Fall 2021 - ENGL 112W D100

Literature Now (3)

Class Number: 4232

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    SWH 10081, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 15, 2021
    3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
    GYM CENTRAL, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Nicky Didicher
    1 778 782-4337
    Office: AQ 6143
    Office Hours: Mon 12-2, Wed 11-12, and by appointment; either in person, by telephone/Skype, or in BbCU https://www.sfu.ca/people/didicher.html



Introduces students to contemporary works of literature in English and/or contemporary approaches to interpreting literature. May focus on one or multiple genres. Includes attention to writing skills. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


Narrative Games/Gaming Narratives
What is literature now? Print texts and ebooks, yes, but also graphic texts in print and online, interactive web-based texts, game narratives, and who knows what next. This course will explore narrative interactions between real life and fictional/game life in a variety of textual media and genres. We will read the texts roughly chronologically, as they move from formulaic straight White male (anti-)hero stories to more diverse and inclusive narratives. Although many of the texts involve game play as a subject matter, and we will play and analyse a couple of narrative games, students do not need to be gamers to succeed in the course. All students will consider what it means to read and to play, and what the purposes of literature and games are.
As a Writing-Intensive course, this course uses formal and informal writing assignments to promote 1/ understanding of the material and 2/ skills in persuasive, logical, and well-supported argument. Students will revise one assignment for marks and give each other feedback on their writing.


This course will help you learn to
1/ interpret stories, gathering and evaluating evidence from texts of various kinds,
2/ write persuasive arguments supported by evidence,
3/ write clearly and concisely,
4/ revise and proofread your writing, and
5/ give feedback to your peers in concise, specific, and helpful ways.


  • introductory paragraph for essay 10%
  • peer reviews of essay drafts (2 x 5%) 10%
  • argumentative essay on a course text, c.1200-1800 words 30%
  • gaming reflection, under 1000 words 20%
  • final exam, 2-hour closed-book 30%



In addition to the texts listed below, students will read short excerpts from other gaming narratives and some works of theory/criticism, all available in Canvas. Students will also play three games, two required and one student-chosen: A Dark Room and Bury Me, My Love are required and available online; each student will also choose one game from an approved list to play online and write a reflection about.

Note: the SFU bookstore is not (as of June 1) planning to order print texts for Fall term, and none of my course texts is available on VitalSource. Students will therefore be self-sourcing the books I list below: this could mean borrowing a book/e-text from a library or friend, purchasing an e-text on Kobo or Kindle (please don't rely on an audiobook, unless you need to for accessibility), or purchasing a print copy from a local bookstore, a used bookstore (including online services such as ABEbooks.com), directly from a publisher, etc. Allow time for delivery of print texts if required.


Only You Can Save Mankind!, children's novel by Terry Pratchett
ISBN: 9780060541866

Level Up, graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang & Thien Pham
ISBN: 9781596432352

In Real Life, graphic novel by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
ISBN: 9781250144287

Slay, YA novel by Brittney Morris
ISBN: 9781534445420

Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers, collection of graphic short stories edited by Hazel Newlevant
ISBN: 978-1945509605

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.