Spring 2023 - ENGL 115W D100

Literature and Culture (3)

Class Number: 3937

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    SSCB 9200, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 14, 2023
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    RCB IMAGTH, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Sophie McCall
    1 778 782-4866
    Office: AQ 6112
    Office Hours: Mondays 11:00am -12:00 pm Thursdays 3:00 - 4:00 pm



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.


 Narratives of Encounter and Survival

In this writing-intensive course, we will read fiction (novels, graphic novels, short stories, memoir) and poetry from a diverse range of national and cultural perspectives. We will consider the relationship between word and image in texts, films, adaptations, and other formats that work at the intersection of the visual and the textual. A thematic focus of the course is on stories of resistance by survivors of genocide, displacement, and cultural suppression. We will read Art Spiegelman’s MAUS, a Holocaust survivor’s story in the form of a graphic novel; Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis on the revolution in Iran; Dionne Brand’s A Map to the Door of No Return, on Black diasporic life in the wake of the Middle Passage; Mercedes Eng’s My Yt Mama, a hybrid collection of poems on mixed race identity; and Ojibwe author Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse, a novel that confronts the legacies of residential schools and other forms of colonial dispossession in Canada, while also telling the stories of those who endured against the odds with humour, wit, and care.


  • To develop your skills in reading, interpreting, and writing about literary texts.
  • To learn how to read and interpret graphic novels that work at the interface of the visual and the textual.
  • To read, discuss, and write about complex relationships between texts and contexts (historical, social, cultural, literary).


  • Participation (attendance & informal writing in tutorials, lectures or on Canvas) 15%
  • Essay 1 (800 words) 20%
  • Essay 2 (1000 words) 20%
  • Revision of Essay 2 (1000-1200 words) 20%
  • Final Exam 25%



Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
ISBN: 978-0375714573

Art Spiegelman, Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History
ISBN: 978-0394747231

Mercedes Eng, My Yt Mama
ISBN: 978-1772012552

Dionne Brand, A Map to the Door of No Return
ISBN: 978-0385258920

Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse
ISBN: 978-1771621908


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

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 website 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