Spring 2019 - ENGL 357 E100

Studies in Canadian Literature since 1920 (4)

Class Number: 1646

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    WMC 3255, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 13, 2019
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    AQ 3149, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Two 100 division English courses, and two 200 division English courses.



The study of selected works of Canadian literature written after 1920. Students with credit for ENGL 356 or 358 may not take this course for further credit.


Magic Realism & The Gothic in Canadian Literature after 1920 

Two styles have continued to influence Canadian literature after 1920, the gothic mode and magic realism.  Even in seemingly realist fiction, along with genteel seances and mesmerism, we can come upon a Caribbean soucoyant, a First Nations Trickster, a magic wolverine, or the uncanny gesture of a high steel worker who, with a single hand, saves a nun blown off the Don Street Bridge. How do we place these uncanny characters and events? What do they tell us about Canadian modernity and postmodernity?  Critics find magic realism and the gothic to be discursive and unstable sites, yet developing and yet contested in Canadian fiction. We will explore the uncanny dimensions found in four novels: Atwood’s Alias Grace, Ondaatje’s In the Skin of A Lion, Chang’s Three Souls, and Chariandy’s Soucouyant. As well, we will read some gothic and magic realism poetry,  a number of short stories, along with some recent theory.  


After this course you should be able to discuss and evaluate the gothic mode and magic realism in the Canadian literary setting after 1920.  In addition you will become conversant in relevant theories and criticism,  as well as their evaluative application to four significant novels of the period.


  • Participation 10%
  • Paper 1 20%
  • Paper 2 20%
  • Facilitation of Presentation 10%
  • Formal Presentation 15%
  • Final Examination 25%



Course Canvas site



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