Spring 2019 - ENGL 111W D100

Literary Classics in English (3)

Class Number: 1525

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    EDB 7618, Burnaby

    Th 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    SSCB 9201, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 14, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    SSCB 9201, Burnaby



Examines literary “classics”, variously defined, apprehending them both on their own terms and within larger critical conversations. May incorporate the comparative study of work in related artistic fields and engage relevant media trends. Includes attention to writing skills. Students with credit for ENGL 101W may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


Narratives of Encounter and Survival

In this writing-intensive course, you will read a range of literary classics of encounter and survival from the late 20th and 21st centuries: novels, short stories, a memoir, and graphic novels, from a diversity of national and cultural perspectives. We will consider the relationship between word and image in texts, films, adaptations, and other formats that work at the intersection of the visual and the textual. A thematic focus of the course is on stories of resilience by survivors of genocide, displacement, and cultural suppression. We begin with a Holocaust survivor’s story in the form of a graphic novel (MAUS), by Jewish American writer, Art Spiegelman, followed by Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes, which tells the story of Aminata who survived the crossing of the Atlantic and slavery in North America in the 18th century; and Haisla/ Heiltsuk author Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach, a novel that documents the legacies of residential schools and other forms of colonial dispossession in Canada, while also telling the stories of those who endured against the odds with humour, wit, and mischievous subversion. We will complete the course by reading the celebrated memoir, Tomboy Survival Guide, by trans and queer writer, Ivan Coyote, who is SFU English department’s writer in residence (2018-19).


  • To develop your skills in reading, interpreting, and writing about literary texts.
  • To learn how to read and interpret graphic novels that work at the interface of the visual and the textual.
  • To recognize complex relationships between texts and contexts (historical, social, cultural, literary).


  • Attendance, tutorial participation, and in-class writing assignments 15%
  • Essay 1 (1000 words) and revision 20%
  • Reading Quiz 10%
  • Essay 2 (1200 words) and revision 30%
  • Final Exam 25%



Art Spiegelman, MAUS Pantheon 
ISBN: 978-0394747231

Lawrence Hill, Book of Negroes Harper Perennial
ISBN: 978-1443409094

Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach Vintage 
ISBN: 978-0676973228

Satrapi, Complete Persepolis
ISBN: 9780375714832

Additional short stories and essays will be posted to Canvas.

Ivan Coyote, Tomboy Survival Guide
ISBN: 978039474723

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