King's  Logo

COURSE TITLE: Carving out a Nation: Canadian Literature Pre1970
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: From its rural and colonial past to its increasingly urban and multicultural present, Canada's emerging and evolving sense of national identity has been reflected in its literature. Through reading of representative Canadian prose and poetry, this course traces this literary history including critical, cultural, and regional influences on our national literature before 1970. 

Prerequisites: ENGL 215
  • Bennett, Donna, and Russell Brown, eds. A New Anthology of Canadian Literature in English. 3rd edition.  Oxford UP, 2010. 
  • Laurence, Margaret. The Stone Angel. New Canadian Library, 1988. 
  • Richler, Mordecai . The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. New Canadian Library, 1989. 
Essay One 20%
Essay Two (Research) 35%
Library Assignment10%
Final Exam 30%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: In this course, we will study selected works of Canadian poetry and fiction, as well as other forms of media such as art and film. In particular, we will focus on questions of canon formation and a national literature, including the role of the artist in the construction of Canada 's national identity, both as a both a geographical place, and as a place of the imagination. We also will address questions of genre, and the politics of multiculturalism, gender, and regionalism. Our discussions will also examine the ways in which the texts affect broader theoretical issues such as postcolonialism, postmodernism, feminism, and education. 

The classes will incorporate both lecture and discussion formats. I will introduce each text and its critical background, and then as a class we will examine the text in detail, as well as any supplementary texts. This means that you must attend class, keep up with the readings, and be prepared to contribute to class discussions. It would be useful for you to note what you believe are significant sections from the texts, and how they may contribute to our understanding of the course as a whole. 

Class participation is essential to the intellectual progression of the class. I expect you to attend class regularly and be prepared with specific questions and concerns so that we can examine the texts in detail. As well, you will be expected to support your classmates' presentations by asking productive questions and contributing to our understanding of each presentation's topic. 
  • Introduction
  • Early Publications and Explorers 
    • Brooke, The History of Emily Montague (10)
    • Hearne, A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort (27) 
    • Franklin, Narrative of a Journey (65)
  • Nature and the Bush
    • Myth Frye and the Garrison Mentality
    • Atwood, Survival Moodie, From Roughing it in the Bush (110-112)
    • Lane, "CPR Station--Winnipeg " (846)
    • The Group of Seven no class Wed, Sept 18: IS Conference
  • The Empty, Dangerous Landscape
    • The Group of Seven and Emily Carr Paint Canada
    • Purdy, "Lament for the Dorsets" (574), "Wilderness Gothic" (573)
    • Smith, "The Lonely Land" (368)
    • Grove, Snow (315) 
    • Page, "Stories of Snow" (518)
  • Confederation Poets and Long Poems 
    • Roberts, “The Flight of the Geese” (197), “The Skater” (197) 
    • Lampman, “The Railway Station” (240), “The City of the End of Things” (243)
    • Pratt, Towards the Last Spike (356)
    • Scott, "All the Spikes But the Last" (413)
    • Sangster, The St. Lawrence (142) 
  • Regionalism and the CanLit Explosion
    • Laurence, The Stone Angel 
    • Ross, “The Runaway” (397)
  • Celebrities and Best Sellers
    • Montgomery, "How Betty Sherman Won a Husband" (307)
    • Scott, “The Canadian Authors Meet” 
    • Leacock, "The Marine Excursion" (295) 
    • Cohen, "Suzanne" (722) and "The Future" (705) Atwood, "This is a Photograph of Me." Disembarking at Quebec" (814)
    • Mitchell, “Saint Sammy” (494)
  • First Nations Literature
    • Johnson, various poems (225) 
    • Thompson, "Life Among the Nahathaways" (42)
    • Film: Nanook of the North 
    • Carr, “Kitwancool” (238)
  • The Politics of Quebec
    • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
  • Canada and the U.S.
    • Film: The Grey Fox

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

© The King's University
Maintained By Institutional Research