English Courses

English MA and PhD Courses

Topic Areas

English graduate courses are offered in the following topic areas:

Special Topics in English Literature
Studies in Early English Literature and Medieval Literature
Studies in Renaissance Literature
Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature
Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature
Studies in Twentieth Century Literature
Studies in Poetry
Studies in Drama
Studies in Fiction
Studies in the History of Ideas
Studies in Shakespeare
Studies in American Literature
Studies in Canadian Literature
Studies in Post-Colonial Literature
Studies in Literary Criticism
Seminars in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, Poetry and Drama
Studies in Selected Areas

Please note that in courses where a Special Subject is listed, this Special Subject is a subtitle, and may change from year to year.

Consequently, when students repeat a course number in subsequent years, but with a different subtitle, they are in fact engaged in a course with completely different content. The credit value attached to a course number may likewise change from year to year.

Note: Courses in Creative Writing are normally available only to students admitted into the Creative Writing option. Occasional exceptions in special circumstances are made for entry by students in the academic options. Such entrants require the prior approval of the Graduate Program Director. Independent (non-degree) students require the permission of the Graduate Program Director to take a course and they must possess the same kind and quality of academic background and preparation as required of students admitted to the MA program.

Special Topics in English Literature

Studies in Early English Literature and Medieval Literature

Studies in Renaissance Literature

Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature

Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature

Studies in Twentieth Century Literature

Studies in Poetry

Studies in Drama

Studies in Fiction

Studies in the History of Ideas

Studies in Shakespeare

Studies in American Literature

Studies in Canadian Literature

Studies in Post-Colonial Literature

Studies in Literary Criticism

Seminars in Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, Poetry and Drama

Studies in Selected Areas

Description: Creative Writing Tutorial.

Component(s): Tutorial; Independent Study

Description: Creative Writing Tutorial. The Creative Writing tutorials may be elected only by students in Option C. They are designed to accommodate candidates whose genre (e.g., poetry or drama) is not offered during a given academic year. Candidates wishing to enrol in ENGL 678 or 679 must submit a request to the Graduate Committee. Approval will in part depend upon the availability of resources and whether the Graduate Committee deems it beneficial for the student to undertake a tutorial course rather than a regularly scheduled course. Tutorial courses will be considered only exceptionally and for very able students.

Component(s): Tutorial; Independent Study

Description: Bibliography and Research Methods in English. An introduction to scholarly research in English.

Description: Reading Course. After completing at least a third of the course credits (transfer credits excluded), a student may submit a request to the Graduate Committee for permission to take up to 6 credits in a reading course to be provided through a tutorial arrangement. A reading course will be permitted only when the proposed general subject area has not been available during the span of the student’s program and where the Graduate Committee is satisfied that it is beneficial for the student to take a reading course rather than a regularly scheduled graduate course. Reading courses are approved only exceptionally and only students who have demonstrated a capacity for independent work and a very high calibre of academic performance will be considered.

Component(s): Independent Study

Description: Reading Course. After completing at least a third of the course credits (transfer credits excluded), a student may submit a request to the Graduate Committee for permission to take up to 6 credits in a reading course to be provided through a tutorial arrangement. A reading course will be permitted only when the proposed general subject area has not been available during the span of the student’s program and where the Graduate Committee is satisfied that it is beneficial for the student to take a reading course rather than a regularly scheduled graduate course. Reading courses are approved only exceptionally and only students who have demonstrated a capacity for independent work and a very high calibre of academic performance will be considered.

Component(s): Independent Study

English MA Thesis, Bibliography and Research Essay Courses

Description: A candidate electing the thesis option must satisfy the Graduate Committee of the viability of the topic and secure a member of the department to supervise the thesis. The candidate's thesis is orally defended. For specific information concerning thesis proposals a student should consult the departmental guidelines.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Notes:
  • The English Department cannot guarantee the availability of a supervisor on every possible topic.

    University regulations regarding the thesis may be found in the thesis section of this calendar.

Description: The Graduate Committee must approve a proposal for a creative writing thesis of book length.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Notes:
  • Assessed on a pass/fail basis

Component(s): Thesis Research (Anotated Bibliography)

Notes:
  • Assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

The following course must be completed previously: ENGL 693.

Description: A research thesis of approximately 10,000 words is supervised by a member of the department and assessed by another faculty member acting as reader.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Notes:
  • Assessed on a pass/fail basis

English PhD Core Courses

Description: This course is an advanced survey of literary theory, considering those thinkers whose work has been particularly influential for the discipline’s understanding of the nature and function of literature and its production. Figures to be studied may include Aristotle, Sidney, Nietzsche, Althusser, Lacan, Derrida, Barthes, Foucault, Deleuze, Irigaray, McLuhan, Badiou, Zizek, and Kristeva.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: This course considers literary research under the aegis of a current or emergent methodological paradigm in the field e.g. Book History, Media Studies, Digital Humanities, Poetics, Psychoanalysis, Affect Theory, or Neuroaesthetics.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: The Department holds a series of workshops with the aim of introducing doctoral candidates to pertinent research, teaching, and professional expectations and enhancing career development. In order to graduate, all doctoral candidates must attend these workshops before the end of the sixth term. Master's students are also strongly encouraged to attend the relevant sessions since they are a constitutive component of graduate formation. If a student has attended a given workshop during his/her master's degree, he/she is exempted from that workshop.

Component(s): Workshop

Notes:
  • The course is graded on a pass/fail basis.
  • Workshops are led by faculty members and organized by the Graduate Program Director on a monthly basis in anticipation both of key dates during the PhD program (e.g. external grant application due dates) and the future professional life of the doctoral candidate (e.g. academic job interviews).

English PhD Thesis and Field Examination Courses

Description: Students are admitted to candidacy for the PhD upon acceptance by their advisory committee of the written thesis proposal and its successful defence. Students typically complete one Major Field Examination in an area related to the thesis topic. The oral examination of the written thesis proposal normally takes place in the term following the writing of the second Field Examination. The written proposal is normally 4,500 words in length with an additional five pages for a bibliography.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Notes:
  • Assessed on a pass/fail basis

Description: This course focuses broadly on the candidate’s primary area of specialization, covering major authors, genres, and issues and the pertinent canonical texts therein, in order to consolidate the necessary background knowledge for advanced literary research and teaching at the university level. In the examination, candidates are expected to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the designated field as well as an original, critical understanding of the field and its constitutive texts. The Department has established reading lists in nine broad areas of specialization that cover a variety of periods, nations, and subjects. These basic lists may be modified to suit the interests of individual candidates. A substitution of 20 per cent is permitted for all reading lists for the purposes of tailoring the lists to the interests of the student. Such substitutions are to be determined by agreement between the student and the student's supervisor and are subject to approval by the Graduate Program Committee. Field Examinations Reading Lists: Medieval Literature Renaissance Literature Restoration and 18th-Century Literature 19th-Century Literature 20th-Century and Contemporary Literature American Literature Canadian Literature Post-Colonial Literature Literary Criticism/Theory

Component(s): Thesis Research

Notes:
  • The exams are assessed by the supervisor on a pass/fail basis in consultation with at least one other faculty member in the Department with related expertise in the area. In the case of a "fail," the student has until the end of the tenth term to obtain a "pass," whether in the initial or another Major Field or configuration of the Sub-Fields exam.
  • Each exam comprises five questions. Students are required to respond to three questions. Questions are distributed one week in advance of the scheduled examination. Each exam is held on campus for four hours without notes or other additional materials. The supervisor and at least one other faculty member in a relevant field adjudicate each Field Examination.

Description: This course is designed to cultivate a more specific area of inquiry that may include a body of literary texts in combination with readings in a particular set of methodological or theoretical problems to the end of developing a viable doctoral topic and composing a thesis proposal. The Sub-Field Examination list is established by the candidate in consultation with the doctoral supervisor and comprises approximately 60 items that are seen as directly relevant to the field in which the dissertation is oriented. It is divided into three sections: 1) approximately 20 literary texts; 2) approximately 20 theoretical/methodological texts; 3) approximately 20 texts drawn from adjacent and/or ancillary fields. By “text,” it means the number of poems or articles deemed by field specialists as sufficiently representative of an author's work or period. A text cannot appear twice on any of the lists, including that of the Major Field. The lists and texts are not exhaustive, but are meant to provide the student with the necessary initiation to sub-fields that help to clarify the direction and goals of the dissertation.

Component(s): Thesis Research

Notes:
  • The exams are assessed by the supervisor on a pass/fail basis in consultation with at least one other faculty member in the Department with related expertise in the area. In the case of a "fail," the student has until the end of the tenth term to obtain a "pass," whether in the initial or another Major Field or configuration of the Sub-Fields exam.
  • Each exam comprises five questions. Students are required to respond to three questions. Questions are distributed one week in advance of the scheduled examination. Each exam is held on campus for four hours without notes or other additional materials. The supervisor and at least one other faculty member in a relevant field adjudicate each Field Examination.

Description: Doctoral students must submit a thesis based on their research and defend it in an oral examination.

Component(s): Thesis Research

English PhD Independent Study Courses

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