Spring 2022 - ENGL 209 D100

Race, Borders, Empire (3)

Class Number: 5182

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 3149, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 26, 2022
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    EDB 7618, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    12 units or one 100 division English course.



Examines how literature and language work to reflect, perform, complicate, and critique constructions of race, ethnicity, and national and diasporic identities and spaces. May draw from post-colonial approaches, critical race theory, and Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies. May be further organized by historical period, genre, or critical approach. Breadth-Humanities.


Decolonial Love


In this course, we will discuss books and films that represent 'love' both within and against the overlapping forces of race, borders, and Empire.  How is love evoked in contexts of migration, social change, and decolonial struggle?  What forms of love persist, mutate, or (re)invent themselves in the midst of dislocation, disenfranchisement, and dehumanization?  What are the critical stakes today in such a term as 'love;' and how might ‘reading for love’ animate parallel reflections upon related decolonial concepts such as care, intimacy, and joy?


By examining the books and films of globally acclaimed artists, we will encounter widely different representations of the experiences of Black, Indigenous, South Asian, and East Asian peoples.  We will address the challenges of reading across cultures and conditions of racialization; and we will attend to markedly different forms, scripts, and languages of love.  The goals of this course are to discuss literary and filmic texts in newly informed and attentive ways while also thinking critically and creatively about the intellectual work we perform in academic spaces.



See above.


  • Short Classroom Presentation and Write-Up (3-4 pages) 15%
  • Creative Project 20%
  • Reading Journal (5 pages) 20%
  • Essay (8-10 pages) 30%
  • Participation 15%



Kincaid, Jamaica.  Lucy.  Farrar Straus and Giroux (2002).
ISBN: 0374527350

Lahiri, Jhumpa.  The Interpreter of Maladies.  Mariner Books (2019).
ISBN: 0358213266

Simpson, Leanne Betasmosake.  Islands of Decolonial Love.  ARP (2013).
ISBN: 188403788X

Thammavongsa, Souvankham.  How to Pronounce Knife.  McClelland & Stewart (2020).
ISBN: 0771094604

Fire.  (1996 film, directed by Deepa Mehta)

Lover's Rock (2020 film, directed by Steve McQueen)

Moonlight.  (2016 film, directed by Barry Jenkins)

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.