Summer 2023 - ENGL 211 D100

The Place of the Past (3)

Class Number: 2777

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Aug 4, 2023: Tue, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 17, 2023
    Thu, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • 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.


The historical novel has long been popular with readers and authors, but it has enjoyed a much less favourable reception from critics and scholars alike. Yet this genre of fiction is often readers primary or only introduction to events, peoples, and places from the past. In this course, the novels we’ll read showcase different varieties of this type of fiction and challenge the critical marginalization of this genre. We will read, discuss, and analyze these texts with a view to assessing the ways that the past is used, and sometimes abused, by their authors.


  • Seminar Participation (including quizzes, attendance and participation) 15%
  • Close Readings (take place in lecture: 2 @ 15% each) 30%
  • Essay (6-8 pages) 25%
  • Final Exam 30%



See, Lisa   Snow Flower and the Secret Fan    Random House

King, Laurie R.   The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.  Picador

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, et al.  This Place: 150 Years Retold. Portage & Main Press

Cullinane, Jonothan   Red Herring    Harper Collins*

NB: Texts will be read in the order listed; students would be well advised to begin See’s Snow Flower and the Fan prior the first class since it is a longer novel.

* The edition of Red Herring we will use is an ebook and you will need to purchase that from an online book provider (Amazon, Google Play, Indigo etc.)


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

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:


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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.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.