Spring 2022 - ENGL 415W D100

Seminar in Media, Culture and Performance (4)

Class Number: 4782

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 12:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 5035, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units or two 300 division English courses.



Advanced seminar in the relation of literature and media (manuscript, print, visual, aural, electronic, and/or oral) within their cultural and/or performative contexts. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught. Writing.


Mediating Jacobites in Cultural Memory: From "Bonnie Prince Charlie" to Outlander

This course examines the literary and cultural shaping of a critical moment in Scottish and British history: the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Since the eighteenth century, the Jacobite cause has been subject to a variety of rebrandings. On the one hand, Jacobites have been represented as primitive and uncivilized Highlanders following a foolish and ineffectual leader (Charles Edward Stuart). On the other hand, the cause has also come to represent a lost identity for Scottish people, with Charles Edward Stuart characterized as the romantic "Bonnie Prince Charlie." The recent popularity of the television series based on Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books has only reinforced such views. 

This course attempts to get behind the myths of the Jacobites. We begin with a short overview of Cultural Memory Studies theory, examining how such an approach can provide a new perspective on eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland as we consider the strategies employed to erase Jacobitism from official cultural memory as well as the persistence of Jacobite counter-memories. We then move into analyses of a variety of texts, including canonical printed works such as Walter Scott's Waverley (1814) and less well known works such as Anne Grant's The Highlanders (1803) as well as understudied manuscript sources, popular pamphlets, forms of material culture (eg. clothing and drinking goblets) and songs. We work our way up to the twenty-first century, considering how the Jacobites are represented in our present era in Outlander as well as at the Culloden Battlefield. By examining the traces of Jacobite culture within a complex media ecology, we shed light on the way in which counter-memories co-exist with official British cultural memory. 

Students will learn a variety of research techniques for working with non-traditional media. They will also have an opportunity to work with and contribute to "The Lyon in Mourning" project, a digital humanities investigation into a little-known eighteenth-century Jacobite manuscript. 


Students will learn about the layers of mediation that go into the construction of cultural memory. They will study the work of contemporary Cultural Memory theorists and explore theories of intermediality (how media work in relation to one another). They will learn about eighteenth century history as well as about how our contemporary moment seeks to represent that history for its own purposes. 


  • group seminar presentation 10%
  • "Lyon in Mourning" project 20%
  • Essay #1 (1500-1800 words) 25%
  • Final project (1500 words plus multi-media component) 35%
  • Participation and preparation 10%



Walter Scott, Waverley, ed. Susan Kubica Howard (Broadview) (also available as an e-book)

ISBN: 9781551118956

Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (Random House). Or, you can get this secondhand. 
ISBN: 978-0770428792

Other materials will be available on the Canvas courseware site. 

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.