Spring 2022 - ENGL 211 D100

The Place of the Past (3)

Class Number: 4690

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    AQ 3005, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2022
    3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
    WMC 3260, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    12 units or one 100 division English course.



Examines literature and language within specific social, cultural, geographical, and textual environments to explore the mutually informing relationship between history and text. May be further organized by historical period, genre, or critical approach. Breadth-Humanities.


Staging History

The vast majority of people in early modern England could not read, and this meant that a large percentage of the population knew little history. In the words of historian Daniel Woolf, “for most ordinary people, the Creation, the Flood, and the story of Christ were much more familiar historical landmarks than the Norman Conquest or Magna Carta.” And so history plays were immensely popular, especially in the 16th century. In this course we will examine how playwrights represented history – foreign, domestic, and fantastical – on the stage and speculate on the social effects those representations had in their time.


Students will:

  • analyze early modern dramatic works through discussion and writing
  • express their understanding of the relationship between the drama and the historical/cultural contexts in which it was written
  • utilize contemporary criticism and history as ways of providing a context for understanding the plays 


  • short essay (1,500 words) 20%
  • major essay (2,000 words) 35%
  • seminar participation 15%
  • final examination 30%


The penalty for late papers is 5% per day.



Any editions of Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine 1 & 2, Edward II

Any editions of William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Richard II, Henry VIII


Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine 1 & 2, Edward II

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Richard II, Henry VIII

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.