Undergraduate Studies in English
Our Honours and BA programs are designed that you can explore English literature and cultural studies in greater depth and detail as you progress from level to level. As a School we have particular curricular strength in the following areas:
- popular genres
- empire, race and transnationalism
- print and digital cultures
- North American studies
- children's literature and culture
- creative writing
- transnational nineteenth-century writing
- critical and cultural theory
Just as our School itself is a disciplinary hybrid, the undergraduate curriculum combines seminar and lecture experiences in a unique fashion. Our first year offerings combine lectures with seminar workshops. After first year, the curriculum builds on these two types of learning environments.
To ensure that students are continually building their critical skills we offer small, focused, discussion-based seminar courses in years 2 - 4. Participation in this spine of seminars is required for both Honours and BA English students and it is in these intimate settings that students hone their analytical skills and become increasing sophisticated writers. In second year students take ENGL 2120 (Critical Practices) and ENGL 2130 (Literature and Social Change). The former focuses on theories of cultural analysis while the latter introduces students to the politics of cultural critique. In third year students delve further into these issues in ENGL 3940 (Form, Genre, and Literary Value) and ENGL 3960 (Literature in History). The content of these seminars is variable and often use case studies to explore how textual conventions and historical context inform the practice of reading
The seminar experience culminates in a set of unique capstone courses at the fourth year level. Reserved for honours students, these fourth-year seminars are considered the equivalent of two courses because they offer intense and open consideration of a specific topic akin to the kind of course offered at the MA level. Very few programs make this kind of commitment to their upper level students and it is one of the hallmarks of our program.
This spine of seminars is supplemented by an array of second and third year lectures that provide our students with a sense of the history and variety of literary and cultural productions in English. We offer courses in the literatures of Great Britain, Canada, the United States and the literatures of the postcolonial world. In addition we offer lectures in a range of topics defined less by geography than by methodology. There are lecture courses in critical and cultural theory, in women’s writing, in children’s literature and culture, in representation and sexuality, in literary production and in popular genres. The content of these courses varies a great deal according to faculty expertise and interest so students have an unusual opportunity of engaging with the cutting edge of literary and cultural scholarship.
At the end of their undergraduate program, our students leave with highly developed presentation and writing skills, with visible credentials and with a full awareness of the excitement and direction of contemporary research in the humanities.
Prospective students, for more information please click here.
Current students, for information including downloadable files, please click here.
For information about TESS -- The English Students' Society, please click here.
Our students go on to a variety of careers—in teaching, law, publishing, journalism, public service, business, and many other fields.