Fall 2019 - ENGL 216 D100

History and Principles of Literary Criticism (3)

Class Number: 4485

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    WMC 3250, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 6, 2019
    12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
    AQ 5018, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    JD Fleming
    1 778 782-4713
    Office: AQ 6149
    Office Hours: TBA
  • Prerequisites:

    Two 100 division English courses.



The study of selected works in the history of literary criticism, up to and including modern and contemporary movements in criticism.


This course will be an introduction to some foundational ideas--in the Western tradition, anyway--about literary representation. We'll start in ancient Greece with selections from Plato (Republic X) and Aristotle (the Poetics). We'll proceed, perhaps via Longinus and/or Horace in the Roman period, to Augustine's Confessions at the dawn of medieval Europe. Then, maybe after a bit of Aquinas, we'll look at Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesy (1595), and perhaps also Ben Jonson's Timber (ca. 1640). Ultimately, we'll hope to make it as far as Kant, perhaps even Schleiermacher, at the turn of the nineteenth century. However, the schedule of our readings will be determined by our in-class discussions--not the other way around. All readings will be made available online, or in .pdf (no textbook). Throughout this course, our guiding question will not just be how we talk about literature; but why. 


  • Mid-term writing assignments 15%
  • Presentation/project 15%
  • Term paper 35%
  • Final exam 35%

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