Spring 2018 English Courses


  • University Writing – First Year

    English 100 – University Writing Strategies (multiple sections)

    We offer many sections of our foundational writing course, University Writing Strategies. English 100 teaches students the fundamentals of first year university writing, as well as valuable transferable skills. You’ll hone your ability to read critically, respond thoughtfully in discussions, and compose well-structured and well-reasoned arguments. And you’ll be introduced to the basics of citing sources and researching responsibly. The course examines aspects of contemporary culture through a variety of print and other media. Course themes and cultural content are chosen by individual instructors, who ensure the course material is both engaging and relevant.

    Creative Writing – First Year

    English 190-01 – Creative Writing I: Anne Stone

    In this open and supportive first year creative writing workshop, you’ll develop a strong and consistent writing practice. You’ll stretch yourself as a writer, trying out new techniques. Together, we’ll mine contemporary works, examining them with a writer’s eye, and you’ll sharpen your writing as you take on weekly exercises and prompts. Texts include coursepack, and a blank journal (about 8.5 x 5.5).

    English 190-02 – Creative Writing I: Roger Farr

    With a focus on writing in response to visual art, literature, and walking, this section of English 191 carries on with techniques introduced in ENGL 190, but does not assume or require that students have taken creative writing before. It is an intensive course designed to help students develop their writing, and their thinking about writing, through creative experimentation with language. We will work with short prose fiction, poetry/poetics, and writing for performance. Emphasis will be placed on risk, possibly at the expense of genius. Students will be expected to present new work in class every other week

    English 190-03 – Creative Writing I: Ryan Knighton

    In this course students will be introduced to the complexity of our two main cognitive modes of literary composition – poetry and prose. We will create our own portfolios of work using both, provide each other with constructive editorial feedback, and isolate various exercises and developmental tasks in a varied body of short works, ranging from the lyrics of John Prine to the microsatires of McSweeneys, and much in between. Lunch will not be served, but it may be described.

    English 191-01 – Creative Writing II: Crystal Hurdle

    When is a poem really a story? When should you leave a draft alone? Through in-class writing, weekly homework assignments, and personal projects, you will write up a storm in a number of genres. You’ll be introduced to professional writers, from Lorna Crozier to bp Nichol, from Thomas King to Gabriel Garcia Márquez, to visiting writers at the Open Text series, as well as to the work of your colleagues, in aid of developing your style, articulating your voice. Texts include Gary Geddes, ed. 20th-Century Poetry & Poetics and Gary Geddes, ed. The Art of Short Fiction.

    Creative Writing – Second Year

    English 293-01 – Creative Non-fiction: Ryan Knighton

    In this course we will focus on developing our skills at pitching, outlining, composing and even performing a variety of popular non-fiction forms, including narrative memoir, travel writing and investigative profiles. We will read each other, give editorial feedback and consider model examples from the contemporary landscape of magazine and newspaper publishing, as well as podcasting. Our goal is to sharpen your professional skills as a raconteur and freelance stringer.

    English 296-1A & 1B – Writing for the Stage: TBA & Catherine Deines

    In this course students will write a ten-minute play and see it through a complete revision and rehearsal process culminating in a public production with actors and directors from the Acting for Stage and Screen program. While exploring formal issues common to all creative writing, the course emphasizes narrative structure, character development, dialog, subtext, and ultimately the collaboration between playwright, director, and actors.

    Literature – First Year

    English 103-01 & 02 – Studies in Contemporary Literature: Crystal Hurdle

    Sex and Death
    From the menacing playfulness of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to the black comedy of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, sex and death intersect with fantasy and reality in a number of the course’s readings in poetry, fiction, and drama. Texts include Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Ed. Gary Geddes’ 20th Century Poetry and Poetics 5th ed., Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Tony Kushner’s Millennium Approaches from angels in America, Print Package of readings, including short stories, and student work.

    English 103-03 – Studies in Contemporary Literature: Rae Nickolichuk

    Literature and the Urban Space: Vancouver
    In this section of 103, we will be looking at contemporary fiction, drama, and poetry that explores ideas of urban space and experience generally and Vancouver specifically. How does literature reflect or mark alienation, poverty, violence, community, and other urban issues? How does the city, Vancouver specifically, shape the various relationships among its diverse inhabitants? What can our literature help us see and understand about Vancouver and, by extension, urban life?

    English 103-04 & 05 – Studies in Contemporary Literature: Kent Lewis

    Superheroes, Monsters, Scientists and Soap
    This course is a literary buffet, where students get to sample a variety of genres (novels, short stories, plays, myths, poems, comics and other forms esoteric and strange). The chosen authors explore the antipodes of human experiences: desire and regret, seduction and war, conquest and subordination, self and otherness, restraint and excess, sanity and madness, masculinity and femininity, wine and cheese. The topics are big and juicy, but the setting is friendly and fun. By the end of this course, students will be able to impress the cultural elite by casually using words like “subtext” and “postmodernity.” Now with 15% more awesomeness. Texts include Gaiman, Neil. Coraline. HarperCollins: New York, 2002. Print, Moore, Alan. Watchmen. New York: DC Comics, 2007. Print, Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996. Print, Parks, Suzan-Lori. In The Blood. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 2000. Print.

    English 103-06 – Studies in Contemporary Literature: Anne Stone

    In this class, we’ll place contemporary short stories and poems side-by-side with short films (a suburban crack stay-cation next to a teen-crush during the zombie apocalypse; a boy’s high-dive into adolescence next to an intense encounter in a café, and on). Next, we’ll read Richard Matheson’s seminal book, I am Legend – and explore its filmic adaptations. Finally, we’ll turn to a place where image meets word on the page – the graphic novel Skim. Texts include (see CapU bookstore for editions) Tamaki, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. Skim, Matheson, Richard. I am Legend, and coursepack.

    English 109-01 – Contemporary Issues in Literature and Culture: Andrea Actis

    The Art and Politics of Care
    If the dictionary defines care as “the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, or protection of someone or something,” what it doesn’t supply are the maps or resources for getting there—let alone an explanation for why some receive care while others don’t. With a focus on how practices of care have been envisioned by writers and artists acquainted with histories of discrimination, displacement, and other forms of violence, this course will help students situate such universally-familiar conditions as anxiety, depression, loneliness, and pain in more specific sociopolitical, economic, and cultural contexts. It will also invite them to creatively reflect on their own experiences in order to build more precise definitions of care that might aid them in their everyday lives. Assigned books include Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s This Accident of Being Lost, CAConrad’s A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon, and Aisha Sasha John’s I have to live. Assigned films include Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, and a selection of short documentaries. Relevant secondary sources will be provided by the instructor.

    English 109-02 & 05 – Contemporary Issues in Literature and Culture: Cassidy Picken

    The Novel and the New
    In today’s art, fashion, music, literature, philosophy, science, cinema, media, and beyond, value is determined by novelty. We live in the empire of the new. What shapes our preoccupation with novelty, and what can this preoccupation teach us about contemporary forms and practices of knowledge-making? This course explores these questions from two perspectives. First, we will look at how recent writers and filmmakers have grappled with the cultural demand to be on the cutting edge. Second, we will contextualize their works by placing them within a much longer literary history of the new. Taking poet Arthur Rimbaud’s pronouncement “one must be absolutely modern” as the starting point of our investigation, our readings will range across times and disciplines, from the seventeenth-century quarrel between ancients and moderns to nineteen-sixties pop art, from urban development to corporate anthropology, from political economy to fashion. We will come to see how the novel, as the genre that most emphatically presumes to give form to newness, raises important questions about the persistence of the old, the moribund, and the archaic. In turn, we will look at how other genres and media have pursued contrary forms of the contemporary (some of which seek to leave the novel behind).

    English 109-03 – Contemporary Issues in Literature and Culture: TBA

    English 109-04 – Contemporary Issues in Literature and Culture: Roger Farr

    iSpy: Facts and Fictions from the Surveillance Society
    We will explore the interdependence of contemporary culture, the media, and technology, focusing on an important current issue: the fate of privacy in a surveillance society. In approaching this subject, we will consider popular representations of surveillance and social control, as well as “tactical media” responses by groups such as the Surveillance Camera Players and the Institute for Applied Autonomy. Texts include Lyon, David. Surveillance Studies: An Overview. London, UK: Polity, 2007; Moore, Alan. V for Vendetta. New York, NY: Vertigo, 1991; Raban, Jonathan. Surveillance. New York, NY: Vintage, 2008; Surveillance Camera Players. We Know You Are Watching: Surveillance Camera Players (1996-2006). Queens, NY: Factory School, 2006.

    Literature – Second Year

    English 201-01 – English Literature since 1660: Vicky Ross

    This course is for students who love variety and want to travel through time. We’ll study drama, journalism, poetry and fiction by some of the bravest, most innovative, and most notorious writers of the past 300 years. From Aphra Behn to Virginia Woolf, with Mr. Spectator, the Romantics and the Victorians in between – we’re spoilt for choice. Texts include Aphra Behn’s The Rover, selections from the Tatler and Spectator (best read in 18th century coffee shops), The Beggar’s Opera, poetry by William Blake, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dickens’s Oliver Twist and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway—the latter two with film translations.

    English 208-01 – Studies in Fiction: Tim Acton

    In this course, we will study a variety of novels and conventions looking specifically at the socio-historical context and the intellectual climate in which the novel developed. We will consider various critical perspectives to gain an understanding of the evolution of the genre, to analyze how fiction represents or illuminates human experience, and to develop the ability to read critically and thoughtfully. Texts include J.M. Coetzee, Foe; Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway.

    English 213-01 – World Literature in English: Brook Houglum

    Boundaries, Borders
    In English 213, we will investigate contemporary representations of boundaries, crossings, borders, and migration through a study of novels—Persepolis (2003), My Brilliant Friend (2012), Signs Preceding the End of the World (2015), and Exit West (2017)—and selected short stories, articles, maps, film clips, and historical accounts.

    Literature – Third Year

    English 300-01 – Writing, Rhetoric, Style: Brian Ganter

    Digital Writing Studio
    This course introduces students to various genres and platforms of “writing” (research, composition, and publishing) in the age of digital environments. As an advanced writing course, the course builds on students’ existing foundational writing skills to develop an awareness of writerly rhetorical choices and constraints that occur through all phases of the composition process. The course approaches writing as an inherently multimodal activity, a practice that can include any combination of written, visual, spatial, gestural (think of “writing” on a tablet surface) and audio components. An intensive theoretical engagement with concepts of the “digital” (the writings of Heidegger, Ong, Kittler, Hayles, Deleuze, Manovich, Barthes and others) will supplement hands-on, studio projects in digital scholarly publication and web authoring. A focus on the style of three specific genres, or “platforms,” of writing will guide us through the term: the manifesto, the public apology, and the podcast.

    Texts include K. Arola, et.al, Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects (2014), Issue 3.3 of The Capilano Review, (“Manifestos Now!”) Ed., B. Ganter. Course Reader and other readings TBA.

    English 335-01 – Electronic Literature: Aurelea Mahood

    This course examines electronic literature with a focus on how this emergent literary form affects the way we read, study, and understand literature. In parallel, through examinations of the genre’s connection to print narratives, concrete poetry, OULIPO constraint-driven experiments, and other lineages, we will explore digital literature from a literary historical perspective and its roots in the modernist avant-garde. Our semester of off-kilter delights interspersed with moments of frustration as we delve into creative computing, born digital poetry, novels for smartphones and more will invite us to reconsider our assumptions about reading, writing, and authorship.