Fall 2016 - ENGL 486W E100

Topics in Gender, Sexuality and Literature (4)

Class Number: 3814

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    AQ 5039, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    One 300 division English course. Reserved for English honors, major, joint major and minor students.



The study of selected literary works as they intersect with and are shaped by issues of gender and sexuality. May be organized by theme, critical approach, historical period, or individual author. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught. Students who obtained credit for ENGL 486W prior to Summer 2015 may not take this course for further credit. Students who obtained credit for ENGL 486 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


From the Man in the Moon to the Boss in the Pants: Women and Comedy, 1660-2016

In 2008, the skit featuring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s impersonations of Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton influenced the course of the American presidential election. Now in 2016, with Clinton as the democratic nominee, how has comedy by women mattered and how will it continue to shape public dialogue? This course begins by looking back at some of the earliest comedy written by women, including writers such as Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, and Jane Austen. In the second part of the class, we look at twentieth and twenty-first century female comedians, such as Dorothy Parker, Moms Mabley, and Fey and Poehler. We will also study comedy theory, both traditional approaches by writers such as Freud and Bergson, and contemporary readings that account for gender.


  • attendance and participation 15%
  • response paper (5 pages plus revision) 25%
  • annotated bibliography 20%
  • research paper (11-14 pages) 35%
  • final presentation 5%



Jane Austen, Emma. 
ISBN: 155111321X

Tanya Caldwell, ed. Popular Plays by Women in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century.
ISBN: 1551119168

Margaret Cavendish, Bell in Campo and The Sociable Companions.
ISBN: 1551112876

Jane Collier, Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting.
ISBN: 1551110962

Tina Fey, Bossypants.
ISBN: 0316056898

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html