Summer 2023 - ENGL 413W D100

Seminar in Literature and Environment (4)

Class Number: 2991

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Aug 4, 2023: Mon, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Margaret Linley
    Office Hours: Mon 10:30-11:30 and by appointment
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units or two 300-division English courses.



Advanced seminar on selected literary works as they intersect with and are shaped by environmental and ecological issues. May be organized by theme, critical approach, historical period, or individual author. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught. Writing.


Literature, Nature, and the Colonial Legacy

This advanced seminar will focus on selected British nineteenth-century and contemporary literary works as they intersect with and are shaped by environmental and ecological issues. We will also focus on the relationship between the history of colonialism, the environment, and ecological consciousness. We will begin by thinking about key concepts from a variety of perspectives and then turn to consider two foundational strains of nineteenth-century environmental writing: the nature writing movement and responses to environmental crisis (William Wordsworth and John Clare's poetry and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein). Our next move will be to read environmental awareness in selected nineteenth-century writing for and against the British metropolis. Our readings in this section of the course will include the transatlantic life story of Mary Prince, poetry and short stories by Indigenous authors Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and E. Pauline Johnson, and selected settler colonial writing. Finally, we'll also consider three recent texts (a play, a long poem, and a short novel) and the ways they write back to the colonial legacy with a heightened ecological consciousness.

See required texts below. Additional readings will be available on Canvas.


  • Participation 10%
  • Blog Posts 20%
  • Short Paper, 5 pages 20%
  • Oral Presentation, 20 mins 15%
  • Final Research Paper (10 pages), plus annotated bibliography and proposal 35%


Students should purchase books online well in advance of class. Additional readings will be available on Canvas.



Mary Shelley, Frankenstein 3rd ed. Broadview
ISBN: 9781554811038

Tomson Highway,The Rez Sisters. Fifth House Publishers
ISBN: 978-0920079447

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies. Anansi
ISBN: 9781487007645

Mary Prince, History of Mary Prince. Penguin
ISBN: 9780140437492

Emily St. John Mandel, Sea of Tranquility. HarperCollins
ISBN: 978144346609


Tekahionwake: E. Pauline Johnson’s Writings on Native North America. Broadview
ISBN: 978-1-55481-191-5


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:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


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.