Last updated: June 14, 2017 @ 01:22PM


Master of Arts in English

Field(s) of Specialization
Text/ Community/ Discourse

Carol U. Merriam
Faculty of Humanities

Associate Dean
Michael Carter
Faculty of Humanities

Core Faculty

Tim Conley (English Language and Literature), Martin Danahay (English Language and Literature), Mathew Martin, (English Language and Literature), Elizabeth Sauer (English Language and Literature), Barbara K. Seeber (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), Gale Coskan-Johnson (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), Susan Spearey (English Language and Literature), Carole Stewart (English Language and Literature)

Assistant Professors
Natalee Caple (English Language and Literature), Ronald Cummings (English Language and Literature), Andrew Pendakis (English Language and Literature)

Graduate Program Director
Tim Conley

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 Research Paper option, students are strongly encouraged to pursue the Major Research Paper option. Both options are designed to 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 5F01. 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.

Major 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

Note that not all courses are offered in every session. Refer to the applicable timetable for details.

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.
Professional Skills and Development
Topics such as the nature of graduate studies, pedagogy, advanced research skills and resources, the development of research and grant proposals, career preparation, and preparation for conference presentations and publishing.

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 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.

2017-2018: Historiography and the Middle Ages
This course focuses on historiographical practices during the Middle Ages and now, examining medieval English writings about earlier events and eras, as well as current constructions of the Middle Ages. Texts include Arthurian romances, renditions of the English Rising of 1381, and chroniclers' accounts of colonial struggles, alongside theoretical readings by Foucault, Williams, Benjamin, Love, Dinshaw, and Rancière.

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.

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.

2017-2018: Dionne Brand: Texts and Critical Contexts
Dionne Brand's writing has been central to Canadian Literature, Caribbean and Black Atlantic Studies, Postcolonialism, Queer Studies and other critical fields, and is well-known for its complex engagement with questions of race, representation, gender, sexuality, nation, diaspora, and desire. This course will focus on Dionne Brand's prose texts, across different genres, including her novels, essays, memoir and short fiction.

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.

2017-2018: Pirates and Piracy in Literature and Film
Examining the figure of the pirate as political and social citizen and the theme of piracy as the product of capitalist economies and imagined alternatives across literature and film. Study of the representations of men, women, and people of colour in works on piracy, the representations of different nation/states, and land and sea as metaphors.

2017-2018: Literary Journalism and Ecocriticism
Examination of the unique prominence creative nonfiction generally, and literary journalism in particular, occupy in Ecocriticism. Special focus on works written after WWII and the questions they raise concerning genre, the factual, and literariness as a critique of and response to the anthropocentric bias of mainstream media representations of nonhuman animals and the environment.

ENGL 5V80-5V89
Rhetoric and Discourse Studies
Study of rhetoric, genre, discourse and language. Topics may include rhetorical instantiations 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.