College of Arts and Science - where great minds meet Home

400-Level Classes - 2015-2016

Honours Seminars

Please note:

  • 6 cu at the 300 level is a pre- or co- requisite for any 400-level class.
  • Honours seminars are open only to students who have been admitted to an Honours program or who have the permission of the department.
  • Honours seminars are conducted in a different manner from regular classes. Limited to 15 students each, seminars provide opportunities for students to present papers and to engage in critical discussion of literature on a regular basis. 
  • Each seminar is a PERMISSION ONLY class. After honours or other senior students participate in an advising session with a designated faculty member, the advisor will notify undergraduate co-ordinator Diana Pitoulis  to allow registration in the seminar(s). Please register for the class(es) 1-2 days after registration opens (early June).  If you have any questions or problems, please contact Seminars are first come, first served, and seats are limited.
  • This information is accurate as of March 24, 2015. Please note the University of Saskatchewan reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any classes.  For the most up-to-date information, please click here.



ENG 402.3 (02) TOPICS IN ANGLO-SAXON & MEDIEVAL LITERATURE: Medieval Texts in the Digital Age

T2  M 1:00  (Peter Robinson)

Category 1 

The key question of this course is this: what does it mean, to ‘know’ the past? We will be using medieval texts to answer this question, but we could ask it for any texts from any era. The question is specially acute in the digital age: our age, our means of communication, are so different from the medieval era that the gulf appears insurmountable. Given these differences, is it even possible to ‘know’ the medieval age? This course will move in two directions at once, pointing in completely opposite directions. The first direction is backward, and as if through a microscope: we will look as closely as we can at particular texts, manuscripts, and original materials, asking: who made them? why? for whom? what do they contain? what is their history? The second direction is forward, and as if through the other end of the microscope: we will look at modern representations, especially in the digital era, of these same medieval materials. How are the originals changed? What is lost, what is gained? Does it help, to know the originals? For these we will look at film versions (e.g. the notorious 1999 Beowulf and the scarcely less extraordinary 2007 version with Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother); novels (e.g. Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead and its film version); even rap (Baba Brinkman’s versions of Chaucer).


ENG 404.3 (01) TOPICS IN 16TH-CENTURY LITERATURE: Classical and Renaissance Satire

T1  T 1:00  (Brent Nelson and John Porter)

Category 2 

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century there was a new taste for satire in England and a new interest in exploring and responding to classical models. This course will examine the development of the genre in its socio-political and intellectual context in ancient Rome in such writers as Horace, Juvenal, and Persius and the influence of these models on Renaissance English satire in such writers as John Donne, Joseph Hall, John Marston, and Ben Jonson, as well as the socio-political circumstances that led to this surge in satirical writing.


ENG 410.3 (01) TOPICS IN 18TH-CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE: Jane Austen’s Afterlives — Pride and Prejudice

T1  R 9:30  (Kathleen James-Cavan)

Category 3 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that although moldering in her grave for nearly 200 years, Jane Austen lives. Beginning in 1830 the Austenian voice has been authorizing completions, continuations, travesties, and imitations of the novels, and turning up in a plethora of other media such as graphic novels, plays, films, television adaptations, and video- and card games. In our exploration of such matters as adaptation, imitation, intertextuality, parody, and the role of the medium in (re)producing meaning, we will begin with a critical reading of the 1813 version of Pride and Prejudice and then turn to its twentieth- and twenty-first-century manifestations. Possible works for our perusal include the 1940 film version, Bride and Prejudice (dir. Gurinder Chadha), and the miniseries (dir. Andrew Wright); continuations such as Pemberley Shades and Death Comes to Pemberley; and adaptations such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Longbourn, and Austenland. As an added delight, we may close out the course with a Jane Austen murder mystery game.


ENG 418.3 (01) TOPICS IN 19TH-CENTURY CANADIAN LITERATURE: Roots and Contexts of Canadian Literature

T1  W 9:30  (Kevin Flynn)

Category 3, Canadian 

I know what you’re thinking: “Nineteenth-century Canadian literature?! Ugh. I’ll take a pass.” Here’s why you’d be wrong to think that way: the study of Canadian literature of this period offers many and fruitful directions for literary and cultural inquiry. Among our interests in this course: the influence of Romanticism on early Canadian literature; the thorny problem of literary equality and “evaluative criticism”; the ways in which American transcendentalism touches upon our field of study; and what it means to be a “Canadian” literary text in the first place (it’s more complicated than you think). We will read some fiction, but our focus will be on poetry—so this is your chance to polish your poetry chops, which are essential for any true scholar of literature. We will fill in some gaps in our historical and cultural knowledge of Canada and will have ample opportunity to build/refine our abilities as readers of poetry. Participation in class discussion will be weighted quite heavily; our goal will be to talk together—and hopefully argue—in ways that energize our interest in the literature of the place and period.


ENG 444.3 (62) TOPICS IN COMMONWEALTH & POST-COLONIAL LITERATURE: Can the Master’s Tools Dismantle the Master’s House? Postcolonial Women Writers

T2 R 9:30 (Cynthia Wallace) – Category 4 

The Caribbean-American feminist writer and activist Audre Lorde famously proclaimed in 1984, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” In this seminar we will seek to understand how various women writers in postcolonial locations echo, extend, or challenge Lorde’s provocative claim. In other words, how do women writers use and conceptualize the English language, the Western literary canon, the project of nation building, the Christian religion, and the political aims of democracy, independence, and power? Can the goods and goals of oppressors be appropriated in the name of freedom, or are they inescapably tainted—and if so, what are the alternatives to using the master’s tools? In addition to Reina Lewis and Sarah Mills’s Feminist Postcolonial Theory, possible texts include Toni Morrison’s A Mercy, Cherríe Moraga’s Heroes and Saints, Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood, and Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven.


ENG 462.3 (01) TOPICS IN 20TH-CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE: Conrad and Modernism

T1  F 1:00  (Ludmilla Voitkovska)

Category 4 

Joseph Conrad remains one of the most complex figures of modernism, capable of spinning entertaining yarns of life at sea that turn out to explore unexpected philosophical depths. He bequeathed to modernism the sense that life must have an ultimate meaning, but one that can never be made fully explicit. At a time of spreading disillusionment with the existing models of the individual and the social, Conrad exposed European sensibilities to alternative cultures, ethics and social structures. His treatment of imperialism reflected a growing unease at the barbarity of the colonizers’ behaviour toward colonized people. Conrad’s concern with narration and epistemology reflects the struggle to convey through the medium of language the heterogeneity of modern life. Modernism has been characterized as a literature of crisis, and Conrad places crisis at the centre of his narrative. According to Fredric Jameson, Conrad’s writing thematizes “the emergence not merely of what will be contemporary modernism . . . but, also, still tangibly juxtaposed with it, of what will variously be called popular culture or mass culture.” Conrad convinces us that the Victorian era is over, in other words, by accurately forecasting the shape of the culture to come next.


ENG 484.3 (02) LITERATURE BY WOMEN: Indigenous Women’s Media

T2 T 1:00 – Lab R 1:00 (Tasha Hubbard)

Category 5 

This course is a survey of Indigenous women’s media making, including drama, documentary, short film, and new media. Beginning with the work of Alanis Obomsawin, the course will chart the way in which Indigenous women have used particular genres of filmmaking to have a voice in the issues that affect their lives such as residential school, mediated identities, violence against women and struggles for the land. Particular emphasis will be on exploring an Indigenous aesthetic, access to film resources, the collective filmmaking process, and video art. Filmmakers include Lisa Jackson, Dana Claxton, Tracey Deer, Danis Goulet, and Christine Welsh. Emerging Blackfoot-Sami filmmaker Elle-Maija Tailfeathers will be a guest for one class to discuss her award-winning body of work. Students will also collaboratively curate a screening for the Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity-Broadway Theatre film series.



T2  R 3:30-5:00  (Kathleen James-Cavan)


“So, what are you going to do with that English degree?” If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss for an answer to this question, this course may be for you.

Internship students earn three credit units while gaining valuable experience in

  • research,
  • public relations,
  • writing for publication,
  • grant-writing,
  • editing,
  • teaching writing, and
  • promoting literacy.

Interns provide approximately 80 hours to the organization over a twelve-week period under the joint supervision of Prof. James-Cavan and a workplace supervisor. The time commitment is comparable to that expected in other honours seminars. In addition, all interns meet as a class fortnightly throughout the term. One short incident analysis, two brief journal entries, and one substantial term paper are required. There is no final written examination.

Internships are currently available with such organizations as Sage Hill Writing Experience, Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre, PAVED Arts, the University Library, the University Learning Centre, Student Enrolment and Services Division, the International Student and Study Abroad Centre, Saskatoon Correctional Centre, and Sherbrooke Community Centre. Other placements are planned as well. Interested students should contact Prof. Kathleen James-Cavan ( in Arts 321 or the Administrative Assistant in Arts 522 for further information about how to apply for an internship position.



T2 (Wendy Roy) 

The Department of English Honours Colloquium is a compulsory part of the Honours program and consists of an oral presentation of a short scholarly paper at a conference of Honours students. The paper is normally based on a paper already prepared, or in preparation, for a 300- or 400-level course. This will be a one- or two-day event in early February. In preparing the paper for this event, students should seek the advice of a faculty member. Note that this course is required for all Honours and Double Honours students, but has no credit unit value. Students will receive informal feedback, but no formal evaluation.





T2  W 1:00  (Allison Muri)

May be used to fulfill English Category 5

Prerequisite: Completion of the majority of the Minor in Digital Culture and New Media 

This is a capstone seminar in which advanced principles of history, theory, and design are applied to a suitable interdisciplinary project in new media creation and commentary. The seminar, which builds upon the foundations established throughout the course of study, focuses on approaches to be taken in defining project objectives and scope, researching suitable contexts, and designing and implementing a new media project. Design philosophy and methods are discussed and explored in the context of the particular assignment. The course requires that the students work in groups to achieve a unified production, which may include a formal essay in addition to blogs, digital films, art, and/or soundscapes published online. Group interaction and performance is monitored throughout. The course builds on the foundation of traditional research skills, technical skills, writing skills, and critical analysis that you have learned throughout your undergraduate education, but also involves “new media” skills of collaboration, networking, negotiation, problem solving, and play to publish and interact online.


Advising & Resources

100-Level Classes Fall & Winter

200-Level Classes Fall & Winter

300-Level Classes Fall & Winter

400-Level Classes Fall & Winter

Spring & Summer Courses

Undergraduate Society

Scholarships & Awards

Requirements For Essays

Course Handbook