Course Offerings: 2012-13
EN 600: Research Methods, Theory, & Professional Issues
Day(s)/Time: Wed. 5:30 - 8:20
Location: DAWB 3-103
Note: The student's performance in the course will be graded as either "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory." Failure to complete EN600 or to obtain a grade of "satisfactory" may result in suspension from the MA Program. A student's final grade for the course will not be assigned as "satisfactory" until a grade of "satisfactory" has been obtained in all of the sessions.
EN 636: Canadian Literary Pluralities
Dr. Eleanor Ty
Day(s)/Time: Wed. 9:30 - 1:30
This course explores the dynamics of race, ethnicity, class, gender and generation that animate contemporary Canadian literature and its criticism. We will look at the impact of changing demographics, globalization, and diasporic communities on Canadian multicultural society; at shifting notions of nation, place, belonging, and gender identity in fiction and film produced in the last decade. The course is divided into three sections, with texts dealing with: 1.) Immigrant and diasporic communities in Toronto; 2.) History, trauma, and memory; 3.) Bildungsroman & growing up. Texts to be studied include: Miriam Toews, A Complicated Kindness (Vintage 2004), David Chariandy, Soucouyant (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007), and Sunil Kuruvilla, Rice Boy, 2nd. ed. (Playwrights Canada Press, 2009).
EN 644: Cosmetics, Aesthetics, and the Beautiful
Dr. Andrea Austin
Day(s)/Time: Tues. 9:30 - 12:20
This course will consider the cosmetic as cultural product, spiritual ideal, and iconographic practice. We will progress from a fundamental framework in aesthetics theory, particularly constructions of “the beautiful” in the visual arts, to a social history of the cosmetic, ranging from the cosmetic use of “natural poisons” (such as lead and arsenic) in the eighteenth century to the advent of a corporate cosmetics industry in the nineteenth century and the trend towards “organics” in the late twentieth century. A focus on DIY aesthetics, domestic/corporate and organic/synthetic dialectics, and the ontological significance of being “made up” will inform our readings of the primary course fictions. Selections from print and film texts, and secondary readings in aesthetics and cultural theory, will form our primary readings; course may also include a field trip.
EN 692j: Victorian Fiction and Animals
Dr. Jennifer Esmail
Day(s)/Time: Mon. 9:30 - 12:20
Location: DAWB 1-101A
While the growing field of Animal Studies is partly a contemporary response to the increasing threat of the destruction of our planet, concern for the environment and for humanity’s treatment of animals has a long history. In the Victorian period, amidst growing urbanization and industrialization and the debates around evolution and the human-animal boundary, the relationship between humans and animals was a pressing concern. This course will consider a range of Victorian fictional texts against the backdrop of Victorian cultural responses to animals including the anti-vivisectionist movement, museum collections of natural history, and the use of animals for food, work, and transportation.
EN 618: Memory in Art Film Narrative
Dr. Russell Kilbourn
Day(s)/Time: Lecture - Thurs. 9:30 - 12:20; Screening - Tues. 7:00 - 9:50
Crystallized in Chris Marker's landmark La Jetée (1962), the theme that there is no escape from time resonates across the history of the European art film and its international counterpart. This course is about the problem of identity, whether individual or collective, at the heart of a visually hegemonic culture — a problem whose political valence stands alongside fundamental questions of representation. We examine the production of identity out of the intersection of individual memory and modern history as represented cinematically in the 'non-genre' of the art film in contrast to classical film narrative. We focus on the convergence in film of the subjective level — the representation of an individual's perception of time, the structural and thematic role of desire, and a reified relation to death — with the objective level of cinematic 'realism'. Through a combination of formal-stylistic analysis and close attention to intertextual relations, we will compare a cross-section of films within the self-reflexive and -reflective context of film as a time-based medium. Films may include: Wild Strawberries (Sweden 1957; Ingmar Bergman); The Mirror (USSR 1975; Andrei Tarkovsky); The Double Life of Veronique (Poland/France 1991; Krzysztof Kieslowski); After Life (Japan 1998; Hirokazu Koreeda); 2046 (China 2004; Wong Kar Wai); My Winnipeg (Canada 2008; Guy Maddin).
EN 602: Gender and Genre in Renaissance Drama
Dr. Viviana Comensoli
Day(s)/Time: Fri. 10:30 - 1:20
Location: 1-101A Woods Bldg.
A study of selected plays by sixteenth- and seventeenth-century dramatists, including Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Elizabeth Cary, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton, and Aphra Behn. The course explores the relation between gender, dramatic genre, and performance practices in relation to discursive and cultural constructions of subjectivity, race, the body, and sexuality.
EN 692c: Human Rights Genres: Testimonial to Documentary
Dr. Madelaine Hron
Day(s)/Time: Tues. 9:30 - 12:20
This seminar explores human rights discourse in the context of genre. It focuses on the documentary and testimonial genres, but also broaches such genres as the Bildungsroman, photography, graphic novels or sci-fi texts, while reflecting on such issues as the socio-political and cultural role of these genres, problems of translation and innovations in form, literary/documentary praxis and ethical conflicts etc. The human rights issues addressed in the course reflect the professor’s interests in violence, trauma, healing (e.g., the Holocaust, torture, refugees, humanitarianism, Rwanda). Examples of possible class texts include Wiesel’ Night, Hatzfeld’s Machete Season, Orbinski’s Imperfect Offering, Road to Guantanamo, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo or Waltz with Bashir.
EN 692k: Digital Cinema
Dr. Sandra Annett
Day(s)/Time: Lecture - Mon. 9:30 - 12:20; Screening - Thurs. 7:00 - 9:50
Locations: DAWB 3-105
This course addresses key theoretical and practical questions raised by digital cinema. What is the nature of cinematic reality in an age of digital reproduction? Who can be said to create and control the film text, when computer-generated images may be changed and rechanged by directors, distributors, and film fans themselves? This course explores such question using major theoretical writings on digital cinema, such as the works of Lev Manovich and Anne Friedberg, as well as film and media texts that provide a comprehensive body of work for comparison. The course moves from a consideration of historical precursors and early forms of digital cinema, including Man with a Movie Camera (1927) and Tron (1982), to look at the major technological developments that have taken place in digital filmmaking since the turn of the millennium, as evidenced in films such as Avatar (2009) and Hugo (2011). By attending to the shifts that new media introduce in both the technological and social practices of visual culture, this class provides an advanced-level introduction to digital cinema.
EN 692m: Film Historiography
Dr. Katherine Spring
Lecture: Wed. 9:30-12:20, BA308
Screening: Tues. 7:00-9:50, 3-103 Woods Bldg.
This seminar introduces the central principles, methodologies, and debates that have characterized the writing of film history from the revisionist movement of the 1970s through to today. In the first unit, “Principles and Methodologies,” we consider general problems of film historiography by focusing on historians’ appeals to three rhetorical devices: causation, objectivity, and narrative discourse. Our discussion of each of these subjects is supplemented by exemplary case studies drawn from film history scholarship. The second unit, “Debates,” examines controversies that have arisen in film historiography, from the form of early cinema to the constitution of classical Hollywood cinema. The third and final unit, titled “Whither Film History?,” introduces examples that expand the boundaries of canonical film historiography and concludes with a prominent dispute on the state of the field. Although examples used throughout the course emphasize American cinema of the early 20th century, students will be encouraged, when devising topics for their final papers, to draw on alternative historical periods and national cinemas. "N.B: This course does not presume student knowledge of film history or film theory. Its aim is to examine approaches to historiography and, in the process, expose students to cases of film scholarship as illustrative examples."
EN 692n: Medicine, Saints, and Romance - Female Readership and the Medieval Book
Dr. James Weldon
Day(s)/Time: Thurs. 9:30 - 12:20
Unlike our post-print culture, manuscript or pre-print culture frequently organized books uniquely. Medieval narratives were often designed to be read within the manuscript context, the “manuscript matrix.” In this class, students will read a medieval book, that is, a collection of medieval texts contained in a manuscript oriented towards a female audience. The collection consists of medical recipes, romances, and a saint’s life, and thus offers a rare glimpse of vernacular women’s reading culture in the late Middle Ages. Central topics of the course include: narrative voice and agency, gendered and genred spaces, the memes of romance, the function of women in romance, the regimes of reading among medieval audiences, the nature of pre-print culture, adaptation of past narratives, and reading through the medieval matrix.
EN 692x: Indigenous Writing & Filmmaking in North America
Dr. Ute Lischke
Day(s)/Time: TR 10:00-12:50
Location: 3-106 Woods Bldg.
Recent trends in literature, history, ethnography, and anthropology have begun to provide forums for Indigenous peoples to share their rich historical and cultural knowledge, providing us with a deeper understanding of the oral traditions and literatures of North America. Indigenous creative writers, artists, and filmmakers have produced a large body of work that, as a whole, has become a product of decolonization. This course examines the diverse traditions of contemporary Indigenous writers and filmmakers in North America, specifically through the lens of gender and genre. It explores the many and varied interpretations of Indigenous writings, oral traditions, and filmmaking through the critical analysis of historical experiences, definitions of cultures, self-determination, and the meaning and implication of “Indian” identities and their representations.