Site Accessibility Statement
Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
September 2, 2015
Canadian Excellence

400-level Courses, 2014-15

Note 1: Fourth-year EN majors may register for only the number of seminars (i.e., 400-level courses) that are required for their program. Honours English majors require 2 seminars and Combined Honours English majors require 1 seminar. Students who choose more than the number of required seminars will be removed from the extra(s).

Note 2: The Department cannot add students into full courses even if they are needed to fulfill graduation requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to put themselves on course waitlists as early in the Spring registration period as possible.

Note 3: Students who arrive at the beginning of term without having made any course selections will be advised to add themselves into open courses and onto the waitlist of closed courses, even if that means they don't acquire all of the English courses they'd planned to take.


The university reserves the right to remove you at any time from any courses that you have registered for contrary to the regulations. For example, if you register in more courses than allowed, in courses for which you have exclusions, in courses for which you lack prerequisites or in courses which are inappropriate due to any other university regulation, the university reserves the right to remove you even after classes have begun. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to make the appropriate selections. The university does not guarantee that your errors will be caught.





Day / Time




War in Literature and Film


W 4:00 - 6:50


Dr. P. Gates

This fourth-year honours seminar offers students an in-depth look at film and literature produced in response to war. These texts represent an effort to cope with, and illustrate to others, the experience of war. The course begins with representations of World War I and then explores the dramatic shift those representations took with America’s involvement in World War II and Vietnam. Since the American involvement in Vietnam, there have been many books written and films released about the war and American culture continues to attempt to come to terms with the impact of the conflict—even while examining other wars (for example, World War II). There has been a growing emphasis in recent decades to offer the “real” story of war—authentically and graphically. Themes on the course will include masculinity, realism, and storytelling and will be explored through a comparison of their treatment in literature and film. The texts explored on the course include books such as Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) and O’Brien The Things They Carried (1990) and films such as Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998).

NOTE 1: This course counts in Category 3 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.

NOTE 2: This course is cross-listed with FS443a.  Students who are Combined Honours English and Film majors may not count this course towards both programs.

NOTE 3: There is a weekly film screening in addition to the 3-hour lecture.


Advanced Creative Writing


TR 11:30 - 12:50


Dr. T. Dobozy

This course is a workshop on writing literary short fiction. Students will be expected to create original creative work for analysis and critique by the class, as well as scholarly analysis of canonical short fiction. By end of term students will have written and workshopped at least one original work of fiction, produced numerous critiques of classmates’ work, and guided one class seminar on a selected author of short fiction.

Entrance to this course is by application only.  Students must submit a portfolio of 10-15 pages, double-spaced, of original fiction (i.e., written by the applicant) to Prof. Tamas Dobozy ( These portfolios will form the basis of admission to the course. Upon approval of the portfolio applicants will be given overrides in order to register.  For any further information or queries, please contact Prof. Dobozy directly.

NOTE: This course counts in Category 4 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.


Gender, Race, and Class in Renaissance Drama F
TR 2:30 - 3:50
Dr. V. Comensoli

The course examines the representation of the categories of gender, race, and class in selected Renaissance plays in relation to early modern ideologies of the ideal subject and state. The focus is on how theatrical portrayals of these categories intersect with the plays’ dramatic form, early modern and theatrical practices, and discursive and social constructions of the gendered body, subjectivity, and sexuality. Playwrights whose works are studied include William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Cary, Thomas Middleton, Thomas Dekker, and Aphra Behn.

NOTE: This course counts in Category 1 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.


Women and Culture in the Early Modern Period
TR 11:30 - 12:50
Dr. A. Russell
The course will analyze women’s participation in the culture and politics of  early modern England by focusing primarily (but not exclusively) on literary texts written by women. We will begin by considering legal regulations and social practices that affected women’s lives in the seventeenth century. We will also consider critical practices related to the reading, writing, and circulation of texts. What genres and topics did women writers choose, and under what circumstances? What were the implications of their decisions to distribute their work in manuscript (handwritten) form or in print? How do current literary and critical theories illuminate works by early modern women writers? We will read works in different genres by a few of the many women writing in this period, including Mary Sidney, Mary Wroth, Emilia Lanyer, Anne Bradstreet, Katherine Philips, and Aphra Behn. Class time will include some lectures, but the primary focus will be on individual presentations, group work assignments, and class discussion..

NOTE: This course counts in Category 1 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.


Romantic Heroes/Heroines of the Middle Ages


TR 4:00 - 5:20


Dr. R. Waugh

This course will examine four key medieval texts, ranging in date from the Thirteenth to the Fifteenth Century: Beroul’s Old French The Romance of Tristan (in Modern English translation), Letters of Heloise and Abelard, Sir Thomas Malory=s Morte Darthure (excerpts), and Geoffrey Chaucer=s Troilus and Criseyde. These texts depict eight of the most famous love-figures in all literature: Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guenivere, Abelard and Heloise, and Troylus and Cressida. We shall consider these love-figures and their requisite texts not only as artifacts within the traditions of courtly love and of the medieval period more generally but also as representations and texts that are in dialogue with innovative, contemporary approaches to literature such as psychoanalysis, feminism, and theories of the body. The first major text, Chaucer=s romance, is unquestionably the most important composition that he completed and a profoundly influential work with regard to its treatment of sexuality against the background of military exploits and conquests. The second major text, Sir Thomas Malory=s Morte Darthur, depicts the often fascinatingly conflicted love-lives of Arthur=s knights and other major characters. This work remains the most intelligent, comprehensive, and exciting discussion of knighthood, chivalry, and other defining values of the late Middle Ages. No previous knowledge of Middle English is necessary in order to take this course. (Also counts as an ML course.)

NOTE: This course counts in Category 1 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.


Canadian Women's Poetry


TR 10:00 - 11:20


Dr. T. MacDonald

This fourth-year seminar concentrates on contemporary Canadian women’s poetry, with an emphasis upon questions of gender, race, and class politics as they operate as inquiries into power and poetics. Texts will be drawn from a variety of styles, including lyric and experimental poetries. Authors may include Dionne Brand, Erín Moure, Margaret Christakos, Sylvia Legris, Rachel Zolf, Anne Carson, Lisa Robertson, Di Brandt, Jan Zwicky, Nourbese Philip, Louise Halfe.

NOTE: This course counts in Category 3 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.


The Romantic Art of Walking


TR 1:00 - 2:20


Dr. M. Poetzsch

Building on Leslie Stephen’s striking claim that “[t]he literary movement at the end of the eighteenth century was obviously due in great part, if not mainly, to the renewed practice of walking,” this course will offer a pedestrian’s view of the Romantic period (c.1770-1850).  Exploring both the physical act and the written transcription of Romantic pedestrianism, we will consider the ways in which the socio-cultural and ideological meanings of walking were contested and refined in this period, to the extent that a new “age of pedestrianism” was inaugurated.  From the great diversity of texts and contexts in which Romantic pedestrianism unfolds, we will focus in particular on walking as an aesthetic practice in both rural and urban settings, on walking as a political and potentially transgressive act of self-authorization and, finally, on walking as a mode of nostalgic recollection and consolation.  Insofar as the discourse of pedestrianism is inextricably bound up with such creative activities as philosophic contemplation, painting, writing and reading, we will also consider its role as a (perhaps vital) catalyst and conduit for the human imagination—a study that necessarily takes us beyond the Romantic period and into our own and compels us to practice pedestrianism even as we read about it.

NOTE: This course counts in Category 2 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.


The Victorian City


MW 1:00-2:20


Dr. L. Shakinovsky

Industrialisation, increased mobility, and migration to cities ushered in enormous changes throughout the nineteenth century. Through a survey of selected fiction, prose, and, poetry of the Victorian era, by writers such as Dickens, Gaskell, Wilde, and Mayhew, this course will examine representations of the city and urban life, and the ways in which the changing Victorian city shaped the writing of the period. In exploring the Victorian city, we will consider the development of capitalism and the new science of economics, and investigate issues surrounding sex, crime, the law, disease, and class unrest, as well as travel, migration, and empire.

NOTE: This course counts in
Category 2 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.


Women and Popular Culture


MW 11:30 - 12:50


Dr. A. Austin

Popular culture has been theorized as a feminine and feminizing construct; Andreas Huyssen, for example, in After the Great Divide, suggests that the division between “high” and “low” art was always in fact a gendered one, with popular forms enacting an equation between femininity, mass production, and  “cheap and easy pleasure.”  At the same time, the material conditions of popular cultural production have meant that women have been both inadequately and under-represented, with popular culture itself serving as an especially effective tool for the continuing oppression of women.  This course will explore such popular culture forms  as pulp fiction, film, advertising and “mall culture,” music videos, cyberculture, and toys for girls.  While established feminist critiques of popular culture texts and practice will provide our theoretical groundwork, we will also be engaged with emergent studies which propose sites of resistance within popular culture.

NOTE: This course counts in Category 4 of the Honours and Combined Honours English Programs.