Spring 2020 - ENGL 113W D900

Literature and Performance (3)

Class Number: 4429

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 6 – Apr 9, 2020: Mon, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 15, 2020
    Wed, 3:30–6:30 p.m.



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.


A script is a copy of a play, a set of lines guiding actors through performance. This course provides you with several scripts. First, several important plays to read covering one hundred years of British drama provide an overview of important dramatic movements. Moreover, those plays are entertaining and challenging vehicles for the social gatherings – such as having guests for a meal, attending a public event, or throwing a birthday party – which also require scripts. What is at stake when scripts are enforced? Why is it funny or horrifying when they are violated? Third, the course provides scripts for students to read and write across university disciplines, by examining thesis statements, paragraph structure, introductions, and so on. The disorienting thing about university is that it can feel like everyone else knows the script, and you're an actor on stage trying to remember lines you were never given a copy of in the first place. Therefore, this course builds students’ ability to interpret university scripts (lectures, scholarly texts, and assignment instructions), and their performance of scripts (such as academic proposals or exams). Finally, this course’s ambition is to cultivate a critical self-awareness in each student so that they may create a script for their own learning.


Students will learn to apply principles of rhetoric and critical analysis in response to selected dramatic readings. They will develop their writing skills through exploratory writing, academic argument, and critical analyses of dramatic literary texts.

A student who successfully completes the course will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:
Utilize a university-level writing process that employs pre-writing, drafting, and revising strategies  
Plan, analyze, revise, and edit writing in response to instructor feedback
Generate, organize, and synthesize ideas
Apply principles of unity, coherence, and emphasis in academic writing
Write essays responsive to audience, purpose, and occasion
Observe the grammatical and stylistic conventions of Standard Written English
Produce academic writing that asserts and defends a clear thesis
Make an academic argument
Integrate source material purposefully and effectively, using appropriately documented textual evidence to support generalizations
Analyze, and interpret, and respond critically to literature through close reading
Evaluate relevance, purpose, and effectiveness of different approaches to literature


  • Participation and Engagement 10%
  • Quiz on Close Reading 10%
  • Short Essay (250-300 words) 15%
  • Proposal for Final Essay (2 pages) 10%
  • Final Essay (1500 words) 20%
  • Final Exam 25%
  • Revisions of Short Essay (300-350 words) 10%


Tutorials will be held the first week of classes.



Oscar Wilde - The Importance of Being Earnest (Dover)
ISBN: 9780486264783

Bernard Shaw - Pygmalion (Dover)
ISBN: 9780486282220

Harold Pinter - The Birthday Party (Faber & Faber)
ISBN: 9780571160785

Caryl Churchill - Top Girls (Methuen)
ISBN: 9781408106037

John Osborne - Look Back in Anger (Faber and Faber)
ISBN: 9780571322763

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