Fall 2019 - ENGL 113W D100

Literature and Performance (3)

Class Number: 4441

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    AQ 3182, Burnaby

    We 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    AQ 3181, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 7, 2019
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SSCB 9201, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Peter Dickinson
    1 604 908 0993
    Office: AQ 6117
    Office Hours: By appointment



Introduces students to plays and performance works created and adapted for the stage, and/or the performative dimensions of other literary forms. May be organized historically, generically or thematically. The course may also explore the links between literary and performance theory. Includes attention to writing skills. Students with credit for ENGL 103W may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


Literature and/in/as Performance
This course explores the relationship between literature and performance in three modules. First, we examine how the performance of gender becomes a thematic trope in two contemporary literary adaptations—one novelistic, the other dramatic—of an ancient tale (about Odysseus and his long-suffering wife, Penelope). Next, we focus on moving from page to stage/screen by contextualizing our reading of two plays in terms of their production histories across different media, and by thinking about what dramaturgical choices we might make in staging a third play. Finally, we conclude by looking at how literature and literary texts are themselves performative, examining a work of performance poetry, and also considering the book as object.


  • Attendance, tutorial participation, and in-class writing assignments 15%
  • Reading quizzes 15%
  • First essay, including outline and draft (4 pages) 20%
  • Second essay (4 pages) 20%
  • Final exam 30%



Jordan Abel, Injun (Talonbooks; 9780889229778)
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad (Canongate; 9781841957982)
Caryl Churchill, Love and Information (TCG; 9781559364409)
Wajdi Mouawad, Scorched (Playwrights Canada Press; 9780887549267)
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (any edition)
Enda Walsh, Penelope (TCG; 9781559363877)

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://www.sfu.ca/students/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