Spring 2022 - ENGL 115W D100

Literature and Culture (3)

Class Number: 5217

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    RCB IMAGTH, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2022
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SSCC 9001, Burnaby



An Introduction to the study of literature within the wider cultural field, with a focus on contemporary issues across genres and media. Students with credit for ENGL 105W may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


"Choices and Clashes: Greek Tragedy"

Greek tragedies are always exciting, and frequently terrifying. They are not exactly the ancient world’s horror movies, but they come close, as they are scary, profound, moving and unforgettable. Part of what makes them unforgettable are the serious clashes of values and beliefs they contain: families scheme and fight to kill each other, victims take horrific revenge on perpetrators, and most notoriously, a character kills his father and marries his mother (unknowingly? yes, probably ... but we will see).

The course will introduce students to Greek tragic drama, and the culture that gave rise to these plays, via the study of four well-known classical Greek tragedies: The OresteiaOedipus the KingAntigone, and Medea. While we will learn about theme, character, setting, stage organization, audience, etc., the focus will be on this radical culture that focused so intently on tragic destruction and the horrible consequences of the clash of values and beliefs.

Literary and historical context will figure prominently, particularly in the lectures, but don't be put off by this: you are not required to have a philosophy or a history degree, you are merely required to be attentive and curious.   

This is the course text: Mary Lefkowitz and James Romm, eds. The Greek Plays: Sixteen plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, Modern Library (2017). You must use this edition, which conveniently contains everything we'll need for the course. This text also has introductions to each of our four plays, as well as a very good general introduction to Greek tragedy. There will be a syllabus and as the course is a W course, you'll have to do some drafting and revision work.



* Learn about this much respected genre: tragic drama

* Become a better reader of rich and moving literary works

* Become a better writer: structure essays better; use the details of the texts to support arguments; and formulate strong thesis statements.

* Enjoy the experience of having your emotions activated by these works 


  • Tutorial participation and attendance 10%
  • 1 single page in-class writing assignment 5%
  • Midterm Essay: 5-6 pages (with revision) 30%
  • Final Essay: 5-6 pages 30%
  • Final Exam 25%





See above. You must use the following edition, which has been issued in a paperback edition:

The Greek Plays: Sixteen plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides (edited by Mary Lefkowitz and James Romm).

Here is the ISBN 13: 978-0812983098
ISBN: 978-0812983098

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 spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this 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 spring 2022 term.