English Language & Literature

Faculty of Humanities

English Language & Literature

 Future Undergraduate Students

A Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of English Language & Literature! I'm Dr Ann Howey, and I am currently chair of the department. My research and teaching interests include the legends of King Arthur from the medieval period to the present in a variety of media and genres, as well as young people's literature and science fiction and fantasy.

 As that description might suggest, our department has faculty who pursue a range of diverse research projects into texts that are not always traditionally thought of as "Literature," and we bring these unique (and for some of my colleagues, ground-breaking) research interests into our classrooms. Students who choose Brock's English programs, therefore, have the opportunity to learn about traditional, canonical texts and approaches as well as less conventional ones. It makes for a diverse and exciting community of scholars.

 Becoming part of this community as an undergraduate student gives you a number of options for study.

·         The majority of our students are enrolled in one of our English literature degree programs. The "list" courses required by these programs ensure that students get to study literature from a range of time periods and genres, as well as having exposure to literary theory; however, within these requirements there is room for you to follow the specific interests that you discover.

·         We also have an English-Creative Writing program, which offers students the opportunity to study literature and to participate in workshop-style classes to hone their creative writing skills in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

·         We also offer degree options in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Studies where students can study rhetorical theory, its history, and its applications; these degrees will increasingly combine theoretical and practical areas.

Some of these degree programs can be combined with programs from other disciplines as well, allowing students to tailor their university degree to their specific interests and goals.

 The department also is home to student groups such as the English Students' Association or the Creative Writers Club. These student-led organizations arrange different activities and events, providing opportunities for students to become part of an engaged community.

 For the 2014-15 academic year, we are running four first-year courses. ENGL 1F91 - English Literature Tradition and Innovation provides a survey of English Literature from the medieval period to the present; it is taught by Dr Leah Knight, who researches books and women's reading practices in early modern England and is also the director of our graduate program. ENGL 1F95 - Literature in English: Forms, Themes and Approaches takes its readings primarily from nineteenth- and twentieth-century works; it is taught by Dr Neta Gordon, who researches contemporary Canadian fiction and drama, is the past Chair of the department, and was the winner of the 2011 Faculty of Humanities Excellence in Teaching award. ENGL 1F97 - Literature of Trauma and Recovery focuses on narratives of illness, violence, death, and mourning; it is taught this year by Dr James Allard, who researches patient narratives in early nineteenth-century England and was a top ten finalist in the 2009 TVO's Best Lecturer Competition. WRIT 1P96 - Introduction to Writing, Rhetoric and Professional Discourse introduces students to rhetorical theory and some of the genres of public writing; it is taught by Dr Rob Alexander, who researches the links between conventional and literary journalism, and who has been active in developing the Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse Studies Program.

 Although the professors who teach these first-year courses change from year to year, what does not change is this: we always offer a selection of first-year courses to meet a range of student interests and needs; these first-year courses (during the fall-winter terms) are always taught by full-time faculty members; these courses always include some discussion component--for the ENGL courses, that means seminar groups of no more than 20 students in conjunction with the weekly lectures.

If you would like more information, feel free to contact me (ahowey@brocku.ca). Hope to see you at Brock soon! Dr Ann Howey