Department of English Language and Literature

English Department 4000 Level Courses

Students should normally have completed nine(9) credit hours in english at the 2000 or 3000 level before taking 4000 level English courses

4405  Advanced Studies in Medieval Literature

3 credit hours

Prerequisite: One of ENGL 3404, 3405, 3406, or permission of the instructor.

The emphasis in this course may include Theories of Authorship and Reading, Urban Literature, or the Heroic and the Monstrous. Readings may cover genres such as medieval romance, drama, or hagiography as well as works by Langland, Gower, Lydgate, Hoccleve, the Wakefield dramatist, and Julian of Norwich. 

4417 Feminist Literary Theory [WMST 4417]

3 credit hours

This course will engage students in a study of feminist literary theory. Some of the most influential theorists in this area will be analyzed as well as the dominant cultural systems to which they have responded. Students will not be required to have any prior knowledge of the field.

4422 Studies in Renaissance Love Poetry

3 credit hours

The course focuses on a representative selection of Renaissance love poetry in its cultural, social and philosophical contexts. It examines the poetic strategies used to explore the meaning and value of love in its relation to sexuality and gender. Special attention will be given to the sonnet form, its relationship to the courtly love tradition and the cult of the "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I, but other poetic genres will be studied as well. Intellectual and thematic contexts will be constructed from various classical and Italian texts, such as Plato's -Symposium-, the poems of Catullus and Sappho and Petrarch's sonnets. Writers studied may include Wyatt, Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Cavendish, Wroth, and Marvell.

4423 John Donne and the Literary Traditions of the Renaissance

3 credit hours

This course will focus on the work of John Donne, an influential early 17th c. English writer, the founder of the so-called "metaphysical" school of style. Through his work, students will become acquainted with various social and cultural contexts of the Renaissance. Readings will include selections from Donne's devotional and love poems, elegies, verse epistles, sermons and other prose. Also, Donne's work will be compared to the work of other Renaissance writers, and placed within the context of the European Baroque, as represented in visual art and literature.

4424 Renaissance Literature: Advanced Study

3 credit hours

The subject of the course will vary from year to year. It allows the opportunity to explore an aspect of Renaissance literature in more depth than is possible in other courses. The following are some examples of possible topics: a single major author or group of authors from the period (e.g. Spenser, Bacon, More); a literary movement or form (e.g. the Metaphysical school of poetry; the Cavalier school of poetry; the epic; the sermon; a social or cultural issue (e.g. "the woman issue"; literature and the institution of the Elizabethan or Jacobean Court); or a close study of one of the major literary works of Renaissance era (The Faerie Queene ,Paradise Lost,The Anatomy of Melancholy)

4425 Advanced Studies in 18th - Century and Romantic Literature

3 credit hours

This course explores an aspect of Eighteenth-Century or Romantic literature in more depth than is possible in other courses.  The following are examples of possible topics: a single major author or group of authors from either or both periods (e.g. Dryden, Pope, Blake, Hemans); a literary movement or form (e.g. verse satire or the literature of sensibility); a social or cultural issue (e.g. Romanticism as a reaction to Enlightenment, secularization); or close study of a major work (e.g. "The Prelude") or of work in a narrowly-defined historical period (e.g. the 1790s poetry of rebellion).

4426 Advanced Studies in Canadian Literature

3 credit hours

Students study a particular author, genre, theme, and/or movement in Canadian Literature intensively.  While the topics will vary, the course highlights the literature, cultural, and material conditions in which Canadian literature is produced and received.

4427 Language, Gender and Power [LING 3427; WMST 4427]

3 credit hours

This course examines the role of language and its use in constructing and negotiating social positions of men and women and by men and women.  It compares discourse strategies used by powerful/powerless speakers and gender-associated discourse strategies.  It examines dialect and generic features used in constructing and maintaining social identities and differences.

4431 The Modern Irish Novel [IRST 4431/LING 4431]

3 credit hours

This course will involve a study of the modern Irish novel, placing each work in its social and cultural context. It may include works by James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen and/or Samuel Beckett, as well as a selection of contemporary novels by writers like Anne Enright and John Banville.

4441 The Irish Short Story [IRST 4441]

3 credit hours

This course will examine the short story as a major form in the fiction (in English) of Ireland, tracing its development from the Irish folktale to the sophisticated modern stories of internationally read practitioners such as Joyce, O’Connor, O’Faolain and Lavin.

4455 The Modern Novel

3 credit hours

A close critical analysis of representative works of a number of prominent late 19th and 20th century novelists in the light of certain literary, cultural, socio-political and philosophic tendencies which have exercised a decisive influence in the formation of the modern imagination.

4456 The Postmodern Novel

3 credit hours

This course focuses on some of the major novelists of the second half of the twentieth century in the context of the cultural and political climate that has given rise to this fiction and the term postmodernism.

4457 Advanced Studies in American Literature

3 credit hours

This advanced course in American literature offers intensive treatment of authors, genres, and themes addressed at the intermediate level.  Possible topics in the course may include:  (1)  intensive study of single authors in relation to historical trends in literary criticism (‘reception history’); (2) intensive exploration of particular currents in the development of a specific genres; (3) concept-based courses; or (4) broad-based ‘cultural studies’ approaches to American literature.

4464 Postcolonial Literature: Special Topics

3 credit hours

This course examines the literatures of specific postcolonial regions.  These regions may include Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and South Asia.

4465 Indigenous Literature Seminar

3 credit hours

In addition to studying theories of race and indigeneity, students explore representative works by Indigenous authors in depth and to conduct original research on Indigenous literatures.  Students explore the continuity of oral and written traditions in the literary, cultural, and material contexts in which the literature is written, spoken, and read.

4466 Representations of Indigenous Womanhood

3 credit hours

Prerequisites: ENGL 1205

Students explore writings and cultural productions (including biography, fiction, poetry, theater, media, and film) by and about Indigenous women of North America.  This group has experienced oppression and dislocation from land, communities, spirituality, and traditional roles as a result of European colonization. Students examine how such dislocations and acts of oppression arose from creation and perpetuation within colonizer literature and media productions of inaccurate and stereotypical images

4470 The Rise and Fall of the Printed Book

3 credit hours

This course focuses on the history of the printed book and examines the phenomenon of mass literacy and its implications in the development of different types of literature.

4475 Writing Fiction – Advanced

6 credit hours

Prerequisite: written permission of Creative Writing Coordinator.

A course designed for students with some experience in writing fiction. Many aspects of the writer’s craft, from the germination of a story to the polishing of a final draft, will be explored in workshops. Students who have not completed either ENGL 3375 or 3376 will be asked to submit a sample portfolio of their work before registration.

4477 Writing Poetry (Advanced)

3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  ENGL 3381 or, prior to registration, submission of portfolio to creative writing coordinator.

An advanced creative writing course, which provides students with opportunities to develop their craft beyond its beginning stages and to have their poems discussed in workshops.  The course may include emphasis on poem sequences, long poems, and poets’ poetics, including their prose commentaries on subjects ranging from sources of inspiration to arguments about technique.

4485 Victorian Literature – Advanced Study

3 credit hours

The subject of the course will vary from year to year.  It allows the opportunity to explore an aspect of Victorian literature in more depth than is possible in other courses.  The following are some examples of possible topics: a single major author or group of authors from the period (e.g., Charles Dickens or the Brontës); a literary movement or form (e.g., the aesthetic movement or the sensation novel); a social or cultural issue (e.g., the “woman question” or industrialism in literature); or the literature of a narrowly defined historical period (e.g., the novel in the 1840’s or the literature of the fin de siècle).

4488 The Post-1945 British Novel

3 credit hours

Students examine the British novel from the end of the Second World War to the late twentieth century.  Topics covered include realism, postmodernism, and the emergence of new female and postcolonial voices.  Writers studied may include Muriel Spark, John Fowles, David Lodge, and V.S. Naipaul.

4493 Doing Discourse Analysis [LING 4493]

3 credit hours

Prerequisite: At least twelve (12) credit hours in English or Linguistics (or permission of the instructor)

The focus is on learning how to do discourse analysis.  We will focus on developing skills in the analysis of talk and text using models drawn from linguistics, structuralism and semiotics.  The course will explicitly develop skills in analyzing discourse functions as configurations of interaction, experience and organization meaning.

4494 Approaches to Discourse Analysis [LING 4494]

3 credit hours

Prerequisite: At least twelve (12) credit hours in English or Linguistics (or permission of the instructor)

Linguistic, structural, post-structural, and semiotic perspectives on discourse analysis are addressed through reading and discussion of key works by authors of “landmark” texts such as R. Jakobsen, J. L. Austen, H. P. Grice, etc. The goals of the course are to (a) familiarize students with some of the “landmark” texts and perspectives on discourse analysis and (b) to develop abilities to develop abilities to relate analyses to cultural and situationally relevant contexts.

4511 Collective Memory and Visual Culture

3 credit hours

This advanced seminar examines how visual artifacts record, organize, and build narratives and cultures of collective memory (for example, that of nations, regions, and identities).  The seminar will include field trips to local places of memory (memorials, museums, and archives), city walks of Halifax in the tradition of the Surrealists and Situationists, the study of home movies and documentary film, national television, and digital image memory archives such as blogs, YouTube, and Flickr.

4552 Honours Seminar

6 credit hours

Topics chosen will be of a general nature in order to permit the representation of a diversity of historical periods, genres, and the various literary traditions of the English-speaking world.  Students will be required to present papers on aspects of the chosen topic and members of the English Department will conduct seminars in their areas of expertise.

4555 – 4556 Honours Seminar

3 credit hours

Topics chosen will be of a general nature in order to permit the representation of a diversity of historical periods, genres, and the various literary traditions of the English-speaking world.  Students will be required to present papers on aspects of the chosen topic and members of the English Department will conduct seminars in their areas of expertise.

4800 – 4825 Special Author, Special Subject

6 credit hours

Prerequisite: enrolment in the English honours program or special recommendation of the Department.

These courses provide the opportunity to study a particular author in considerable depth and detail, and requires some measure of independence and initiative in the student.

Tutorials by arrangement with supervisor. 2 semesters

4826 -4849 Special Author, Special Subject

3 credit hours

These courses provide the opportunity to study a particular author, subject, or period in considerable depth and detail and will require some measure of independence and initiative in the student.