Elective Courses

Each year we offer a range of elective courses, including at least one in each of the following areas: Topics in the Material & Social Production of Texts, Topics in the Circulation of Texts, and Topics in Publics & Texts.

Topics in the Material and Social Production of Texts

ENGL-5107: Print and Visual Culture

Professor Suzanne Bailey
Winter Term: Wednesday 5 - 8PM, Traill Campus, Fry Lodge 104

This course traces the impact of making prints, from early associations with the printing press (letterpress) to the development of commercial book illustration. Topics may include science and illustration, the rise of illustrated children’s books, modernist prints and artists’ books, the woodblock and Civil War reporting, printmaking techniques and theory.

ENGL-5121H: Medieval Manuscripts: Texts, Scribes, Audiences

Professor Joanne Findon
Winter Term: Monday 3 - 6PM, Traill Campus, Bagnani Hall 101

This course explores medieval texts produced from the 12th century to the 15th century, particularly the 14th -century manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The course considers basic issues in medieval manuscript studies, including an introduction to scripts and abbreviations and the practice of glossing, and some hands-on work with quill pens and parchment. 

Topics in the Circulation of Texts

ENGL-5209H: Materiality and the Text in the Digital Age

Professor Emily Bruusgaard
Fall Term: Monday 7PM - 10PM, Traill Campus, Wallis Hall, Room 102

What happens to the study of the materiality of texts when a screen replaces the paper or parchment, and the stability of the written or printed signs is no longer guaranteed? Topics include: paratexts and metadata, archival theory, the Digital Humanities, hypertexts, technology, and the book as fetish. 

Topics in Publics and Texts

ENGL-5307H: Aging, Disability, and Care in Literature and Culture

Professor Sally Chvers
Winter Term: Monday 10 - 1PM, Traill Campus, Wallis Hall, Room 132.4

This course will explore depictions of care for older adults in literary, film, public policy, and popular culture texts to show how care is not just economic nor merely medical. Students will reconceive care as cultural and articulate the publics created through the different media.

ENGL-5310H: Photography in Postmodern Literature

Professor Rob Winger
Fall Term: Tuesday 9 - 12PM, Traill Campus, Wallis Hall, Room 132.4

An overview of theoretical and literary representations of pre-digital photography in postmodern literature, this course investigates intersections between visual culture, subjective interpretation, personal and formal memory, artistic production, and objectivity. Theoretical and postmodern literary texts will be examined alongside historic photographs, photographic.

ENGL-5311H: Black Lives Matter

Professor Charmaine Eddy
Fall Term: Tuesday 7 - 10PM, Traill Campus, Wallis Hall, Room 132.4

This course examines the Black Lives Matter movement as the most recent form of collective social protest against state-sanctioned racial violence. The course looks at the influence of earlier civil rights movements on contemporary forms of protest, the theoretical parameters behind the movement, the “racial formations” (the prison complex, racial justice activism, the Obama presidency) from which the movement emerged, as well as recent literary accounts of the movement.

Reading Course (ENGL-5901H)

An individual course designed to provide opportunities for intensive study in a particular field of the program. Approval of the relevant instructor and the department’s graduate committee is required. 

Electives Offered by Other Departments​

The following courses are available to students without the need for prior approval from the Program. Please see the home department for further information and to confirm scheduling information.

ENGL-5306H: Culture, Heritage & the Arts

Professor Margaret Steffler
​This course is cross listed with the Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies M.A.

This course will critically explore selected theoretical, empirical, and creative constructions, contestations and celebrations of Canadian culture(s). Course content ranges from the national to the local, examining cultural communities and identities, intellectual traditions, cultural policies, museums and galleries, and cultural expression in film, theatre and literature.

ENGL-5305H: Subjects of Desire

Professor James Penney
Please visit the Cultural Studies MA website for a full description of the course

This course examines theories of subjectivity that have informed work in cultural studies, media studies, and related disciplines. What is the relation between the desiring function of subjectivity and the forces of construction and production variously attributed to power, discourse, or society? How do we conceive of the limits of determination and of the possibility of freedom and agency?

ENGL-5501H: Identities and Social Movement

Professor TBA
This course is cross listed with the Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies M.A.

The course directly addresses a wave of identity politics and its controversial place even within seemingly identity-based movements. Readings on gender, queer theory and politics, disability, aging, and race will come from sociology and political science as well as cultural, literary and film studies.



Elective Courses Offered in the Past