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COURSE TITLE: Mapping our Mental Geography: Canadian Literature Post-1970
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Tracing our literary landscape reveals that contemporary Canada is constantly changing. Through a diversity of voices in poetry and prose, this course explores our shifting national and regional identities from the contemporary (post-1970) period forward by investigating questions of literary, historical, and cultural significance. 

Prerequisites: ENGL 215

This course is considered a Canadian Studies course for the purposes of King's B.Ed. (AD).
  • A New Anthology of Canadian Literature in English.  Eds. Donna Bennett and Russell Brown. 3rd ed. Oxford UP, 2010.  
  • Surfacing. Margaret Atwood. 1972. NCL ed. McClelland and Stewart, 1994.
  • Light Lifting. Alexander MacLeod. Biblioasis, 2010.
  • Fifteen Dogs. André Alexis. Coach House, 2015.
Midterm 20%
In class Response Essay10%
Research Essay35%
Final Exam 35%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Tracing our literary landscape reveals that contemporary Canada is constantly changing. This course will explore our shifting national identity through a diversity of voices in poetry and prose. We will follow the progression of Canadian literature from the contemporary (post-1970) period forward, investigating questions of literary, historical, and cultural significance – particularly those that have given rise to a variety of regional literatures.

To achieve these goals, the course will combine lecture, discussion, and writing assignments. There will be one optional in-class response paper, one research essay, an in-class midterm exam, and a final examination. Please note that the research essay and the midterm must be completed in order to qualify to write the final exam. 

All assigned readings must be completed before the scheduled class(es) to enable your participation in the discussion. Readings are indicated on the attached syllabus, but may be amended as required. Any changes will be announced in a preceding class and then posted on Moodle. Please note that if you are absent, it is your responsibility both to be informed about any schedule changes and to get notes from a colleague.
  • What are we doing here?  Introduction, academic integrity & course outline
  • Introductory Lecture: Culture moving into the 1970s
  • CanLit: A Question of Identity and Survival
  • Earle Birney, "Can. Lit." (447)
  • F.R. Scott, "The Canadian Authors Meet" (407)
  • A.J.M. Smith, "The Lonely Land" (427)
  • Duncan Campbell Scott, "The Onondaga Madonna" (253)
  • Thomas King, "A Coyote Columbus Story" (949)
  • Rudy Wiebe, "Where is the Voice Coming From?" (734)
  • Joy Kogawa, "Obasan" (752)
  • Eden Robinson, "Queen of the North" (1207)
  • Margaret Atwood, "Thoughts from Underground" (822)
  • Margaret Atwood, Surfacing
  • Margaret Atwood, Surfacing     
  • Lorna Crozier (from A Saving Grace: The Collected Poems of Mrs Bentley)
  • "Two Eternal Things" (1018)
  • "Wilderness" (1019)
  • "The Sacrifice of Abraham" (1020)
  • Lorna Crozier, "The Old Order" (1014) 
  • Barbara Gowdy, "Presbyterian Crosswalk" (1046)
  • Alistair MacLeod, "As Birds Bring Forth the Sun" (777)
  • Alexander MacLeod, Light Lifting
  • Anne Carson, "Short Talk on Who You Are" (1030)
  • Lorna Crozier, "On the Seventh Day" (1012)
  • Jane Urquhart, "The Drawing Master" (1024)
  • André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs
  • Timothy Findley, "Dreams" (667)
  • Alice Munro, "The Progress of Love" (683)
  • Margaret Atwood, "The Age of Lead" (832)
  • Anne Michaels, "There Is No City that Does Not Dream" (1155) 
  • Jan Zwicky, "Driving Northwest" (1998);  "String Practice" (1143)
  • Dan McKay, "Homing" (911)
  • George Elliott Clarke, "Primitivism" (1171)
  • Alden Nowlan, "Canadian January Night" (714)
  • Jan Zwicky, "Transparence" (1140) 
  • Summary of CanLit seen from there to here
  • Final exam outline 

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.

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