Spring 2023 - ENGL 112W D100

Literature Now (3)

Class Number: 3902

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Mon, 2:30–3:20 p.m.

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Wed, 2:30–3:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2023
    Thu, 12:00–3:00 p.m.



Introduces students to contemporary works of literature in English and/or contemporary approaches to interpreting literature. May focus on one or multiple genres. Includes attention to writing skills. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


The Fiction of Contact

‘Contact’ is both an everyday experience and an issue of profound social importance.  Every day, we negotiate face-to-face encounters with people of different social, ethnic, and ‘racial’ backgrounds.  We are also bombarded with language and stories of cultural ‘sameness’ and ‘difference’ through images, videos, advertising, political messaging, and social media.  Literature offers us a powerful means to explore the complexity of cross-cultural contact, highlighting our equally essential similarities and differences, but also the ways that we have constructed perilous ‘fictions’ of others.


In this course, we will explore how some of the most celebrated contemporary authors have represented cross-cultural contact.  These authors will take us to different periods and lands – some real and some invented.  We will recognize how history, culture, politics, and psychology each inform how contact is represented; but our primary goal will be to read the assigned novels with close attention to their stylistic particularities – to appreciate how contact has been scripted and made to feel ‘real’ in particular texts.  Our goal will be to become better readers of literature, but also closer critical analysts of the complex world of language and narrative surrounding us today.


This is also a writing intensive course, which means that we will have the opportunity to develop and refine our writing skills.  We will periodically look at videos, photographic images, and other forms of art in this course to enrich our understandings of the books.  Finally, this course will also enable students to submit a creative composition about ‘contact’ in one of the books studied -- e.g. a short piece of creative writing, a musical composition or ‘mixtape,’ a website or blog entry, a work of visual art, etc.


  • Regular attendance and tutorial participation 10%
  • Oral Presentation + brief write-up (3 pages) 10%
  • Creative Project 10%
  • Essay (5-6 pages) 20%
  • Revision of Essay plus ‘Addendum’ (7-8 pages) 20%
  • Final exam (3 hours) 30%



Coates, Ta-Nehisi.  Between the World and Me. Text Publishing Co; UK ed.  ISBN-10:

  1.   ISBN-13: 978-1925240702

Coetzee, J.M.  Waiting for the Barbarians.  Penguin, 1999.  ISBN-10: 0140283358.  ISBN-13:


Fung, Pik-Shuen.  Ghost Forest: A Novel.  Strange Light, 2022.  ISBN-10 0771096488.  ISBN-

13: 978-0771096488

Kincaid, Jamaica.  Lucy.  Farrar Straus Giroux, 2002.  ISBN-10: 0374527350.  ISBN-13: 978-


Lahiri, Jhumpa.  The Interpreter of Maladies.  Mariner Books (2019).  ISBN: 0358213266


Please note: be sure to purchase or order your books on your own, preferably through a local bookstore.  These books will not be available at the SFU bookstore.


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