Last updated: August 1, 2014 @ 03:26PM


Master of Arts in English

Field(s) of Specialization
Text/ Community/ Discourse

J. Douglas Kneale
Faculty of Humanities

Associate Dean
Carol U. Merriam
Faculty of Humanities

Core Faculty

Tim Conley (English Language and Literature), Martin Danahay (English Language and Literature), J. Douglas Kneale (English Language and Literature), Marilyn Rose (English Language and Literature), Mathew Martin (English Language and Literature), Elizabeth Sauer (English Language and Literature)

Associate Professors
Robert Alexander (English Language and Literature), James Allard (English Language and Literature), Lynn Arner (English Language and Literature), Gregory Betts (English Language and Literature), Adam Dickinson (English Language and Literature), Neta Gordon (English Language and Literature), Ann Howey (English Language and Literature), Leah Knight (English Language and Literature), Barbara K. Seeber (English Language and Literature), Susan Spearey (English Language and Literature), Carole Stewart (English Language and Literature)

Assistant Professors
Natalee Caple (English Language and Literature), Gale Coskan-Johnson (English Language and Literature), Andrew Pendakis (English Language and Literature)

Graduate Program Director
Leah Knight

Administrative Assistant
Janet Sackfie
905-688-5550, extension 3469
573A Glenridge GLN 157

Program Description
The MA in English has a Field of "Text/Community/Discourse." As mutually informing concepts, "text," "community," and "discourse" suggest the power of texts to reflect and to shape both communities of origin and communities of reception. The Program also focuses critical attention on the kinds of negotiation both material and theoretical attending the production, performance, and reception of texts. Literary and textual problems acquire richer significance when viewed in relation to the ways in which texts, both literary and non-literary, are produced and used in the often conflicting discourses that constitute the culture of a community.

While the program offers both a thesis option and a major essay option, students are strongly encouraged to pursue the major essay option. Both options are designed to normally be completed in three terms or one year.

Admission Requirements
Successful completion of four year Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in English Literature, with a minimum average of B+. Applications with a co-major in English and a related discipline will be considered, although such students may be required to take additional qualifying undergraduate courses.

Exceptions for students with unique circumstances will be considered.

The Graduate Admissions Committee will review all applications and recommend admission for a limited number of suitable candidates.

Individuals interested in part-time study should consult with the Graduate Program Director.

Degree Requirements
All students are required to take the two core courses, ENGL 5P00 and ENGL 5P01. Major Research Paper students must take four additional ENGL courses selected from the variable topics offerings; Thesis students take two such additional ENGL courses. With the permission of the Graduate Program Director a student may take a course from one of the other MA programs in the university or a reading course/tutorial (ENGL 5P02) in place of a course from the variable topics list.

Research Paper students will with the guidance of the Graduate Program Director arrange for a supervisor and a second reader and shall choose a topic in consultation with the supervisor, the second reader and the Graduate Program Director. A Thesis student will, with the permission of the Graduate Program Director, arrange for a thesis supervisor; the student and the supervisor will, with a supervisory committee appointed by the Graduate Program Director, choose a thesis topic.

Course Descriptions

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
Major Research Paper
A research project on a selected topic involving independent work and original research and thought.

MA Thesis
An extended research project involving the preparation and defence of a thesis which shall demonstrate capacity for independent work and original research and thought.

Theoretical Foundations
Survey and critical analysis of a broad range of theories bearing on the relation of literary texts to cultural formations.

Graduate Seminar in Research and Professional Development
Topics such as the nature and requirements of academic work, research methodologies, research resources, the nature and requirements of the graduate thesis and research paper, the development of the research proposal, focused discussion of research and design strategies for the work proposed, the development of and adherence to a schedule, preparation of conference proposals and public presentations.

Graduate Tutorial
Research course with directed study and regular meetings with a faculty member, covering topics not offered in a designated course. Requires permission of the Graduate Program Director.

ENGL 5V10-5V19
Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture
English literature, literary culture, and discourses on community from the 14th century to the late 17th century.

ENGL 5V20-5V29
The Long Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture
Studies in literature and culture from the Restoration of Charles II to the ascension of Victoria, 1660-1837.

2014-2015: Literary Forms of Early Nationhood
Examinations of the literary discourses of early nationhood--Renaissance to Romantic--in select writings by E. Spenser, A. Bradstreet, J. Milton, J. Swift, T. Cary, A. L. Barbauld, A. Kidd, and others. Historical, literary, critical, bibliographical, and theoretical perspectives. Includes re-evaluations of seminal contributions to nationalism studies by Helgerson, Gellner, Hobsbawm, Anderson, Greenfeld, and others.

ENGL 5V30-5V39
Nineteenth Century British and American Literature and Culture
Literature and literary culture in relation to the political, social and intellectual movements of the 19th century. May include transatlantic or nationally located studies.

ENGL 5V40-5V49
Twentieth Century Literature and Culture
Literature and cultural identity, location and change in established and developing literatures in the 20th century.

ENGL 5V50-5V59
Canadian Literature and Culture
Studies in Canadian literature with an emphasis on texts and their relation to intersecting notions of community.

ENGL 5V60-5V69
Contemporary Literature and Culture
The role of literature in the creation and maintenance of located and imagined communities in the contemporary world.

2014-2015: Textualizing "Post"-conflict Histories
An exploration of the cultural work performed by artistic texts in the aftermath of sustained conflict, with emphasis on post-apartheid South Africa. Topics include reimagining justice; land reform and textual remapping; HIV/AIDS and the legacies of apartheid biopolitics; redistribution of material and human resources; heritage industries and the politics of memory work; xenophobia, migration and statelessness; and witnessing traumatic history.

ENGL 5V70-5V79
Special Topics in Literature and Culture
Literature, culture and community in areas such as genre studies, specialized theoretical studies and comparative historical studies.

2014-2015: Steampunk: Refashioning the Past and Retrofitting the Future
(also offered as HUMA 5V75)
Examination of Steampunk as a literary, visual, fashion and musical movement in popular culture. Focus on ideological issues of nostalgia, technophilia, imperialism, racism and gender.

ENGL 5V80-5V89
Rhetoric and Discourse Studies
Study of rhetoric, genre, discourse and language. Topics may include rhetorical instatiations of textual communities, ideologies of language as they operate in conceptualizations of nation and self, and discourse analytic methods for examining texts and their contexts.

2014-2015: Rhetorics of (Trans)national Identification and Division
Explores the rhetorics of identification and division in the formation, disruption, disintegration, and repair of (trans)national discourse communities. Examines a variety of textual forms including literary, scholarly, juridicial, and (pop) cultural texts to consider the notion of (trans) national community, its founding binaries, and its (perhaps precarious) positions in the current era of globalization and "fast capitalism."