the requirements of any English program.

Effective Writing 39L

A course designed to improve competence in writing expository and persuasive prose for academic and other purposes. It aims to teach the principles of clear, well-reasoned prose, and their practical applications; the processes of composition (drafting, revising, final editing); the conventions of various prose forms and different university disciplines. The course does not meet the needs of students primarily seeking to develop English language proficiency. This course may not count toward any English program.

Narrative 78L

This course explores the stories that are all around us and that shape our world: traditional literary narratives such as ballads, romances, and novels, and also non-literary forms of narrative, such as journalism, movies, myths, jokes, legal judgements, travel writing, histories, songs, diaries, biographies.

Genre and Meaning 78L

An exploration of how major literary forms in poetry and prose shape both what the writer can perceive and express and how the reader receives and interprets the text. We shall consider a variety of literary genres from 1350-1940, such as comedy, elegy, satire, epic, ode, autobiography, detective story.

Literature for our Time 78L

An exploration of how twentieth-century literature responds to our world through major forms of poetry, prose, and drama in texts drawn from a variety of national literatures. At least nine authors, such as: Eliot, Frost, Heaney, Page, Plath, Rich, Wayman, Walcott, Yeats, Faulkner, Gordimer, Joyce, Morrison, Munro, Naipaul, Rushdie, White, Woolf; Beckett, Highway, O’Neill, Shaw, Soyinka, Stoppard.

The Study of Literature 52L

See “Academic Bridging Program”
Only for students registered in the Academic Bridging Program. This course may not count toward any English program.

First Year Seminar 52S

Undergraduate seminar that focuses on specific ideas, questions, phenomena or controversies, taught by a regular Faculty member deeply engaged in the discipline. Open only to newly admitted first-year students. It may serve as a distribution requirement course; see page 40. This course may not count toward any English program.

The Western Tradition 78L

An introduction to literature through major works of the Western literary tradition. What constitutes a literary “classic”? How have the great concerns of the Western tradition - human nature, its place in society, its mythmaking, its destiny - been represented in literature? These and other questions are examined by reference to 11-12 works, from ancient times to the twentieth century, by such authors as: Homer, Sophocles, Ovid, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Molière, Austen, Dostoevski, Kafka, Camus, Beckett and Márquez. (A joint course offered by the Departments of English and French; see also JEF100Y1 in the French program listings.)
Exclusion: WLD100Y1


200-series courses are open to students who have obtained standing in one full 100-series ENG or JEF course, or in at least four full courses in the Faculty. Students without this prerequisite may enrol in ENG 201Y1 or 202Y1 if they are concurrently enrolled in any of ENG 110Y1, 120Y1, 140Y1, or JEF 100Y1. Students in a Specialist, Major, or Minor program in English are required to take either ENG 201Y1 or 202Y1. Students should note the special prerequisite for ENG 269Y1 and should consult the Department's Brochure for instructions about applying for this course.

The Bible and English Literature 78L

An introductory study of the Bible’s influence on literature in English. Selections from the Bible, Milton, Blake, Eliot. Other works to be chosen by the instructor.

Reading Poetry 78L

An introduction to poetry through a close reading of texts, focusing on its traditional forms, themes, techniques, and uses of language; its historical and geographical range; and its twentieth-century diversity.
Co-requisite: For students with fewer than four full courses, one of ENG110Y1/ENG120Y1/ENG140Y1/JEF100Y1

Major British Writers 78L

Lectures and tutorials on the essential and influential texts that have helped ground our English literary heritage. Poetry, drama and fiction by at least fourteen authors such as Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Bunyan, Dryden, Congreve, Pope, Swift, Fielding, Austen, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Dickens, George Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, T.S. Eliot.
Co-requisite: For students with fewer than four full courses, one of ENG110Y1/ENG120Y1/ENG140Y1/JEF100Y1

The Short Story 39L

A introduction to fiction through short stories of various kinds, written mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries. Authors such as Hawthorne, Poe, James, Conrad, Kipling, Joyce, Lawrence, Mansfield, Faulkner, Hemingway, Singer, Gallant.

The Short-Story Collection 39L

A study of interrelated short-story collections written and put together by such authors as Kipling, Joyce, Lawrence, Hemingway, Mansfield, Salinger, Roth, Laurence, Faulkner, O’Connor, Gallant.

The Canadian Short Story 39L

A study of Canadian short fiction in English since its beginnings. A wide variety of regions, periods, styles, and writers is considered. Works by authors such as Callaghan, Ross, Laurence, Gallant, Munro, Buckler, Hood, Hodgins, and Atwood are included.

Twentieth-Century Canadian Fiction 78L

The vitality of modern and contemporary Canadian fiction is acclaimed both nationally and internationally. This course examines the work of writers who have achieved world-wide recognition as well as others who have added significantly to our knowledge of ourselves and our country. Twelve or more works studied.

Shakespeare 78L

About twelve plays by Shakespeare representing the different periods of his career and the different genres he worked in (comedy, history, tragedy). Such plays as: Romeo and Juliet; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Richard II; Henry IV, Parts I and II; As You Like It, Twelfth Night; Measure for Measure; Hamlet; King Lear; Antony and Cleopatra; The Tempest. Non-dramatic poetry may be included.

Canadian Drama 39L

Canadian plays, with emphasis on major playwrights and on developments since 1940, but with attention also to the history of the theatre in Canada.

Twentieth-Century Biography (formerly ENG323Y1) 36L

An introduction to the varieties of biography in this century. Issues such as the nature of biographical sources, the aims of the biographer, the difference between biography and autobiography, and the bias of the biographer are discussed. Figures such as Wilde, Russell, Woolf, Plath, Lennon, Layton, MacEwen may be included.

Major Women Writers 78L

A study of at least eight and not more than twelve major women writers. The course includes works of poetry and fiction; drama and non-fiction may also be represented.

Children’s Literature 39L

An historical and critical study of poetry, fiction, and drama written for or appropriated by children. Works by at least twelve authors such as Bunyan, Defoe, Stevenson, Carroll, Twain, Milne, Tolkien, Norton, and Andersen.

Detective Fiction 39L

At least twelve works by such authors as Poe, Dickens, Collins, Doyle, Chesterton, Christie, Sayers, Van Dine, Hammett, Chandler, Faulkner, P.D. James, Rendell.

Science Fiction and Fantasy 39L

The literature of possible worlds and thought experiments. Science fiction invents or extrapolates an inner or outer cosmology from the physical, life, social, and human sciences, and fantasy animates a supernatural universe. Typical subjects include AI, alternate histories, holocaust, space-time travel, strange species, theories of everything, utopias or dystopias.

Science Fiction and Fantasy: Film (formerly ENG273H1) 26L, 39P/T

Ten to twelve American films, from the 1950s to the present, by such directors as Haskin, Siegel, Kubrick, Spielberg, Reiner, Ridley Scott, Lucas, Fincher, Verhoeven.

Old English Language and Literature 78L

Prepares students to read the oldest English literary forms in the original language. Introduces the earliest English poetry in a woman’s voice, expressions of desire, religious fervour, and the agonies of war. Texts, written 680 - 1100, range from the epic of Beowulf the dragon-slayer to ribald riddles.

American Literature 78L

Introductory survey of major works in American literature. Works by about twelve authors writing in a variety of genres, including not only poetry and fiction, but also essays and slave narratives. Representative authors include Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Emerson, Harriet Jacobs, Douglass, Twain, Whitman, Dickinson, James, Wharton, Faulkner, Cather, Hurston, Eliot, Frost, Brooks, Stevens.

Canadian Literature 78L

An introductory survey of Canadian poetry, prose and drama, consisting of the work of at least twelve writers, at least one of them of Native Canadian origin. At least one third of the works date from before 1950, but attention is also given to very recent works. The course includes works by at least eight of the following: Moodie, Lampman, Leacock, Pratt, Klein, Ross, Birney, Davies, Laurence, Reaney, Munro, Atwood.

World Literatures in English 78L

A study of approximately twelve writers from diverse English-speaking cultures, for example, those of Africa, Australia, India, New Zealand, and the West Indies. Authors include at least six of the following: Achebe, Coetzee, Gordimer, Ngugi, p’bitek, Soyinka; Keneally, Stead, Stow, White; Narayan, Rao, Rushdie; Frame; Bennett, Brathwaite, Harris, Naipaul, Walcott.

Contemporary Native North American Literature 78L

Contemporary North American aboriginal writing in English. The writings are placed within the context of aboriginal cultures and living oral traditions. Attention is given to linguistic and territorial diversity. Writers may include: Paula Gunn Allen, Jeannette Armstrong, Beth Brant, Maria Campbell, Louise Erdrich, Joy Harjo, Tomson Highway, Basil Johnston, Emma LaRoque, Lee Maracle, N. Scott Momaday, Daniel David Moses, Leslie Marmon Silko.

Twentieth-Century North American Jewish Literature 78L

A survey of major texts, focusing on the relationship between genre and ethnic and national identity. Included are works of prose, poetry, drama, film, music, and other forms of popular culture by writers and artists who identified themselves, or were identified, as Jewish.

English Literature and Film 78L

At least eight literary works and a film adaptation of each focusing on a particular genre, topic, or period.

Literature and Science 78L

Study of the relations between literary and scientific representations of the world in imaginative literature as well as in texts by scientists from disciplines such as anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, cosmology, geology, linguistics, physics, and psychology. Typical topics include evolution, relativity, quantum mechanics, genetics, chaos theory, and the brain.

Literature and the Environment 78L

A study of the way writers have helped to define what constitutes “nature” and our relationship to it, in such forms as Renaissance pastoral, the Romantic lyric, and modern fiction and poetry. Examines the role of literature in creating our awareness of the “environment.” At least twelve works by writers such as Shakespeare, Marvell, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman, Dickens, Hardy, Pratt, Lawrence, Frost, Jeffers, Engel, Atwood.

Literature and Criticism: An Introduction 39L

An introduction to some central issues and concepts of literary criticism, such as the notion of literature, the relation of literature to criticism, critical analysis and evaluation, and the making of literary canons.

Writing: Purposes, Strategies, Processes 78L

The skills involved in critical thinking are also used in the process of expressing thoughts precisely, suggestively, and persuasively in writing. This course in expository writing is an intermediate-level seminar in which students who already write effectively can improve their understanding and practice of rhetorical strategy and prose style through workshops in a variety of forms and subjects.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Origins of Orientalism 78L

A survey of English literature centered on “orientalism,” the representation of the East as an exotic, other-worldly place characterized by luxury, sensuality, wealth, and depravity. Though orientalism is often thought to be a modern phenomenon, startling misrepresentations of the East are prominent in Medieval and Renaissance literature. We focus on these texts to unearth the roots of orientalism, and follow the theme into the twentieth century.

Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Literature 78L

The course also introduces students to literary theory in this field.

Modernism and Postmodernism 78L

Examination of a selection of twentieth-century literary works in the context of the two cultural movements known as Modernism and Postmodernism. Visual art, architecture, social planning, and film are also considered.

Introduction to African Canadian Literature 78L

A study of Black Canadian Literature (poetry, drama, fiction, non-fiction) from its origin in the African Slave Trade in the eighteenth century to its current flowering as the expression of immigrants, exiles, refugees, and “indigenous Africans” (whose roots are essentially “Canadian”). Pertinent theoretical works, films and recorded music are also considered.

Introduction to African Literature in English 78L

The course also introduces students to literary theory in this field.

Chinese North American Literature in English 78L

An introduction to major Chinese Canadian and Chinese American writers in English through a survey of their writings in a variety of literary forms (e.g., novel, poem, drama, essay, autobiography), this course explores representations of radical and ethnic identity in relation to issues of gender, class, and nation.

Literature and Psychoanalysis 78L

Introduction to the study of literature by reference to psychoanalysis. Literary texts are examined in the context of major ideas of psychoanalysis, e.g., the Oedipus complex, dream interpretation, the desire of the Other, stages of development, and by reference to the common concern of literature and psychoanalysis with language. Texts include psychoanalytic and literary works by such authors as Freud, Jung, Lacan, Shakespeare, Dickens and D.H. Lawrence.

Research Opportunity Program

Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. See page 40 for details.


300-series courses are open to students who have obtained standing in at least four full courses in the Faculty, at least one of which must be an ENG or JEF course. Students should note the special prerequisites for ENG 369Y1, 390Y1, and 391Y1, and they should consult the Department's Brochure for instructions about applying for these courses.

Chaucer 78L

The foundation of English literature: in their uncensored richness and range, Chaucer’s works have delighted wide audiences for over 600 years. Includes The Canterbury Tales, with its variety of narrative genres from the humorous and bawdy to the religious and philosophical, and Troilus and Criseyde, a profound erotic masterpiece.

Poetry and Prose, 1500-1600 78L

Poetry: Wyatt and Surrey, Sidney, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Spenser (The Faerie Queene, at least two Books; and the Mutabilitie Cantos), and Donne. Other poets may be added. Prose: More, Utopia; and Sidney, Defence of Poetry. Selections from at least two of: Elyot; Ascham; Hakluyt; Hooker; Lyly; Sidney, Arcadia; Nashe; and Deloney. Supplementary readings from such authors as Erasmus, Castiglione, Machiavelli, and Ariosto may be prescribed.

Poetry and Prose, 1600-1660 78L

Literature in an age of Civil War, intellectual revolution, and religious upheaval, from Donne and Jonson to Milton and Marvell. Such prose writers as Bacon, Burton, Browne and Traherne are also studied.

Poetry and Prose, 1660-1800 78L

Writers of this period grapple with questions of authority and individualism, tradition and innovation, in politics, religion, knowledge, society, and literature itself. Special attention to Dryden, Pope, Swift, Johnson, and at least six other authors.

Romantic Poetry and Prose 78L

Poetry and critical prose of Blake, W. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, P.B. Shelley, Keats; may include selections from other writers such as Crabbe, Scott, Landor, Clare, D. Wordsworth, M. Shelley, De Quincey.

Victorian Poetry and Prose 78L

Writers (such as Darwin, Tennyson, Browning, Wilde, Nightingale, Christina Rossetti, Kipling) respond to crisis and transition: the Industrial Revolution, the Idea of Progress, and the “Woman Question”; conflicting claims of liberty and equality, empire and nation, theology and natural selection; the Romantic inheritance, Art-for-Art’s-Sake, Fin de siècle, and “Decadence.”

Fiction before 1832 78L

A study of major and minor works of fiction, illustrating the emergence of prose fiction as a genre recognized in both a literary and a commercial sense. Authors studied include: Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Scott, and Austen.

Fiction, 1832-1900 78L

Exploring the social and political dilemmas of a culture in transition, this course studies such topics as the comic art of Dickens, Trollope, and Thackeray, the Gothicism of the Brontës, the crisis of religious faith in George Eliot, and the powerful moral fables of Hardy. Students will read 10-12 novels.

Fiction, 1900-1960 78L

At least twelve works, including one or more by each of James, Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, and Faulkner.

British Fiction Since 1960 39L

At least six works by at least four contemporary British novelists, such as Beckett, Burgess, Fowles, Golding, Lessing, Spark, Thomas.

Drama Before 1558 39L

A study of medieval English drama. Works include the Corpus Christi Cycle; Mary Magdalene; Castle of Perseverance, Mankind, Everyman; plays by Henry Medwall and John Redford; at least two other plays.

Drama to 1642 78L

English drama from its beginnings to the closing of the public theatres during the English Civil War: medieval plays; Tudor interlude; Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline history, tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy, and romance; special attention to Shakespeare (reflecting the range of his career) and his contemporaries, particularly Marlowe and Jonson.

Drama, 1660-1800 39L

At least twelve plays, including works by Dryden, Wycherley, Congreve, and their successors, chosen to demonstrate the modes of drama practised during the period, the relationship between these modes and that between the plays and the theatres for which they were designed. (Offered in alternate years)

Modern Drama 78L

A minimum of twenty representative modern plays, one or more by at least five of Beckett, Churchill, O’Casey, O’Neill, Pinter, Shaw, Stoppard, Synge, Williams, Yeats; background readings from other dramatic literatures.

Drama in English Since 1960 39L

At least ten plays by at least six contemporary dramatists, such as Pinter, Albee, Stoppard, Orton, Bond, Storey, Mercer, Griffiths, Shaffer, Shepard, Sackler, Terry.

Poetry, 1900-1960 78L

Special study of Hopkins, Yeats, Pound, Eliot, and Stevens; selections from other poets.

Poetry in English Since 1960 39L

Works by at least six contemporary poets, such as Dickey, Ginsberg, Heaney, Howard, Hughes, Larkin, Lowell, Plath, Warren.

Early Canadian Literature 39L

Writing in English Canada before 1914, from a variety of genres such as: the novel, poetry, short stories, exploration and settler accounts, nature writing, criticism, First Nations cultural production. (Offered in alternate years)

Modern Canadian Poetry 78L

Fifteen or more poets from the 20th century, at least six to be chosen from Pratt, F.R. Scott, A.J.M. Smith, Birney, Layton, Livesay, Klein, Avison, Purdy, Souster, Reaney, Page, Atwood, Webb. (Offered in alternate years)

Topics in Canadian Literature 39L

Topics and issues in Canadian writing from its beginnings, covering a variety of genres. Topics vary from year to year; details are listed in the departmental brochure. Topics may include: ethnic identity, periodical writing, forms of narrative, the individual and the community, realism and symbolism, nationalism and culture.

American Literature Before 1880 78L

A study of American writing before 1880, including works by at least five authors from the following list: Emerson, Cooper, Poe, Stowe, Melville, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Fuller, Whitman, Dickinson, James.

American Literature, 1880-1960 78L

A study of American writing between 1890 and 1960, including works by at least five authors from the following list: James, Twain, Wharton, Dreiser, Dos Passos, Cather, Williams, Stein, Hemingway, Faulkner, Frost, Welty, Stevens, A. Miller.

American Fiction Since 1960 39L

At least six works by at least four contemporary American novelists, such as Bellow, Doctorow, Hawkes, Mailer, Nabokov, Percy, Pynchon, Updike, Vonnegut.

Contemporary Theory and Criticism 78L

Major issues and movements in the theory of literature and literary criticism, with emphasis on the 20th century. Among the movements studied are varieties of formal, psychological, and moral criticism and theory, feminist criticism, structuralism and post-structuralism. Authors studied may include such figures as Richards, Leavis, Brooks, Frye, Trilling, Barthes, Bloom, Eagleton, Barbara Johnson.

History of the English Language 78L

English from King Alfred’s ninth-century Germanic to many-voiced present-day English, dominating popular culture, science, diplomacy, and business throughout the world. Specific texts show how sociopolitical history changes and varies this language. Topics include semantics, standardization, syntax, and vocabulary.

Creative Writing 52S

Restricted to students who in the opinion of the Department show special aptitude for writing poetry, fiction, or drama. (For application procedure, see Department Brochure)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Individual Studies TBA

A scholarly project chosen by the student and supervised by a member of the staff. The form of the project and the manner of its execution are determined in consultation with the supervisor. All project proposals should be submitted by June 1. Proposal forms are available from the Department offices.
Exclusion: ENG490Y1
Prerequisite: Three courses in English

Individual Studies (Creative) TBA

A project in creative writing chosen by the student and supervised by a member of the staff. The form of the project and the manner of its execution are determined in consultation with the supervisor. All project proposals should be submitted by June 1. Proposal forms are available from the Department offices.
Prerequisite: Three courses in English, including ENG369Y1

Independent Experiential Study Project

An instructor-supervised group project in an off-campus setting. See page 40 for details.


With the exception of ENG 490Y1, 400-series courses are open to students who have obtained standing in at least nine full courses in the Faculty, including at least three full ENG or JEF courses. These advanced courses normally presuppose earlier study in the field, and in some cases specific prerequisites are indicated. Except for ENG 490Y1, courses in this series are taught in a seminar format, enrolment being limited to 20 students. Not all 400-series courses are offered every year; students should consult the Department's Brochure for course descriptions and deadlines. Students who require a 400-series course to satisfy their program requirements will have priority in the first round of registration for these courses. Those who plan to take ENG 490Y1 should consult the Department's Brochure for instructions about applying.

Beowulf and Other Old English Poetry 52S

Klaeber, ed., Beowulf. Other texts to be selected. (Offered in alternate years with ENG401Y1)
Exclusion: ENG480Y1
Prerequisite: Three courses in English, including ENG240Y1

Studies in Medieval Literature 52S

Offered in alternate years with ENG400Y1.
Prerequisite: Three courses in English, including ENG240Y1 or 300Y1

407H1/408H1 Studies in an Individual Writer, Pre-1800 26S

Studies in an Individual Writer, Post-1800 26S

Studies in an Individual Canadian Writer 26S

Studies in Renaissance Literature 52S

Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature 52S

Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature 52S

Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature 52S

Studies in Renaissance Literature 26S

Studies in Seventeenth-Century Literature 26S

Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature 26S

Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature 26S

Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature 26S

History of Literary Criticism 52S

Introduction to the work of the major figures in literary criticism from Plato to the mid-20th century. Topics include the evaluation and interpretation of literature, theories of the imagination, conceptions of genre and style, the social and historical context of literature. Among the authors will be five of the following: Plato, Aristotle, Sidney, Johnson, Coleridge, Arnold, Eliot, Woolf.

Critical Methods 26S

Study of one or more modes of criticism in relation to the interpretation of literary works.

Studies in Beowulf 52L

An undergraduate/graduate seminar devoted to a close reading of Beowulf.
Exclusion: ENG400Y1
Prerequisite: ENG240Y1

Senior Essay TBA

A scholarly project devised by the student and supervised by a member of the staff. The course is open to students enrolled in the English Specialist Program or in Combined Specialist Programs where it is an option. Proposal forms are available from the Department offices. Proposals must be submitted by June 1.
Prerequisite: Fourteen full courses, with at least four full ENG courses; an overall B average in all ENG courses previously taken.
Exclusion: ENG390Y1

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