Spring 2019 - ENGL 208 D100

21st Century Literatures in English (3)

Class Number: 1599

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SWH 10051, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 16, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    AQ 3005, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Two 100-level English courses.



Explores twenty-first century and contemporary literatures in English. May Include late twentieth-century literature. The course may cover the role of new media, transnational perspectives, contemporary critical theory, and emerging and/or mixed genres such as the graphic novel. Breadth-Humanities.


In the last two decades, we have witnessed crises in global migration, struggles over citizenship and human rights, and the rise of ethno-nationalisms taking place throughout the world. While newer technologies such as social media may change how we learn about and respond to these struggles, debates over individual and national security and global mobility are not, of course, unique to the twenty-first century. It is, however, almost impossible to ignore how these issues touch each of our lives in various ways. In this course, we will read four novels and a book of poetry that explore questions of displacement, migration, and belonging in relation to contemporary North America and as they connect Canada and the US to other parts of the world. How does contemporary literature ask us to engage with these matters? What are the particular ways in which individuals and collectives made to feel alien, vulnerable or at home within their own bodies, cities, and nation-states? How do we read these stories and poems from a space such as Vancouver, a site that is often praised as a cosmopolitan gateway city despite its long and complicated histories of racialized citizenship and migration and struggles over land and sovereignty.


  • Essay #1 (1500 words) 25%
  • Essay #2 (2000-2500 words) 30%
  • Regular Attendance and Active Participation 10%
  • Weekly Reading Journal 10%
  • Final Examination 25%



Hamid, Mohsin. Exit West.
Nguyen, Viet. The Sympathizer.
Lee, Krys. How I Became a North Korean.
Rankine, Claudia. Citizen.
Van Camp, Richard. The Lesser Blessed.

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