DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

The Department

Chairperson: Gary Boire
Graduate Officer: Eleanor Ty
Director of Joint Doctoral Program: Daniel Fischlin, University of Guelph

The Programs
MA Program
The MA program in English is designed to allow students to concentrate in gender and genre studies. Courses range from the medieval to the modern and post-modern periods and cover a wide spectrum of theoretical and critical issues. The purpose of the program is to offer a specialized critical focus attractive to those pursuing further general education and at the same time to prepare students for doctoral studies in English.

Joint PhD Program in Literary Studies/Theatre Studies in English
The department, together with the School of Literatures and Performance Studies in English at the University of Guelph, offers specializations in the following four fields:  Canadian, early modern, postcolonial, and gender and genre.  The purpose of the program is to offer professional education and training for students who wish to pursue careers in postsecondary teaching, research, administration, and other fields in which excellent analytical, organizational and communication skills are required.
    Students in the program register at one of the two universities, but may complete course work and use faculty and library resources at both universities.  Students are governed by the regulations of the university in which they are registered and their degree is granted by the home university.

Faculty/Research Interests

Wilfrid Laurier University
Boire, Gary, BA (Loyola), MA, PhD (McMaster). Postcolonial theory and literatures, Law and Literature, film studies, interdisciplinary approaches to literature.
Castricano, Jodey, BA, MA (Simon Fraser), PhD (British Columbia). Cultural studies, feminist theory, queer theory, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, contemporary American literature, the Gothic, popular culture.
Comensoli, Viviana, BA, MA (Simon Fraser), PhD (British Columbia). Renaissance drama, gender studies, genre theory, feminist literary theory, Shakespeare.
DiCenzo, Maria R., BA (McMaster), MA (Queen's), PhD (McMaster). Twentieth-century British literature and theatre, political/feminist theatre, suffrage periodicals, the politics of arts funding.
Faflak, Joel, BA, MA, PhD (Western). Romantic and nineteenth-century British literature, psychoanalysis, theory and criticism, cultural studies, popular culture, nineteenth-century philosophy.
Jewinski, Edwin, BA, MA (Waterloo), PhD (Toronto). Canadian prose and poetry, Michael Ondaatje, Eli Mandel, postmodernism, creative writing, critical theory.
Moore, Michael, BA, MA (Carleton), PhD (Queen's). Nineteenth-century literature, Gerard Manley Hopkins, nature literature, theory of writing, John Henry Newman, literary and discourse theory.
O'Dell, Leslie, BA (Queen's), MA, PhD (Toronto). Performance theory, Canadian theatre history and criticism, theatre for children with developmental handicaps, experimental theatre.
Russell, Anne, BA (Trent), MA, PhD (York). Renaissance drama and poetry, Shakespeare, 17th-century women writers, Aphra Behn.
Shakinovsky, Lynn, BA (Witwatersrand), MA, PhD (Toronto). Nineteenth- and 20th-century American and British women writers, Emily Dickinson, feminist literary theory, psychoanalysis.
Smith, Rowland, BA (Natal), MA (Oxon), PhD (Natal). Twentieth-century British literature, Canadian and postcolonial literature, Nadine Gordimer, Margaret Atwood, Graham Greene, Wyndham Lewis.
Tiessen, Paul, BA (WLU), MA, PhD (Alberta). British and Canadian modernism, film-and-literature studies, Malcolm Lowry, Wyndham Lewis, Dorothy Richardson, Marshall McLuhan.
Ty, Eleanor, BA (Toronto), MA, PhD (McMaster). Feminist literary theory, the novel, 18th-century literature, Mary Hays, minority women's writing, Asian North American writers.
Verduyn, Christl, BA (Trent), MA, PhD (Ottawa). Canadian Québécois women's writing, feminist theory, postcolonial criticism and writing in Canada and Quebec, life writing, interdisciplinary approaches to literature, Margaret Laurence, Marian Engel.
Waugh, Robin, BA, MA (Manitoba), PhD (Queen's). Old and Middle English literature, medieval studies, Icelandic sagas, oral theory, film.
Weldon, James, BA, MA (New Brunswick), PhD (Queen's). Old and Middle English literature, genre theory, medieval romance, medieval dream vision narrative, 20th-century poetry.
Wright, Julia, BA, MA, PhD (Western). Irish literature (1750-1914), British Romantic literature, nationalist discourse, cultural studies.

Faculty--University of Guelph
Bold, Christine. MA (Edinburgh), PhD (London)
Brigg, Peter. BA (Bishopís), MA, PhD (Toronto)
Brown, Susan. BA, MA (Dalhousie), PhD (Alberta)
Chang, Elaine. BA (UBC), AM, PhD (Stanford)
Choudhury, Romita. BA, MA (Jadavpur University, India), MA, PhD (Alberta)
Filewod, Alan. BA (York), MA (Alberta), PhD (Toronto)
Fischlin, Daniel. BFA, MA (Concordia), PhD (York)
Graham, Kenneth. BA (Royal Military College), MPhil, PhD (London)
Heble, Ajay. BA (Toronto), MA (Dalhousie), PhD (Toronto)
Holland, Patrick. BA (Victoria, NZ), MA (Auckland), MA, PhD (McMaster)
Hoy, Helen. BA, MA, PhD (Toronto)
Keefer, Michael. BA (Royal Military College), MA (Toronto), PhD (Sussex)
King, Thomas. BA, MA (Chico State), PhD (Utah)
Knowles, Richard. BA, MA, PhD (Toronto)
Kulyk Keefer, Janice. BA, MA (Toronto), PhD (Sussex)
Lane, Harry. BA (Durham), MA, PhD (Toronto)
Manning, Gerald. BA, MA (Alberta), PhD (Queenís)
Mulholland, Paul. BA, MA (Toronto), PhD (Birmingham)
OíQuinn, Danny. BSc, MA (Western Ontario), PhD (York)
Paré, François. BA (Montreal), PhD (S.U.N.Y., Buffalo)
Palmateer Pennee, Donna. BA, MA (Guelph), PhD (McGill)
Rubio, Mary. BA (DePauw), MA (Illinois), PhD (McMaster)
Struthers, J.R. (Tim). BA, MA, PhD (Western Ontario)
Wilson, Ann. BA, MA, PhD (York)

Admission Requirements--MA
In order to be admitted to the master's program, students must meet the general admission requirements of the university. Enrolment in the program will be open to applicants who have graduated with an honours degree in English or its equivalent from an approved university and who have maintained at least an average of B+ in English courses above the first-year level. Students who do not meet the criteria for admission to the master's program, including general degree graduates in English, may apply for admission as qualifying students. The qualifying year will normally consist of 10 half-credit senior undergraduate courses in English, approved by the department.

Program Requirements--MA
The MA program has two streams of study, one with a thesis and one without a thesis. Students who choose the thesis stream must have prior department approval.
    Master's students in the thesis stream will take four one-term courses plus thesis; those in the non-thesis stream will take seven one-term courses. In addition, all students must complete EN600, a one-term seminar (graded "satisfactory/unsatisfactory") in research methods, theory and professional issues.
    Students must submit a formal proposal for a thesis topic to the department's graduate studies committee in the first term of graduate study. If the GSC approves the student's proposal, then the candidate may proceed to the thesis stream of the program. The thesis will normally consist of 75 to 100 typewritten pages; it will be defended at an oral examination co-ordinated by the Graduate Studies Office.

Admission Requirements--PhD
Admission to the program normally requires an MA in English, an MA in drama/theatre, or an equivalent degree with at least an A- average in graduate work.  Applications are considered by the PhD Program Committee and a recommendation to admit or decline is forwarded to the dean of Graduate Studies at the proposed home university.

Program Requirements--PhD
Although students might choose either literary studies or theatre studies, innovative opportunities exist in the program to pursue work across these traditional disciplinary boundaries.  The degree requirements consist of three one-term (0.5 credit) graduate courses normally taken in the first year of the program; one General Area Seminar (0.5 credit) culminating in a written candidacy exam and a colloquium presentation; one Intensive Area Seminar (1.0 credit) culminating in an oral and written candidacy exam; and a dissertation (2.0 credits).

Area Seminars
The area seminars are structured directed-reading courses in two different fields, intended to provide concentrated training in the studentís expected areas of research concentration and preparation for the written examination at the conclusion of each area seminar.  The seminars involve regular consultations between the student and the seminar director.  The general area seminar will normally be taken during the second and third terms of the program (year 1).  The intensive area seminar will normally be taken in the fourth and fifth terms of the program, culminating in the oral candidacy examination (year 2).

General Area Seminar (Year 1)
The General Area Seminar explores an area in a field other than that in which the student will specialize and write a dissertation. The seminar emphasizes general knowledge of the areaís scope, relevant theoretical frameworks and research methodologies, with due regard to the studentís own teaching, research interests and critical perspectives. The reading and other activities proceed in close consultation with an advisory committee consisting of an assigned area seminar director (who will normally be a faculty member other than the anticipated dissertation supervisor) and two other faculty members.  The area seminar director is selected from the core faculty in the studentís resident institution, while the two faculty members may be from one or both institutions.  This advisory committee, together with the director of the Joint PhD Program, comprises the studentís candidacy examination committee.

Intensive Area Seminar (Year 2)
The Intensive Area Seminar involves individualized, directed study of the immediate literary, cultural and theoretical contexts of the studentís approved dissertation subject.  Ordinarily, the assigned seminar director is the confirmed dissertation supervisor.  Two additional faculty members serve in an advisory capacity, and together with two additional members of the graduate faculty (at least one of whom must be a member of the unit), plus the director of the Joint PhD Program or the chair of the academic unit, form the candidacy examination committee.  The Intensive Area Seminar ensures that the studentís dissertation work is supported by a broad and contextualized understanding of the primary materials associated with the area of specialization and dissertation. Both the written and oral examinations for the Intensive Area Seminar shall constitute the qualifying examination. Upon satisfactory completion of these examinations the student is deemed to have met the joint PhD program requirements and becomes a candidate for the PhD degree.

Progress Reports
At the end of the first year of registration (usually in May), and once a year thereafter, a student is required to complete an annual research progress report detailing the achievements of the previous year and the objectives for the next year.  The report must demonstrate satisfactory progress, and must be signed with comments by the supervisor and director of the Joint PhD Program, and filed with the program director and the Graduate Studies Office of the home university.  Failure to submit a satisfactory report may result in the student being required to withdraw from the program.

Language Requirement
Students will be required to demonstrate reading knowledge of one language other than English, as approved by the Joint PhD Program Committee.  Assessment of the studentís reading knowledge will be based on the studentís translation (with the help of a dictionary) of a critical passage and a written analysis (in English) of the passageís critical implications.   Evidence that a student has already demonstrated similar language ability at another university prior to admission may be submitted to the Joint PhD Program Committee with a request to have the language requirement waived.  Credit will be given at the discretion of the Joint PhD Program Committee to any student who has fulfilled the language requirement through an MA-level examination.  Credit will not normally be given for the completion of a university- level language course.
    Typically the language requirement will be completed by the end of the second term of study, and no later than the third term (year 1).  A student who fails the language examination twice will normally be required to withdraw from the program.

PhD Dissertation
Following successful completion of the two area seminars, the student must complete an original research project on an advanced topic.  The advisory committee for the dissertation will consist of three members of the graduate faculty, one of whom will assume the primary supervisory role.  The dissertation should normally be between 50,000 and 75,000 words in length.  The regulations and procedures at the university in which the student is registered will govern both the dissertation and the examination formats.

Decisions in the PhD Thesis Defence
Five decisions are open to the examining committee:

  • Accepted - Thesis may require typographical and/or minor editorial corrections to be made to the satisfaction of the supervisor.
  • Accepted with modifications - Thesis requires minor changes in substance or major editorial changes which are to be made to the satisfaction of members of the examining committee designated by the committee.  The examining committee's report must include a brief outline of the nature of the changes required and must indicate the time by which the changes should be completed.  Normally such changes should be completed within four weeks of the date of the examination.
  • Accepted conditionally - Thesis requires more substantive changes, but will be acceptable when these changes are made to the satisfaction of those members of the examining committee designated by the committee.  The examining committee's report must include a brief outline of the nature of the changes required and the date by which the changes are to be completed.
  • Decision deferred - Thesis requires modifications of a substantial nature, the need for which makes the acceptability of the thesis questionable.  The examining committee's report must contain a brief outline of the modifications expected and should indicate the time by which the changes are to be completed.  The revised thesis must be resubmitted for re-examination.  Normally, the re-examination will follow the same procedures as for the initial submission except that the display period may be reduced or eliminated at the discretion of the appropriate graduate dean.  Normally the same examining committee will serve.  A decision to defer is open only once for each candidate.
  • Rejected - Thesis is rejected.  The examining committee shall report the reasons for rejection.  A student whose doctoral thesis has been rejected is required to withdraw from the PhD program.
  • If the examining committee is not prepared to reach a decision at the time of the thesis defence, it is the responsibility of the chair to determine what additional information is required by the committee to reach a decision, to arrange to obtain this information for the committee and to call another meeting of the committee as soon as the required information is available.  It is also the responsibility of the chair to inform the candidate about the delay.

    Residency Regulations
    At least five semesters of full-time study must be devoted to the doctoral program following the completion of a recognized masterís degree.
     

    Graduate Courses
    Note: The following courses are for MA and PhD students. Not all courses are offered every year. Contact the department before accepting an offer of admission to determine whether the courses you wish to complete will be offered during your period of residency.

    EN600    0.5
    Research Methods, Theory, and Professional Issues
    An introduction to advanced bibliographic and research methods, gender and genre theory, and issues within the discipline. Required of all graduate students.



    EN601    0.5
    Fiction by Contemporary British Women
    The presentation of female experience (emotional, sexual, imaginative, intellectual) in fiction by contemporary women writers such as A.S. Byatt and Margaret Drabble. Special attention is given to the writers' use of narrative and linguistic strategies, intertextuality and self-reflexiveness.

    EN602    0.5
    Gender and Genre in Renaissance Drama
    A study of the representation of gender in selected plays by Renaissance female and male dramatists, and the relation between dramatic genres, performance practices and cultural constructions of subjectivity, the body and sexuality.

    EN603    0.5
    American Women Writers
    An exploration of the fiction and poetry of selected American women writers of the 19th and 20th centuries in the context of recent feminist and psychoanalytic criticism. Topics will focus on issues of gender, class, colour and race.

    EN604    0.5
    The Gender of Modernism
    An examination of Modernism in light of its own articulation of the problem of literature and gender, with focus on the novels of one or more of such writers as Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, Wyndham Lewis, Malcolm Lowry.

    EN605    0.5
    Representations of Gender in Victorian Literature
    An examination of Victorian literary representations of the feminine, the manly and sexual power including the critical and cultural implications of gender differentiation in selected poetry and prose.

    EN606    0.5
    Theatrical Images of Gender
    An exploration of selected plays which call for the exchange of gender roles. The course examines theoretical and textual issues within the context of performance history, genre analysis and feminist criticism.

    EN607    0.5
    Ideologies of Genre in Nineteenth-Century Literature
    A study of the transformation or emergence of various genres (e.g., the novel, the elegy, the epic, confessions, auto/biography, the Gothic, the case study) from Romanticism to Victorianism. 

    EN608    0.5
    Women Writers of the 17th Century
    A study of drama, poetry and prose by women writers of the 17th century. The course considers the roles women played in early modern systems of literary production and reception, with reference to Renaissance theories of gender and authorship. The course also explores the genres employed by women writers as part of an analysis of the political and literary implications of genre. Writers and texts to be studied will vary from year to year.

    EN610    0.5
    Feminist Theory and Women's Writing
    A study of selected schools of feminist thought and an exploration of the relationship between gender and women's writing. 

    EN621    0.5
    The Nature Lyric: Genre and Gender
    A critical and theoretical study of conventions and developments in the English tradition of nature poetry, with emphasis on the 19th century.

    EN622    0.5
    British Feminist Drama in the 20th Century
    The course examines how British feminist playwrights have explored gender politics through the genre of drama from the turn of the century to the present. The course is structured around three main periods/movements: "new woman" and suffrage plays written before World War I; work from the Royal Court and Theatre Workshop in the 1950s and 1960s; and contemporary theatre from the 1970s to the present. Attention is paid to political developments and the material conditions of the theatre. The plays are read against 20th-century shifts in feminist theory, focusing on representation, identity and performance.

    EN623    0.5
    Film Genre and Feminist Theory
    An examination of feminist film theory, particularly in relation to film genres, with reference to its implications for literary theory and practice.

    EN624    0.5
    Medieval Dream Vision Narrative
    An examination of genre theory and the medieval dream vision narrative with special attention to 14th-century serial visions. The investigation of form will include religious and non-religious narratives written by both men and women. Central topics include: the authority of the narrator, representations of narrative authority, and the nature of allegory and its relation to political authority.

    EN625    0.5
    Medieval Romance
    An exploration of genre theory and the variety of medieval narrative types called "romance." Central topics include: narrative voice, gendered and genred spaces, the function of women in romance, the rewriting of past narratives, political narratives and the image of the chivalric knight.

    EN626    0.5
    Postcoloniality: Theory and Practice
    An examination of current issues in postcolonial critical theory and postcolonial literary and cultural practice, including the "tradition" of postcolonial practice and a critical examination of selected cultural works drawn from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and the Caribbean.

    EN628    0.5
    The Dramatic Experience
    An examination of selected plays against which to test traditional (Aristotelian) as well as contemporary alternative theories about the generic nature of dramatic form.

    EN629    0.5
    Canadian Documents and Canadian Poems
    A study of the inter-relationship of form and content in selected Canadian "documentary" poems and their sources. The course focuses on how these poets shape historical "facts" into artistic "visions."

    EN630    0.5
    Modernism to Postmodernism
    A focus on novelists such as Joyce and Beckett, with particular emphasis on the narrative techniques these writers explore in order to reshape form and structure.

    EN632    0.5
    Renaissance Domestic Tragedy
    The origins of domestic tragedy in medieval allegorical and biblical drama, and its development in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Particular attention is given to the relation between the genre's formal aspects and the historical development of the early modern patriarchal family.

    EN634    0.5
    Dramatic Comedy of the 17th Century
    An analysis of the development of different comic modes in the 17th century, focusing on the relationships between works by Shakespeare and other 17th-century playwrights.

    EN635    0.5
    The Gothic
    An exploration of the North American renaissance of the Gothic in various cultural media. The course considers and theorizes the meaning of the term "Gothic" in light of issues pertaining to gender and sexuality, race and class. To that end, the analysis of the genre is framed by psychoanalytic and feminist theory.

    EN640    0.5
    Reading Theory
    A study of various influential schools of theoretical thought. Depending on the instructor, the focus will include one or more of the following: deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, new historicism, cultural studies and discourse analysis.


    EN641    0.5
    Voices of the Diaspora
    Topics such as diasporic identity, transnationalism, assimilation and hybridity are examined in textual narratives and films. The focus of the course may be on one or more of Asian, African, Jewish and/or other diasporas.


    EN690    0.5
    Directed Studies
    Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and the graduate studies committee.

    EN691    0.5
    Special Topics in Gender

    EN692    0.5
    Special Topics in Genre

    EN699
    Thesis

    Courses for the Joint PhD Program
    EN 777
    Language Requirement
    A written demonstration of a studentís reading knowledge of one language other than English, as approved by the Joint PhD Program Committee.  Graded on a P (pass)/ F (fail) basis.


    EN 780    0.5
    General Area Seminar
    A directed reading course to provide training in an area other than the studentís expected area of research concentration.  This seminar emphasizes thorough general knowledge of a chosen areaís scope, theoretical frameworks and research methodologies.  The course is normally taken during the first year of a studentís PhD program.


    EN 782    1.0
    Intensive Area Seminar
    A reading course to provide concentrated training in the studentís expected area of research concentration.  This seminar involves individualized, directed study of the immediate literary, cultural and theoretical contexts of the studentís approved dissertation subject.  The course is normally taken in the second year of a studentís PhD program.


    EN 790
    Directed Studies
    The study of a special topic under the guidance of a member of the department/school.  Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and the Joint PhD Program Committee.


    EN 799
    Doctoral Dissertation

    EN900
    Instructional Development for PhD Candidates
    This course enables PhD candidates to acquire skills and knowledge essential for effective teaching in a university setting. Topics may include: course design; the generation of assignments; student assessment; establishing a positive learning environment for students with different needs and experiences; creating and utilizing different teaching and learning styles in large and small classes; and developing a teaching portfolio. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate and a notation on their transcript.

    Courses Offered at the University of Guelph

    DRMA6020    0.5
    Canadian Drama in English



    DRMA6040    0.5
    Quebec and Franco-Canadian Drama


    DRMA6050    0.5
    Special Studies in Canadian Drama


    DRMA6060    0.5
    Aspects of Canadian Theatre History


    DRMA6080    0.5
    Special Studies in Canadian Theatre


    DRMA6090    0.5
    Aspects of Theatre in Early-Modern England


    DRMA6100    0.5
    English Drama to 1642


    DRMA6120    0.5
    Aspects of 20th-Century Theatre


    DRMA6130    0.5
    Aspects of 19th-Century Drama


    DRMA6140    0.5
    Aspects of 20th-Century Drama


    DRMA6150    0.5
    Special Studies in Theatre History


    DRMA6180    0.5
    Aspects of 19th-Century Theatre


    DRMA6190    0.5
    Special Studies in Drama


    DRMA6220    0.5
    Aspects of the Theory of Drama, Theatre, and Performance


    ENGL6002    0.5
    Topics in the History of Criticism


    ENGL6003    0.5
    Problems in Literary Analysis


    ENGL6201    0.5
    Topics in Canadian Literature


    ENGL6209    0.5
    Topics in Commonwealth/Postcolonial Literature


    ENGL6412    0.5
    Topics in Medieval/Renaissance Literature


    ENGL6421    0.5
    Topics in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature


    ENGL6431    0.5
    Topics in Nineteenth-Century Literature


    ENGL6441    0.5
    Topics in Modern British Literature


    ENGL6451    0.5
    Topics in American Literature


    ENGL6611    0.5
    Topics in Womenís Writing


    ENGL6621    0.5
    Topics in Childrenís Literature


    ENGL6641    0.5
    Topics in Scottish Literature


    ENGL6691    0.5
    Interdisciplinary Study


    ENGL6811    0.5
    Special Topics in English