Fall 2021 - ENGL 417W D100

Seminar in Gender, Sexuality and Literature (4)

Nineteenth Century Classics

Class Number: 6517

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 12:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    WMC 2533, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units or two 300 division English courses.



Advanced seminar on selected literary works as they intersect with and are shaped by issues of gender and/or sexuality. May be organized by theme, critical approach, historical period, or individual author. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught. Writing.


Rereading Nineteenth-Century Classics

In this course, you will read nineteenth-century classics that delve into issues of moral complexity and pivot on questions of gender and sexuality. These works explore fundamental questions behind human behaviour, choices, and responsibilities to reflect on how people should live and according to what values. You will read works that probe what it means to unleash monsters, to recognise prejudice, to reject moral norms, to become morally sovereign, and to sink into moral corruption and confusion. If literature is a moral gymnasium that allows us to think through feelings, actions, and values, then reading these works -- however historically distant in their approach to gender and sexuality -- can be a form of exercise for projecting ourselves in the world.


  • Participation & Attendance 10%
  • Reading and Writing Journal (4 entries @ 500 words] 30%
  • Oral Presentation (1-2; 15 minutes + discussion) 30%
  • Final Research Essay (2500 words) 30%


Assignments are subject to change.



Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (British; 1813) Broadview ISBN: 9781551110288 / 1551110288 

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (British; 1818) Broadview ISBN: 9781554811038 / 1554811031 

Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince (Caribbean; 1831) Penguin ISBN 9780140437492 (Facsimile edition also available on Canvas)

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (French; 1857) Penguin ISBN: 9780143106494  (Project Gutenberg e-book: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2413 )

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Irish; 1891) Broadview ISBN: 9781551111261 / 1551111268 

Frances E. W. Harper, Iola Leroy (American; 1892) Broadview ISBN: 9781554813858 / 1554813859

You will be able to order directly from Broadview, either digital or print editions. More information forthcoming.

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.