About 400-level Seminars

400-level classes are seminars, with lower enrolment (limited to fifteen students) and more intensive, student-led discussion and self-directed research than is typical of 300-level classes. While they are required for students in the Honours program, they are open to senior English majors and are a wonderful experience for capable students who would enjoy a deeper dive into a focused topic. 

6 credit units of 300-level English and a major average of at least 70% is normally required for permission to register. If you are interested in 400-level classes, please contact the Undergraduate Chair, Prof. Ella Ophir: e.ophir@usask.ca  

400-Level Classes

402.3   Topics in Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Literature

T1        F  1:30-4:20     Michael Cichon                       Category 1

This year, ENG 402.3 is cross-listed with and will be run simultaneously with CMRS 401.3. We will explore narratives of chivalry (both literary and historical), their Classical antecedents and Renaissance heirs and successors. Topics may include: romanitas and virtus; Malory’s Pentecostal Oath, Froissart’s Chronicles, Henry IV’s musings on Chivalry; religious dimensions of chivalry, Bernard’s Rule for the Templars, the Grail Quest; renaissance courtesy and civility, Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier and Della Casa’s Galateo.

444.3   Topics in Decolonizing and Transnational Literatures

T2        R  1:30-4:20    Cindy Wallace                         Category 5     

The Caribbean-American feminist writer and activist Audre Lorde famously proclaimed in 1983, “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 key texts in postcolonial feminist theory, we will likely read novels by Toni Morrison, Jean Rhys, Buchi Emecheta, Louise Erdrich, Kiran Desai, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

460.3   Topics in 20th Century British and Irish Literature: Virginia Woolf

T2        T  1:30-4:20     Ann Martin                  Category 4

Virginia Woolf’s body of work speaks to her consistent questioning of early twentieth-century Britain and the traditions by which it was shaped—an impulse extended in our own century by writers such as Sina Queyras and Kabe Wilson. This course will explore Woolf’s place in literary history as a modernist and a self-proclaimed snob (she was joking) (mostly), as well as a deeply political analyst whose writing represents a sustained social critique of her moment in time. We’ll work from A Room of One’s Own (1928) according to her play with form and content, and explore further the implications of her style in analyses of selected short fiction, essays, and novels, such as Mrs Dalloway (1925) and Between the Acts (1941). Woolf’s emphasis on lived experiences of modernity and her rendition of subjective states and modern identities will focus much of our work, as we examine how and to what ends she represents a time of remarkable flux, change, and conflict. 

466.3   Topics in 20th-Century Canadian Literature

T1        T  1:30-4:20    Gerald White               Category 4

The topic here is the National Film Board of Canada (also known as the NFB).  We will begin with the NFB’s roots in the British documentary movement of the 1930s, and move on to discussion of its earliest years as a producer of WWII propaganda, its 1950s and 60s reputation as a hotbed both of technical innovation and Quebec nationalism, the linked 1960s and 70s programmes of Challenge for Change / Société nouvelle / the Indian Film Crew, its development of cutting edge techniques in animation and multi-screen projection (culminating in the experiments of Expo 67), its special divisions of the 80s and 90s such as Studio D (devoted to films by women) and Studio 1 (an early Indigenous film production unit based in Edmonton), its sometimes-successful and sometimes-misguided forays into feature-narrative filmmaking, its shift from being a self-contained operation with staff filmmakers (and we will have a special focus on the last of these staff directors, the Abenkai filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin) to its present-day reality as a producer and funding body, and finally its contemporary experiments in virtual environments and other forms of “expanded cinema.” 

496.3   Career Internship

T2        M  2:30-5:10 (biweekly)         Sarah Powrie

This course is designed to prepare students to meet the job market by introducing them to a work environment that allows them to apply their academic skills. Students will identify their own goals for the class and will reflect on ways that their work placement dovetails with their academic experience. Internships are available with a range of organisations in Saskatoon and units within the University. Past placements have included Sage Hill Writing Experience, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, PAVED Arts, Student Learning Services, the University Library, Arts & Science and University communications offices, the Saskatchewan Literacy Network, Frontier College, Saskatoon Correctional Centre, Sherbrooke Community Centre, the Department of English, and the MFA in Writing program. The time commitment is comparable other 400-level courses: interns provide approximately 70 hours to the organization they are placed with, and meet as a class every second week throughout the term. Interested students should first contact the Undergraduate Chair, Professor Ella Ophir: e.ophir@usask.ca

497.0   Honours Colloquium

 T1/T2 (Ella Ophir)  

The Department of English Honours Colloquium is a required (and really great) part of the Honours program. Graduating Honours and Double Honours students prepare short scholarly papers for conference-style presentation at the Colloquium, an event held in the first week of February. Presentations are normally adapted essays written for 300- or 400-level courses after consultation with the course professor or the Undergraduate Chair. Three development sessions starting in Term 1 will provide information on the form and function of the colloquium, establish working groups, guide the process of adaptation, and review best practices for presentations as well as professional conference etiquette. Note that while this course is required for Honours and Double Honours students, it has no credit unit value. Students entering the final year of the Honours program should contact the Undergraduate Chair, Professor Ella Ophir, to confirm enrolment: e.ophir@usask.ca