Last updated: July 11, 2023 @ 10:20AM
Master of Arts in English
Field(s) of Specialization
Text/ Community/ Discourse
Carol U. Merriam
Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities
Gregory Betts, Tim Conley, Adam Dickinson, Martin Danahay, Neta Gordon, Ann Howey, Leah Knight, Mathew Martin, Lissa Paul Elizabeth Sauer, Barbara K. Seeber, Carole Stewart
Robert Alexander, James Allard, Lynn Arner, Natalee Caple, Gale Coskan-Johnson, Andrew Pendakis, Susan Spearey
Graduate Program Director
Graduate Program Assistant
905-688-5550, extension 3884
573A Glenridge GLN A 202
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.
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 candidates.
Individuals interested in part-time study should consult with the Graduate Program Director.
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.
Note that not all courses are offered in every session. Refer to the applicable timetable for details.
Students must 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.
An extended research project involving the preparation and defence of a thesis which shall demonstrate capacity for independent work and original research and thought.
Surveys a range of thinkers and theoretical schools structuring the current discipline of English, including critical race theory, psychoanalysis, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, queer theory, British cultural studies, Foucault, and Bourdieu.
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.
Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture
English literature, literary culture, and discourses on community from the 14th century to the late 17th century.
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.
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.
Twentieth Century Literature and Culture
Literature and cultural identity, location and change in established and developing literatures in the 20th century.
Canadian Literature and Culture
Studies in Canadian literature with an emphasis on texts and their relation to intersecting notions of community.
2023-2024 The Politics and Art of Orientation in the Work of Ann-Marie MacDonald
Explores the play, novels, and persona of Ann-Marie MacDonald using the theoretical frameworks of queer phenomenology, literary geography, and literary celebrity. Special attention paid to MacDonald's play with adaptation, intertextuality, genre, and plotting in relation to queer and feminist politics in the mainstream.
Contemporary Literature and Culture
The role of literature in the creation and maintenance of located and imagined communities in the contemporary world.
2023-2024 How to Speak to Aliens: Contact Literature and Beyond
Explores limit cases of exploration narratives, including the representation of contact in Canadian contexts, contemporary science fiction, and the phenomenology of aliens. In order to address the future of transcultural exchange, course texts will compare Indigenous-settler interactions with examples of contemporary science-fiction that re-map the distinctions between self and other.
Special Topics in Literature and Culture
Literature, culture and community in areas such as genre studies, specialized theoretical studies and comparative historical studies.
Examines the university as a powerful institution in Canada and the US. Topics include the rise of neoliberalism, the corporatization of academe, who produces knowledge and who is peripheral to knowledge production, the crisis of the Humanities, cultural capital, affirmative action, and faculty labor. Readings include Foucault, Bourdieu, Chow, Brim, Messer-Davidow and Ahmed.
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.
2023-2024 Protest/ Resistance: Feelings, Opinions, Arguments, Acts
Examines the discursive topography of protest/ resistance through figures as the protester, the police, the sovereign subject, and the public spaces of assembly. Will explore the politics, histories, geographies, arguments, and practices enacted in both historical and contemporary texts and in viral rhetorics that circulate on social media platforms.