EN 3230 6.0: MODERN CANADIAN FICTION
TERM: Fall-Winter 2019-2020
WEBSITE : www.allanweiss.com
COURSE INSTRUCTOR :
TIMES AND LOCATIONS :
Seminar R 2:30-5:30 FC 105
EXPANDED COURSE DESCRIPTION :
This course introduces students to works of English- and French-Canadian fiction from the 1940s to the present day, exploring a broad range of short stories and novels published during the period after World War II. As we read the course texts, we will pay attention not only to their thematic and formal elements but also to their historical and social contexts. While social realism has dominated Canadian fiction since its earliest days, non-realist texts have also been an important part of our literary heritage, and recent authors have raised challenges to the realist mode in postmodernist and fantastic texts. In addition, authors from a growing diversity of backgrounds and marginalized communities have added new dimensions to the country’s fiction. Thus, we will look at texts that illustrate the variety of modes and voices that have characterized recent Canadian fiction. Francophone texts will be studied in translation.
ORGANIZATION OF THE COURSE:
We will meet for one three-hour seminar each week. There will be a lecture during the first part of the seminar that will set the broader context for understanding that week's reading(s) and themes. After the lecture, we will have a class discussion of the week's material, focusing directly on the text or texts. All students will be expected to come to class having completed the assigned reading so that they are prepared to discuss it.
COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
1. Brief Statement of Purpose
The course deals with the development of modern Canadian fiction from the 1940s on, at all times placing that development in its historical and cultural contexts. Students will be introduced to some of the major literary movements, modes, and trends in Canadian fiction during the period, including but not limited to modernism, postmodernism, magic realism, surrealism, fantastic literature, and realist and non-realist French-Canadian fiction. Novels will be supplemented by short stories to ensure as broad a coverage as possible of the range of styles, techniques, and authors.
2. Specific Learning Objectives :
It is hoped that students will gain an understanding of the key modes and movements in modern and contemporary Canadian fiction, and become familiar with a number of major figures in the field. One of the objectives of the course is to introduce students to authors they might not have read or even heard of before, so as to broaden their understanding of the various types of fiction that comprise recent work in the genre. Students will be expected to explore and make some use of secondary material, both theoretical and critical, on Canadian fiction, particularly in their major written work.
COURSE TEXTS :
Sinclair Ross, As for Me and My House (New Canadian Library)
Mordecai Richler, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (Penguin)
Sheila Watson, The Double Hook (New Canadian Library)
Gabrielle Roy, The Tin Flute (New Canadian Library)
Timothy Findley, The
Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion (Vintage)
Joy Kogawa, Obasan (Penguin)
Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach (Vintage)
Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy (Emblem)
In addition, there is a course kit containing short stories
Grading, Assignment Submission, Lateness Penalties, and Missed Tests
Grading: The grading scheme for the course conforms to the 9-point grading system used in
undergraduate programs at
(For a full description of
Students may take a limited number of courses for degree credit on an ungraded (pass/fail) basis. For full information on this option see Alternative Grading Option in the Faculty of Arts section of the Undergraduate Calendar.
Assignment Submission : Proper academic performance depends on students doing their work not only well, but on time. Accordingly, assignments for this course must be received on the due date specified for the assignment. Assignments are to be handed in to the instructor at the tutorial.
Lateness Penalty : Assignments received later than the due date will be penalized one-half letter grade per week or portion thereof that it is late . Exceptions to the lateness penalty
for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc., may be entertained by the instructor but will require supporting documentation (e.g., a doctor’s letter).
Missed Tests: Students with a documented reason for missing a course test, such as illness,
compassionate grounds, etc., which is confirmed by supporting documentation (e.g., doctor’s letter), may request accommodation from the instructor. Further extensions or accommodation will require students to submit a formal petition to the Faculty. Be sure to consult the Faculty of Arts guidelines on Deferred Standing Agreements, petitions, etc.
IMPORTANT COURSE INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS :
All students are expected to familiarize themselves with the following information, available on the Senate Committee on Curriculum & Academic Standards webpage (see Reports, Initiatives, Documents): http://www.yorku.ca/secretariat/senate_cte_main_pages/ccas.htm
- York’s Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures/Academic Integrity Website
- Ethics Review Process for research involving human participants
- Course requirement accommodation for students with disabilities, including physical, medical, systemic, learning and psychiatric disabilities
- Student Conduct Standards
- Religious Observance Accommodation
The last date to add the course without permission of the course director is Sept. 17, 2019
The last date to add the course with permission of course director is Oct. 22, 2019
The last date to drop the course without academic penalty is Feb. 3, 2020
LECTURE SCHEDULE AND READING ASSIGNMENTS :
1. Sept. 5 Introduction: Modern and “Modern” Canadian Fiction
Mavis Gallant, “Acceptance of Their Ways”
John Metcalf, “Early Morning Rabbits”
Reading: Margaret Laurence, "A Bird in the House"
6. Oct. 10 French-Canadian Modernism
Reading: Gabriel Roy, The Tin Flute
7. Oct. 17 Reading Week: No Classes
8. Oct. 24 Realism and Satire
First Essay due
10. Nov. 7 Historiographic Metafiction
11. Nov. 14 Mythopoeic Fiction
Reading: Alice Munro, Who
Do You Think You Are?
1. Jan. 9 The Immigrant Experience and the City
Reading: Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion
Reading: Phyllis Gotlieb, "Tauf Aleph"
Charles de Lint, "The Pennymen"
3. Jan. 23 The Immigrant Experience: Old World and New World
Reading: Joy Kogawa, Obasan
Reading: Margaret Atwood, "Death By Landscape”
Leon Rooke, “Want to Play House?"
Reading: Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy
Madeleine Thien, "Simple Recipes"
Reading: Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach
Reading: Alistair MacLeod , “The Boat”
Lynn Coady, "Hellgoing”
Reading: Kim Thuy, Ru
Reading: Lisa Moore, "If You're There"
Michael Crummey, "Roots"
12. Mar. 26 The Suburban Experience
Reading: David Chariandy, Brother
Third Essay due