Summer 2024 - ENGL 363 D100

Studies in Media Cultures (4)

Class Number: 2716

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Mon, 9:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Michelle Levy
    1 778 782-5393
  • Prerequisites:

    30 units or two 200-division English courses.



Study of the relation of literature and media (manuscript, print, visual, aural, digital, and/or oral) within their cultural and/or performative contexts. May be further organized by methodology (e.g. book history, textual scholarship, media studies, adaptation studies, digital humanities), historical period, or genre. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught.


Women and World War II Across Media

This course offers an exploration of how women responded—first to the threat, then to the reality, and finally to the aftermath—of the Second World War in Europe. It examines a handful of women's reflections, depictions, and reporting on the War, across a variety of genres and media, both private and public. We will examine the diaries and memoirs they wrote (and often illustrated), the magazine and newspaper reports they filed, and the fiction, essays, and films they created to describe the war, to support the war effort, and to lament the horrors of war. We will pay particular attention to the material history of the works we are studying: the circumstances of their composition and creation; the surviving archive, including the manuscripts, original drawings, magazine articles, and early print editions in which their work circulated; the multimedia aspects of their compositions; and the transformations of their work as it migrated across various media and to different and broader audiences. Throughout, we will be asking about how women convey their perspectives on and experiences of the war.



This course will be collaborative and research-intensive, as well as affectively challenging in terms of the subject matter, as we critically interrogate our materials dealing with the harrowing reality of war. This course will be collaborative, in that we will be working together to find some the course materials we will be reading; for example, students will be asked to find the original New Yorker articles in which Mollie Panter-Downes' dispatches from London and stories appeared. You will also be expected to do some work (including an archival presentation) with other students, and you are invited (but not required) to do your major assignments in partnership with other students. This course will ask you to engage in original research, as we will be studying materials (such as Molly Lamb Bobak’s illustrated war diary) that are available only in digital form and have received very little scholarly attention. This course will develop your critical capacities. For example, we will be destabilizing the idea of a fixed text, by exploring the many different versions of Anne Frank’s diary and considering how it transitioned from manuscript to print. Finally, this course will present us with disturbing and inevitably challenging subject matter.


  • Regular Attendance and Participation 20%
  • Archival Presentation 15%
  • First essay/project 20%
  • Final essay/project 30%
  • Reports (Panter-Downes and Bobak) 15%



Most of the course readings are out of print or difficult to access and will be made available on canvas or through SFU OneDrive. Students are urged however to purchase the following two books:

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl. [Please purchase the “Definitive” edition. This edition is currently a good deal on Amazon: ISBN: 0307594009.]

Judith Kerr, When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit Harper Collins, 2017. ISBN: 0007274777

A fuller list of the course reading and a tentative schedule is listed below under required reading.


Tentative Course/Reading Schedule:

Journalism and Short Fiction of Mollie Panter-Downes

Week 1—May 6:

Mollie Panter-Downes, “Letter from London,” New Yorker Magazine

Week 2—May 13:

Mollie Panter-Downes, Good Evening, Mrs Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes

May 20: Victoria Day – Classes Cancelled

Week 3—May 27:

Mollie Panter-Downes, “Letter from London,” New Yorker Magazine


Week 4—June 3: 

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Week 5—June 10:

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Molly Lamb Bobak’s War Diary

Week 6—June 17:

Molly Lamb Bobak’s War Diary


Week 7—June 24:

Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas (1938)

July 1: Canada Day Classes Cancelled


Week 8—July 8:

Ruby Grierson, Children from Overseas (1940)

Mrs Miniver (1942)

Post-War Recollections

Week 9—July 15:

Hannah Arendt, “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” New Yorker Magazine

February 8, 1963

February 16, 1963

Week 10—July 22:

Judith Kerr, When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit (1971)

Week 11—July 29:

Mavis Gallant, stories from The Fifteenth District (1978)

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.