“Tout est construit” –Gaston Bachelard (La formation de l’esprit scientifique, 1934)
I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in the Department of English in modernism, 20th-century studies, literary and cultural theory, and historical surveys of Anglophone literature. I have longstanding interests in active learning methods, research-supported best practices and effective instructional technologies. My undergraduate students have called me “a great instructor,” “very knowledgeable,” “energetic,” “approachable,” and said my courses have “great content” and are “thought provoking.” My teaching is built on a commitment to educational equity that provides a diverse body of university students with a climate of high expectation and useful scaffolding, asking students to take creativity-enhancing intellectual risks in response to challenging assignments. I welcome graduate projects in modernism, understood broadly, twentieth-century Anglophone literatures, postcolonial, cultural, and material studies, intersectional work in feminism, gender, race, and sexuality, and media and technology studies.
ENGL 110 Approaches to Literature: Speculative Societies and Possible Worlds
Term 1, MWF 10-11
This course explores speculative fiction to query the many ways in which writers imagine how societies and cultures might be… otherwise. Fantastic and speculative worlds are some of the richest forms of experimental thought, problem solving and storytelling in which we engage. How do writers make these worlds persuasive? What kinds of connections do they expect us to make between their storyworlds and the actual world? What causes differences among the ways they take up similar themes? We will discover a multiplicity of answers to these questions. Along the way, we will also learn general principles about narrative or literary fiction as it is theorized in English, and how writing works at an analytical level, by discussing matters such as plot, character, point of view, and of course (given our theme), setting. Writers include Ursula Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, H.G. Wells, Octavia Butler, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Karen Tei Yamashita, others. Two papers, two exams, and credit for course participation.
ENGL 224 World Literature in English: Near and Far
Term 1, MWF 12-1
World literature as a field assumes that books travel beyond their designated home to introduce new readers to all the people with whom we share the world. As a set of practices, it creates an opportunity to critique how its categories were assigned in the first place. Who is the ideal reader of a literature from “everywhere?” Who benefits from the markets, circulations, and exchanges of world literature? We will read novels, stories, and poems, case histories and debates, listening to theoretical voices along with participants and dissidents. Writers include Mahfouz, Borges, Saadawi, Rhys, Okubo, Saro-Wiwa, Fanon, Said, Spivak, more.
ENGL 365 Modernist Literature: Modernist Movements
Term 2, MWF 11-12
Some descriptions of modernism are bloodless abstractions about formal experimentation, academic disruption, and reaction against a too-rigid bourgeois morality. This course concentrates on the wildly passionate commitment of moderns to changing the world, to finding new sensations and affects, to overcoming historical evils and biases, to appreciating with sincere admiration other arts, other cultures and languages, and other places.
Topics include Decadence, the New Woman, Expressionism, Manifesto Modernism, New Objectivity, Impressionism, Surreal and Psychoanalytic, Gesamtkunstwerk and Encyclopedism, Minimalism, Montage, Technological Moderns, Graphic Modernisms. Writers include Stein, Mansfield, Woolf, Joyce, Eliot, Breton, Beckett, Barnes, Hughes, McKay, Riviere, Doan, Benstock, Ellmann, others.
ENGL 491C Senior Honours Seminar Lit: Books and Friendship
Term 2, M 1-3
Aristotle says, “Without friends no one would choose to live, though they had all other goods.” Friendship claims to exist upon a principle of perfect equality, in an economy of even exchange. It promises a private intimacy free from masquerade and convention; only a friend knows and loves your “true portrait,” proposes Montaigne. But what would a cultural history of friendship show? Is modern friendship something new? Could you have a friend briefly, or must a friendship be built with labour over time? Can friendship be erotic or romantic? This course thinks about “two going together,” remarkable and distinctive friendships in fiction and in life. Wilde, Beckett, Woolf, Larsen, Ishiguro, Singer, Hughes, O’Connor, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Cicero, Johnson, Emerson, Joyce, Yeats, Stein, O’Faolain, and more.
ENGL 100: Fantasy, Satire, and Play: Syllabus 100-005 1W2018
ENGL 365: Aesthetic Modernism: ENGL 365 1W2018 syllabus
ENGL 224: World Literature in English: Near and Far: Syllabus 224-005 2W2018
ENGL 539: Studies in the Twentieth Century: Figuring Modernism (Graduate-level seminar): ENGL 539A-001 2W2018 syllabus
ENGL 561-921 – Topics in Science and Technology – Assemblage and Other Fluid Materialisms (graduate-level seminar): ENGL561A1S2017Syllabus.docx
ENGL 100-001 Reading and Writing about Literature: Books and Friendship: Syllabus 100-001
ENGL 224-002 World Literature in English: World-Breaking Literature: Syllabus 224-002
ENGL 464A-001 Twentieth-Century Studies: Modernism and the Political Novel: Syllabus 464 1W2017
ENGL 464. Women’s Writing and Media: From Fordism to Cyber-culture: 464 syllabus
ENGL 100. MakerSpaces: Literature and Transformation: 100 Syllabus
ENGL 491. New Masses: Modernism and the Crowd: ENGL 491 Syllabus
ENGL 221-011. English Literature from the Eighteenth Century to the Present: ENGL 221 Syllabus
ENGL 539: Modernism, Mass Bodies and Crowd Politics (Graduate-level seminar) — ENGL 539 W15-16 Syllabus
ENGL 466 (Studies in a Twentieth-Century Genre): Society of the Spectacle and Modernist Shorter Fiction (W15) — Paltin_Syllabus_466 W15