Sign Up for Email Updates

Course Description

A girl standing in a library reading a large gold book

This course, which is designed primarily for those not planning a specialization in English, introduces students to literary texts and persuasive forms of writing, bringing to the fore some of the links between language and contemporary social and political issues. Course materials will represent diversity in terms of national origins, gender, race, and class. The course emphasizes the use of figurative language as well as the development of students' critical reading and writing skills. Students planning to major or minor or pursue an area of concentration in English must take ENGL*1080 and ENGL*2080, but may also take ENGL*1200 and count it as an elective lecture.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

1.    Use university-level interpretive and analytical strategies for reading and discussing texts

-       from the following genres: poetry, drama, and fiction.

-       written in English in Britain, Canada, and the United States.

-       written from and/or about the perspectives of traditionally marginalized voices, including but not limited to those of women, non-caucasians, and sexual                        minorities.

2.    Use close reading to understand how texts create meaning.

3.    Define a range of literary terms that are essential to university-level discussions of literature.

4.    Discuss the ways that literary texts reflect their social and political contexts and, in turn, may be understood to shape such contexts.

5.    Understand different theoretical positions that inform reading practices.

6.    Express increasingly sophisticated ideas about literature in writing.

7.    Write approximately 10-12 pages of polished prose, in which considerable attention has been paid to the formation and development of a sophisticated                       argument, the appropriate and effective use of textual evidence (primary text only), and the structure and generic conventions of literary criticism

Course Topics

  • Fiction - Vanderhaeghe
  • Drama - Vogel
  • Reading Poetry
  • Poetry - Clarke
  • Drama - Churchill
  • Fiction - Brand


Assessment Item Weight
Short Written Assignments 20%
Discussions 20%
Argument Papers 30%
Take-Home Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Reading the Contemporary World
September 08, 2022 to December 02, 2022
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
Domestic Tuition Fee - Non-Ontario (0.5 units) $713.81 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $3,106.72 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes
Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.
Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) What we all long for / Love enough: Two Toronto Novels by Dionne Brand Knopf Canada 2020 edition ISBN 9780735279872
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill Routledge 1984 edition ISBN 9781854590909
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Execution Poems by George Elliott Clarke Gaspereau Press 2009 edition ISBN 9781554470815
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Man Descending by Guy Vanderhaeghe McClelland & Stewart 2005 edition ISBN 0771086849
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) The Baltimore Waltz and Other Plays by Paula Vogel Theater Communications Group 1995 edition ISBN 9781559361095
Required fields are indicated by .